Masonic Research Society
Table of Contents
in the American Revolution
By Bro. Charles S. Lobingier,
33° Hon., Deputy for China
BROTHER J.E. Morcombe in a series of scholarly
once declared (1) that after "a very serious course of historical
through several months and covering (the?) period of the last three
he was regretfully forced" to reject "as mainly mythical the alleged
of American Masonic Lodges, as such, in affairs of the Revolution."
A statement like this, coming from such a
distinguished Masonic student, deserves consideration and analysis. If
destroys many cherished beliefs; if incorrect it ought, in justice to
past and present, to be so declared.
My own investigations have led me to a somewhat
conclusion. And while I am not prepared to say that the direct
of American Lodges" in our struggle for nationality was extensive,
cannot but feel that their indirect assistance was great and their
at certain stages determining. I will, therefore, state the results of
(2) of this field in language employed when it was first completed and,
readers may themselves be enabled to judge of the soundness of my
will, for each important statement, cite my authority.
At the outbreak of the Revolution Masonic
America were few and feeble. The oldest of them had existed less than
half a century
(3) and the membership was exceedingly small (4). But what was lacking
was more than supplied in quality. The Freemasons of that period
included the flower
of colonial citizenship and their very fewness was a source of
strength. In a small
lodge all could know and trust each other; all felt the need of
in deliberation ‒ of solidarity in action. Hence it is not strange that
these colonial lodges became the centers of revolutionary propaganda
St. Andrew's Lodge
Foremost among these was the Lodge of St.
Boston. Founded in 1756 and chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in
began its career independent of English influence and just in time to
share in the
opening scenes of the war for independence. Joseph Warren was its
Master, Paul Revere
one of its early initiates and secretaries and later its Master, and on
were the names of John Hancock, and James Otis and many others who are
as the leading characters of that eventful epoch. And almost every
in the patriotic cause in Boston, preceding and precipitating the
be traced back directly or indirectly to St. Andrew's Lodge.
The famous "Sons of Liberty," organized in
1765 to resist the enforcement of the Stamp Act, were but an offshoot
of this Lodge,
and was also the "North End Caucus" (6) to which was committed the
of some of the most daring plans of the patriots. Both of these
at the Green Dragon Tavern which was owned and occupied by St. Andrew's
the members of the latter were leaders in the former. It was at this
the historic Boston Tea Party was planned by Warren, Revere and other
St. Andrew's (7). The records of the lodge disclose that on the evening
tea-laden ships arrived in Boston Harbor there was an adjournment on
small attendance and the secretary adds the significant note that
of tea took the brethren's time." The minutes of December 16, 1773, the
of the tea party, show that the lodge was again adjourned until the
(8). Its members were among that band of enthusiasts who had boarded
the ships and
were rapidly heaving the obnoxious tea into the waters of Boston Harbor.
In the sterling days which followed it was Paul
of St. Andrew's Lodge who earned the title of "The Patriotic Mercury"
or "The Messenger of the Revolution." Thousands of miles he rode on
spreading the news of the destruction of the tea, bearing despatches to
to New York and Philadelphia, to Provincial and Continental Congresses
on that memorable night before the battle of Lexington it was by order
of the Master
of St. Andrew's, Joseph Warren, that Bro. Paul Revere set out upon his
to Concord to warn his countrymen of the foe's approach ‒ a ride which
immortalized by the magic pen of Longfellow who tells us that
"Through all our history to the last In the
of darkness and peril and need The people will waken and listen to hear
hoof-beats of that steed And the midnight message of Paul Revere."
And when at last the storm, which for years had
gathering, burst in all its fury, it was St. Andrew's Lodge which
first great martyr to American liberty. Joseph Warren, Major General in
Army, fell at Bunker Hill; and thus the lodge which had almost
initiated the war
gave up its Master in the battle which determined forever the supremacy
of the American
arms in Massachusetts. No other organization, civic or military, of its
can be compared to St. Andrew's Lodge in the extent of its
contributions to the
American cause. The title "Cradle of Liberty," which has been applied
to Faneuil Hall, rightfully belongs to the Green Dragon Tavern where
little band of Masons who precipitated the American Revolution.
The Other Patriotic Lodges
But there were other lodges which rendered
services in the war for independence. St. John's Provincial Grand Lodge
the older rival of St. Andrew's, furnished, in the person of its Deputy
Ridley, the engineer who planned the American fortifications at Bunker
St. George's Lodge at Schnectady, N. Y., where many Revolutionary
made Masons, honored itself and the order by appropriating lodge funds
for the support
of the families of its members who had been taken prisoners (11).
The intimate connection between Masonry and the
movements is also shown by the growth of the order at this time.
alone, at Albany, received eighty-three new members during the historic
But the most important service, after the
was fairly launched, was rendered by the lodges formed in the
There were ten of these (13), they were scattered among the camps from
to North Carolina, and their growth was fostered and encouraged by the
Washington himself attended their communications frequently ‒ now as a
meeting soldier brethren on the level (14) and now as Master sitting in
chair and bringing a candidate to Masonic light (15). It was in one of
‒ American Union at Morristown, N. J. ‒ that Lafayette is believed to
his degrees (16). Lodge meetings were sometimes held in officers' tents
sometimes, as in the case of the army encamped on the Hudson, in a
specially erected for that purpose (18). And so active were these
that a movement was started and several conventions held at Morristown
with a view
of establishing an American General Grand Lodge and making Washington
of the United States (19).
It is difficult to overestimate the strategic
of these army lodges. In the first place they promoted fellowship and
in the ranks and sympathy between officers and men. In an army where
private might sit in lodge on a level with the Commander-in-Chief there
spirit of self-sacrifice, mutual helpfulness and devotion ‒ an esprit
du corps ‒
which no hireling soldiery could have. Where the distinctions or rank
in the ties of brotherhood, even the sufferings of that terrible winter
Forge might be made endurable.
Again, the prevalence of Masonry in the
insured secrecy in the plans of campaign and fidelity in their
of war it is said, were frequently held in the lodge room where their
were under the double seal of Masonry and patriotism. Generals could
dispatches to couriers who were brother Masons and feel certain that
be divulged. Thus our eighteenth century brethren formed the strong arm
of the Continental
service. It is claimed that nearly every American general was a Mason
the leading ones were. Even the allies, Lafayette, the Frenchman, and
and Dekalb, the Germans, were members of the order. John Paul Jones,
of our navy, is known to have petitioned St. Bernard's Lodge at
and probably was a member of it (22). Had the Freemasons been withdrawn
Continental forces the Revolution must have been a dismal failure.
Our Brethren of the Opposing
But we must never forget that not all
the Revolution were enrolled in the patriotic ranks ‒ that they were
the opposing army as well. Peter Ross, the historian of the Grand Lodge
of New York,
records as operating during the war in that state more than thirty
lodges (22a). And to the fact that Masons were actively engaged on both
due some of the most gratifying incidents of the war. It has been said
fairest flowers are those that bloom over the wall of party; but how
much more must
be said of those that bloom amid the strife of armies.
Early in the war an event occurred that proved
of the Masonic tie. At the battle of the Cedars near Montreal, Col.
a Freemason, was captured by a band of Indians, allies of the British,
was the celebrated Joseph Brand, also a Mason. In accordance with
the prisoner was bound to a stake, fagots were piled around him, and
the torch was
about to be applied, when he gave to Chief Brand the sign which Masons
world around ‒ the grand hailing sign of distress. Indian though he
was, the chief
recognized the sign and ordered the torture to cease, and he and his
fast friends for the rest of their lives (23).
Again, in 1779, Joseph Burnam, a Mason who was
by the British as a prisoner of war in New York City, escaped and
in the Green Bay Tree Tavern, kept by another Mason named Hopkins. This
as a meeting place for St. John's Lodge, which was composed mostly of
The fugitive was secreted in the tavern garret which was just above the
and while he was reclining at night on the planks which formed the
these gave way and precipitated the unfortunate guest into the center
of the lodge
in the very midst of its deliberations. The landlord, who was also the
called upon for an explanation, and he, like a good Mason, made a clean
the whole affair. Whereupon the members of the lodge took up a
the fugitive brother and, though his enemy in war, assisted him to
reach the American
lines across the Hudson River (24).
Another instance of Masonic magnanimity
the brave Baron DeKalb, our German ally, was slain at the battle of
Camden in 1780.
Although he had crossed the Atlantic to take part in a quarrel that was
against the British, he was buried by them with both Masonic and
But perhaps the most significant illustration
effect of Masonry on the war was the action taken by the Grand Lodge of
It is well known that the war was unpopular in many parts of Great
some of the subordinate Scottish Lodges, urged perhaps by government
had offered bounties for recruits to the army. When the Grand Lodge met
this practice in unmistakable terms and in its instructions declared:
is an order of peace and it looks on all mankind to be at peace or at
war with each
other as subjects of contending countries." (26)
Reciprocity in the American
These are illustrations which, thanks to
reveal the foe in a better light than some are wont to think of him.
Let us notice
some expressions of the same spirit on the American side.
At the battle of Princeton, 1776, Captain
a Mason and son of the Earl of Leven, of the British Army, received a
He was taken in charge by Dr. Benjamin Rush, the celebrated surgeon who
on Gen. Washington's staff, but was found to be "past all surgery." He
was also buried with Masonic and military honors and this fact was
Col. Fitzgerald, Gen. Washington's aide, who entered the British Camp
for that purpose
under a flag of truce. Later Dr. Rush erected a monument, which may
still be seen,
at Brothel Leslie's grave "as a mark of esteem for his worth and
his noble family (27)."
Lodge Unity was a military lodge in the 17th
the British army. In 1779, while the regiment was engaged in a
skirmish, the constitution
and jewels of the lodge were lost, but were returned to it by Col.
Parsons of the
American Union Lodge in the opposing army, with a letter reciting that:
"As Masons we are disarmed of that resentment
stimulates to undistinguished desolation; and however our political
impel us in the public dispute, we are still brethren, and (our
apart) ought to promote the happiness and advance the weal of each
An even more striking instance occurred when
chest of the 46th British infantry was captured by the Americans. Upon
it, Gen. Washington ordered the chest and other articles of value
returned to the
owners accompanied by a guard of honor (29). The London Freemason's
on the circumstances, from an English standpoint, says:
"The surprise, the feelings of both officers
men may be imagined when they perceived the flag of truce that
announced this elegant
compliment from their noble opponent but still more noble brother. The
honor, their flutes playing a sacred march, the chest containing the
and implements of the craft borne aloft like another Ark of the
by Englishmen and Americans, who, lately engaged in the strife of war,
through the enfiladed ranks of the gallant regiment, that, with
presented arms and
colors, hailed the glorious act by cheers which the sentiment rendered
the hallelujahs of an angel's song."
Thus, above the storm and stress of armed
soothing spirit of Masonic fellowship brooded like a bird of calm. If
and promoted the struggle they likewise mitigated its horrors and made
the disclosure of the noblest traits in both American and Briton. It is
heritage of Revolutionary Masons on both sides that the fraternal tie
was one which
not even the shock of arms could sever, and that amid the fiercest
by war they never quite forgot they were brethren. The record of this
fairest, brightest page in the history of the Revolution.
In The Councils of State
When we turn from scenes of carnage to the more
haunts of diplomat and statesman, during the Revolution, we find
active and influential. It is a notable fact that the earliest
suggestion of a Federal
Union of the American colonies came from the first American Grand
Coxe, who in 1730 received a deputation as Provincial Grand Master,
made this suggestion
in a work published as early as 1716, (30) and may therefore properly
the first Federalist. It was this idea, adopted later and advocated by
Mason and Provincial Grand Master, Benjamin Franklin, that grew into
the union established
by the constitution framed two generations later. The Declaration of
it has been declared, (31) was the work of a Mason and many of the
signers of that
instrument are believed to have been members of our order (32).
foremost in the Philadelphia Convention that framed the Federal
thus completed the work of the war. Besides Washington, the President,
the Nestor, of that body, Hamilton, the genius of the Convention, was a
At the Courts of Europe
But after all it may be that Masonry's most
service to the American cause was rendered not at home but abroad. We
the aid of France was a powerful, if not indispensable factor in the
the war and that the sympathy of other Continental powers was
why should these haughty monarchists of Europe look with favor upon the
republic of the New World? Why did they not turn the same deaf ear as
the Boer envoys? There seems to have been some mysterious influence
their once hostile attitude into one of friendship; and recent
led to the belief that this influence was the Masonic order (34).
When Franklin, the Freemason, went to Paris to
the American cause at the court of St. Germain, he naturally sought out
of the fraternity. At the "Lodge of the Nine Muses," where he often
he met the intellect and statesmanship of the gay French capital, and
it is believed
that partly, at least, through these influences he was enabled to reach
of Louis XVI, to secure for us the French fleet and army, and thus to
turn the tide
of the war in favor of the American cause at its darkest hour. And thus
of Masonic service in the Revolution is complete. There was no part of
it in which
Masons did not share and no important phase which would probably have
but for them.
But we fail to grasp the full significance of
record if we see in it only a source of pride and gratification. It is
but much more; for every page imposes duty, obligation, responsibility.
If it be
true, as the record seems to teach, that American nationality was
about by Masons, and that to this end the best energies of the craft
in the trying times of the Revolution; if our predecessors gave "their
their fortunes and their sacred honor" to start the republic on its
career, surely we can best prove true to the traditions of American
Masonry by continuing
the work which they began. Our advantages, if not our opportunities,
than theirs. The feeble fraternity of that day has become a powerful
order now ‒
from a few thousands it has grown to nearly two millions, carefully
the ranks of American citizenship. Its representatives are found in
station (35) from Presidents (36) down. What possibilities for good
high political ideals do these facts express; what a mighty leverage
for civic progress
and reform! And this is the highest lesson taught us as a craft by
the American Revolution: To place patriotism above partisanship, to
extend the free institutions of the republic, to maintain the honor and
of the nation at home and abroad, and thus to realize the lofty ideals
of our eighteenth
century brethren, bequeathing them as a priceless heritage to
generations yet unborn.
of Intolerance, 21 Am. Tyler-Keystone 549. See
a reply in Vol. 22 of the same periodical, page 113.
- Undertaken while preparing an
address as Grand Orator
before the Grand Lodge of Nebraska.
- The earliest American Lodge is
claimed to have been
St. John's at Philadelphia, formed about 1730. See Gould, History of
Vol. IV, p. 233, et seq.
- Bro. Ross, historian of the Grand
Lodge, concludes (N.
Y. Grand Lodge Proc. 1900) that there were not more than 250 members of
Lodges during the Revolution.
- There seems every reason to admit
what has been so often
claimed by our historians, that the Masonic Lodges scattered throughout
were as beacon lights of liberty, and that within our tiled doors the
was fostered and strengthened." ‒ Ross, Historian of Grand Lodge, N. Y.
(1900), p. 315.(6) Goss, Life of Paul Revere, (1891), pp. 117, 121-2.
- Centennial Memorial of the Lodge
of St. Andrew, and
the Massachusetts Grand Lodge (1870).
- Goss, Life of Paul Revere,
(1891), pp. 121-2; Gould,
History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 347.
- Id. p. 118 et seq.
- Gould, History of Freemasonry,
Vol. IV, p. 220.
- Ross, Historian of
Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proceedings (1900) p. 313.
- Id. p. 315.
- Gould, History of
Freemasonry, Vol. IV, pp. 222, 227.
- Ross, Historian of
Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) pp. 298, 305; Hayden, Washington and
Compeers; Capt. G. P. Brown in American Tyler, Dec. 15, 1900; Mackey,
of Freemasonry, p. 869.
- Ross, Historian of
Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) p. 308.
- Gould, History of
Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 224.
- Id.; Ross, Historian
Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) p. 308.
- Capt. G. P. Brown
in American Tyler. Dec. 15, 1900, says: "American Union Lodge was the
lodge of the Continental Army. It had a very large membership,
of Washington's foremost generals. In 1782, while the patriot host was
on the banks of the Hudson the attendance of that renowned lodge became
that it was necessary to erect a building for its regular meetings. At
assembly of the lodge the question arose. General Washington was among
number of visitors present and spoke at some length on the erection of
building for Masonic purposes. And it was but a few days later when the
commander-in-chief and eminent Freemason ordered the erection of a
It was nearly sixty feet long and of the old style, one-story plan. It
complete oblong square. It had but one door, which was on the west end;
were fairly good size, square and over six feet from the ground, thus
to keep off
the cowan and eavesdropper which were so plenty in the Continental army
time.* * * One of the many noted Masonic celebrations held within those
was the festival of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, A. L. 5782."
- Gould, Vol. IV, pp.
224-5; Ross, pp. 304-5; Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 870.
- Gould, Vol. IV, p.
224. G. P. Brown, in the article last above quoted, gives the following
those who participated in the celebrations there mentioned: "Generals
Gist, Putnam, Hamilton, Jackson, Armstrong, Parsons, Heath, Thompson,
Clinton, Dayton, Greaton, Brooks, Huntington; Colonels Cilley, Gridley,
Nixon, Bradford, Clarke, Parke, Gray, Johnston, Sherman; Captains
Hait, Coit, Redfield, Lacey, Chapman, Ten Eyck; Lieutenants Heart,
Buxton, Russell, Barker, Sherman, Curtis, Heath, Bush, Spear,
and a host of petty officers and privates. General John Stark, the hero
was a Mason, initiated, according to Brown, in St. John's Lodge, No. 1,
N. H.; according to Ross, in Master's Lodge, Albany, N. Y.
- Baron Steuben was
a member of Trinity and an honorary member of Holland Lodge, both of
New York. See
N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), p. 309.
- See American Tyler,
Vol. 15, p. 478
- (22a) See also Sachse, Old
Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania,
1730-1800, especially the chapter on Unity Lodge No. 18, A. Y. M.,
the New Age, XXIV, 539.
- Stone, Life of Brant,
(1838), Vol. I, pp. 18-33; Vol. II, p. 156; Gould, History of
IV, p. 221; Ross, N.Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), 307.
- Ross, N. Y. Grand
Lodge Proc. (1900), 302, giving an extract from the printed history of
Lodge; Mitchell, History of Freemasonry (1817), p. 501.
- Gould, History of
Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 222.
- Lyon, History of
the Lodge of Edinburgh, p. 83; Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p.
