Masonic Research Society
J. Shryock: An Appreciation
By Bro. John H. Cowles,
33d Active, District of Columbia
Many times we have heard expressions of
the part of Masons living in other Grand Jurisdictions because of
long term of service as Grand Master of Maryland. It was our privilege
to be personally
acquainted with him and to be numbered among those who loved him. To
was no need to make inquiry regarding these years of service In every
which he was elected in Masonry, he served with a superb capacity, but
it was the
spirit in which he served that caused him to be universally loved. As
in life, so
in death, many charities and benevolences will have cause to remember
and broadmindedness. His most typical expression was that "the word
is not in my dictionary" ‒ a phrase which easily sounds the keynote of
ability as an executive. His character, energy and kindly spirit mark
him as the
most unique, if not the most prominent Masonic character of this
THOMAS JACOB SHRYOCK, Grand Master of Maryland,
serving his thirty-second year in that official position when called by
Reaper, February third, 1918, and the Masons of Maryland were so
pleased and satisfied
with his administration that the chances are he would have served many
This is the record for length of service as
of any Grand Body of Masons in the United States. His administration of
affairs in Maryland has been wonderfully successful. Not long after he
elected Grand Master, fire destroyed the Temple, but it was rebuilt,
and a few years
ago, fire again destroyed the Temple and it was again rebuilt. The new
one of the most beautiful and complete Temples in the United States. In
Grand Master Shryock was appointed chairman of a committee of one to
Temple destroyed by fire. The finances of the Grand Lodge have been
managed, deeply in debt at one time, with its credit almost gone, he
and his brother
William H. Shryock, financed the Grand Lodge, restored its credit and
new Temple is almost paid for, and the per capita may be reduced.
The Grand Lodge of Maryland has no Masonic
the Grand Lodge contributes to many Protestant Hospitals and Homes, and
in welfare work, and contributes liberally to charity.
Grand Master Shryock endorsed the Liberty Bond
strongly and the Masons of Baltimore alone invested nearly eight
dollars in them. The Masons of Maryland have also given about fifteen
to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association.
The wonderful success, the splendid harmony and
good works of the Masons in Maryland are mostly due to his excellent
He was genial, kindly courteous, affable, and approachable, for he was
These virtues, added to his executive ability, have given the Masons of
the most concrete and perhaps best government of any Grand Lodge. The
Maryland at least were satisfied, and no doubt rightly so, for they
keep one good Grand Master in the harness rather than to indulge in
Grand Master Shryock was born in Baltimore,
27, 1851, of Prussian descent, and his great-grandfather was Lieutenant
in the Sixth Battalion, Maryland Line, in the Revolutionary war. On the
Lafayette to Alexandria in 1824, General Shryock's mother, then a
little girl and
daughter of Thomas Shields, a Mason and member of Brooke Lodge No. 147
Virginia, and Washington Encampment No. 1, Knights Templar, of
was selected to recite a childish welcome to Bro. Lafayette, on the
a Masonic parade in honor of a visit of the great Frenchman to
Washington. Two Lodges
formed the parade ‒ Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, of which
been Master, and Brooke Lodge No. 147.
The General, as he was familiarly called by his
friends, was active in other branches of Masonry. He was Treasurer
General of the
Supreme Council, 33d Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern
U.S.A., Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Maryland, Grand Treasurer
of the General
Grand Chapter, R.A.M., of the United States, President of the George
Masonic National Memorial Association, Past Grand High Priest of the
of Maryland, Past Grand Master of the Grand Council, Past Grand
Commander of the
Grand Commandery, and was an honorary member of so many Masonic Bodies
in this country
and Europe that it would make this sketch too long to name them.
In politics he was a Republican and had the
of being the only Republican who ever held the office of Treasurer of
of Maryland. He was Brigadier General on the staff of Gov. Henry Lloyd,
him the title, General, that thousands of friends lovingly called him
by. He served
one term as Police Commissioner of Baltimore, and at the time of his
death was a
member of the Sewerage Commission of that city. He was president of the
that bears his name, President of the Iron Mountain and Greenbrier
of the Second National Bank, Consolidated Gas and Electric Light
& Power Company,
Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, Bell Telephone Company, and
Was also Treasurer of Springfield State Hospital, and President Board
of House of
Reformation for Colored Boys. It takes a busy man to do things, hence
his life was
full of service. All who came in contact with him loved him, and it is
to describe the affection and veneration that all Masons in Maryland
have had for
him, or to measure in words the loss which they now feel.
Can We Build A Real Universal
By Bro. Joseph W. Norwood,
Some Hopeful World Movements
Tending To Masonic Solidarity
Some two years ago Brother Norwood established
as an international Masonic Newspaper. Under his able edit direction a
correspondents has been built up for the purpose of obtaining
concerning Masonic activities in all States and Countries. Through this
Brother Norwood has come in touch with the various Masonic systems and
the world, and has gathered from them something of their hopes and
their national characteristics and their efforts in their own Countries
of the welfare of humanity.
This article is a review of Masonic activities
the world at present, presenting a bird's-eye view of possibilities
be of real value to our American Masonic leaders. We express no opinion
as to the
correctness of Brother Norwood's conclusions, but present them for
as a basis for discussion. Editor
SOME years after I had been made a Mason, a
another Lodge introduced to me an Italian brother who desired to visit
I examined his diploma, questioned him closely, received the grip and
word and satisfied
myself that he belonged to a regular Italian Lodge.
But my own Grand Lodge had made it impossible
Italian Mason to visit or communicate with us Masonically. Reflection
our Master, as it convinced me, that Freemasonry was greater than Grand
of "the ancient principles," so we allowed this brother to visit us but
did not advertise the fact.
This incident led to an investigation as to why
Masons were forbidden to recognize Masons belonging to Lodges in
Denmark, Sweden, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Serbia,
Brazil, Argentine or any of a dozen or more other jurisdictions whose
been taught to believe they were members of one universal family.
Further investigation developed the fact that
American Masonic Grand Lodges generally recognize English-speaking
Masonry of all
countries, they recognize no other; that there are really three other
of Masonic jurisdictions, concerning which our American Masonry knows
nothing and seems to care less. These are Latin-speaking, Teutonic, and
Therefore it appeared as though myself and
been misled when, after initiation, we were told that we were then
and as such entitled to visit Lodges all over the world and that
Masonry which regards
all men as brothers, was universal.