- Sachse, Old Masonic
Lodges of Pennsylvania, abstracted in New Age, XXIV, 539.
- Ross, 2, 98, 99.
The letter is reprinted in the New Age (XXIV, 639), from Sachse, Old
of Pennsylvania. This Lodge Unity appears to have received successive
the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland and Pennsylvania.
- Ross, 299, 300.
- The work was entitled
"A Description of the English Province of Carolina." See Gould, History
of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, pp. 231-2; Ross, N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc.
(1900), pp. 295-6.
- Capt. G. P. Brown,
of Boston, in a private letter, furnished the information on which this
- P.G.M. Baird in THE
BUILDER (II, 351), mentions twenty-three. Cf. Gould, History of
IV, p. 220; N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900) p. 81; John Carson Smith in
Tyler-Keystone, XXIII, 300.
- Ross, N. Y. Grand
Lodge Proc. (1900), 305
- The late Gen. John
Carson Smith, of Illinois, to whom I am indebted for favors, conducted
- In a recent enumeration
of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Legislatures more than one-third
of the members
were found to be Masons; in one branch the proportion was one-half. 15
American Academy 81.
- P.G.M. Baird in THE
BUILDER (II, 351), presents a list of seventeen Presidents who were
mentions another (Grant) who may have taken the E. A. degree. This is
two-thirds of the whole number.
By Bro. Denman S. Wagstaff,
When "Mother" seems so very old and gray,
when she cannot exactly keep up with your "growing" disposition and the
exuberance of animal spirit now so fair an average of your condition,
turn your back upon her! You seem to prefer faster company! You have
the place whence you came and in a haze of expectation joined what to a
of Masonry would resemble an "aristocracy of ignorance." You have come
to the "parting of the ways" between what the "nickle-plated"
world designates "higher and lower" Masonry! It seems an awful task now
to contemplate the retention of the necessary knowledge to enable you
to pass the
Tyler at some "strange" Lodge. With Charity it may be said that it is
hard, for you never knew much about it and should not be upbraided for
you are not altogether to blame for. It is this lack of knowing which
is the cause
of complaint and the fact that drives you to something easier ‒
something that does
not require knowledge to maintain a standing in, as long as the dues
are paid. Yet
individuals are not altogether to blame. The habit of "hurry" we
in business and social life urges us on. Many of us go into business
almost as soon
as we are able to read a market report. Other "frills" in the
line are deemed unnecessary. We get to do "business" with everything.
Our souls are risked ofttimes before we really know where we could find
were such a thing suddenly lost to an opponent on the mart of trade. If
but pause when we find ourselves going too fast! If we could but stoop
with an innermost self at such a moment! There are many of us who have
such practice through life. We have forgotten so much as "Blue Lodge
has by degrees faded farther and farther from the limit of memory.
The Masonry of many men is all encompassed by
obscure significance of a "prominently" cherished "watch-charm,"
constantly carried as an aid to a less precious memory. I do not, by
of public censuring, even expect to lure men into the practice of the
faithfulness in daily life or avowed purpose, neither do I expect them
forsake "Mammon." I can hardly stem the tide which seems to force men
to a love of display ‒ of even Masonry. I cannot force them to attend
long enough to give them an understanding of all the symbolism of the
If these lagging souls could but feel the "pull" of the cabletow about
them, as it binds each willing heart with a living touch, to the real
Faith, Hope and sweet Charity! I do not, in a day, expect to lead men
world-idols. To cure them of the indolence that goes with borrowed
thought and trailing
Yet I have hope, for there are other days
still other men, who believe in the "Blue Lodge" as a grand preparatory
school, where Masonry can be studied, both to her advantage and with
benefit to the student. Aye, the School of Applied Science where
may be grafted into one's system by simple contact with honest
if they fail today, will be ever patient in the trying, until Faith
This practice, in the fundaments of Masonry,
renewed strength and an increase of intelligence, and will assist
the unfolding of the beauties of so-called higher degrees, both of
Masonry and daily
life, (and they should be one,) until new lanes of travel are opened
Light, impelling the splendid glorification of the visible body and
soul of a fraternity
which to date has given everything to her children, expecting only that
gets in the "siftings" as the Mill grinds and grinds!
By Bro. P. E. Kellett, Grand
LET us now
briefly consider the great point of cleavage between Anglo-Saxon
Masonry and the
Masonry of the Grand Orient of France. This cleavage is based largely
on the suspicion,
if not on the definite charge that French Masonry is atheistic in its
or in its tendencies.
Orient of France was organized in Paris in 1736. Its constitution was
of the model
of Anderson's original Constitution 1723. The Grand Orient was
recognized as legitimate
Masonry by the Grand Lodge of England, and in fact by all legitimate
the world. At that time in all Masonic Constitutions there was an
of dogma concerning in which all men agree; that is to be good men and
of God and religion, and Masons were bound only to that religion in
which all men
agree; that is to be good men and true, men of honor and honesty. The
aim of the
fraternity was purely humanitarian, its principles broad enough for men
diverse opinion. The desire was simply to unite them, whatever their
beliefs, in uplift work for themselves and for humanity.
first in England. About the middle of the eighteenth century, the
regarding a declaration of belief in the G. A. of the U. and the
placing of the
Bible on the Altar, were adopted. Following this, for the greater part
of a century
the French Constitution adhered strictly to the original plan of the
and did not contain that formula which has since, in some places, come
to be regarded
as essential. During this time neither the Grand Lodge of England nor
recognized Grand Lodge took any exception to this notable omission.
were considered neither "Godless" nor "Atheistic." As time went
on, the French Constitution was changed to conform to that of the Grand
England. One writer has said this was co-incident with a closer
of the two nations, England and France. The constitution of the Grand
France followed the English copy until shortly after the Franco
Prussian war, when
they reverted back to what it had been originally. Co-incident with
history records political estrangement between France and England which
until recent years. When France reverted back to her original
Grand Lodge of England immediately afterwards severed relations with
generally speaking, Masonry of English speaking countries followed
that the change made by the Grand Orient of France was Atheistic in
Masonry be said to be atheistical? Atheism is the doctrine that there
is no God.
It is no longer considered reasonable for anyone to dogmatically assert
is no God, and it is a question if such a being as an atheist exists
There Is No Unbelief.
Whoever plants a seed beneath
And waits to see it push away the clod,
He trusts in God.
Whoever says, when clouds are in the sky,
"Be patient, heart; light breaketh by-and-by,"
Trusts the Most High
Whoever sees, 'neath winter's fields of snow,
The silent harvest of the future grow,
God's power must know.
Whoever lies down on his couch to sleep,
Content to lock each sense in slumber deep,
Knows God will keep.
Whoever says, "Tomorrow," "The Unknown,"
"The Future," trusts the Power alone
He dares disown.
The heart that looks on when the eyelids close,
And dares to live when life has only woes,
God's comfort knows
There is no unbelief;
And day by day, and night unconsciously,
The heart lives by that faith the lips deny ‒
God knoweth why!
To be atheistic,
French Masonry would need to have made the dogmatic assertion, "There
God." This it has never done. It neither affirms nor denies anything
to God. To suppose that French Masons deny the existence of God is to
them. They are as much averse to a dogmatic assertion of that kind as
to one of
the opposite kind. They are simply against a dogmatic assertion of any
Masons, believing that Masonry is antidogmatic. Many, and possibly all,
members would doubtless declare a belief in God at the proper time; but
not as Masons
in a Masonic Lodge.
Masons found their attitude on the first edition of the Constitution,
Masons only to that religion in which all men agree; that is, to be
good and true,
or men of honour and honesty.
Let us briefly
examine what ground there is for their stand, and see whether or not we
in condemning it. For this purpose I want to direct your attention to:
1723 – Concerning God and Religion.
[Lib 1723] A Mason is obliged by his
tenure to obey the Moral
Law, and if he rightly understands the Art he will never be a stupid
an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient times Masons were
charged in every
country to be of the religion of that country, or nation, whatever it
was, yet it
is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in
men agree, leaving their peculiar opinions to themselves; that is to be
and true men of Honour and Honesty by whatever Denominations or
may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the centre of union and
of conciliating true friendship among persons that must have remained
at a perpetual
Our Own Constitution – Concerning
God and Religion.
A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the
and if he rightly understands the Art he will never be a stupid
atheist, nor an
irreligious Libertine. He, of all men, should best understand that God
as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but God
looketh to the
heart! A Mason is therefore particularly bound never to act against the
of his conscience. Let a man's religion or mode of worship be what it
may, he is
not excluded from the Order, provided he believe in the Architect of
Earth, and practice the sacred duties of Morality. Masons unite with
of every persuasion, in the firm and pleasing bond of fraternal love;
they are taught
to view the errors of mankind with compassion, and to strive by the
purity of their
own conduct to demonstrate the superior excellence of the faith they
Thus Masonry is the centre of union between good men and true, and the
of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have
remained at a perpetual
Constitution of the Grand
Orient of France
Freemasonry, an essentially philanthropical and
institution, has for its object the pursuit of truth, the study of
the practice of solidarity; its efforts are directed to the material
and moral improvement
and the intellectual and social advancement of humanity. It has for its
mutual tolerance, respect for others and for one's self, and absolute
conscience. Considering metaphysical conceptions as belonging
exclusively to the
individual judgment of its members, it refuses to accept any dogmatic
Its motto is: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. As to whether the Grand
Orient of France
has departed farther from the spirit and the letter of Anderson's
than we have is not open to much controversy. The change they made in
reverted back to it than went farther away from it. To show the real
that has occurred with regard to their position let me quote from the
their General Conventions when the change was made. We can then
the real meaning of their action was.
At the French Masonic Convention of 1876, on
of a Lodge in the department of the Rhone, a Committee was appointed to
the question of suppressing the second paragraph of the first article
of the Constitution,
concerning God and Religion. The Committee recommended that the
proposition be postponed,
and in recommending this the reporter of the Committee, Bro. Maricault,
has recognized that bad faith alone could interpret the suppression
a denial of the existence of God and the immortality of-the soul; human
and freedom of conscience, which would be henceforth the exclusive
basis of Freemasonry,
imply quite as strongly belief in God and in an immortal soul as they
positivism, or any other philosophic doctrine."
Postponement met with opposition. Bro. Andre
in advocating immediate action, among other statements made the
"I am anxious
to recognize with my brother, the reporter of the Commission, that
neither deistic, atheistic, or even positivist. In so far as it is an
affirming and practicing human solidarity, it is a stranger to every
and to every religious Order. Its only principle is an absolute respect
of conscience. In matters of faith it confirms nothing and it denies
respects in an equal degree all sincere convictions and beliefs. Thus
of our temples open to admit Catholics as well as Protestants, to admit
as well as the deist, provided they are conscientious and honorable.
After the debate
in which we are at present taking part, no intelligent and honorable
man will be
able to seriously state that the Grand Orient of France has acted from
to banish from its Lodges belief in God and in the immortality of the
on the contrary, that in the name of absolute freedom of conscience it
solemnly its respect for the convictions, teachings, and beliefs of our
We refrain, moreover, as much from denying as from affirming any dogma,
that we may remain faithful to our principles and practice of human
Bro. Minot, in speaking on the same subject,
of 1865 had realized a transitory progress. The work must be completed
by suppressing dogma and by rendering Masonry once again universal, by
of the principle of absolute freedom of conscience. Let no one be
mistaken in this.
It is not our aim to serve the interest of any philosophic conception
by our action in laying aside all distinction between doctrines. We
have in view
only one thing: Freedom for each and respect for all."
The recommendation of the Committee prevailed,
was postponed. In 1877, after a year's study by the Lodges, the change
by an almost unanimous vote. The reporter of the Committee at the time
"Who is not aware,
at this moment, that in advocating this suppression no one among us
himself as making a profession of atheism and materialism. In regard to
every misunderstanding must disappear from our minds, and, if in any
should remain any doubt in reference to this point, let them know that
declares without reservation that by acceding to the wish of Lodge No.
9 it sets
before it no other object than the proclamation of absolute liberty of
When the proposition of the Committee had been
by the General Assembly, the President proposed, as an amendment, the
of these words: "Masonry excludes no one on account of his beliefs."
regarded this as superfluous, but the President was insistent, in order
might be clearly established in the eyes of all that Masonry is a
in which all beliefs are admitted and treated with equal respect. The
It may be interesting to note that the original
that the Grand Orient of France should suppress the formula of the G.
A. of the
U. was a clergyman of the Protestant Church, and he stated, in
the formula respecting the G. A. of the U. we did not mean to replace
it by a materialistic
formula. None among us in proposing this suppression, thought of
or materialism, and we declare formally and emphatically that we had no
in view than to proclaim absolute liberty of conscience."
I have given the words and opinions of those
for the change in the Constitution so that there may be no room for
The Grand Orient of France, in making the change, has done no more than
by the Government of Great Britain when she admitted members to seats
in the House
of Commons by allowing them to make an affirmation only when their
not allow them to take a religious oath. The same custom prevails in
Their position will bear a little further
to make clear its consistency. The story, as depicted by our Ritual,
tells of a
great loss and a life-long search for this something, which was lost.
at the point when something else is substituted to temporarily make
good that loss,
and at the point where Masonry ends we are expected to begin the search.
Various explanations have been given as to what
is that was lost, and which all Catholic and Protestant, Jew and
and Pagan, are seeking for. The simplest and clearest explanation of
this that was
lost is that it was "the way back to God."
"The way back to God." That is the door then
to which Masonry leads. Cannot any of us go as far as that door with
any, be he
Agnostic, Deist, Buddhist, or any other, so long as he conforms to
specifications, and is a good man and true, a man of honor and honesty?
At the door,
of course, we would separate, each to follow on his own way. But
happily we can
come back to the Lodge again and again for mutual encouragement, and
for a fresh start on our several paths, all of which are alike dark and
It is not the function of Masonry to solve the
of life but to propound it and stimulate and encourage each of her
search for his own solution. It takes each man so far, and there leaves
him to find
the answer for himself. By the very fact that Masonry itself gives no
demonstrates clearly that the answer is not the same to every man. All
seem to lead to freedom from dogma of all kind and justify France and
the stand they take.
I do not wish to be understood to say that it
for a Mason in Lodge to declare belief in God. But I would like to be
able to accept
as brethren any good men and true, men of honor and honesty, who are
after the same truth as we are, even though they do not insist in Lodge
on a declaration
of belief in God. French Masons appear to be worthy men, doing a
for the cause of progress and enlightenment.
Another so-called grievance against the Grand
of France is that they have taken the Bible off the altar. Many of us
that because the Bible is one of the Great Lights according to our
Ritual and usage
that its place has been in Masonic Lodges from time immemorial. To most
of the Bible on the altar is in some way a landmark. Surprising it may
be, but the
Bible was not even mentioned in Masonic Rituals until 1724, and it was
in 1760 that
Preston moved that it be made one of the Great Lights of Masonry. One
question whether Anglo-Saxon Masonry did not violate a landmark when
religious dogmatism into Masonry in the middle of the Eighteenth
As Masons, we have before us the great object
fraternal brotherhood of man. This will carry with it peace and
prosperity. Is not
the attainment of this worth the abolition of narrow intolerance? Let
if we wish, our own principles concerning God and religion, but forever
dogmatism as to what others shall do in this connection, so long as
they are earnestly
working to attain the great principles of Masonry. Does not the
the serious thought of every Master Mason?
Should not Tolerance and Fraternity prevail?
is holding out the brotherly hand to us, saying: "Let by-gones be
and let us look solely to the future." Should we as Masons hold at more
arm's length an institution which consistently devotes itself to those
and pursuits which we preach better than we practice?
Even as the Arts, Sciences, and other phases of
activity have benefited by international discussion and concord, so
also can Masonry
benefit. If Masonry is to sustain in the future its splendid record,
the object she seeks, is not world-wide international co-operation
else can we attain a Universal Brotherhood?
With the present world crisis the time has come
Freemasonry should stand forth, free from all entrammelling influences,
in its grand
simplicity. Our Lodges should be centers of thought, influence and
no task alien that will advance the cause of righteousness on earth. To
we could learn much by confraternity with such an organization as the
of France. Is "Brotherly Love" to be nothing more than a label which we
carry but which does not properly belong to the goods at all?
That Is In Them ‒ A Fraternal Forum
Wildey E. Atchison, Iowa.
EDITED BY BRO. GEORGE E. FRAZER
PRESIDENT, THE BOARD OF STEWARDS
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia.
H. L. Haywood, Iowa.
Joseph Barnett, California.
John W. Barry, Iowa.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia.
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
H. D. Funk, Minnesota.
F. B. Gault, Washington.
Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia.
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts.
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut.
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin.
John Pickard, Missouri.
C. M. Schenck, Colorado.
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
H. W. Ticknor, Maryland.
Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
(Contributions to this Monthly
Department of Personal
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
QUESTION NO. 9
Is It Advisable For The
Master Of Each Lodge To Refer Applications For Initiation And
Membership To One
Committee On Membership Appointed Annually?
If so, shall this Committee be composed of past
If not, what other methods may a Lodge adopt in maintaining uniform
As to the advisability of a Master referring
to a standing committee appointed annually (based upon long usage in my
Excelsior No. 369) ‒ emphatically yes. Too much care cannot be
exercised in looking
into the antecedents of those knocking at the Portals of Masonry if we
are to maintain
the same high standard of membership which has made our Institution
all others for Quality of Membership. A Committee honored with this
responsibility extending over a twelve month period must naturally feel
sort of responsibility as the line officers of a Lodge and acquire
added and valuable
experience "each time out" upon a "character-quest." We have
had such satisfactory results with our own Standing Committee in
for some years now they have been annually reappointed and have yet to
give us any
cause for complaint. It is frequently their custom to ask "more time"
for investigation and when one finally does pass the doors of Excelsior
369, it is evidence that such a one comes with a clean slate.
Blackballing is an
infrequent occurrence in our Lodge as the Committee generally
recommends the prompt
withdrawal of a petition which it cannot report "full and favorable."
Not one of our present Committee is a Past Officer but each of the
three is a long
time and faithful attendant upon Lodge, endeavoring to live up to the
born of fifty-two years of existence. With considerable pride I can
point to the
membership of Excelsior as justifying in every minute particular the
of having a Committee of this kind. We have never found it necessary to
our meetings in the daily press inasmuch as the interest and enthusiasm
of our own
members is sufficient to assure us a representative attendance at our
such visitors as enter our portals from time to time of their own free
accord generally indicate their approval of our old-fashioned ways and
to the ancient landmarks by coming again. Much of the credit for which
is due to
an experienced and careful Investigating Committee.
– John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
* * *
Method of a San Francisco
I may only answer from a "California"
and as follows:
"It is not only inadvisable, but without the
both written and unwritten, to appoint a committee of three, who shall
office for a year; and as such pass upon all applications that may be
made to the
Lodge for membership within that time."
Personally I believe this to be GOOD LAW and
to say in its defense. In all notes on Masonic procedure of the past in
where Masonry is or was Masonry, we have evidence that, unless the
Lodge were so
small as to preclude the possibility of appointing a new Committee each
a separate one on each Candidate, the practice has been to do so. This
law. May I not ask why it should not be so? I may be here permitted to
One of the principal Landmarks ‒ indeed one of
stones used in upbuilding our structure is and always has been ‒
secrecy. We aim
to avoid letting it be known "who shall judge of our qualifications, as
fit to be Masons." We aim to protect our membership from the "venom"
of a man found unworthy! Hence we keep the identity of our
committee-men on petitions
secret! We aim to appoint Committees that are unknown, even to the
members of the
Lodge, so that unbiased, free and impartial judgment, pro or con, may
by such Committee. If a Lodge member has detrimental evidence, he can
Master, who is and should be the only "standing committeeman." Thirty
days should be ample to disclose most "hidden" characteristics, where
a committee has but the one object to work on; and if not long enough
or even sixty days for further investigation may be allowed.
More than one investigation in a month rather
the interest any man may have in such duty, and in consequence, such a
naturally reflects on the results the Lodge relies on so implicitly.
committee" would soon become "public property" ‒ as from mouth to
ear, the most inconsequential matters are rehearsed, even "on the
To gain a uniform standard for membership and
the qualifications of a candidate, the committee should not be afraid
or too politic
to ask questions. As the Master of Fairmount Lodge No. 435 of San
Francisco, I made
use of a printed list of questions. In addition we have always been in
of notifying sister lodges. These forms are of course supplementary to
committee-man's notice. Now if you are not too "awfully polite" about
getting the "ORIGINAL INFORMATION" your standard of qualification may
be easily fixed and forever maintained.
‒ Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
* * *
As to the advisability of the Master of each
applications for initiation and membership to one standing committee on
annually, I would advise that it would not be fair to impose so much
work on any
one committee: nor could we expect a single committee to give so much
time and labor,
The purpose of a committee on petitions is to
whether or not the postulant is worthy. It has become a custom to name,
committees, the friends or neighbors of the petitioners, in the
interest of convenience,
time and labor. While this has its advantages, it has, also, its
A man's friends are right sure to report favorable.
A friend is one who sees your good qualities in
to your bad ones. The petitioner is apt to resent rejection by "getting
with the man he suspects of blackballing him. The neighbor or friend
on the committee and visited that petitioner, thus may become an
A glance at the Grievance and Appeals Reports
are to be found in so many Grand Lodge publications, is quite enough to
even the shortest haired brother that we are taking in too many. The
the Lodge and of the Order is to select quality in preference to
with this in view, we would give it as our advice to put all strangers
on such committees,
i. e. strangers to the petitioner, and we also think the committee
should be required
to search the character of the petitioner from his cradle to the date
of his petition.
This may take time and may require labor, but it is worth the while.
We have heard very good brethren, when
favorable report, say that they were unable to find anything against
With this the writer has always disagreed, and has urged that we should
petitioner to be good, upright, respected, worthy, held in high esteem,
an acquisition. One who would bring something to the Lodge in lieu of
We should not forget that a Masonic obligation
it pledges the entire fraternity to the initiate, as well as pledging
him to the
Fraternity. The Lodge, per se, is secondary, in this matter; the Lodge
to the Grand Lodge for its mistakes.
‒ Geo. W. Baird, Washington, D. C.
* * *
Regarding the Committees of Investigation on
of candidates for membership ‒ First, should it be an annually
committee? Emphatically NO; any such move tends to remove from the body
of a Lodge the very important attitude of personal responsibility, to
me one of
the most dangerous states of mind into which any association can fall;
it is hard
enough now with so many Lodges having become mere work shops to find
for the innocent bystander to attend. The whole matter of candidates is
a family matter that I would make it a first consideration, and then if
any time left I would confer a degree. Every member should be made to
feel his interest
in the Lodge by every means possible, and it is not so important that
you have had
a scientific combing out of the character of a candidate as it is to
have your members
think they are doing something for the Lodge; if your Master can't
handle the situation
hurry it up so he will get into the glorious army of Past Masters and
in his place with brains and executive ability in his head and Masonry
in his heart.
Second ‒ If a standing committee should it be
of Past Masters? Also by the same token, an emphatic NO; beyond all
things NO. If
there is anything else in the machinery of a Lodge which causes trouble
than anything else it is the Past Master, or past officers; by their
and standing they tend to attract to themselves that power of ipse
dixit, and instead
of the Mason being a member of a Lodge he soon gets to be an echo and
then a very
faint one. The main thing is to magnify the member, the past officers
have had their
chance. Third ‒ What should be done to maintain a standard of
membership? It is
a question if we want any uniform standard other than the Constitutions
By that I mean any hard and fast drawn detailed specifications,
unnatural and unapplicable.
Masonry is a progressive institution and candidates as well as members
up with the general development.
I am a Masonic Progressive in every sense of
where my good sense points out, but in this case of committees on
do not believe there is or can be any better method than the old way.
tends to lack of interest in the second most important feature of our
getting of proper candidates. The first most important feature is to
keep him when
you get him and make something out of the raw material God has
entrusted to your
skill and human interest. The third important feature is to confer the
which you teach him his Duty to that God and the neighbor and anything
with these orders of importance in my opinion is wrong and tends to
‒ T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
* * *
Lodges in Small Towns.
My experience in Lodges of 250 or less,
towns of less than 20,000 population, is to the effect that it is
better to handle
these matters by the appointment of a special committee of three
members on each
application. Whether in larger Lodges and in more populous centers it
would be better
to adopt the plan proposed is a matter which from my experience I would
not be able
‒ Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin.
* * *
Give Duties to All
I would not advocate reference of applications
for membership by the Master to a standing committee on membership for
that it places too much power in the hands of a few men. This does not
motives of the few men, but I have noticed that where the same
committees are constantly
appointed by the Master the rest of the members seem inclined to let
them do all
the work. The best results for a live Lodge in my own experience as
been obtained by setting every member to some kind of work. If the
composed of officers entirely, this creates the impression that the
rank and file
do not amount to much in the consideration of the Master, so I would
say that wherever
possible different committees for every petition should be appointed so
as to put
the entire membership to work. They will be better acquainted with the
apply and there seems to be some spirit of brotherhood in this.
‒ J. W. Norwood, Kentucky.
* * *
No Universal Method
It is customary in this section to appoint a
committee of investigation on every petition presented. So much so is
this the case
that when the question was presented for my consideration I looked up
the law expecting
to find it so laid down. Strict search of the subordinate and Grand
however, revealed the fact that they were to be referred to a committee
no provision being made as to whether it be a standing committee or
It would seem as though no general or universal
could be made governing this. Local conditions would influence this
the large city Lodges where a large number of applications are
received, no one
committee of three men could investigate and do it thoroughly on every
presented. On the other hand, when a limited number of petitions are
standing committee of men well known to be thorough, conscientious and
might be of advantage. Should such a committee be raised I do not think
arbitrarily be made up of Past Masters, but rather of men who are known
the proper qualifications as partially listed above and to which might
spare time and willingness.
Considering the subject from all points,
think the work will be more thoroughly done by carefully selected
than by a standing committee, there being danger of the standing
stale and doing the work in a perfunctory manner.
‒ Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut.
* * *
Use Brains ‒ Not Blanks.
If a Lodge is a small one, it might be
perhaps would be desirable to have all applications for the degrees
by a single committee. In case of a large Lodge it seems to me that
such a course
would not be practicable as the committee would be so over-burdened
with work that
its investigations would lack thoroughness.
If such a committee exists it should be
the Worshipful Master and great care should be taken in its selection.
I see no
reason why it should be limited to past officers although the
be that past officers would afford the best material for such committee.
The real safeguard of a Lodge consists in care
which the Committees on applications are appointed. Only too often this
is merely perfunctory and weak committees are appointed.
This and many other matters upon which the
of the fraternity depends can be safeguarded only by care and diligence
and members. My personal conviction is that there is at present a
to attempt to provide for these matters by machinery. I do not believe
can take tile place of brains or that machinery can take the place of
care and attention which must be given to our affairs if they are to be
– Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
* * *
Experience of a Colorado
Some out of the ordinary conditions exist in
Lodge which I served as Master. The membership of this Lodge is divided
three classes, approximately one-half being composed of railroad men ‒
enginemen, trainmen, yardmen and shopmen, three-eighths of business and
men living in the city, and one-eighth of farmers and stock-growers
living in the
It is the usual custom in this Lodge to appoint
petition of an engineman a committee of his fellow workers ‒ for
instance a fireman,
or engineer, or both, and a conductor or brakeman, or a similar
the petition of a shopman, two fellow-shopmen and usually a townsman
with the railroad. The townsman, a business man, would investigate the
standing among the business men of the city ‒ making inquiries as to
not he was prompt in meeting his bills, etc., an important item in
having a large floating population. On the petition of an official of
would be appointed railroad men of various occupations ‒ possibly a
a shopman and a conductor, fireman, engineer or brakeman.
The jurisdiction of this Lodge extends
in a southwesterly direction, and embraces a large farming and
Many farmers and cattle-men in this territory have joined the Lodge. On
of one of these would be appointed three of his neighbors.
Railroad men who are out on their runs nearly
the time could not efficiently investigate a petitioner living on a
miles from town, nor would a committee composed of these ranchmen be
successfully investigate a trainman or engineman.
A fireman, conductor and brakeman composing a
on an engineer's petition would have the opportunity to investigate the
actions and conduct at the distant railroad terminal where nearly half
is spent in lay-overs. Also his fellowworkers on a shopman's petition
a more thorough and satisfactory investigation than could a committee
men or farmers.
In communities where the above conditions
is obvious that one standing investigating committee would not be as
the class committees mentioned, even if such a standing committee could
who would be willing and able to act as such. Out of the entire
membership of the
Lodge, which numbers some 250, I doubt if there could be selected three
who would have the time to act on such a committee.
‒ Wildey E. Atchison, Iowa.
* * *
No Committees in Virginia
Virginia allows no Committee on petitions for
or applications for membership. Our reason for this is our
unwillingness to trust
their perfunctory reports and our consciousness that the members would
much to those reports. Is not this all too true, where the system
prevails? We require
the avouchers to satisfy the Lodge, from personal knowledge of the
fitness of the
candidate, and some of the officers and members are sure to make some
"on their own."
The above answers your whole block of questions
my long Masonic experience convinces me that no other plan would work
‒ Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
* * *
Experience in Ireland
On the question before the Fraternal Forum this
a Lodge to which I belonged in Ireland had the following fixed
All names proposed for membership were passed
a Committee of four, the W. M., Secretary, and two members appointed by
voice of the Lodge. The W. M. conveyed to the proposer and seconder the
of the Committee. If the "Tongue of Good Report" had not been heard in
favor of the candidate the name was usually withdrawn.
If they insisted on going to ballot, the W. M.
the Report of the Committee before "circulating the Ballot," and the
usually "governed itself accordingly."
I never knew the Lodge to make a mistake and
was of the best Masonic material.
‒ J. L. Carson, Virginia.
* * *
Theoretically, the idea is a good one, a
of high grade men working together will, no doubt, maintain a high
and moral standard in candidates reported on favorably.
But the great objection to this plan is that it
lead to clannishness. It also takes away the feeling of responsibility
should feel in the fitness of candidates seeking admission.
This responsibility is felt more by the
separate committees are appointed by the Master to look up each
aspirant for Masonic
I would suggest, however, that each Lodge
code for the guidance of its investigating committees. I would also
each member of each investigating committee personally see each
candidate and assure
himself of his fitness. Then the three investigators and Master should
each aspirant ‒ not simply make and receive a brief report as is so
now just before the ballot is taken.
‒ John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
Do It Now
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love
sealed up until your friends are dead, but fill their lives with
approving and cheering words while their ears can hear them and while
can be thrilled by them. The kind things you will say after they are
gone, say before
they go. The flowers you mean to send for their coffins, bestow them
now, and so
brighten and sweeten their homes before they leave them.
If my friends have alabaster boxes laid away
fragrant perfumes of sympathy and affection, which they intend to break
dead body, I would rather they would bring them now in many weary and
and open them that I may be refreshed and cheered while I need them and
them. I would rather have a plain coffin without flowers and a funeral
eulogy than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us
learn to anoint
our friends beforehand for their burial.
Post-mortem kindness cannot cheer the burdened
Flowers on the casket spread no fragrance backward over the weary way
the loved ones have traveled.
‒ John Lloyd Thomas, 33d.
The Story of the Scottish
By Bro. C. C. Adams, England
The warrant for the existence of the Ancient
Scottish Rite of Masonry is found in a number of documents which are
now in the
possession of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the
of America, and it is from these that it is possible to gather up the
go to form the history of one of the greatest organizations of Masonry.
The beginning of the Scottish Rite is from a
source, so we cannot do better than go back to the period after the
the defenders of the Cross were returning from their wars in the Holy
primarily driven forward by religious motives, and eager to save the
land of Palestine
from the hands of the Saracen, there is no doubt that many of these
also out to capture what worldly property they could from the hated
Turk, with the
result that as soon as the wars were finished they found themselves
rich and settled
down to a life of ease on the plains of central and southern Europe.
and power of the Order soon aroused the avarice and envy of both the
the State with the result that a number of persecutions were
with the object of overthrowing the Order and forfeiting its
possessions. Many charges,
the chief of which was idolatry, were trumped up against the Knights
with the object
of bringing them to trial. The culmination of these persecutions
occurred in Paris
in the year 1314, when Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Order,
burned to death. This caused a general dispersion of the Order and
there is a great
deal of doubt as to what followed. There are a number of versions which
be called legends of the subsequent history, the majority of which are
fictitious, but it is an undoubted fact that after this time the
and remained free from persecution in Scotland where they are said to
with the Freemasons. This was the beginning of all High Grade and
A number of Scottish Templars entered Robert
army and after the battle of Bannockburn were formed into the Royal
Order of Scotland
which consisted and still does consist of two degrees, the Order of
the Knighthood of the Rosy Cross.
All High Grade Masonry claims the Order of the
as its origin and this was the basis of a system founded at Lyons in
France in the
year 1743. Six degrees were recognized of which the first three or
were not worked; the remaining degrees were the fourth degree or the
Knight of the
Eagle, the forerunner of our present eighteenth degree of Sovereign
Croix, the fifth degree entitled Illustrious Knight or Templar, and the
last degree of Sublime Illustrious Knight. From this the titles of
Sublime used so freely in the Scottish Rite of today evidently
originated. The system
which I have just quoted also shows the connection between the Masonic
Rose Croix and Knight Templar, a connection which is obvious from many
of the symbols.
In 1747, Charles Edward Stuart, the Pretender,
in exile in France is said to have instituted a Chapter of Rose Croix
Arras to which he communicated the Scottish Masonry which he had
brought from his
own country. Another interesting step in the history of these degrees
is the Baldwyn
Encampment of Knights Templar at Bristol, England, which was working
this time and conferred the following degrees:
1d Entered Apprentice.
2d Fellow Craft.
3d Master Mason.
4d Royal Arch.
5d Knight Templar and Knights of Malta.
6d Rose Croix.
7d Knight Kadosh (the present 30°).
The origin of this encampment is unknown.
In 1754 the Chevalier de Bonneville established
of high degrees in Paris at the College of Jesuits of Clermont. This
the Chapter of Clermont and at first worked only the three degrees
which were conferred
at Lyons eleven years before. The system was, however, soon expanded
the Rite of Perfection or Rite of Heredom of twenty five degrees. This
all our present degrees from the first to the twenty-second. The 23d of
was our present 28d and was then called the degree of Knights Princes
degree of Knight Kadosh (30d) was the twenty-fourth degree and the
system was completed
by the twenty-fifth degree now known to us as the thirty-second degree
Prince of the Royal Secret. Throughout this system the theory was
Freemasonry had its origin in the Order of the Knights Templar.
The derivation of the word Heredom is unknown
appears to have come from Scotland and it is probable that this name
of the Scottish factors were taken from Scotland to France by the
Stuarts in their
Four years after the formation of the Chapter
that is to say, in 1758, a new body was organized in Paris which
absorbed the Clermont
Chapter. This was called the Council of Emperors of the East and West
the twenty-five degrees of the Rite of Perfection. The Emperors
governed what was
entitled the Holy Empire which title still survives in our present
whose Secretary is called the Secretary General H. E. (in some
countries Grand Secretary
General H. E.)
We have copies of the Statutes of the Sovereign
Council at this time and it appears that there were headquarters at
There were then:
Lodges of Perfection
‒ 1° to 14°.
Councils of Knights of the East ‒ 15°.
Councils of Princes of Jerusalem ‒ 16°.
Chapters of Princes Rose Croix ‒ 17° to 18°.
Consistories of S.R.P.S. ‒ 19° to 25°.
At this time any member of the 15d could confer
lower degrees of the Rite on Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and
and any member of the Rose Croix degree could make Masons in a district
was no Symbolic Lodge.
In the year 1761, Stephen Morin, who was
for the West Indies, was given a warrant by the Council of Emperors of
and West to propagate the Rite in America. He made several Inspectors
North America, one of whom, M. Hayes, had power to appoint others and
Da Costa Deputy Inspector General for South Carolina, who, in 1783,
a Grand Lodge of Perfection at Charleston.
At this time the Rite still consisted of
degrees but soon afterwards Frederick the Great became Sovereign Grand
in Germany and he again reorganised the system.
German symbols, such as the Teutonic Cross and
were introduced into many of the degrees and seven new degrees were
a total of thirty-two degrees. The regulations of Frederick the Great
of 1786 provided
for the government of the Order by a Supreme Council who were to be of
degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.