It took me some time to realize that Masonry,
the Spirit of Masonry, and the Masonic Organization were two entirely
things. The former is the only thing "universal" about the "world
So when, two years or more ago, I determined to
my entire time and energy to the establishment of a medium through
and English speaking Masonry could keep constantly in touch with the
of the rest of the Masonic world, regardless of the question of
recognition or ritual,
this question of why German Masonry, for instance, was "regular" and
in New York and quite the reverse in Kentucky, was naturally uppermost
in my mind.
The Beginning of Disintegration
Through correspondence and actual
investigation, I learned
a great many things about that "why." Here are some of them:
Before the days of railroad, telegraph and
was true that a Freemason in an American Lodge could congratulate
himself on affiliation
with an organization that recognized a brother Mason the world over.
condition obtained practically everywhere until after our Civil War.
The first rift in the lute was the severance of
between American and English Masonry on the one part and French Masonry
on the other.
American Masonry severed relations with France over a question of
ritual and jurisdiction.
France had recognized a spurious Cerneau body in Louisiana* which had
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of that state. Years after France
mistake and withdrew the recognition. However the harm had been done.
* At the Annual
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana held February
4, 5 and 6, 1918, fraternal relations were resumed with the Grand
Orient of France.
American Grand Lodges have no means of taking uniform action concerning
vital to the life and spirit of the craft. There is neither uniformity
ritual nor action. What is "good Masonry" in one state is so under
in another that without a catalog of regular Lodges, mere oral
examination no longer
suffices to determine a brother's status as a Man and Mason.
In the meanwhile English Masonry was horrified
action of the French Orient in reverting to the original English
Charge, which paid
no attention to any religion save that in which all good men are
agreed, and in
removing the Christian and all other Bibles from the Masonic altar so
be no contention among members as to creed.
The English Masons cut off relations with
a godless and atheistic body. America had already severed connections
and felt justified
in continuing the status quo because of this "terrible" act. Gradually
most of the world did likewise and France was thereupon stigmatized the
as "atheistic" despite its denial and the fact that time and again it
explained why a Protestant Grand Master and Christian minister did this
that the Lodges upheld him.
How Can We Explain To The
It has taken just forty years of time, and this
to bring us to realize how far disintegration has gone. The craft as a
just beginning to understand through an awakened press ‒ through being
to face with actual conditions as they exist today, that the Spirit of
of Intolerance, of Provincialism, has been substituted for the Spirit
Love and Relief.
Here are some examples of facts and conditions
no amount of sophistry or theology on the part of the orthodox can
explain to the newly made Mason who was led to the door of our "Men's
by a favorable opinion of our institution gathered from the record of
and achievements. Practically every Masonic jurisdiction in the world
by one or more American Grand Lodges ‒ but not by all.
Some states authorize cipher rituals, while
them as violations of the "ancient landmarks." There are innumerable
of "landmarks," scarcely two of them alike, and legislation is based
these supposed lists.
The doors have been thrown wide open to the
of various clandestine bodies calling themselves Masonic, which absorb
from other countries which we fail to "recognize." Yet we complain of
the invasion of our jurisdiction by these foreign Grand Lodges when
their own regular language Lodges among us to meet this very
thereby widen the breach.
Our foreign correspondence committees have
composed of brethren who seemingly have a contempt for any language
read, and who have in some cases actually spent their official lives
reasons why we should not recognize foreign Masonry rather than reasons
why we should.
In only too many cases of record, such
upon like committees in other states for their information concerning
foreign Masonry. And while the blind are leading the blind, they
hearken to the
alleged tales of Masonry in politics and atheistic practices from the
and organizations whose life work is to destroy Freemasonry and all its
Naturally information from such sources cannot be relied upon ‒ but we
relying upon it without either examining our own shortcomings or taking
to give our brethren a hearing.
International Efforts for
Solidarity in Europe
But there is another side to this picture that
Some years ago, Past Grand Master Ed. Quartier
of Switzerland, established his International Masonic Bureau for
at Neuchatel. This Bureau began the laborious task of gathering and
first-hand information concerning Freemasonry of all countries, rites
It gained the adherence of Latin and Teutonic Masonry and the
of British, and some American, Grand Lodges before the war temporarily
Later, during the war, its work was approved by
Grand Lodge of Switzerland and was resumed under the direction of Bro.
and a committee of officers. It is now, besides gathering data,
conducting a Bureau
for the exchange of Masonic and other prisoners of war, for finding
and relieving various other distresses.
But German Masonry, under the iron heel of
had to sever relations with the Bureau as well as with the Masons of
and the entente cordiale between French and German, and English and
which it was bringing about just before the war has been disrupted for
Nevertheless this International Bureau stands today with hands
outstretched to all
bodies, urging solidarity of world Masonry.
For a number of years International Masonic
have been held by European continental Masonry in Switzerland, Holland
and these have done much to bring about something of unity of thought
The latest of these Congresses met last June in Paris, with French,
Italian, Serbian, Belgian and some other scattering bodies represented,
up a Peace Program strikingly similar to that later advocated by
and the Allied governments in this war. This program represented only
opinion of that Congress, but was officially communicated to all
a suggestion ‒ a pattern.
The French Grand Orient, Dr. Magelhaes Lima,
Grand Master of Portugal, and the late Dr. Miguel Morayta, Grand Master
were strong advocates of a Latin-Masonic Union in Europe and their work
fruit within the past two years in bringing about a virtual solidarity
Masonry on the continent. One of the splendid accomplishments of this
has been the settlement of differences between the rival Masonic Grand
Italy, and their recent union (last November) under Grand Master
The actual organization of a Latin Union, however, has not yet been
but is anticipated as the first step toward a greater sympathy and
other racial Masonic groups after the war.
Efforts of Latin America
A similar series of International Masonic
has been held in South America for the Latin Masons of the central and
portions of this continent, generally in Brazil or Argentina. And a
for a Latin-Masonic Union of American Masons is under way and will be
at the next Congress to be held in Buenos Aires, May 25, this year.
Few of the American Grand Lodges recognize any
American Latin bodies save Costa Rica, Cuba and Porto Rico, all in the
Peru is recognized by a few jurisdictions because about twenty years
ago there was
some agitation there over removing the Bible from the altar, which the
refused to do, thereby winning the recognition of a few American Grand
Louisiana has made somewhat of a specialty in
investigation and because of her Latin sympathies and understanding of
has gone further than any other American Grand Lodge in recognition of
Central and South America.
Massachusetts within the last two years has
the Grand Lodge of Panama after investigation by a special committee
of an amiable disposition to agree upon jurisdiction in the Panama
But the largest and most energetic Masonic
remain a closed door to American Masonry, largely through indifference
The 40,000 Masons of Brazil
Brazil, for example, the most powerful of South
bodies, is doing Masonic work of which no American Grand Lodge would be
and which indeed none of them have equaled. Yet it is "unrecognized."
Brazil not only supports its Masonic widows and
in much the same fashion as do the Grand Lodges of the United States,
but in the
midst of hostile environments – conducts night and day schools for
young and old
regardless of creed or politics; devotes large sums to its own and
and relief work; makes its Masonic Temples homes and places of refuge
for the distressed,
and carries into the savage wilds of that immense country the spirit of
and civilization as no other human force can do or has done.
It was the direct interposition of Brazilian
through its actual Grand Master, Dr. Nilro Pecahna, now Minister of
that nipped in the bud the efforts of Imperial Germany to swing Brazil,
her all South and Central America, into line against the United States
when it declared
war on Germany.
Dr. Pecahna and his Masonic brothers have done
to educate our Latin-American neighbors in an understanding of that
which the United States wishes to evolve through the Pan American
any other association of thinkers on this hemisphere. And from Brazil,
Colombia, Venezuela and other South and Central American Countries,
constantly writing to LIGHT advocating closer union and the cementing
of, not only
fraternal, but social and commercial, relations.
Of this Latin Masonry, Cuba is best known to
as it is generally recognized because of our close contact with its
the Spanish-American war.
Grand Master Curbelo of Cuba is a most ardent
of the Latin-Masonic Union and in his enthusiasm a year ago addressed
all the North
American Grand Lodges suggesting that there be a Federation of the
Masonry of both
North and South America, to be expressed through a friendly Congress.
was paid his fraternal suggestion save by the Grand Lodge of Michigan
refused to consider it!
Americanizing the Philippines
In the Philippines American Masonry established
immediately after the Spanish-American War and later erected a Grand
American in character and utterly unable to fraternize with the native
and Spanish Masons under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Grand Orient.
The serious positions of Masons in those
but recently the church and State were united, and Freemasons were shot
for the crime of being Freemasons, made some action imperative. And
within the past
year the American Grand Lodge has solved this problem by taking into
its bosom twenty
eight of these Spanish Lodges and chartering others, so that in a
single day the
Philippines were unified. One of the recent additions to regular
is Brother Emilio Aguinaldo, former leader of his people against
Spanish rule and
then against the misunderstood Americans.
Under wise and skillful leaders our brethren of
Philippines have planted Masonry in the very Temple of Heaven in
in Japan and other places in the Orient, carrying with them the true
spirit of Liberty
through love and co-operation and stilling the turbulent unrest of
The Masonic Ostrich of Mexico
In Mexico, the sad spectacle of a split in the
de Mexico during the revolution has brought the York Grand Lodge,
in character, into almost general recognition in place of the original
It is greatly to be regretted that the American brethren, in their
efforts to prove
their regularity, have constantly denied the existence of any other
Masonry in Mexico
save their own, for despite their denials some ten Mexican native Grand
to flourish, including the Valle de Mexico. These are mostly in
and co-operation with Central and South American Masonry who have found
to understand why their American brothers withdrew sympathy from them
in time of
So here again is an opportunity for
understanding that may afford the York Grand Lodge organization the
chance to accomplish
what the Philippine Grand Lodge did, when passions and prejudices have
For by the returns furnished LIGHT from these native Mexican Lodges
is two to three times that of the York Grand Lodge.
Four Racial Groups
bird's-eye view of Freemasonry outside the pale of present American
we find Teutonic Masonry (Germany and Austria-Hungary) voluntarily cut
English-speaking and Latin Masonry. But they still maintain relations
Masonry (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) in which two Kings are Grand
Masters and the
most learned men of the country are leaders as well as students.
These three neutral countries
are the great peace center
of Europe so far as Germany is concerned, and here are centered the
hopes of the
German people for peace. It was the king of Sweden, Grand Master of
surrendered half his kingdom rather than "see brother slay brother" and
from the Nobel Prize Awards to the encouragement of all peace
propaganda, the Spirit
of Freemasonry is nowhere more powerful than in Scandinavia, recognized
by all the
world save some American jurisdictions.
in Europe and Latin Masonry in America have common ideals and aims and
are now virtually
consolidated. The European Masonic Congresses are frequently attended
Masons of Latin jurisdictions.
Masonry is generally recognized by America and in turn recognizes many
not generally recognized by America, such as Egypt.
This being so, could not a Master's touch bring
all together for united effort in rebuilding the world after this war?
I believe that it can ‒ and that it will!
America can supply that Master touch. Will she
America Must Bring Masonic
There are the elements of a great renaissance
Freemasonry in America today.
The "get together" movement has not only
Italian Masonry but that of Argentine within recent months.
We have our Grand Masters' Conventions, Grand
Guild, and various state Past Grand Masters', Masonic Veterans',
Masters' and Wardens'
Associations which have brought about a general desire in the rank and
file of the
craft for united action.
But we have no general advisory body such as
United Grand Lodge which guides the destinies of as many (or more)
and District Grand Lodges" as we have State Grand Lodges. Or the
of Germany with its eight independent Grand Lodges and Rites working in
harmony. Or the national Grand Orients and Councils of Latin countries
the work and studies of otherwise conflicting Rites.
Yet we have the International Masonic Relief
the United States and Canada, including Cuba and Costa Rica to which
all but one
or two of our Grand Lodges adhere.
We have the Masonic War Relief Association
our American Grand Lodges are now supporting and which extends its aid
to our Brother
Masons of other countries regardless of questions of recognition and
We have our National Masonic Research Society
researches and labors are now encouraged and applauded by all
We have our George Washington Masonic National
Association whose worthy purpose of preserving to posterity the true
record of how
and by whom the American ideal of Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood was
in the building of this Republic as a great Temple of Humanity, has
Are these four great National activities of
Masonry not the forerunners of still greater works of co-operation and
they not expressions of the craft desire for united and virile action?
not become the foundation of some such plan for united action, for
Grand Lodge co-operation
in all the branches of Masonic endeavor, as crystallized in Bro. George
proposal for a National Council for Masonic Defense?