In 1801, the Grand Lodge of Perfection at
adopted the new continental system of thirty-three degrees and a
was formed, this being the Mother Supreme Council of the world. The
title of Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite was then taken. From this Supreme Council, a
for France was established in 1804 and one for Italy in 1805. In 1813,
Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States was formed
and in 1845
the Supreme Council for England, from which originated, in 1874, the
There are now Supreme Councils in almost every
country, and the Rite has spread to a tremendous extent. There are,
systems for conferring the degrees in different countries. In the
of the United States there are Lodges of Perfection 14°, Rose Croix
Councils of Knights Kadosh 30°, and Consistories of Sublime Princes of
Secret 32°; in the Northern Jurisdiction, there are also Councils of
Jerusalem 16°, but Councils of Knights Kadosh 30° are not held. In
are Lodges of Perfection 14° and Rose Croix Chapters 18°; also one
the thirty-second degree for each Province.
In England, Scotland and Ireland, the system is
different; there are Rose Croix Chapters which communicate the degrees
4° to the 17° in a short form and the 18° of Sovereign Prince Rose
Croix in full.
There are no Consistories in these countries and all degrees above the
18° are conferred
only by the Supreme Council. In the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions
of the United
States and in Canada there are thirty-three active members of the
and a number of honorary members, all of whom are of the thirty third
In England there are only nine members of the
Council and the total number of members of the thirty-third degree is
thirty-three. Also, under this jurisdiction the numbers are limited in
all the high
degrees. Candidates for the 30° must have been members of the Rite for
three years and installed Most Wise Sovereign of a Rose Croix Chapter.
of members of the 31° is limited to 99, and of the 32° to 63, the
filled by selection by the Supreme Council. The Scottish and Irish
are very similar to the English in this matter. The English Supreme
dropped the title "Scottish" some years ago and the Rite is now known
in that country as the "Ancient and Accepted Rite."
In conclusion, I should point out that there is
deal of doubt as to the origin and early history of these degrees;
during the eighteenth
century a great number of so-called High Grades sprung up all over
Europe and the
origin of most of them is very obscure. Undoubtedly, there is a
this Rite and the Order of the Temple, and it is probable that the
House of Stuart,
the Pretenders to the throne of England were a factor in the case.
The true value of this Rite, as of any other,
be found in what it gives to its members; however obscure the history
may be, we
have in the Ancient and Accepted Rite, a system of degrees whose
teaching is of
the most sublime nature to be found in the Masonic Order.
Understanding – [A Poem]
E. E. M.
grant me understanding,
That I may put away myself and think of others;
That those with whom I daily work may be my brothers,
And to them from my heart show true affection.
Thus may I bring my life to real perfection.
GOD grant me understanding.
GOD give me understanding; ‒
That I may feel the sorrows others feel when most they grieve
That to my lips may come the cheery work they would receive;
That I may give to someone hope to work out their new plan;
That I may read my dear friends' thoughts if I their faces scan.
GOD grant me understanding.
GOD give me understanding; ‒
To tune my soul in sympathy with others' joy,
To live a life of Charity without alloy;
To know how life is seen by those about me
And help them know they cannot live without Thee.
GOD give me understanding.
FOR THE MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
Correspondence Circle Bulletin
‒ No. 16
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
Edited By Bro. Robert I.
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR
MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two
of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia In
is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to
Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit
into each installment
of the Course with the paper by Brother Clegg.
The Course is divided into five principal
which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry
A. The Work of a Lodge
B. The Lodge and the Candidate
C. First Steps.
D. Second Steps
E. Third Steps
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
B. Working Tools
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
5. Official Duties and Prerogatives.
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of Candidates.
3. Initiation, Passing and Raising.
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical Masonry.
A. The Mysteries ‒ -Earliest Masonic Light.
B. Studies of Rites ‒ -Masonry in the Making
C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics
D. National Masonry
E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets
H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
I. Biographical Masonry.
J. Philological Masonry ‒ Study of Significant Words.
* * *
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by
Clegg, who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in " First
of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this
subdivision. On page two, preceding each installment, will be given a
"Helpful Hints" and a list of questions to be used by the chairman of
the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point
in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the
Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing
particular subject covered by Brother Clegg in his monthly paper. These
should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by
from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would
possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus
The monthly installments of the Course
the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than
If this is done the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their
weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the
they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother Clegg's
papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of
to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are
pertinent to the
paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or
new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the
to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the
be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee"
preferably of three "live" members The study meetings should be held
a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the
purpose, or at
a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine)
should be transacted
‒ all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine
disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of
Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the
the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers
have been assigned
should be prepared with their papers and should also have a
of Brother Clegg's paper.
* * *
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
- Reading of the first section of Brother
and the supplemental papers thereto.
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read
of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss
into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to
in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose
at the opening
of the study period.)
- Discussion of the above.
- The subsequent sections of Brother Clegg's
and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and
of in the same manner.
- Question Box.
MAKE THE "QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR
Invite questions from any and all Brethren
Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular
benefit and get
them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of.
Every one of
the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which
may not perhaps
be actually covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions
no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material
we have will
be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact
we are prepared
to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to
within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of
the Grand Lodge
of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the
the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by
of the Society.
The foregoing information should enable local
to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall
inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any
phase of the
plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study
are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB LEADERS
From the following questions the Committee
some time prior to the evening of the study meeting, the particular
they may wish to use at their meeting which will bring out the points
in the following
paper which they desire to discuss. Even were but five minutes devoted
to the discussion
of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be
impossible to discuss
all of them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here
afford individual Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to
own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study
month if desired by the members.
In conducting the study periods the Chairman
endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the text and not permit the
to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another subject.
Whenever it becomes
evident that the discussion is turning from the original subject the
request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of
he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question
* * *
Questions on "Circumambulation"
1. What Does "Circumambulation"
- What illustrations
does Brother Clegg give of it?
- Can you
name other very ancient rites still in use?
- Why do they
appeal to men?
- Do you
in any of the ceremonies of this kind mentioned by Brother Clegg
parallels the Masonic ceremony of circumambulation? If so, what is it,
and to what
may it be likened?
2. What Is
Sought In This Ceremony?
- How did
primitive man hope to control the forces of nature?
- Have we
learned any better way than by acting in harmony with them?
- How do we
control the forces of steam, of electricity, of water, of power, etc.?
primitive man expect to secure favors from the gods by sacrificing to
3. How Did This Idea Of
Sacrifice Tend To Develop A Ritual?
- From what
probable source did the rite of circumambulation as we know it, develop?
- Why do the
sun and stars still appear as symbols in religious systems?
give other examples of the tendency of mankind to imitate the heavenly
4. Who Was Anciently Considered
To Be The God Of The Sea? Of War? Of The Sun? The Goddess Of the Chase?
- Can you name other
Greek and Roman gods and goddesses?
- Imitation of the heavenly bodies eventually
came to be told as the story
of the actual experience of the gods and goddesses; how did this
finally lead to
dramatization of these stories?
you give other illustrations of common myths in which this tendency is
shown to be the foundation of various superstitions?
5. Why Does The Candidate
- What are
the obstructions that you meet from day to day?
- Does your
experience in Masonry help you to overcome them?
- What obstructions
has Masonry met in the past?
- What obstructions
does it meet now?
means to "work together, or in harmony"; how can we co-operate to
Masonry to do its work in the world?
- Are you
a "co-operator" in the Lodge, or a "knocker"?
- Which does
the Lodge the most good?
you the most good?
6. Why Does The Lodge Ask
You If It Is Of Your "Own Free Will And Accord" So Often?
- Why does
not Masonry force itself upon you?
- Do religion,
or culture, or knowledge force themselves upon you?
- What does
it mean to have a "free will"?
- How can
an enslaved will be freed?
- How can
a weak will be strengthened?
- Is not this
the idea of "co-operation with the forces of nature" taught by the
we are now studying?
Masonry free our wills from the slavery of passion ignorance, prejudice
* * *
References for Supplemental
The articles by Brother Clegg and Brother
this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin comprise practically
we are able to discover on the subject of "Circumambulation", with the
exception of the following references:
THE BUILDER: Vol. III ‒ "What An Entered
Ought To Know," by Bro. Hal Riviere, April C. C B., p. 6.
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Circumambulation, Rite
* * *
Part IV ‒ Circumambulation
CIRCUMAMBULATION means nothing more as a word
walk around. The sailor trudging around the windlass, the faithful
around the horsepower machine, the children in their various games
in circles and tripping around joyously, are all walking around but
this is not
all there is to circumambulation.
True, the children may be performing a mere
in the dance of the Maypole, a veritable fragment of an ancient
festival, the ceremonial
ushering in the month of flowers, the ceremony then taking on a
and exhibiting a thankfulness at the departure of darkness and winter
and at the
arrival of spring with its opening buds and beautiful blossoms.
Among the Romans there was a festival or
to the god Terminalia. He was especially connected with the boundary
marks and limits
of property or landmarks. On the day assigned to his praise there were
the various landmarks and young and old improved their acquaintance
with the very
important means whereby property owners are enabled to preserve their
land rights and titles.
Up to recent times the custom has prevailed.
its early showy tribute to the pagan god, something curious and quaint
Not long ago in England, for example, it was the custom on one day in
the year for
children to be conducted around the several landmarks of the parishes
These were explained and pointed out as impressively as was possible.
In fact, it
was the custom for the schoolmasters to soundly flog a boy at every
landmark ! With
this training of the memories of many boys the boundaries were long and
When the customs and ceremonies here mentioned
fresh in the minds of men, our own allusions to the landmarks in
Masonry had a significance
to which we modern members of the Craft are almost strangers. Something
to us of course in the march around at the dedication and consecration
of a new
Lodge, a very appropriate ceremony indeed to all the observing and
to the student of symbolism, indeed much more than a mere suggestion of
of the Lodge in the sweeping circle of its action for the future.
The blessing of the boundaries is a familiar
in the Roman Catholic Church. The officiating priest passes around to
all the landmarks
of the site for the new church, stopping at each, and with solemn
up a fervent plea at every station.
Shakespeare has the witches in Act 4, Scene 1,
dancing around the caldron in which simmer and boil the horrible
magical evil. Later they caused several spirits to rise from the earth
the misled Thane of Cawder. Compare with this the account of the witch
in your Bible, the first book of Samuel, chapter 28, and the advice of
to Saul in similarly supernatural man
Granted, then, the frequent use of
in ancient and modern times, among the wise and the ignorant, to what
may it be
attributed? Be it the cultured mystic with his circles and ovals plain
embellished or simple, or the wild riot of the savage around his totem
pole or around
the tortured victim at the stake, there is still the supernatural
sought. There is thus a seeking after more than ordinary means. To what
man appeal and how will he act? Obviously he will seek the aid of the
of the Universe and in motion of body will conform as fully and
thoroughly as is
possible to emotion of mind, suiting the action of the word.
Now the courses of nature are marked out daily
by repetition. Flowing rivers and recurring rains, the light and warmth
of the sun,
the glory of the stars, the ever restless sea, and the changing winds
quite the same in viewpoint yet always similarly to be seen. Various
favorable, others affrighting. The waters of the sea engulf the
from the shipwreck, the rain may flood or parch the husbandman in
farming, the lightning
strikes down the unwary wayfarer, the sun sends its beneficent rays
upon the fertile
earth and the fields ripen into lusty harvest, and in all these
agencies the early
mind as well as the latest of scientific thinkers see powers to be
To us as Freemasons, there is the glory of God
things great and small; to the savage mind all things were governed by
and small. He saw only the same way of controlling these powers as the
one by which
he was himself influenced. Food appealed to him, therefore a sacrifice
or fruit became the medium of securing supernatural favor.
In the sacrificial offering itself there soon
a rigidly prescribed method, this set rule of operations was the
such as it was, crude and doubtless grotesque.
To keep the ceremony intact of form, uniform of
and language, we had in the primitive tribes a special class of
officials, the Levites
of Israel, the medicine men of the aborigines of the United States, the
of many cults and faiths and peoples recent and remote. These were the
ministering factors for the faithful.
Of such were the priests of the Mithras, that
cult of the early era of Christendom, that faith to which so clear a
Renan assigned so promising a place as a competitor of Christianity,
as it was in the finishing of the race.
To Freemasons the Mithraic ritual pertains so
the same symbolism we use that the similarity becomes very interesting.
the comparison is far more than a coincidence. Probably we inherit
of years, while philosophy moral and natural has been taught by this
to surrounding forces and objects, a rich legacy from the old religion
with its references to the East and to the sun and other celestial
The signs of the Zodiac, the names of the
allusions to Phoebus driving the glowing chariot of the sun, and all
the other reminders
left to us by the mythology, the study of the myths, of the pioneer
peoples of the
earth, show how close and dependent was the confidence of the rude
upon the facts that were linked with his observation of the heavenly
besought the supernatural by sacrifice and by invitation, worship of
as seemed most typical of the superior force and forces. His dances
around the sacrificial
altar were typical of the apparent motion of sun and moon and stars.
the wild men of the West dress themselves in skins and imitate the
and stealth and spring before they go forth to the hunt. Girls in
garlands of flowers
in May's month of spring beauty are themselves showing how easily this
trait of humanity grows and flourishes into prominence at the slightest
Down to our own times comes the suggestive
stars in their courses fought against Sizera." Truly, the courses and
of nature's movements have in all seasons of the world's story
lessons on the mind of man. Of such was born the art of astrology, the
of scientific astronomy.
To imitate the action of nature leads readily
to a representation
of the doing of the fabled personages to whom the elements are
dedicated. The ocean
is as truly Neptune's as is war belonging to Mars, the arts of Apollo,
to Diana, and the Sun to Zeus or Jove. Their loves and labors, their
and bickerings, as portrayed by the earliest authors like Homer and
innumerable writers and singers and storytellers through the ages were
then as now
recited dramatically, first as a tale and then in a play form befitting
Of such were the pioneer initiations, the
and the moralities of medieval days, all growing as the branches from
built upon the rite of circumambulation and its causes and controls.
In going around the celestial courses there are
at the stages or stations corresponding to the principal divisions of
that sure guide to all travelers on this earthly sphere. We are indeed
free to go
but we are not free from the consequences of our going. Inspection we
and from all angles, not evading scrutiny because of personal position
complete examination by reason of but part being seen instead of the
What then is the teaching of this portion of
to which your attention has been invited? There are several answers. We
dogmatize nor travel afar for light. Only the obvious lesson need be
Nature and we are in touch. The more intimate
in harmony with nature's forces the better for our health of mind and
upon this union of ourselves and our surroundings. Think of the
condition of him
who is out of "gear" with things, out of "touch" with affairs,
and thereby out of the "running."
Environment does indeed count for very much in
lives. Get in tune. Keep the feet moving naturally within that circle
no real Mason should step and where so circumscribed he cannot
* * *
Circumambulation in Religious
It was the ancient custom to use
the performance of religious ceremonies. In Greece, while the sacrifice
was in the
act of consuming, the priests and people walked in procession round the
singing the sacred hymn, which was divided into three parts, the
Strophe, the Antistrophe,
and the Epode. While the first part was chanted, they circumambulated
in a direction
from east to west, emblematical of the apparent motion of the heavenly
the commencement of the second part, they changed their course, and
west to east, pointing out their real motion; and, during the
performance of the
Epode, they remained stationary round the altar ‒ a symbol of the
stability of the
earth, waiting for some propitious omen which might announce the divine
of the sacrifice.
In Britain, the devotional exercises of the
sanctuary were conducted on a similar principle. Ceremonial processions
it, regulated by the mystical numbers, and observing the course of the
moving slowly and with solemn gravity, chanting the sacred hymn to Hu;
the devotees advanced with great rapidity, using impassioned gestures,
each other with secret signs. This was termed "the mystical dance of
The circular movement was intended to symbolize the motion of the
earth, and to
give an idea of God's immensity which fills the universe.
and Symbols," Oliver. [Lib 1837]
* * *
The Rite Of Circumambulation
By Bro. H.L. Haywood, Iowa
By permission of Brother H.L. Haywood, Editor
Library department of THE BUILDER we print the following extract on the
of Circumambulation" taken from the manuscript of his forthcoming book
"Interpretation of The Three Degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry." Study
leaders should use this as a supplemental paper at the meeting devoted
to the study
PRIMITIVE people, as we have been more than
firmly believed that they could wield influence over a god by imitating
They believed the sun to be a god, or the visible embodiment of a god,
a daily tour of the heavens beginning in the East, and progressing
toward the west
by way of the south; it was most natural, therefore, that they should
evolve a ceremony
in imitation of this. Accordingly, in India, in Egypt, in Greece, and
in Rome we
early find the practice of Circumambulation.
In Greece the priest, or the priest leading the
would walk three times around the altar, always keeping it to the
it the while with meal and holy water. The Romans employed a similar
called it "dextiovorsum," meaning "from the right to the left."
Being so often used in connection with the rites whereby a person or an
"purified" Circumambulation became, after a time, the Roman equivalent
of Purification. Also "among the Hindoos," says Mackey, "the same
rite of Circumambulation has always been practiced," in illustration of
he cites the early morning ceremonies of a Brahmin priest who first
adores the sun
then walks towards the West by way of the South saying, "I follow the
of the sun." Mackey likewise refers to the Druids as having performed
rite, and to the fact that even in recent years it was a living custom
in the remoter
portions of Ireland. Some have seen in the circular row of stones at
a huge altar built for the purposes of Circumambulation, and others
have seen in
the various processions of the early Christian Church a revival of the
It will be interesting, further, to note that the Greeks accompanied
with a sacred chant, divided into three parts, the strophe, the
the epode, on which Mackey makes a significant comment: "The analogy
the enchanting of an ode by the ancients and the recitation of a
passage of Scripture
in the Masonic Circumambulation, will be at once apparent."
What is the meaning of Circumambulation for us
and in our daily lives? In answer to this we may offer a few typical
including one of our own.
Circumambulation is sometimes understood, among
Masonic writers, especially, as a symbol of the progress of Masonry
according to the old Legends, was supposed to have originated in the
East, in Egypt
more particularly. This is hinted at in one of the Old Charges in which
the following scrap of dialogue: "When did it (Masonry) begin? It did
with the first men of the East."
Other writers, Pike among them, see in this
a figure of the progress of the civilization of humanity. Whether that
began in Egypt as some argue, or in Babylonia as others contend, it did
the Orient and travelled thence, along the Mediterranean, to the
"all knowledge, all religion, and all arts and sciences have travelled
to the course of the sun from east to west."
Again, some students see in Circumambulation a
of the development of the individual life, which begins in the young
vigor of the
Rising Sun, reaches its climax in the meridian splendor of the south,
to the old age of the west.
Pierson sees in it an analogy of the
progress: "The Masonic symbolism is, that the Circumambulation and the
at the various points refer to the labors and difficulties of the
student in his
progress from intellectual darkness or ignorance to intellectual light
Yet again, others see in it an allegory of the
of the soul through the shadows of this earth life. We are born in
walk all our days in search of that which is Lost, the lost harmony
among the strings.
Believing that somewhere there exists the Absolute Life we make a
and transform our days into a long Pilgrim's Progress.
These various interpretations, you will have
have their point of departure, one and all, in that the
Circumambulation is a journey;
with this we cannot quarrel, but may we not also be permitted to
fashion an explanation
which takes the fact that the Candidate walks in harmony with the sun
as its point
To my mind this is its point of greatest
even as it was evidently the original idea embodied. Let the sun
represent the powers
and laws of Nature; let Circumambulation be understood as an attempt to
harmony with those powers and laws, and we see at once that the rite
gives us the
secret of human accomplishment. To fight Nature is suicide; to work in
with her is power. To keep step with her cycles, to move in sympathy
with her vibration,
that gives us fullness of life. The sailor clasps hands with her winds,
adjusts himself to her chemic processes, the artist vibrates with the
her beauty, the poet rides upon her rhythms, the saint harmonizes
himself with her
laws as they rise in the soul. It is thus and thus only that we mount
to Eternal Life.
Is Freemasonry Religion?
By Bro Joseph Barnett,
WHAT is Religion?
Our familiarity with churches and their claims of religious authority
us to identify Religion with some complex set of doctrines such as
sects. In fact, such sects emphatically and persistently teach this. In
of different religions, Christian, Jewish, Mohammedan, Buddhist and
others, we evidently
recognize that there is some fundamental similarity, if not a common
Religion, in the form religio, is as old as the language of ancient
Rome. It is
derived from one out of two possible Latin root words ‒ lego, I
collect; or ligo,
I fasten. In each case, the central idea is that of Union. The prefix,
re, is intensive.
The whole word Religion means a complete and mutual union.
special application of the word, it must mean an exceptionally
the great union. Through all its history, it has plainly been intended
the idea of union between man and God, the highest and noblest claim
that man has ever conceived. Out of this has grown a secondary meaning,
man and man. These two factors have always been given by spiritual
teachers as the
essentials of Religion.
It is interesting
to note that these two factors have three co-ordinate relations: you,
God; your neighbor, united with God; you and your neighbor united
is the emblematic Triangle, used as a symbol for Religion and the
principles of Religion, both natural and revealed, may be summed up, in
in which they appealed to mankind, as:
Belief in the Supreme Being,
Creator and Ruler of the Universe;
The claim of direct human
relationship with God, as children of the Supreme
Recognition of the spiritual
element involved in this relationship, leading
to belief in the Immortality of the Soul;
The tenet that, as each has
within him a spark of the Divine fire, so each
is especially worthy of consideration, the one by the other, developing
while giving their chief attention to other things, may allow these
Freemasonry is based on them, and painstakingly avoids anything
sectarian in its
teachings, but does not discourage the individual from favoring special
It modestly, but effectually, gives special attention to the principle
Love, the humblest and most neglected of the great principles of
Religion, and the
very principle that all great teachers have specially emphasized. The
from the first procedure in the center of the Lodge, to the climax of
and its immortal lesson, teaches the principles of Religion, and is
hierarchies have claimed exclusive authority and that through them only
relationship be established; Freemasonry teaches that Divine
relationship is inherent
in every human soul, that all progress is associated with such
that every man has the natural right to progress. Hierarchies have
to govern churches, and through them to govern States; Freemasonry
trains men to
govern themselves, to subdue natural selfishness and vainglory, and to
men as brothers, equal in all human and Divine rights with themselves.
assert and magnify doctrines and dogmas peculiar to themselves, and
call the complexity
a religion; Freemasonry teaches and practices and conserves the
principles of Religion
Religion? The question is already answered; not that it is a religion,
Freemasonry is Religion. And it is because Freemasonry is based on
are common to all religious sects, principles that through all the ages
the foundation of the highest hopes of men, and that have an abiding
place in the
hearts of all men, that our Institution appeals to all and is assured
A Greeting to the Masters – [A Poem]
Bro. James Alexander Robertson,
Manila, P. I.
and gavel and
Compass and square and plumb,
These have each wrought on ye, Masters,
These by the strict rule of thumb
All have had part in your making,
All have brought out the man,
These are your tools for your training,
May your powder not flash in the pan.
With the gauge measure up to the standard,
With the square prove each thing that ye do,
And compass and gavel and chisel,
With the plumb will keep ye all true.
To ye, Masters, much has been given,
From ye, Masters, much, much is due,
For ye may not sit on the side lines,
Lest your lives at the ending ye rue.
Where combat and action are thickest,
Where loudest are sounds of the strife,
There, Masters, your place is appointed,
Desert not while yet there is life.
Be the vows ye have taken your guerdon,
For light and for progress hold fast,
Let truth sit enshrined in your being,
And reward shall be yours at the last.
Threefold is the price of your freedom,
Threefold be the victory won:
Be ye men, not babes, O Masters,
Would ye gain the praise "Well done."
Gavel and chisel and gauge,
Compass and plumb and square ‒
What do ye say of them, Masters,
Have ye let them do their share?
McKinley the Mason
By Bro. Frederick W. Hart,
Frederick William Hart,
a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Northeastern Ohio,
resides at Jewett,
that state. He was educated at Gambier and at Delaware, Ohio; and was
years editor of a county newspaper; then a commercial printer, and
since 1904, in
the ministry. Made a Mason at Danville, Ohio, in 1897. Is Past Master
Lodge No. 93, and has been an active Knight Templar for several years,
and is a
member of Scioto Consistory Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite,
Bro. Hart has been much in demand as a St. John's Day speaker, and is a
of Masonic history and philosophy, and a charter member of the National
Research Society. He is 43 years of age, and has a wife and five
daughters. A friend
and admirer of the late President and Brother William McKinley. The
is from a Masonic Festal program, of recent date.
THE State of Ohio has been lavish in building
to the memory of McKinley. No less than three splendid Memorials in his
the Buckeye landscape; a statue at Columbus, a stately tomb at Canton,
and an equally
stately Memorial at Niles, the place of his birth.
Memorial Statue at
West Gate of Capitol Grounds, Columbus, Ohio
The first to be dedicated was the memorial
the West gate of the State capitol grounds in Columbus, within a few
yards of the
spot where he twice took the oath of office as Governor of Ohio, and
fellow-citizens in the open air. This statue, of heroic size,
delivering his last address at the Pan-American Exposition the day
before his death,
and surmounts a granite bench at the ends of which are allegorical
American ideas in typical form. The one statue represents Physical
Force and Human
Energy in repose ‒ the other shows the Heart and Home Life that
ideals, and well represents and pays tribute to the home-loving
McKinley, the matron
and maiden contrasting with the stalwart man and the youth in the other
are selections from his Buffalo address on the sides of the pedestal,
the statue is the simple tale: "William McKinley, President of the
The rear of the pedestal recounts his birth and death, and says:
the State of Ohio and the Citizens of Columbus, A. D. 1906." Half of
amounting to a total of $50,000, was given by the Columbus citizens,
and the other
half was appropriated by the General Assembly of Ohio. Two of the
his great Pan-American speech are especially significant at this time,
and we quote
"Let us ever remember
that our interest is in concord, not conflict: and that our real
in the victories of peace, not those of war." "Our earnest prayer is
God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all
and like blessings to all the peoples and all the powers of earth."
The statue and allegorical groups are of
connected by a marble settee, where one may sit and meditate, and the
is the beautifully kept capitol grounds with the somber old State House
over all. The illustration shows well the setting of this noble
memorial to our
brother; and the lifelike statue was the work of the sculptor Herman A.
Mrs. Nicholas Longworth unveiled the statue in the presence of 50,000
Sept. 14th, 1906, and dedicatory addresses were given by Supreme Judge
W. R. Day
of Ohio, and Senator John W. Daniel of Virginia. And, facing the busy
life of Columbus'
busiest thorofare, few visitors to the city fail to see and admire this
tribute to our Brother.
The Memorial at Canton
In Canton, where most of his life was spent,
his domestic ties were centered, and where he was a continual member
upon the activities of the Masonic bodies, it is to be expected that
one would find
a noble and fitting tribute in stone, to Canton's distinguished son. In
West Lawn Cemetery, where the McKinleys had long owned a lot, and where
the sacred dust of their children, long years ago, there was chosen a
eminence, overlooking the city, and graced by the landscape gardener's
art, to erect
a stately mausoleum of enduring stone, reached by great flights of
steps, and beautified
by the series of waterfalls that rise beneath and before the steps, and
disappear near the cemetery gates. The setting of the McKinley National
at Canton adds materially to its beauty and impressive character, and
makes it an
awe-inspiring sight to the visitor as he approaches the four great
flights of steps.
Half way up the stairs is a statue of the President, in bronze, located
on a lofty
pedestal ‒ in fact the entire Memorial is lofty ‒ and grand in
conception and in
realization. One passes up the stairs reverently, and pauses to read
upon the pedestal
of the statue these words:
President of the United States: A Statesman singularly gifted to unite
forces of government and mold the divers purposes of man toward
salutary action. A Magistrate whose poise of judgment was tested and
in a succession of national emergencies. Good Citizen. Brave Soldier.
Helper and Leader of Men. Exemplar to his People of the Virtues that
build and conserve
the State, Society and the Home."
The statue represents him in his familiar
public speech, right hand in pocket, manuscript loosely held in the
left hand. A
chair is just behind him, representing the Presidential Office.
The great dome-shaped structure at the top of
is fronted by a facade like a triumphal arch ‒ and is itself a plain
of pure white, but crowned with an ornate golden "wreath," which
immediately is understood by the most casual beholder. Through vast
one may pass in, with uncovered head, and behold two marble sarcophagi,
side in which repose the mortal remains of William McKinley and those
of Ida Saxton
McKinley, his wife. Only the briefest formal inscriptions are on the
tomb; but their
children are not forgotten by the remembering chisel. It is a place of
where one pauses and finally passes out with slow footsteps, to be
the wide sweep of civic and arboreal beauty that reaches in all
People of the Nation built this ‒ perhaps you and I had a bit in it ‒
and his Canton
fellow-citizens had large part in the enterprise, for was he not their
whose hand was in the city's growth and progress? And one leaves the
a new concept of the large place that the man had in the hearts of his
and his countrymen. Canton guards the ashes of our Brother, and guards
The Niles Memorial.
The latest Memorial to rise in white beauty is
McKinley Birthplace Memorial at Niles, Ohio; where, as is well-known,
born, January 29, 1843. In February of 1910 the Association bearing the
was born, at a Board of Trade banquet, and the movement gained great
once, and was chartered by Congress March 4, 1911. To Mr. J.G. Butler,
Jr., of Youngstown,
is due the conception of the idea ‒ and the trustees of the Association
such men as Milburn, at whose home McKinley died, Hon. M. T. Herrick,
and the membership by contribution became nation-wide. On October 5,
1917, the Memorial
was dedicated with much ceremony and splendor, and the notable events
of the program
were an address by ex-President Taft, and a great Oratorio, written for
by Mrs. M. E. Kelly, and sung by over two hundred voices ‒ a tribute to
of Faith," as shown in the life of McKinley. His sister, Miss Helen
unveiled the statue of her brother, and there were civic and military
The Memorial stands in the central part of the industrial city of
Niles, a white
structure of Greek architecture, wings radiating from a central open
court in which
stands the statue. Before this classic statue, molded by J. Massey
Rhind, is a beautiful
fountain; and around the court are busts of the associates and cabinet
McKinley. There are Roosevelt, Taft, Hanna, Root, Hay and others, in
the central statue of the man himself. The statue is inscribed "William
Soldier, Statesman, President." The wings of the structure are arranged
rooms and contain an auditorium, library, relic rooms, and housing for
‒ for this Memorial, unlike many, is to be a center of real patriotic
and not a mere monument of silent stone.
It is an institution that can only be
a deliberate visit and study of its treasures of art and history; and
halls are dedicated to history and patriotic progress, with a noted
to take charge of its musical work, and with lofty plans for usefulness
altogether disclosed, the founders of this new sort of Memorial
challenge our interest,
and we shall watch it grow and that expectantly. The Memorial is
endowed for up-keep,
and its future permanence is already assured. This Memorial cost
And thus, in the town that gave him birth,
father was a pioneer in the iron trade and active in civic matters, our
is highly honored with a great living, pulsating, practical Memorial
bless and inspire for years and years to come. The house in which he
was born is
also carefully preserved, but the site upon which it stood in the
forties is now
occupied by a savings bank, and is appropriately marked with a
Like the other Memorials, no Masonic design or reference is in
evidence, but here
at Niles, we are told, the Masonic relics of McKinley will be kept,
And thus appropriately, at his birthplace, his burial place, and the
there stand three worthy and beautiful mementos of our Brother whose
life was a
splendid exemplification of what a Mason should be ‒ for McKinley was a
and faithful exponent of the principles of the Craft. He was a long
of the Symbolic, Capitular and Chivalric bodies at Canton, and his
devotion to the Fraternity remained continuous to the end of his life,
and his memory
is by the Craft safely deposited in the repository of faithful breasts.
McKinley’s Masonic History
While McKinley was a Major in the Union Army
at (or near) Winchester, Virginia, in May, 1865, he was visiting the
and found a state of affairs that puzzled him ‒ dirty, ragged
and privates at that, in the officers' ward and receiving good care.
what that meant, and was informed: "They are our Brother Masons." He at
once expressed a desire to become a Mason himself, and the petition was
and presented, but the nearest Lodge of Masons was in the Confederate
thither the petition went. The members of that Lodge waived such laws
as might have prevented his acceptance; his petition was favorably
he was made a Mason in Hiram Lodge, No. 21, at Winchester, Va., in the
1865. The Masonic record of McKinley stands today on the records of
Bro. J. W. Eggleston, P. G. M., of Richmond, Va., to whom we are
indebted for most
of these facts, says that in all, 32 Union soldiers were made Masons in
Lodge, during the progress of the War. After the War, McKinley received
and Commandery degrees in Canton, Ohio, and the writer has a copy of a
picture of Sir Knight William McKinley in full Templar uniform, his
left hand resting
upon the hilt of his sword. Repeated request has failed to elicit from
his few remaining
relatives, or the Masons at Canton, any information concerning the
dates of his
having received the various degrees, but the dates are inconsequential;
it is sufficient
to know that Brother William McKinley was a zealous and interested
Mason, and maintained
his connection with the various bodies at Canton until his death.
There was something beautifully significant in
that the Masons of the North and South manifested during the Civil War,
beautiful spirit was well reflected in the case of McKinley. In the
course of time,
this man who was made a Mason among the Confederates, and thus paid
tribute to his
belief that the principles of Brotherhood were broader than political
or internecine strife this man, then President McKinley, in 1898, found
a War upon
his hands. He did the brotherly thing then, for in the prosecution of
that War he
not only put ex-Union officers in command, but ex-Confederates as well;
our mind, as he thus splendidly healed, or ignored, the last sore-spot
he demonstrated the quality of his conception of what Brotherhood
means. The Spirit
of Masonry helped, in this and other cases, to close the breach between
South, and will exert no little healing influence when the World War is
Virginia "claims McKinley as a Mason yet," they say genially. We cannot
forbear printing a delightful portion of a letter from M. W. Brother
died, I was Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Virginia but the
officer in Richmond. On the day of his funeral I called all the local
newspaper advertisement, together with their families, to meet that
evening in the
Masonic Temple. I had no sort of authority to do so, but was endorsed
I asked an aged P.G.M. to preside after I had opened the meeting. I had
good joint church choirs, and as they came in I asked five speakers to
addresses. It was a great success as a memorial to the best-loved man
who had died in one hundred years." And he concludes, "You see we still
claim him as a Virginia Mason."
Such incidents and such spirit are the glory of
Institution, and prove how our Brother William McKinley wielded his
trowel and lavishly,
wisely, splendidly spread the cement of Brotherly Love. It was such a
both sides of "Mason and Dixon's line" that obliterated that line and
made us one Nation.
Origin and Purpose of the
By Bro. H. G. Rosedale,
P. G. Chaplain, England
Two Streams of Influence
IT is these
two streams of influence which have led to the use of the two different
of the word "Gild," the simpler spelling being derived from the
"gelden" or "gildan," meaning to pay or to contribute, in allusion
to the common fund, out of which doubtless payments to the King were
made from time
to time, whilst the form "Guild" expresses the French or Latin meaning.
Though holding strongly to the view that our Gild life is more
than Teutonic, we adopt the former spelling merely from the fact that
it is always
found so written in the "Laws of Athelstan" and in "Doomsday Book."
the "Conquest" all the conditions of English life were changed. Norman
methods were widely introduced and took the place of the earlier Saxon
In spite of this temporary arrest, the Trade Gilds and Religious Gilds
soon hard at work reestablishing their influence in the country, and,
as in Saxon
times, it once more became impossible for any craftsman to carry on his
the permission of, and his submission to, the directions of a Trade
Gild. Even the
merchants, or middle men, had to combine into similar organizations,
the chief of
which is known as "The Gild Merchant."