Some Signs of the Times
Those to whom such ideas do not appeal would do
to reflect upon "the signs of the times" showing the temper and desire
of the craft at large, outside books of ancient history and beyond the
beauties of oratory concerning patriotism and democracy and brotherhood
expressed by after dinner speakers and Grand Masters at cornerstone
These brethren have so long been accustomed to
us what Freemasons accomplished in the Revolution, what they did in
for freedom and education, how they stand like the rock of Gibraltar
for the spirit
of Americanism, for the public schools, for religious toleration and
for this, that
or the other thing of the past, that they have perhaps not realized how
their hearers believe it all to be true and demand the same action of
today as they are told it took in the past.
Such glorious speeches as fill the days of
Lodge communication, every Masonic banquet or cornerstone laying, may
by their owners in part payment for the honors bestowed upon them. But
mean much or nothing.
If Freemasonry really champions universal
it is the duty of all Freemasons to work unceasingly for that ideal and
The Great War has brought us at last face to
a singular phenomenon in American Masonry.
No set of men on this earth have so gladly and
rushed to lay down their fortunes and their lives if need be, that the
may henceforth be free ‒ rid of autocratic rule and the divine right of
to say what the rest of mankind shall say, do and think.
In the columns of Masonic news for the past
America has been in this war, we find such little human touches as the
killed in action abroad, a Freemason; a Grand Master of Scottish Rite
up his law practice and with his brother going to Paris with the
only to have his heart so wrung by the tragedies left on that land in
path of military autocracy that he and his brother felt they must get
into the trenches
where they are now fighting the battle of humanity as simple privates;
a Grand Orator
raising a company of soldiers among his brethren and offering them to
for the great sacrifice.
I have heard the burning words of brother
khaki, both officers and privates, when they were bidding good-bye to
all they held
dear, in the full expectation of laying down their lives for their
the seas; have read the solemn, earnest exhortations of French, English
Masons serving their country at home and at the front. I know the
of these men of the rank and file. They are laying down their lives and
all for brotherhood. Have they not a right to demand of us and of our
that we make their dreams come true in fact as well as in theory?
What a travesty on Freemasonry that we lay down
lives for Masonic ideals and yet haggle over petty questions of
recognition and regularity ‒ matters of opinion separating brothers who
a brotherhood that disregards opinion and rests upon love and knowledge
We can be brothers in arms and die for each
we cannot be Masons and live for each other. Separated in life, united
Recognizing France Again
How the real Spirit of Freemasonry swept aside
all passion and, prejudice of the past, all puerile legislation and red
criticism, and brought only Masonic love to the front in this great
will forever go down in deathless story of Freemasonry in New York,
Kentucky, Texas, Utah, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and probably other
states to follow,
when posterity writes the history of these times and how those states
made it possible
for their soldier Masons to meet their French, Belgian and Serbian
the Masonic level as well as in the trench. No matter if dogmatic
more climbs into the saddle after the war, the story of the present can
When Texas recognized France, fully 75 per cent
delegates to that Grand Lodge had sons or grandsons in the Army or Navy
of the United
States. The great ideal of brotherhood came home to them as it did to
who placed the five points of fellowship star on the Texan flag and
laid down their
lives for the freedom of the present generation. Those men pledged
and every drop of their blood in this war for human liberty and their
have done precisely the same thing in a resolution that will go ringing
ages with those other great Masonic documents, the Declaration of
the Social Compact.
When Kentucky recognized France she was
carried away in a whirlwind of emotion and sentiment. She appointed an
committee to gather first-hand data concerning all the Freemasonry in
so that she might calmly and deliberately investigate for herself and
if any exists, why the entire Masonic world cannot recognize itself. It
take two years to complete these statistics and so arrange them that
they may be
intelligently compared and analyzed. In the meanwhile Kentucky Masons
most enviable position in the American brotherhood, for they are free
with their brothers in every country in the world.
Massachusetts, Manitoba, Louisiana, Florida and
states are seriously debating similar investigations. The spirit of
no longer be denied nor will it longer hearken to the dry, dead voices
and the gossip of its enemies.
Why Not A Masonic Congress
Brethren, America stands on the threshold of a
for this old world and American Freemasonry looks through the portals
the hands and voices and eyes of the new generation to be turned toward
our love, our sympathy, our leadership. Shall we be recreant to our
A single Masonic Congress of American Masonry
a mighty army nearly 2,000,000 strong in the United States which can
make the revival
of Freemasonry of two hundred years ago seem like an infant's effort in
We are rightfully leaders of the constructive forces that must be
utilized to rebuild
the ravages of war.
Were the 1,851,972 American Freemasons to unite
any one plan of action the 944,639 other Masons in the world would
gladly join with
us. As shattered Europe looks to America today for its salvation, so do
Masons look for us to lead the way to the work on the new Temple.
We are the greatest Fraternal nation in the
are the statistics of world Masonry January 1 of this year:
| Australia and New Zealand
| Central America
| Europe (including colonial)
| South America
| Total outside U.S.
Almost a million more Masons in this country
all the rest of the world! And yet we have only a little more than
the advantage, for in foreign countries where Masonry has to struggle
for its very
existence against forces from which we are happily free, it is quality
quantity for which they strive. Therein lies safety.
Because of the recognition by some of the
our national statesmen that America was built upon Brotherhood and is
greatest fraternal nation in the world, our fraternal forces are even
utilized quietly and effectively to weld our peoples into presenting a
in this war that has astounded and mystified our enemies who imagined a
would crumble to bits in a conflict of creeds, politics and races at
such a test
How Our Fraternal Forces
Are Being Mobilized By Uncle Sam
Food Commissioner Herbert Hoover was the first
himself of this powerful constructive agency by calling together a
congress of all
the national heads of our many fraternal organizations. There were no
or representatives of united American Masonry. Some Grand Masters of
and many individual Masons.
But there were national heads of the two
jurisdictions, of Knights Templar, of Royal Arch Masons and Cryptic
there were national heads of every other organization from the Woodmen
to the Knights of Columbus.
A great Mason was chosen chairman of that
Congress, Bro. George Fleming Moore, the Grand Commander of the
Scottish Rite of
the Southern Jurisdiction, whose power extends throughout the Pacific
and into China
The same Congress has since been called upon by
departments of our government, notably the Secretary of the Treasury in
with the Liberty Bond campaigns and the Secretary of War in the
settlement of questions
arising from the first limitations set by him upon War Recreation work
in army cantonments.