In the Grocers'
Company we see the product of such an organization, for that Company is
of the "Gild Merchant," and, as is well known, that its members are
"Grocers" only because they sold in gross. Alas! as in our own days,
quarrel between the merchants and the craftsmen often assumed bitter
Time of Richard II
time of Richard II, Gild life had reached a high pitch of influence,
and in London
it was certainly the dominating factor. In 1296 the Aldermen and Civic
selected those who were to attend Parliament. In 1375 the Common
Council had for
some considerable time nominated the representation of the City. As the
of the Common Council were elected from and therefore representative of
Gilds, it is not surprising to note that from 1375 until the time of
the Parliamentary representatives of the City were appointed by a
Committee of the
Trade Gilds. From that time forward, until the present day, all the
members of the
City "Liveries" have had a voice in the election of those who are to
them in Parliament.
Wars of the Roses, as was natural, many of the Gilds suffered both from
in trade and also from the demands so constantly made upon them by
took every opportunity to enrich themselves by plundering these wealthy
usually adopted was to make some encroachment upon the privileges of
the Gild, thus
compelling the Company either to defend itself vigorously - a very
to do in those days ‒ or to buy, generally at considerable expense,
from attack. This was done by taking out a new Charter, and of course
paying a very
long price to the King for granting it.
Thus it will
be seen that the dates of the various charters, of which members of
have so often been proud, rarely mark the date of their origin or
of their antiquity, but certainly in the case of such trades as were in
in Norman times, only marked a period of weakness and decline such as
them to yield before the forces brought to bear upon them for mercenary
A Great Revival
A great revival
in the Trade Gilds came about at the Restoration, chiefly due, we
presume, to the
increased sense of order and government which the short period of the
had introduced. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the
continued to live and flourish though they were sorely tried by the
loss of certain
monopolies, and most of all by the growth of what are known as the free
goods might be sold irrespective of Gild supervision and control, and
where the prices, as well as the methods of production, were different
of the Trade Gilds.
to commercial progress which the establishment of factories produced in
century effectually destroyed the machinery of the trade fraternities,
declined owing to their loss of power. To illustrate the wide scope of
Gilds, let us quote from an interesting account of the rules of one of
‒ if not the oldest of all City fraternities ‒ dated the forty-seventh
year of Queen
Elizabeth, but being practically a revised version of the orders dating
the thirty-third year of Henry VI.
that the Wardens and Assistants of the Horners' Company are to appoint
fit, meet and sufficient persons to provide the raw materials for the
and shall distribute them every month to the members in equal parts,
that at every fourth division and allotment seven of the ancientest men
of the said
Company that have borne the office of warden in the same, shall have
half one hundredth
horns a piece out of the whole complement then to be divided among any
of the rest
of the members, paying for the same, etc.
That no Freeman
of the Company he at liberty to keep at one time more than one
he has been a warden or free of the said Company for at least seven
years, in which
case he might take two.
person who shall be made free of the Company shall serve as a
journeyman for the
space of two whole years after receiving his freedom, and then ‒ and
not till then
‒ may he set up or keep shop for himself.
any brother of the said Company breaking any of the ordinances, or who
or abuse publicly or privately any Wardens or Assistants of the said
the consent of the Lord Mayor for the time being may be committed by
to one of the Compters of the City for such a time as their offense
Easier Than Now
this it will appear that the process of becoming a member of one of the
was easier, though a far more lengthy operation, than at the present
time. As an
apprentice he was bound for seven years, and not until the expiration
of that period
could he be made a Freeman of the Company, and even then it was
necessary for him
to work as a journeyman for two years at least before he could be a
master of his
trade, and so eligible for election to the "Livery" of his Company.
Livery were elected the Assistants, and from the Assistants the
Wardens. So much,
then, for the organization by which it was sought to protect each trade
difficulties of trade disputes, of unfair competition, and especially
of lack of
cohesion in trade matters.
Protection Against Bad Work
was another side, and a very important side, to Gild-life. In return
for the extensive
powers vested in the Gild its rulers were expected in their turn to
carry out the
very useful office of protecting the public against bad and
work. We quote from a document of the Bottle Makers' Company, a Gild
continuing 150 years under the aegis of the Horners' Company, finally
in that Company. The document dates back to the time of Henry VII or
and is a copy of the orders made for that Company in the year 1373.
that as some of the said craft make false bottles, as it appeareth by
to the great damage of the Lords and Commons, and to the slander of the
folks . . . that every bottle maker from that time forward shall put
his sign on
every bottle that it may be known whose work it is.
were the punishments against bad work is a matter of common knowledge.
It was not
at all an uncommon thing, on the discovery of bad work, for the culprit
the whole of his stock confiscated and himself to be either mulcted
into a fine
or in some cases even to be publicly whipped in the presence of the
Assistants of his Gild.
foregoing it will be apparent that the trade communities of London, and
applies in great measure to the other parts of England, were at once
of the craftsmen and their rulers in all matters relating to the trade.
also the protectors not only of the trade secrets, but of the prices at
might be sold, a protection which, as free towns grew and developed,
led to the decay of the very trade which the Gildsmen so ardently
sought to protect.
Morality of the Members
they watched over the morality of their members in the widest sense of
Whilst avoiding the obvious danger of using labor without payment
through the unlimited
employment of apprentices, they, alas! laid the foundations of ruin to
trades by failing to provide a sufficient supply of craftsmen. This
in the free towns who were not similarly bound and tied to produce
goods on so extensive
a scale that the members of the Gilds found their trades deteriorating
to an enormous
extent, except in the case of those whose wealth was sufficient to
the whole output of the raw material. The sad story of the decay of the
tradesmen, "the master of his trade," and his replacement by the
workman, is ever present with us.
those and many of them who feel that a return to something in the
nature of Gild-life,
modified, of course, by the demands both of science and increased
prove the greatest boon to mankind. Unfortunately, the trade unions,
are in a sense the representatives of the spirit of the earlier craft
failed to recognize the importance both of thorough and expert training
young, and also of the value of moral rectitude in the performance of
all work for
which payment is received.
It may be
that a new life will arise amongst our craftsmen after the war, but in
our existing Gilds are beacons pointing the way to further progress,
as they do for the productive forces, which has made the City of London
and wealthiest Corporation in the world, they call for the recognition
generations of the principles for which the Gilds stood ‒ the duty of
not only on the rights and privileges of those engaged in the work, but
on the responsibilities on the part of the workers and traders to those
on whom they live.
we cannot fail to note that underlying the wisdom and shrewd sanity
the commerce of the centuries gone by was an intimate association
Gild and the vitalizing forces of Religion. This was expressed in all
It is to be deeply regretted that the trade organizations of today have
off from the modifying and balancing forces which Christianity ever
brings to bear
on civil movements. It may be that the Church itself is to blame for a
want of vision
and foresight, and it is probable that, had the clergy shown a happier
tolerant sympathy for the aspirations of the great masses of the
people, the Labor
Associations, like the old Board Schools, might not have been so
from the religious life of the nation.
Fallen From Grace
Gilds have, in some instances, fallen from grace; that is to say, they
sight of the fact that without a Chaplain the Gild is an incomplete and
less meaningless Corporation. But the great bulk of the Gilds are still
amidst the thundering waves of industrial strife which has been raging
dark night of mutual misunderstandings ‒ misunderstandings largely, we
stimulated by German treachery, and so long as the Gilds, true to their
continue to form that wondrous link with the past, which speaks to us
of the days
when England was "Merrie England" (because its national life and its
life cannot be separated from its religious life), so long there will
be hope of
a return to happier times. To forward this end all true Christians
their personal influence into the scale to preserve in all their
strength and beauty
those glorious traditions which in so rich a form England alone
possesses, and which
once destroyed can never be replaced. London, England, will live so
long as she
has not lost faith in those truths for which Gild-life has so
in the past.
On The Recognition of the
Grand Lodge of Panama
By Bros. M. M. Johnson,
P.G.M., And W.H.L. Odell, P.D.G.M., Mass.
In connection with this article the attention
readers is called to Brother Johnson's article "Masonry in Panama," in
the November, 1917, issue of THE BUILDER and the report of the
Committee on Foreign
Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Illinois concerning the
recognition of the
Grand Lodge of Panama, which will be found on page 31 of the January,
of THE BUILDER.
IT is unfortunate that the Grand Lodge of
been misled by the report of the Brother who in 1917 was (but no longer
Committee on Correspondence, into declining to recognize the Grand
Lodge of Panama.
The publicity given to this report in your issue for January calls for
reply lest other Grand Lodges adopt the mistakes of this Committee.
The Committee recommends that the Grand Lodge
be not recognized for two reasons:
First, because its constituent Lodges were
founded by Supreme Councils;
Second, because its constituent Lodges had
from the Grand Lodge of Venezuela.
The second reason may be easily disposed of by
that it is incorrect. None of the constituent bodies of the Grand Lodge
have ever "resorted to the expedient ... of procuring charters from the
Lodge of Venezuela." The Brother has drawn an inference from the inmost
of his mind which does not exist in fact. A number of the constituent
the Grand Lodge of Panama originally received their charters from
not from the body to which he refers. On the contrary, they were
received from the
Supreme Council which is recognized by the Supreme Councils of the
Southern Jurisdictions of the United States as well as by others.
The first reason requires more extended
Is it true that the Grand Lodges of this country are to regard as
of Symbolic Masonry which are founded by legitimate Supreme Councils in
where no recognized Symbolic Grand Lodge exists? If it is, then the
growth and development
of Masonry in many of those parts of the world where there are no
Lodges is forever stopped and our claims to universality are a delusion
and a snare.
As we have understood the rule, it is in brief to the effect that in
there is no Symbolic Grand Lodge but where there is a legitimate and
Supreme Council, the members of their Symbolic Lodges are accorded by
us a welcome
and the right hand of fellowship. Though we have not recognized a Grand
which they are subordinate, yet, nevertheless, we hold fraternal
them, admit them to our Lodges, visit theirs, extend charity to their
necessary and our Brethren receive the same from them. This is true
from the question whether Sovereign Grand Lodges may regard such
territory as open
to them for the purpose of establishing Lodges.
It should be borne in mind that the Brother who
the Committee on Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Illinois for 1917
strong views with regard to all but the first three Degrees and if we
from his writings claims that we have no business to recognize any such
If we are not to regard the Royal Arch
Councils of R.&S.M., the Commanderies of K.T. and the Scottish
Rite from the
Fourth to the Thirty third inclusive as Masonic, then, of course, the
he takes is correct, but we supposed that this question had been
during the decade of the 80's when, after most elaborate consideration
by the ablest
Masons of the world, there were written into very many of the
Constitutions of the
various Grand Lodges provisions expressly recognizing the bodies
mentioned as Masonic.
This was done in Massachusetts, for instance, after most exhaustive
and report by a Committee which was composed of Brethren, no one of
whom had ever
received any of the Degrees of the Scottish Rite. If there be any
that this whole matter has not been settled once and for all, then it
again discussed and disposed of.
Certain consequences, however, should be
which will follow if the views of this Committee on Correspondence for
Lodge of Illinois are to govern the Masonic world.
The inconsistence thereof is
shown, to begin with, by the fact that the Grand
Lodge of Illinois recognizes the Grand Lodge of Cuba. This Grand Lodge
under the Grand Orient system. The charters of the Lodges which
composed it upon
the adoption of its new Constitution in 1865 and of those who joined it
years thereafter had to be confirmed and vised by the Supreme Council.
In its organization
it was not independent as our Grand Lodges are today. It was even less
of the Supreme Council than are the Lodges which compose the Grand
Lodge of Panama
today, for at the organization of the Grand Lodge of Panama its
became absolutely independent of any Supreme Council or Grand Orient in
If we are
not to accept the legitimacy of Lodges originally founded under the
or Grand Orient system, then the larger part of the territory of the
be without recognized Masonry from now on for there are in many
countries but a
very few and in some countries no Lodges of Symbolic Masonry
constituted by Sovereign
Grand Lodges, although there are many Symbolic Lodges constituted by
In the following countries, for instance,
all the Masonry there is in the first three Degrees is that established
Council or Grand Orient system, namely: Central America (except Panama
Rica), Argentine Republic, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican
Egypt, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Italy, Luxemburg,
Spain, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. In all of these countries except
Haiti and Luxemburg there exist Supreme Councils recognized by the
of the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of the United States.
In South America, for instance, there are
Lodges under the obedience of the Grand Lodge of England; seven under
that of Scotland;
three under that of Massachusetts; and seven under that of the Grand
Lodge of Hamburg.
There are, however, known to be at least seven hundred and sixteen
under the Grand Orient or Supreme Council system. The Grand Lodge of
Brazil is believed
to have three hundred and ninety Lodges; of Venezuela, twenty-four; of
eighteen; of Paraguay, nine; of Parana, twelve; of Rio Grande do Sul,
the Argentine Republic, one hundred and thirty-five; of Chile,
have found these officially reported but we personally know of many
more which are
not included in this computation. An extensive list would require a
of time in preparation and a large amount of space to print. We,
those who read this article to accept our word for this statement. As
to those listed,
we suggest examination of the Jubilee number of the Bulletin issued by
Bureau for Masonic Affairs and of the various Supreme Council reports
be found on file in the libraries of most Grand Lodges.
Although here and there in these countries
as we have stated, a very few Lodges established by foreign recognized
yet the substantial Masonic unity of the countries is under the Supreme
or Grand Orient system and is sufficiently important officially to be
as such by all the Supreme Councils of the world. Where there is such
it is impossible to enter the territory successfully with sufficient
number of other
Lodges founded by Sovereign Grand Lodges to take possession of the
Moreover, they cannot oust the existing Symbolic Lodges whether they
from a Supreme Council or a Grand Lodge. They would enter only as
would accomplish nothing.
We recognize fully that in all countries the
Lodges should be, and we believe ultimately will be, self-governing but
Grand Lodges in such countries are established, if they are to be
must have in each case as constituent Lodges the substantial Masonic
unity of the
country including those theretofore established by the Supreme Councils.
For brevity's sake, we do no more than suggest
principle believing that the reasons therefor and the proper
will be apparent to every thoughtful mind conversant with the situation.
If the Illinois
policy be adopted, then we are doing everything humanly possible to
crush out Masonry
in many countries of the world instead of encouraging it. There are
Blue Lodge Masons
holding allegiance to Supreme Councils who are as loyal to the
principles of our
institution as are we ourselves. In most of the countries named they
are still struggling
against intolerance, bigotry and persecution. Individually (and in some
they are struggling for freedom of conscience and the right which our
the United States have guaranteed to us through our Constitutions, to
as each conscience chooses for itself. Masonry would be derelict in its
false to its principles if it did not give moral encouragement to these
Masonry should be ashamed of itself if it is going to hunt for
shall prevent the development of its principles in those parts of the
much is yet to be done. We should seek the substance and not the form
where we find
men who claim to be Masons, who adhere to the landmarks, who are the
and who have received their Degrees in bodies which are regarded by the
unity of the Masonic world as Masonic. We should offer encouragement
proscription. Shall we be false to our teachings and traitorous to our
by splitting hairs? If so, we misunderstand the spirit of the Masons in
rule, if generally followed, will only strengthen and perpetuate the
system. Where there has been the Supreme Council or Grand Orient system
Symbolic Lodges, there has almost inevitably resulted political chaos.
Pike's remedy for that was the establishment of the three first degrees
independent sovereign Grand Lodge composed of the existing subordinate
Brother Pike was right. We ought to encourage this in Panama and
of forcing them to remain under a system which we do not believe in.
But if they
are to be proscribed and outlawed when they adopt our system of Masonic
then they will stay as they are.
By Bro. Joseph Fort Newton,
The Comacine Masters
THE BUILDER will remember that some time ago, in one of our
announcements of articles
to come, we promised a further study of the Comacine Masters, by
Brother W. Ravenscroft,
of England. Owing to the exigencies of the war, however, the article
was not written,
the author being called back to his business from which he was
so many of his helpers were in the service. At last, and not without
he has finished his study, which will in due time be presented to the
the Society through its journal.
In my little
book, "The Builders," [Lib 1914] it will be remembered that I
as I still hold, that the order of the Comacines was the true link
and ancient Masonry, and for several reasons: First, that the great
planned and built by the Craft Masons described in our Old Charges, is
to me a thing
incredible. Second, we know that those monuments of beauty and prayer
were not devised
by individual artists, but by a Brotherhood and as such they are
memorials of communities
of workmen. Third, it is no doubt true that Craft Masons ‒ and even
‒ were employed in their construction; but they must have had the
an order of artists of a superior quality.
contention, following bearer Leader Scott [Lib 1899] and other students of the
Masters, that the great order so named were the real ancestors of
So Brother Ravenscroft held, with great ability, in his little book,
Their Predecessors and Their Successors," [Lib 1910] published in 1910. After
that little book, I asked the author to give me for THE BUILDER the
results of certain
subsequent researches he was known to have made in the same field. The
the very fine report now in hand, which, from first hand investigation
on the ground
as well as from a comparative study of architecture, is a real addition
to our knowledge.
being a Mason, the author can speak with more intimate knowledge than
Scott, who was not a Mason ‒ albeit a brilliant and charming woman. The
of Brother Ravenscroft still further confirm my faith in the theory
my little book, as being the only intelligible explanation of the
of the Fraternities that built them. Naturally, at the close of the
period, the Comacine order declined in influence and power, and slowly
Craft Masonry; but its symbolism and its high tradition were
perpetuated ‒ in a
shadowy and imperfect form, it may be ‒ until they passed over into
Masonry. Of the facts in the case, our readers will have opportunity to
the article appears, and I know they will be deeply grateful to Brother
for his service to the Craft.
* * *
It is interesting
to learn from an article on "Freemasonry in 1917," in the London Times,
written by its Masonic editor ‒ Brother Dudley Wright ‒ that the Craft
made greater strides during the three years and a half of war than
during the same
period before the war broke out. Indeed the rush of candidates to its
been so great during the last year that the Grand Lodge of England
deemed it wise
to limit the number of candidates who could be admitted to any degree
at one time
to two, instead of five, as was previously the case. This has been so
not only in
England, but in all Grand Jurisdictions in all lands, except in enemy
of conditions there we have little knowledge.
reason is to be found in the Brotherhood which Freemasonry offers,
which is peculiarly
welcome to men in this time when so many ties are broken, and new ties
Not many new Lodges have been consecrated in England during the year; a
in fact, and those chiefly in connection with the various branches of
Service ‒ as, for example, the Royal Anti-aircraft Lodge. Other new
of special note are the Fratres Calami, mentioned in my last report,
and the Aldwych
Club Lodge of journalists. The class Lodge, of which Americans know
little ‒ and,
in my opinion, should know nothing ‒ is common in England, extending
even to Church
Lodges; a thing which would be impossible in America. But of this
matter I shall
have something to say at another time.