Plan for Immediate Action
Considering the foregoing may I briefly outline
easily American Freemasonry may today meet the expectations of the
craft and of
the world by assuming its rightful leadership in the work of
Let there be an immediate conference of all
Masters, called upon their own authority and volition, to consider
to their Grand Lodges for the erection of a National Masonic Council of
or any other advisory body or Congress they may see fit to approve
the sacred independence of their Grand bodies.
Bro. Schoonover has already drawn a design upon
trestleboard* worthy of deep consideration, and indeed it has been
the recent Grand Masters' convention in Washington during December. But
has no power to act nor would it have power to take any other action
now save to
agree among themselves as to what they would suggest to their Grand
Then let them call Emergent Communications of
Grand Lodges and place before them the facts and recommendations. There
no need to await the Annual Communications. There is need for action
now and at
If the Grand Lodges should decide upon
representatives could at once be elected to the National Advisory
Council, or whatever
the Congress might be called should they or a considerable portion of
Three Masons make a Lodge we are told, and surely even three Grand
establish this Council of Co-operation.
Should the Grand Lodges prefer to spend
in inquiry they could send representatives to a National Congress to
meet as soon
as all the Grand Lodges had been given a chance to consider the matter,
to act. These could then thresh out the details of the National Council.
Or the Grand Lodges that immediately approved
erect the National Council and the others could talk about it in a
they were satisfied to enter the Federation.
Once the National Council was ready for
four great National bodies first mentioned, the National Masonic
the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, the War
and the Masonic Relief Association, could be called into co-operation
integral parts of the Council or as friendly helpers. In time the world
that when the National Council spoke it reflected the united voice of
without in any manner binding any Grand Lodge to assent longer than
that Grand Lodge
voluntarily gave its support to the Council.
In this manner the national activities of
would be harmonious and consistent. The Grand Lodges would be relieved
of a financial
burden by the consolidation of these activities under one head. And
best of all
it would pave the way for a universal adjustment of all International
by consulting with similar Congresses, Federations and Councils of
and racial groups.
Then indeed would dawn the day prophesied by
Hugo, Tennyson and others when there will be a "parliament of man and
of the world."
By Bro. George W. Baird,
P. G. M., District Of Columbia
There are two "Obediences" in France, and
three in Germany. They are as separate and distinct as is the Grand
Lodge of the
District of Columbia and the Negro Grand Lodge of the District of
it is not easy to make all of our people understand this.
The Grand Orient (1) is the older of the French
The Grand Lodge of France separated from the Scottish Rite in 1804 but
still meet in the same building with the A.A.S.R. and the personnel in
is almost identical. We have always been on terms of intimacy with the
in France and in all South American countries, and with them the
Scottish Rite is
often mentioned as "Universal Masonry," though the writer knows of no
friction between the Scottish Rite and Symbolic Masonry in any part of
Symbolic Lodges have separated from the A.A.S.R. in order to conform to
and American system for the purpose of securing fraternal intercourse.
Formerly (and properly) a Mason who could prove
was a welcome visitor in any Lodge in any part of the world, unless the
from whence he came had been interdicted and any change from this plan
and is an innovation.
The writer was made a Mason in a Lodge in
in 1867, in the French Rite, and in the French language. The obligation
on a Holy Bible of the King James edition, the Bible which was
translated out of
the original tongues. This Bible is used by Protestants, Jews and
being from the original tongues it is reasonable to believe it has less
less changes than the Douay edition which is translated out of the
The personnel of the Lodge that gave us light was made up of nominal
about 70 per cent; Jews about 20 per cent and Protestants about 10 per
asked what our religion was, we replied "The Constitution of the United
and the Ten Commandments" which seemed to satisfy the Lodge. They were
The Lodge books recorded no living man's name,
all other priest-ridden countries each man was required to take a
a nom-de-guerre as they said, for the reason that it was a penal
offense to be a
member of the Masonic Fraternity in Portugal and when the priests
finally did discover
the Lodge and caused its destruction, there was not the name of a
living man on
any record. The members went to and from that Lodge singly or in pairs,
himself up the long flights of stairs with his wax taper (a rolino).
It is not generally known that the Mohammedans
in and read our Bible. Mohammed himself believed in Jesus Christ and
all his followers
do. One of the most bigoted sects of Islam is the "followers of Jesus,"
and its see is on the north coast of Africa. The Mussulman believes
more in the
Koran than in the Bible and it has the advantage or recommendation of
no words which would shock the mind of a child. The Koran is in the
there has never been a translation except an English edition, but
nor Turks nor Egyptians ever read that edition; if they cannot read
are dependent on others to read for them.
In English Lodges a Mohammedan is obligated on
and a Christian on the Holy Bible. The purpose of the obligation is to
postulant and for this reason he is obligated on what he believes to be
This is recognized generally, but where we know only one book of sacred
we are too apt to believe there should be no other. We are taught that
Bible is the divine revelation of the mind and will of God to man but
with us in that, but if we can impose an obligation that will bind any
our principal purpose will have been accomplished.
Freemasonry has been defined as "a system of
veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." It has never been
be a religion, though the priests call it a "sect." In the Entered
degree we are taught that Masonry unites men of every country, sect and
and conciliates true friendship among those who might have remained at
distance. This, the French believe, is the acme of tolerance and they
take it literally.
We claim no "apostolic succession" nor do we essay to administer
unction, give absolution nor offer any assurance of admission to the
Holy of Holies
above, but we do strive to make better men of our members.
We have no idea of the slings and arrows hurled
at Masons, in priest-ridden countries until we have been there. The
long years of
peace and harmony we have enjoyed have spoiled us and unfitted us for
our stricken brethren abroad. Lodges in Italy and France have been
raided. The Lodge
was interrupted by police at Voltaire's funeral. The writer was once
Mentone, on the border between Italy and Monaco, and witnessed the
seizure of a
Bible which an English-speaking woman was carrying into Italy. The
under orders, would not permit it to be carried into the country, but
held the Bible
for her until she should pass out of Italy.
There have come to us from abroad many appeals
more intimate fraternalism. An invitation to an International Masonic
sent to more than two hundred "Masonic Powers" about 1901, including
Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, etc., of the District of Columbia, and the
in Grand Lodge that a delegate be sent but there was not even a second
to the motion,
so lightly did they regard it.
"Masonic Powers" with European Masons means
all Masonic organizations, as Grand Lodges, Grand Chapters, Grand
Consistories, etc., and these invitations went to all the addresses the
Bureau could obtain. It was stated it was a congress, not a conclave;
so that the
doors were not tiled nor were the esoteric sections to be discussed as
understood it and as it turned out to be. The proceedings of that
printed, and to my surprise (and maybe amusement) I found the following
what took place at the banquet.
"Dr. Watts, (Washington) ‒ W. President and
I have the honor of presenting to this distinguished body of Freemasons
assembled, greeting from the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Brethren
of the Grand
Lodge of the District of Columbia, United States of America.
"I have to say that the Grand Master is full of
sympathy with the object of the Congress as outlined in the several
circulars received from Monsieur Paul-Emile Bonjour, the Grand
"Permit me further to say that we are of the
that any movement in keeping with the sublime principles of the Order
and that does
not in the least degree conflict with the ancient landmarks, has our
"Thanking the projectors for their kind
to participate in the deliberations of this present Congress, I beg
leave also personally
to express my appreciation for the courteous attention I have received
time I have been in the city.
"On behalf of my Grand Lodge we wish the
success and desire that beneficial results may follow its labor ‒ which
a blessing to all ‒ especially the brethren."
Had I not written very soon after this an essay
Masonry for the International Bulletin (2) the delegates who heard that
address would have supposed that the Grand Lodge of the District of
sent that Negro delegate.
The speech of Dr. Watts was in English but the
were in French. The writer made a full report on the above, which was
the 1902 report of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia and may
on page 339 et seq.
And now we come to the Grand Lodge of France!
we not at once accord it recognition? It may be asked what French
Masons have done
to merit this. Their Masonry was received from England and the writer
French are now working more in accord with the first constitution of
the Grand Lodge
of England (Anderson's) than are many American Lodges, which should be
Owing to the espionage of the "Holy Fathers"
the French history of Masonry has been greatly abridged and often
that we have not the volumes to draw on that we would wish but there
for this purpose.
During the War for American Independence,
Revolution," there existed in Paris a Lodge "Les Neuf Soeurs" of
which the American Commissioner, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones,
Naval Captain, Houdon, the unmatched sculptor, Voltaire, the fearless,
Helvidius and many other eminent men were members. At that time there
oppressions of the people not only by the rich and influential, but by
In the Lodge Neuf Soeurs there was Elie Dumont,
lawyer, with a score of followers who took up the people's cause
For a verification we beg leave to invite reference to Les Memoires
XXI, and to Ed. Tachereau, Vol. XXI, and Besuchet Précis Historique, Vol. II.
One example is that of Jean Calas, a Hugenot
been sentenced to punishment "on the wheel" by the tribunal of
and he was thus executed. His offense was that he had assaulted his son
been perverted to Romanism. His widow and his children were despoiled
of their property
and belongings by confiscation and they finally took refuge in Geneva
and were sheltered
by Voltaire. Their cause was espoused by Voltaire who advocated it by
which he widely distributed. Elie Dumont defended the Calas family in
Courts without fee or reward and after three years of labor, succeeded
the judgment arrested and the widow's property returned to her.
In the same tribunal in 1746, a man and his
Siren, were condemned to death for an assault on their son who had been
to Romanism and who had forbidden the son from continuing his
the men who had proselyted him. The rest of the family took refuge in
their case was appealed by Elie Dumont, who, after five years succeeded
the judgment reversed, so far as the confiscation went, and the family
was permitted to return to France and take possession of their
property. We could
multiply these examples indefinitely if it were needed, but it is not.
That Masonic Lodge became the target for Romish
and accusation. It was charged with atheism. Masonry was branded as a
atheists in general but Voltaire was the central figure of their
Dumont and his followers persisted in the defense of the inherent
rights of the
people and lighted a fire of indignation, which kindled in the people a
of their inherent rights and was closely interwoven in the French
followed and which history has so vividly recorded. Voltaire was
obliged to leave
Paris to escape assassination. He took up his home in Ferney, near
Geneva in Switzerland,
where he was held in high esteem. Napoleon I, who was a Mason, had held
of Rome a prisoner and this added to the anger of the priests who
believed and still
believe that the Pope is the "Father of Princes, the ruler of the
world and the Vicar of Jesus Christ" and that there can be no proper
without his sanction.
If a man goes on the street and cries "mad dog,
mad dog," he will jeopardize the life of every dog in sight, though
be no mad dog at all. And if a mob, believing a priest carries the keys
and Hell in his girdle, hears his cries and accusations, they will give
and obedient attention to his utterances without further consideration.
practically the condition which existed in Paris when the priests began
Freemasonry in general, and Voltaire in particular. As they made
Voltaire the central
figure of attack it may be proper to examine his case. Take the
of Voltaire which have been printed in English and there cannot be
found in them
a word to justify the accusation that he was atheistic. He was without
Deist. In the little town of Ferney a chapel was built by Voltaire for
to worship in. A marble tablet over the door has engraved on it these
which is, "Erected to God, by Voltaire, 1758."
When asked why he dedicated his chapel to God he replied: "In London
their Temple to Saint Paul, in Paris to Saint Genevieve, but I erect
mine to God."
When dying he said "I die worshipping God,
my friends, not hating my enemies, but despising superstition." (Vide
New American Cyclopedia.) His accusers were the priests and the same
is still accusing Masonry.
The Anti-Masonic Congress which was convened at
in 1896, was attended by more than 200 Bishops of the Romish Church and
that number of priests and zealous laymen. That Congress was:
with the concurrence and favor of Pope Leo XIII who in a special brief,
his benediction and approval on its aims and purposes. Twenty-two
over two hundred Bishops, the most important clerical associations, the
the clerical press, sent their adhesions to this Tridentine Council.
Over five hundred
ecclesiastics from the highest to the lowest were present and all
England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy,
States of America, the South American Republics were more or less
influentially represented." "General and particular aim: To wage war on
Masonry as an institution; on Masons as individuals; in all countries
where the order exists; to wage war on Masonry as a body by collecting
documents and facts; assertions of perjured Masons as evidence and thus
light, or rather coin, by means of the press or special publications
all the misdeeds
of the fatal institution; all the demoralizing influences it exercises;
obscene or sacrilegious rites, corruption and occult conspiracies on
man and civilization;
to wage war on individual Masons by opposing them in every phase of
in their individual homes, in their industries, in their commerce, in
avocations, in all their endeavors to participate in public life, local
A French reporter, Mr. Leo Taxil, had been
to ferret out and report on the vagaries of Masonry, and in his report
he gave them
an account of a smithery in a cave under the Rock of Gibraltar where
were fashioned for use in devil worship.