The war has
brought into being a fourth Masonic Institution ‒ the Freemason's War
in which the Grand Master has taken a keen interest, and the services
of which are
in keeping with the noble spirit the Craft has shown all through this
Masonic festivities have been few. Ladies' nights have given place to
for wounded soldiers. The number of Brethren who have fallen in the war
great, and there can be few, if any, Lodges which do not have a Roll of
the Shadow hovers, but it makes our Altar Light burn the more brightly,
as a foregleam
of a time when the shadows will flee away and the morning come.
"What is Masonry Doing
in this War as a Fraternity?”
THUS tersely does a Brother from the Grand
of Washington state a question which has been coming to our desk daily,
in one form
or another, for months past. It cannot be answered in a word, or in a
As a matter of fact, it must be answered by each Mason for himself. For
us has his viewpoint of what channels of Masonic activity are
legitimate, and because
the answer is apologetic or enthusiastic cannot in any sense be
interpreted as an
indictment of the good faith of the Brother who gives it. Generally
thinkers have always been divided into two schools. First there were
those who believed
that Masonry was an institution, as we said in our January issue,
organized for the purpose of developing individual character of the
among its membership, and opposed to the idea of collective
as is aimed at by the great majority of human institutions. Secondly,
been those who felt that Masonry should stand forth as a star of the
in that great galaxy of Fraternities whose entire aim is collective and
accomplishment. Both have used the oft repeated quotation, "By their
ye shall know them." In the one case the ideal would perhaps be best
by those plants which produce but a single flower, perfect in form and
fragrance ‒ a strictly individualistic type. With the other group the
is of the tree which on its every branch bears ripe and luscious fruit,
an example of collective efficiency calculated to arouse the admiration
of the world at large.
Our answer to the question propounded by the
will depend upon which school of thought we champion. If we belong to
school, we can truly answer with enthusiasm that Masonry has been in
the front ranks
of the armies of the Nation. Masons have volunteered their services by
They have accepted the principle of the Draft as the true and fair
method by which
a Republic defends itself and its principles. The members of our great
have devoted time and money without stint in behalf of their Country's
it be in campaigns for the Red Cross, the Army Y.M.C.A., or the sale of
Bonds and Thrift Stamps.
From this viewpoint, also, Masonry itself has
challenge of the War for Democracy within itself. Listen to these
from the Grand Lodge of New York:
"Whereas, the Masonic Grand Bodies of France
by proclamation and deed, given fraternal Masonic welcome to our
brothers now in
France and have proffered to them, in fullest measure, their Masonic
"Whereas, We believe the time has come when
brethren, children of one Universal Father, in whom humanity are joined
in the Brotherhood of Man, should sweep aside the verbal distinctions
them, and become united in the bonds of the Mystic Tie, in order to
great work that will devolve upon Freemasonry at the end of this World
"Resolved, by the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in
the State of New York, That we give fraternal response to the overtures
that may be made, by the Grand bodies of Freemasonry in France looking
to a full
and complete restoration of Masonic unity on the basis of the
principles which are
the foundation of all Freemasonry.
"Resolved, That during the period of the
war we shall extend to every member of the Masonic fraternity under the
of the Grand bodies of Freemasons of countries allied with us in the
cordial and fraternal welcome to the lodges of our obedience in the
State of New
York and authorize fully such reciprocal intercourse as may be mutually
between Freemasons and the Masonic lodges of our obedience and the
lodges and Freemasons of those countries."
The Grand Lodge of California, under the
of that indefatigable worker, Grand Master William Rhodes Hervey, has
done a splendid
work among its membership, raising a substantial fund and helping each
of the local
lodges to carry out effective plans for entertainment and service at
each camp within
the Jurisdiction. At its recent annual communication it also passed the
"Resolved, That a special committee of five
of this Grand Lodge be appointed by the Grand Master to report at the
communication some plan whereby if possible the breach between French
Masonry may be healed without sacrifice on either side of any essential
or matters of conscience.
"And be it further resolved: That any
upon the right of visitation heretofore imposed by this Grand Lodge be,
same hereby is, modified to allow Masonic intercourse with the Masons
Belgium and Italy and to visit any of their Lodges."
Similarly has the hand of fellowship been
the sea by the Grand Lodges of Kentucky, Texas, Alabama and the
District of Columbia,
to our certain knowledge, though their action is not uniform. If
of a desire for accomplishment in this hour of Allied struggle is
needed, it may
be found in the following Resolution, passed by the meeting of Grand
in Washington on December 13, 1917, following the conference called by
"Resolved, That We, the Grand Masters of Masons
of California, Utah, North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, I,ouisiana,
Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West
Virginia, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and the
Columbia, in conference assembled, in the City of Washington on
December 13, 1917,
voting in our own proper persons and through our accredited
these, our cordial and fraternal greetings to our Beloved and Most
Lurtin R. Ginn, Past Grand Master of Masons of the District of
Columbia, and through
him to the Masons of France; and commission him as our ambassador to
them our very great regret that conditions are such as to preclude some
of our American
Grand Lodges from holding full Masonic intercourse with their Grand
we fully empower and urge him to use all proper means within his power
about such changes as will permit the closest affiliation and
the Masons of France and the Masons of the United States.
"JAMES W. WITTEN,
Grand Master of Masons of the District of Columbia,
Chairman of the Conference.
WALTER L. STOCKWELL,
Past Grand Master of Masons of North Dakota,
Secretary of the Conference."
The Action of Individual
In a large proportion of the States wherein
are located (if not in all) the Grand Masters have issued proclamations
to insure the extension of Masonic fellowship to the Masons training in
have set in motion agencies, usually through the local lodges, to give
to our Brethren
of the Army and Navy every possible evidence of the Fraternal Tie.
started, or have under way, buildings at or near the Cantonments where
may meet; facilities have been provided whereby anxious parents may be
put in touch
with the boy who has gone to the colors; in some cases free sleeping
been provided in adjacent cities; existing Clubs have freely tendered
a census of the Masons who are in their Country's service has been
taken, or is
in process of completion. Many of the Grand Lodges have recommended to
particular industry in keeping track of the families left behind;
lodges have arranged
for special bulletin letters to be sent at regular intervals to the
boys at the
front. And so it goes, the efficiency of each effort depending upon the
inventiveness of the particular group.
The Grand Lodge of Illinois stands alone, so
we are aware, in the formation of a permanent Committee on National
a strong and comprehensive State-wide program of immediate and
as is indicated in the following letter sent by Grand Master Scrogin to
all of the
lodges within his Jurisdiction:
The Most Worshipful
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Illinois
Lexington, January 17, 1918.
To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren
Constituent Lodges, A. F. & A. M., of Illinois.
Pursuant to a recommendation of the Grand
Council, I have appointed a committee on National Defense, consisting
of the following
Ralph H. Wheeler, Chairman,
Arthur E. Wood,
Andrew L. Anderson,
Nelson N. Lampert,
William L. Sharp.
The purpose of this committee will be TO ASSIST
GOVERNMENT IN THIS TIME OF NATIONAL PERIL, AND TO FUSE MASONRY OF
A MIGHTY AGENCY FOR PATRIOTIC ENDEAVOR. The officers and members of the
expected to co-operate with the committee in their work, which will
consist in the
raising of funds, the relieving of distress among our soldiers and
providing recreation or entertainment for soldiers in and about
particularly in Illinois, assisting in the sale of the various bonds
issued by the
government, and likewise the war-saving certificates, conducting of
the support of the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. and in fact, in any and every
that will be of benefit in the prosecution of the present war to a
It is the desire and hope of your Grand Master,
as your committee, that all of the Masonic lodges in Illinois, and also
Councils, Commanderies, Consistories, Shrines, Grottos, and Chapters of
Star, in the state, may concentrate their efforts in this movement and
by so doing
accomplish the greatest possible amount of good.
The moneys collected by this committee will be
into the Treasury of the Grand Lodge and will be disbursed by the Grand
recommendation of the National Defense Committee and Finance Committee
of the Grand
Lodge. This committee expects to raise funds by the sale of memberships
will be known as the "NATIONAL DEFENSE FUND OF THE MOST WORSHIPFUL
A.F. & A.M. OF ILLINOIS."
Further details will be submitted to you at a
date and you are urged to give very prompt and active response to all
from this committee.
It is hereby ordered that this letter be read
lodge at the next stated meeting following its receipt by the lodge,
and that record
be made in the minutes when it is read.
AUSTIN H. SCROGIN,
The Grand lodge of Minnesota also established a
Committee on Our Nation's Welfare, but this Committee, so far as we
know, is not
empowered to build up an organization for such activities as the Grand
Illinois proposes. The list given is by no means comprehensive.
Grand Lodge that has met within the past six months has taken definite
one kind or another, looking to the fulfilment of its obligations to
Brethren as it sees them.
Why Not a Plan of United
In our January issue we presented the
of united action upon the part of all Grand Lodges, Rites and Branches
of the Masonic
Fraternity, hinting that there was a need for the Mystic Tie among our
of the Army and Navy. Only the possibilities of such a plan were
a view to discovering what the predominant sentiment of American
Masonry might be,
along those lines.
It has been the custom of the writer, at the
to send, as a Christmas greeting to his intimate friends, a little
in the form of a letter, calculated to convey his good will, and at the
meet them upon the level of whatever discussion might most closely
own sentiments at the season. This year the arguments for and against
of Masons upon the question of Army Welfare work seemed appropriate.
somehow, the writer must have suggested that a plan of action was
itself in his mind, for immediately there came back a large number of
for an outline of the form of co-ordination which might, with proper
and modification, be expected to accomplish the results argued for.
Accepting the challenge these letters
formulated the general scheme which is set forth in the center of the
Circle Bulletin in this issue. This in its turn has brought back many
all indicating that, while we may not be agreed in doing anything at
all, yet the
subject is worth considering.
The responses thus far received seem to divide
naturally into three classes. First are those who are against unified
they do not believe it is necessary, but feel that the activities
the outline would be duplications, and more expensive in dollars than
could possibly be expected to justify. But we submit that it would not
be a fair
test of the need for organized and united effort to base it upon the
a few. And those opinions should be founded upon the statements of our
who are in the Army. If they say it is necessary, and will produce
no other agency now engaged in this work can produce, then we should
their actual knowledge.
Then there are those who are in sympathy with
of the movement, but believe that we already have agencies established
as a nucleus can be built up the machinery of organization that we
If this can be established, well and good. The writer is looking only
and unanimous, intelligent co-operation.
Finally there are those who are whole heartedly
of a new movement, who believe that while there may be organizations
merged with an organization genuinely representative of Masonry as a
materially add to its efficiency, and would in some cases give us a
would in itself insure the success of the movement, yet feel that the
the situation is unanimity, and are willing to give of their time and
and their energy to help in whatever capacity they are needed.
Of the details of replies it may be interesting
An eminent Brother in Canada writes:
"If one knew just how long this war was going
last one could probably in a better way, pass judgment on this scheme.
every indication of many months of struggle yet it seems to me, so that
there would be time to organize along the lines that you suggest and do
efficient work. At the same time, when there is a crying need for
it is possible to do being done to make the soldier's life as pleasant
as it is
possible, it might be a wiser thing to use organizations already in
than attempt to start another one. I refer particularly to the Y.M.C.A.
at least, can rally to the support of that, and they can unite in
and helping carry on its work.
"Now, generally speaking, our population and
is divided into two large classes ‒ the Protestants and the Roman
you think there would not be a possibility, (if your scheme were
carried into effect),
that the Protestants' support would be divided, and each sect or
their own importance, and their members would think that it would be up
to follow the Masonic lead. When you proposed this idea, it struck me
that it might
have the effect, if that were done, of hindering rather than helping,
and on account
of the pressing need of the times at present, I would be inclined to
say ‒ give
your endorsement and support to the organizations that are now existent
this scheme of yours for dealing with after-the-war problems. They will
be many and will present the greatest challenge to Masonry that it has
"There is another feature of your proposed
that in my opinion tends to weaken rather than strengthen the
is ‒ the calling in of representatives from all of the so-called Higher
of Masonry. I am a Scottish Rite Mason myself and have nothing but good
say with regard to that organization. I have no doubt but just as good
be said with regard to the other organizations that you refer to. At
the same time
craft Masonry covers the whole field. Your scheme would give a double
and in some cases it would be a treble and quadruple representation to
who belong to these other organizations. I believe that the other
a large membership of them at least, would rally around craft Masonry
in a movement
of this kind, and if it were limited to the craft lodges I believe it
would do away
with any feeling of superiority that might be in the minds of some
those other organizations.
"The point that I am trying to make is this:
have unity in the one great organization, why even hint at the fact
that there might
be divided opinions by calling in any of those other bodies? Why should
of those other bodies be entitled to double representation as it were?
all members of the craft lodges."
As to the well thought out criticism of the
plan in this letter, ye scribe can only say that it represented his own
up to ninety days or so ago. But actual conversation with not less than
half a hundred
men from widely scattered portions of the Country in the Army and Navy
in that period
has changed his mind. Only one soldier Mason thus interviewed failed,
in one way
or another, to ask the question, "What is Masonry going to do?" And
one gave it as his conviction that the Y.M.C.A. organization and
methods would even
approximate the effectiveness of Masonry if engaged in similar
activities in behalf
of its votaries. Wherefore ye scribe believes that Masonry should ask
its Army members
what their opinion and desire is, and be governed by what, after a
of the situation throughout the Cantonments, the majority of enlisted
* * *
The Society of Actual Past Masters of Marion
Indiana, adopted a resolution to the effect that they "hereby express
with any and all efforts to co-ordinate the full strength of regular
the United States in the interest of the Flag in general, and
specifically do we
sympathize at this time with such efforts in the interest of Master
Masons who may
now or hereafter be or become members of our National Army and Navy."
* * *
Typical of the larger percentage of replies
is this from an energetic Brother who believes that not only should
Masonry be doing
its work within American boundaries, but that it should extend "hands
the sea" in a manner calculated to promote world-fraternity in every
Masonic phase. He says:
"Americans have been talking loudly about every
man "doing his bit" before breakfast, or before dinner, or for a few
at night. Perhaps we have been rather proud of the fact that every man,
child seems to be doing something if it is only saying 'hurrah for the
has been a great deal of comfortable eating at food conservation
banquets and much
flag waving and spilling of oratory in the cause of patriotism and the
boys we are
sending to do the fighting. But we must not talk about doing our bit,
our utmost.' Some of us are beginning to suspect that before this war
is over it
will take every ounce of energy and every dollar to spare that the
Instead of our bit, we must do our ALL, for this is the true way of
The ideal that we are now fighting for must not be extinguished from
"Just this thing that has happened to the
has happened to American Freemasonry. With smug self-congratulation we
how we invested our money where there was no chance of losing it, in
We really have given something to the Red Cross, and done some work for
contributed to the Y.M.C.A. A good number of eloquent speakers who are
country stirred up to remembrance of what we are really fighting for
of considerable practice on the Masonic platform. Beyond talking and a
what have we done? What can we do? What should we do?
"Ask the boys in the trenches. I have talked
officers and privates. They know what they want. They are pleased and
we have done our bit. But really we owe them everything we can do for
them to the
length of our cable tow, and who but ourselves can say how that cable
"It is a graceful thing that lodges have done
relieving members of paying dues while they are in service, as some
have done, or
sending Christmas gifts and keeping in touch with them by writing
letters. All of
the small things that have been done by individuals to give them a
touch of home
have been done, but the big thing that our soldier Masons want, that
they have told
me about, is to have a chance to meet their brothers as Masons in
as they do here, to be able to grasp the hand of every Mason and call
feeling sure that there is that sympathy which cannot be felt
Wherefore it would seem that, no matter which
two general schools of Masonic thought best suits us, we have a very
before us for solution. If our analysis of what so many Army Brethren
is correct, then Masonry should immediately study this problem. As this
announcement comes that the Rockefeller Foundation is to engage in
in the Armies, and has made a large appropriation for the purpose. What
scope is is not so important as the fact that trained experts have
to do which is necessary. No one agency can hope or expect to minister
need. Our inquiry should be "What are the needs from the Masonic
In formulating a business policy, or in
financial statement to see what the results of any given policy are,
fool is the man who fools himself." At best, human foresight cannot
all that the future has in store. Wherefore ye scribe has been ruthless
more of criticism than of commendation in these summaries. Whatever is
need the combined wisdom of our Fraternity to plan, to develop, to
let us not fear to get together, to discuss our fraternal duties,
"The man who cannot
think is less than man;
The man who will not think is traitor to himself;
The man who fears to think is superstition's slave."
Summarizing our reply to our member's query,
can only say that, though Masonry has accomplished much, both as an
and through its individual membership, it has only done its "bit."
are many who feel, and, frankly, ye scribe is one of that number, that,
"doing our all," we have not yet even visualized our real obligation.
We must think this thing through as a Fraternity, we must act as a
at all. Recognition of our ability to provide a world-wide basis of
must come from within. It is ours to discuss, not in any spirit of
but if the challenge to our efficiency is as real as it appears to the
the future influence of Brotherhood is at stake from within as well as
Edited By Bro. H.L. Haywood
(The object of this Department is to
readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the
literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may
appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render any
to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through
or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something
concerning any book
‒ what is its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained ‒ be
ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a review
write us about
it; if you desire to purchase a book ‒ any book ‒ we will help you get
no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary
IT is well for the writer that his duties in
connection make no demand upon him to criticize the "Collected Essays
Relating to Freemasonry" [Lib 1913] by Robert Freke Gould; it is
doubtful if there live
a dozen men with either the temerity or the equipment to wrestle with
so magisterial is his authority, so profound and spacious is his
he has become a classic in Masonic scholarship and long will the day be
when, on either side the sea, it can be said, "A greater than Gould is
us." No, the purpose of this slender screed is to serve as a kind of
table of contents to the work above named, but this function, modest as
it is, is
one wherein a student may take delight, for the better known are these
better it is for the Craft.