The speeches of the "Holy Fathers" on that
occasion were drastic, atrocious and anything but Christian-like. This
was as late as 1896, and must still be fresh in the memories of Masonic
And from it, we draw the lesson that the purpose of those people has
with time. So it is but fair to ask shall we accept the testimony of
fanatical sorcerers against the French Freemasons?
The Grand Orient of France by giving
a spurious body of Scottish Rite Masons in Louisiana, in 1858, caused
Masons, generally to suspend relations with that Orient, one after
such time as the Orient should revoke its sanction of that spurious
Report of Grand Lodge of D. C. for 1870, pages 6 and 7.) It was not an
but a tentative suspension of relations which the Orient was at liberty
heal by the revocation of its sanction of that spurious A.A.S.R. body
of New Orleans.
That spurious body has long since gone out of
but the Grand Orient has never made any overtures to the Grand Lodge of
of Columbia nor any other American Grand Lodge so far as the writer has
But in 1878, the Report of the Grand Lodge of
of Columbia (p. 20) says:
"The action of the Grand Orient of France in
from its constitution the necessity for a firm belief in Deity and the
of the soul was called up as unfinished business and on motion, it was
the resolutions accompanying the report be considered separately.
"Resolved, That the action of the Grand Orient
of France in ignoring the foundation principles of Masonry ‒ that of a
in God and in the immortality of the soul ‒ meets with unqualified
this Grand Lodge."
This is the last entry we can find in our
the Grand Orient.
Now (as the priests say) "let us consider this
beautiful mystery." It is certainly not an interdiction. There is no
of clandestinism, nor of irregularity nor threat of permanent breaking
off of relations.
We Protestants disapprove of their failure to
a firm belief in the existence of God and of the immortality of the
soul, more I
think because we are Christians than for any other reason. We believe
we teach the "resurrection of the body through faith in the merits of
of the Tribe of Judah," though the Jews among us cannot agree with
it is there, and it cannot be found in the Anderson Constitutions,
under which the
Grand Lodge of France is working today. We are perhaps unconsciously,
blending our Christian faith with Freemasonry, while we believe or
teach that the
latter unites men of every Nation, sect and opinion and conciliates
those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.
The writer happens to know that there is a
Swansea, Wales, under the obedience of the Grand Orient of France which
Bible on its altar on which it obligates. The Deputy Grand Master of
the Grand Orient
assured us that they dedicate their Lodges to the Great Architect of
and that they permit the sacred writings to be kept on the altar of any
Lodge that wants it. And this they regard as becoming tolerance.
The Grand Lodge of France, however, has never
us in any way. It has not been even charged of having committed the
which have strained our relations with the Grand Orient.
The Grand Lodge of France is a separate,
sovereign body recognized as such by the Supreme Grand Council from
which it was
separated. It is in fraternal amity with many sovereign Grand Lodges
and has never,
until now, asked formal recognition of any American Grand Lodge. At the
of this European war the Grand Lodge of France started a line of
opened soup-houses and lunch rooms, and equipped a hospital for the use
soldiers and for the aid of the indigent and needy of all nations
to "race, creed, or previous condition of servitude."
We are now sending about 30,000 soldiers a
Europe, most of whom go to France; among these are many Masons. They
to visit and as our relations are strained with the Orient we should
make it possible
for them to visit the Lodges of the Grand Lodge of France.
Personally we have advised our soldier-Masons
District of Columbia that they are at liberty to visit the Lodges of
the Grand Lodge
of France, but as relations are strained with the Grand Orient we have
its Lodges be not, at present, visited.
(2) Printed in three languages.
A Defense of the Story of
By Bro. John W. Barry, Grand
Editor Builder: Your favor enclosing a letter
California subscriber received. His letter calls attention to the Flag
of the Geographic Magazine, wherein it contradicts sharply in some
story of "Old Glory" so handsomely published in THE BUILDER a short
ago. He wants to know which is right.
His question is proper, for the obligation of
to its subscribers in such matters is unquestioned and as the author of
of "Old Glory," it is squarely up to me to answer. Not to answer would
be untrue to the purpose of an organization calling itself a "research
‒ JOHN W. BARRY, Grand Master.
The Flag number of the Geographic Magazine is
in many particulars that an adverse criticism is made only in
self-defense and in
vindication of the established facts of history and will be limited to
Raised Jan. 1, 1776 ‒ Not On Jan. 2
The Geographic Magazine (page 289) says,
raised the Grand Union Flag Jan. 2,1776, the day the Continental Army
official existence," whereas THE BUILDER says the date was Jan. 1,
is right? The final authority is the "Orderly Book" of George
in his own hand-writing. It reads as follows:
"Head Quarters January 1, 1776.
Parole ‒ The Congress.
Countersign ‒ America.
This day, giving commencement to the new Army,
in every point of view is entirely Continental" (1) etc., etc. This
conclusively that THE BUILDER is right and the Geographic wrong.
The Flag of Loyal India
On Jan. 4, 1776, Washington in writing to
his secretary, then at Philadelphia, among other things says: "We gave
joy to them (the Red Coats, I mean) without knowing it or intending it,
for on that
day, the day which gave being to our new Army, but before the
proclamation had come
to hand we had hoisted the Union Flag in compliment to the United
behold, it was received in Boston as token of the deep impression the
made on us. And as a signal of submission. So we learn by a person out
last night. By this time I presume they think it strange that we have
not made formal
surrender of our lines (2)."
There is no clue in Washington's statement
remotest idea as to what this "Union Flag" really was. Commenting on
Benson J. Lossing, an eminent American Historian, says (3):
"Why the hoisting
of the Union Flag in compliment to the colonies should have been
received by the
British as 'signal of submission,' was a question historians could not
1855, when the writer of this work discovered among the papers of
Schuyler a drawing of the Royal Savage
with the Union Flag at its mast-head."