A few of the papers collected in this book were
published in English Masonic journals but most of them appeared
primarily as contributions
to the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, and, save for the
Transactions of that
Lodge, which may still be had by those with enough interest and money,
offers us the best specimen of the enduring value of the Coronati
papers of anything
The first two essays deal with the many
about the old manuscript constitutions, a collection of which were made
Hughan. Being the oldest of all written records of Freemasonry these
‒ as they are often called ‒ are of unique interest to the Masonic
without number have been written about them by specialists in many
the busy reader will find everything in Gould's two essays that have
Next after these there follows an essay on The
Some writers have held that long before the first Grand Lodge, Masons
to meet at long intervals in a great gathering wherein all matters
to the Craft at large were discussed and acted upon. Gould believes
that there may
have been Assemblies of all gilds at various times and places but he is
about any Masonic Assembly.
Thereafter the author turns to a discussion of
Scotch Masonic Customs" with the purpose of ascertaining what bearing
Masonry had upon English; his conclusion is that the English was the
owes little to the Scotch and he tears to pieces most of the tales of
the rise of
the "higher grades" in Scotland.
In a brief paper he throws together all the
which throws light on the evolution of the fraternity in England
itself; it would
be a good thing if all flamboyant writers on our history, bent on
inch of fact into a mile of theory, were made to learn this essay by
heart. Of all
writers Gould is least given to mere theorizing, even as he is least
given to dogmatizing,
and the reading of his few pages on the above theme has a sobering
effect on every
man who sets himself to unraveling the fascinating but tangled skeins
of our historical
In the "Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism" Gould
gives us his version of the history of those elements whereof our
ritual is made,
while in his "Voice of the Sign" he has gathered together a mass of
which throws light on the manner in which men everywhere have made use
He holds that a study of our history and our symbolism "must be
conjointly" because the latter has so often arisen from the former, and
believes that many of our most important symbols have come down to us
ancient sources. As an architect will sometimes build into his walls
from another building long in ruins so has the Masonic institution made
use of symbols
originally a part of a more ancient institution; this antiquity gives
not less, value.
In his essay on the question, "Whence came the
name 'Free' Masonry," he holds that even yet, in spite of the many
attempts to explain the matter, we have no secure answer, and he offers
as a tough object on which future Masonic scholars may try their skill.
Perhaps the most famous of all the essays
the collection is the study of the "Degrees Problem." How many degrees
were there before 1717? one or two? whence came the Third? Crawley,
Begemann, and many other giants of research have wrestled with this.
the position that Speth was right in contending for two degrees, but he
the substance of all three were in existence long anterior to the first
The "Holy Royal Arch" comes in for a royal
study, as do other matters about which there is not space to write.
BUILDER may be justified in calling especial attention to the two or
papers on "The Masonic Press." Gould holds that the function of the
is not to serve out raw amateur theories of its own but to pass on to
the rank and
file of the Craft the results arrived at by the specialists. The
of these essays might fittingly be inscribed above the lintels of the
of Light" wherein the present journal is edited, for they express to a
that which it is the hope of THE BUILDER to do:
"The extent to which the history of our own
has been critically and intelligibly dealt with by writers of the
is a question on which, for obvious reasons, I should hesitate to
judgment at all. But wherever they have failed to bring down to the
level of the
ordinary mind the bearings of the latest discoveries, let us hope that
did for Astronomy, what Huxley and Wallace achieved for Natural
History, what Tyndall
accomplished for Physics in this country, and Helmholtz in Germany, may
for Masonry by the organized labors of the Masonic Press."
The Question Box
(The Builder is an open forum for free and
discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is
for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a
of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one
school of Masonic
thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for
and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
Names of Candidates in Lodge
The above caption in the Question Box for
up a much discussed subject in the Lodge of which I am the Secretary. I
monthly a bulletin of coming meetings and have been asked repeatedly to
put in it
the names of candidates for ballot and degrees. This I have as
John Smith, a much respected young man in his
petitions the Masonic Lodge for membership. The Lodge receives the
the Secretary sends each member a notice, (sealed, if you will,) that
will be balloted for on such and such a night. Mr. Thotless Mason
receives the notice,
looks it over and lays it down on his desk. Mr. Nozie Mann, not a
Mason, drops in
on business and in the course of conversation spies the notice and
learns that John
Smith has petitioned the Masonic Lodge. In due time, John Smith is
and is rejected. Later, Mr. Nozie Mann meets Mr. Smith and casually
asks if he is
The secrecy of the ballot has been lost. The
and the thoughtless member have both violated their obligations and put
candidate in a most embarrassing position.
Perhaps the imaginary circumstances are
even so, they are not impossible, and Masonic law does not caution us
Connecticut law (Lockwood) says: "The rejection of a candidate shall
made known to the uninitiated other than the candidate so rejected."
From your wider viewpoint, is the stand taken
Your argument is a very good one, Brother S.,
side of the question. In many Grand jurisdictions the practice is
Code, while it is authorized in others. We shall be glad to publish
what our other
members have to say on the subject. Perhaps some brother of a
the practice prevails may be able to give us some good reasons why the
prospective candidates should be published in Lodge notices other than
by Brother L. J. in the January BUILDER.
* * *
English Lodges in France
Have you any information concerning English
Operating in France? I presume they would be Army Lodges. If there are
of the sort, would they be recognized by Grand Lodges in this country?
was recently disputed in our Lodge and any information you may give
will be a very
great favor indeed.
We find record of three travelling Military
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England. One of these, the "Unity,
and Concord, No. 316," is with the Second Battalion of Royal Scots.
"Social Friendship, No. 497," is with the Second Battalion of the Royal
Irish Fusiliers. The military unit with which the third, "Pegasus, No.
is connected, is not given.
It is very probable that all of these Military
are now at the front "Somewhere in France." As each of these Lodges is
working under a charter from the Grand Lodge of England, they are
by all the Grand Lodges of the United States.
* * *
What is the status of Masonry in Germany today?
We presume the information desired is
numerical strength of the Masonic Bodies in Germany. The following
figures are taken
from the List of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the World published by the
Relief Association of the United States and Canada:
Grand Countries Lodge of Saxony at Dresden.
Lodges, 34; Members, 5,001.
Recognized before the war by Ga., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Lodge of the Sun at Bayreuth.
Lodges, 37; Members, 3,536.
Recognized before the war by Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Countries Lodge of the Freemasons of
Lodges, 141; Members, 15,373.
Recognized before the war by Ga., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Lodge "Zur Eintracht"
Lodges, 8; Members, 727.
Recognized before the war by Colo., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand National Mother Lodge of the "Three
Lodges, 160; Members, 16,894.
Recognized before the war by D.C., Ga., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Mother-Lodge of the Eclectic Masonic
Frankfort on the Main.
Lodges, 23; Members, 3,496.
Recognized before the war by Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Lodge of Prussia, called "Royal York of
Friendship" at Berlin.
Lodges, 78; Members, 7,936.
Recognized before the war by Mo., N.J., N.Y.
Grand Lodge of Hamburg.
Lodges, 61; Members, 6,372.
Recognized before the war by Mich., N.J., N.Y., S.D., Vt.
Free Union of the five independent Lodges of
Lodges, 6; Members, 1,433.
Not recognized by any American Grand Lodges.
Our opinion of German Masonry and German Masons
present day is best expressed by Brother Newton in his article "Voices
German Masonry" in the Library Department of THE BUILDER, volume III,
* * *
Lodge of the Nine Muses
Can you give me any information regarding the
of Nine Sisters"?
Strict search throughout the several apartments
House of Light" fail to unearth any reference to a "Lodge of the Nine
Sisters." Presumably it is the "Lodge of the Nine Muses" that you
have in mind. Of this Lodge we are able at this time to find only the
"May 4th, 1775, Bro. Karsakoff 'of the Lodge of
the Muses at Petersburgh in Russia' was present as visitor. A Russian
had been initiated
in the Lodge on February 23rd and another was passed on this occasion.
referred to must be the 'Lodge of the Nine Muses,' No. 466, which was
in 1774 by Senator Yelaguin, who had received a patent from the Duke of
G. M., as Prov. G. Master for all the Russias. In 1776 it joined the
Lodge of Russia, but was not erased from the English Register until
From the paper
"Two Old Oxford Lodges," by Bro. E. L. Hawkins, in Transactions of the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, vol. XXII.
In the article "Freemasons in the American
by Brother Lobingier, in this issue, Brother Benjamin Franklin is
mentioned as being
a frequent visitor at the "Lodge of the Nine Muses" in Paris.
Perhaps some of our members may be able to give
information concerning this Lodge or the several Lodges of this name.
* * *
Masonic Headquarters in
We are sending out a semi-monthly letter to our
Can you give me any information that will be of value to them when they
Where, if any, are the Masonic headquarters (soldier-clubs) in London
I will thank you if you can give me any information along these lines.
We can find no information concerning such
being maintained in London but have written an English brother to learn
if any such
headquarters have been established. The Masonic Bureau for the Allied
France, 16 Rue Cadet, Paris, has requested the publication of the
addressed to the Freemasons of the United States:
"The world-wide conflict for the liberation of
oppressed nations, and for the triumph of the principles of Justice and
in which a good many Allied countries now take an effective part, has
on French soil most of the glorious armies fighting for right, who are
now to be
joined by an imposing contingent of your noble country.
"In the first ranks of these gallant troops,
arm strengthened by their ideal, we are sure to find, more numerous
every day, Freemasons
of the United States of America, and we have thought of offering them
as soon as
they arrive in the French capital, a warm, fraternal welcome, becoming
"Under the auspices of the Grand Orient of
our worshipful Lodge, 'La Fraternité des Peuples,' has formed a
for Masons belonging to Allied countries with its seat at the Temple of
Orient, 16 Rue Cadet, a real Masonic home. Here our brethren will
always find devoted
Masons, speaking their language, ready to answer all inquiries and
furnish any useful
information they may require to assure them a fraternal help in all
to keep in touch by corresponding with them, to visit them in case they
or wounded, to serve as intermediary between them and their relatives,
"The usefulness of this central bureau will at
once be apparent to you, not only for our brethren who are in the army,
to those near and dear to them and who in their thoughts will follow
the Atlantic and who will know that they are not left to themselves and
among the dangers of everyday life, but that a fraternal and helping
hand is always
extended to them in case of need.
"We therefore ask you to kindly inform the
of your worshipful Lodge and their relatives that in applying to us
they will always
find us ready to be of use to them and happy to render them any service
measure of our means and capabilities.
"Please communicate this letter to the Lodges
the jurisdiction of your Grand Lodge.
"We are, worshipful sir and brethren, yours
fraternally and sincerely, for and on behalf of the "MASONIC BUREAU FOR
ARMIES IN FRANCE.
"P. S. Please address your correspondence to
W. M., A. Besnard, F. D. P., 16 Rue Cadet. Paris (9)."
Alabama Grand Lodge Grants
Permission to Alabama Masons to Visit Lodges of the Grand Orient and
I send you copy of a report submitted by me at
meeting of our Grand Lodge, touching the Grand Lodge and the Grand
Orient of France.
The report was unanimously adopted by our Grand Lodge.
O. D. Street,
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Alabama,
Your committee of Foreign Correspondence has
to it a communication from the Grand Lodge of France extending an
this Grand Lodge to enter into fraternal relations with it and to
arrange for an
exchange of representatives. It is proper to state that this is not the
formed so-called "National Independent and Regular Grand Lodge for
the French Colonies" to which we refused recognition one year ago, but
Body organized in 1879 under the auspices of the Supreme Council 33d,
Accepted Scottish Rite. In 1904 it, however, became entirely
independent of the
Supreme Council and now controls the three symbolic degrees. The claims
Grand Body to recognition have never been fully considered by the Grand
Alabama. The nearest approach to such consideration was in 1912 when
the Grand Master
answered an inquiry from New Mexico that we did not recognize the Grand
France because it did not require the Bible to be displayed in its
action of the Grand Master was approved by the Grand Lodge.
Your committee has also received a
the Grand Orient of France, a separate and distinct body from either of
mentioned, which controls many degrees including the first three. In
body was carefully considered by the Grand Lodge of Alabama and
with it were severed, because it had in 1877 eliminated all reference
to Deity from
its constitution and ritual and no longer required of its initiates a
of belief in Deity.
During the recent months, circumstances have
importance to the subject of the relations between the Masonic bodies
and those of the United States. Thousands of American Masons, including
Alabama, find themselves in France and companions in arms with French
is not at all certain that there will be among them lodges chartered by
Grand Lodges wherein they may enjoy the pleasures of Masonic
intercourse and labor.
But whether there are or not, it is highly desirable that there should
the war, the fullest possible measure of social and fraternal
American Masons and those of France, not only that nothing may arise to
the harmony already existing but that the people of these two great
traditional friends may be knit together even more closely than ever.
At the same time, your Committee is not
sufficient information to make a recommendation at this time as to what
the permanent attitude of the Grand Lodge of Alabama towards these two
Without deciding this question the Grand Lodge of California, Kentucky
and New York
have recently taken action authorizing Masons of their obediences to
of the Grand Lodge and Grand Orient of France and to hold Masonic
their members, pending further consideration as to what shall be their
This appears to us as a cautious and at the same time fraternal course
and we have
decided to recommend that this Grand Lodge take similar action. It can
do no harm and will afford an opportunity for us to learn more of
than we have heretofore known.
We therefore recommend the adoption of the
by the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, that
membership in its lodges are, until otherwise ordered, privileged to
of the Grand Lodge and of the Grand Orient of France and to hold
with their members. And lodges holding under this Grand Lodge are
admit visitors from said Grand Bodies of France.
that the Committee on Foreign Correspondence gather all obtainable
report to the next Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge its
to what should be the attitude of this Grand Lodge towards those Grand
OLIVER D. STREET,
Chairman Foreign Correspondence Committee.
Unanimously adopted December 6, 1917.
* * *
Examination of Visitors
Freemasonry lays claim to being an organization
in its recognition and brotherly in its fellowship, therefore the
follows that an utter stranger from another part of the state or
country would be
admitted to any Lodge as a visitor, provided, of course, he could
fact that he had been regularly initiated, passed and raised to a
was in good standing as evidenced by his card and diploma to the
the examination committee, that being the agency by which the Lodge
carries on negotiation
with a visitor.
The committee is in a position of great
in view of the fact that it may reject a worthy brother and admit a
and for this reason the committee should exercise the greatest of care
for the position
carries with it a great honor.
Personally, I have had the honor of serving on
a committee on different occasions and my position and actions can be
in the following words:
that you are either dealing with a Mason or an impostor.
- Be courteous
and considerate, yet firm at all times.
- Under no
circumstances get funny or joky; be manly and upright.
- Don't use
too much authority or be unnecessarily strict; ideas are sometimes of
worth than words, and some mighty good Masons have very short memories.
- Give no
hints or suggestions and do not attempt to correct any mistakes.
- Let him
tell his story in his own way and accept what he offers.
- Give no
reason for rejecting him if you should do so.
- Be governed
by his action and words as they form the general results.
- Some real
Masons may answer your questions in a way that you deem poorly.
- The man that appears too bright
and answers all questions
too glibly may arouse suspicion.
- As I take it, it is the
committee's business to obtain
evidence, the visitor to impart it.
- Sometimes documentary evidence
is not altogether to
be relied upon. Have known a rank impostor to have in his possession
that did not belong to him whereby he deceived an excellent and prudent
besides, documentary evidence is not required in some jurisdictions
while it is
be able to answer all questions may not prove a visitor
worthy, as has been demonstrated more than once, but if the committee
will use good
judgment and watch the visitor closely as to his general expression and
answering questions, it ought to be able to determine pretty accurately
of the visitor after having gone through with a reasonable number of
and at the same time used him in such a way as to let him know that you
Masonry and according him his due.
There seems to be no general set rules laid
to how the visitor is to be examined or as to what questions are to be
jurisdictions move along one line and another proceeds altogether in a
manner, and some questions asked in one jurisdiction would be
"tommyrot" in another, and as I said before, there being no set rules
for examining a visitor, the best way, in my judgment, is to use good
and treat the visitor as you would like to be treated. Take this for
what it is
worth: I am only giving you my ideas and the way I have acted when
‒ Robert A. Turner. Washington.
* * *
The Lesser Lights
In the ancient rituals the three lesser lights
the Sun, Moon and Mercury, which may prove of some interest in
attributes of the Master.
Mercury was synonymous with Hermes or Thoth,
mythological being to whom is ascribed the invention of the art of
who presided over the true science concerning the gods. He was
worshiped as the
god of wisdom, and to him is credited the formation of the Egyptian
He is said to have inscribed his knowledge upon
columns, one of brick and the other of stone. The one of stone,
Josephus says, was
still to be seen in his day in the Siridiac land.
Manetho, a priest of the era of the first
that he had seen it, and that it was engraved in sacred characters,
the Deluge were translated into the language of the priests.
In another place he is said to have recorded
on an emerald tablet, embodying therein the great work of regeneration,
or the science
of the return of the soul to the Father. Hence his attributes are those
of a "Master."
These curious conceits are scattered through
and literature, and true students of the Mysteries are commended to
and Dogma, [Lib 1871] and more
particularly pages 7, 254-255, 362-364, 614, 731, 774-776, 851. This is
but bears pondering and deep thought. It is the wisdom of a man to
search out a
* * *
Keep possession of your soul. One is always a
at the game which robs his soul of serenity....
‒ Peter du Moulin.
And23 / auth. Anderson James. - London : William Hunter, 1723. -
Fac-Simile by Jno. W. Leonard & Co., New York, 1855 : Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 119. - 6.0 MB.
Collected Essays &
Papers Related to Freemasonry
Gou131 / auth. Gould Robert F. - Belfast : William Tait, 1913. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 313. - 14.3 MB.
Morals and Dogma
Pik71 / auth. Pike Albert. - Charleston : Supreme Council AASR, 1871. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 895. - Formatted & Indexed by rhm - 7.6 MB.
Signs and Symbols Illustrated
Oli37 / auth. Oliver George. - London : Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper,
1837. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 289. - 9.2 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 Cathedral Builders
Sco99 / auth. Scott Leader. - London : Sampson Low, Marston &
Co., 1899. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 520. - 16.1 MB.
The Comacines Their Predecessors &
Rav10 / auth. Ravenscroft W.. - London : Elliot Stock, 1910. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 94. - 3.4 MB.