This drawing in colors of the flag on the Royal Savage, together with the
writing of Gen. Schuyler and others, showed definitely that the "Union
raised by Washington was the flag of the English East India Company
shown by the
Geographic Magazine as No. 364.
It was the flag of loyal India ‒ a flag which
well known for 69 years. So the "red coats" took it as "a token of
submission" when Washington hoisted an English flag so long and well
No Such Thing as Colonial
THE BUILDER carries the idea that this "Union
was promptly abandoned because it was an English flag. The Geographic
288): "This was the flag (364) which afterward figured so extensively
literature of the day as the Congress Colors, from the fact that it
over the Navy controlled by Congress. Also known as the Grand Union
Flag and the
First Navy Ensign, it was the Colonial standard from that day until it
by the Stars and Stripes, in 1777."
Which is right?
The Geographic Magazine does not quote its
except to say, "How long the Grand Union Flag was in use has never been
established; but official records of the navy fail to show that any
was used until after the Star Spangled Banner's adoption by Congress,"
Simply from the fact that the "official records
of the navy" fail to show that any other ensign was in use, the
Magazine discards all other evidence and states that no other flag was
in use. To
offset the testimony of Trumbull and of Peale, both eye witnesses, with
for fidelity to fact, positive evidence of a decided character should
There is many a fact of history which does not appear on the official
Avery says (4): "After the Declaration of
the British Union was removed from the colors of the new nation." This
a recognized authority sustains the statement of THE BUILDER. It is
very much to
be regretted that the Geographic Magazine gives practically no
references but so
far as I can find, there is no authority of any kind to sustain the
the Grand Union Flag was the Colonial Standard from that day until it
by the Stars and Stripes in 1777." Indeed a British flag as the
Standard" after the Declaration of Independence would be repugnant to
sense of propriety. At a time when the people were destroying the
statue and pictures
of the king ‒ in fact bent on the destruction of everything suggesting
it would certainly be a manifest absurdity to have used a well-known
as the standard of the new nation for a year and a half.
The historic fact seems to be that there was no
flag as "a Colonial Standard" ‒ that a variety of flags came into use
following the Declaration of Independence, including the stars and
stripes. So that
on June 14, 1777, when Congress adopted the stars and stripes, that
emblem was actually
before Congress and so well known that there was no discussion and the
made no reference to the event. Indeed it was not published until Sept.
when Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet, a weekly newspaper, published the
and then without comment. On this point THE BUILDER is sustained by a
The Geographic Magazine goes on thus:
"Whatever their origin, there is no persuasive
evidence in the official records of the time which would lead to the
that the Stars and Stripes were in use before the resolution of June
14, 1777. It
is true, however, that the paintings of Trumbull and Peale do point to
use. But, as to the flags appearing in their paintings, it should be
an anachronism could be readily excused in the case of Trumbull,
because he had
left the colonies while Washington was before Boston and was abroad for
Peale's picture of Washington crossing the Delaware, with respect to
is believed to be a case of 'artist's license.' "
This statement contains many errors. There are
authorities on John Trumbull for he was a most active patriot in many
probably the most generally available is the Britannica (5). It shows
Trumbull took military training as part of his college course, joined
at Boston as adjutant of the 1st Connecticut; became one of
Washington's aids. In
1776 became Gates' adjutant general and resigned from the service in
But in 1778 he joined Sullivan as a volunteer in the Rock Island
campaign and did
not go to Europe until 1780 or 1781; that later Congress employed him
to paint the four pictures now in the rotunda of the capitol at
resolution provided that he should paint the events he had witnessed.
having been an active participant, is a competent witness. His
reputation as a painter
was everywhere recognized and rests on his FIDELITY to historic FACTS.
of his painting, "Washington at Princeton," Trumbull says (6): "Every
minute article of dress, down to the buttons and spurs, were carefully
the different objects." Princeton was fought Jan. 3, 1777, six months
Congress adopted the stars and stripes so there was no more reason for
Glory there than there was for showing it in his painting of the battle
Hill except the one all-important fact to Trumbull, namely, that Old
Glory was NOT
at Bunker Hill and WAS at Princeton Jan. 3, 1777.
Trumbull's reputation for fidelity to fact, his
statement that his painting is true to fact, and the further fact that
he was an
eye witness and competent to testify, repudiates the supposition that
he has permitted
an anachronism in his painting.
Error in Assigning
Leutze's Picture to Peale
As to Charles Wilson Peale, the Geographic
falls into another serious error. "Washington Crossing the Delaware"
not painted by Peale but by Emanuel Leutze who was not born until 1816
not a competent witness to events before his time. However, his picture
to historic fact in that it does show the stars and stripes.
The Peale picture is a very different work and
by Congress because of its HISTORIC accuracy. It is a full length
portrait of Washington
at Trenton. It now hangs at the head of the Grand Staircase of the
Senate wing of
the Capitol at Washington, D.C. At Washington's feet are captured flags
trophies while to the right Old Glory waves in triumph. It was painted
in 1779 by
Charles Wilson Peale who commanded a company at the battle of Trenton
and he was
therefore a competent witness.
Some years ago, his son Titian R. Peale wrote a
quoted by both Preble and Canby. Among other things he said:
"The trophies at Washington's feet I know he
from the flags then captured, which were left with him for that
purpose. He was
always very particular in matters of historic record in his pictures;
sword in that is an instance and probably caused its acceptance by
He tells us that his father commanded a company
battles of Germantown, Trenton, Princeton and Monmouth and then says:
"I am sure represented the flag then in use ‒
a regimental flag but one to mark the new republic." Is there anything
that sounds like "artist's license"?
If this indeed be "anachronism" for Trumbull
and "artist's license" for Peale, isn't it strange that each unknown to
the other should record in living colors the stars and stripes in use
and Princeton in 1776-7? The Geographic Magazine to say the least is a
to mention "the carving on Selden's powder horn" as authority (See page
292) and reject Trumbull and Peale.
The Maker of the First
Stars and Stripes
While the Geographic Magazine makes no
to who did make the first "Old Glory," yet it denies that honor to the
only one that ever claimed it, but admits that in 1777 she was engaged
in the making
of flags. "The well-known story of Betsy Ross, so called maker of the
and Stripes, is one of the picturesque legends which has grown up
around the origin
of the flag, but it is one to which few unsentimental historians
was, however, a Mrs. Ross, who was a flag-maker by trade, living in
at the time of the flag's adoption." (See page 297.)
Yes, Mrs. Elizabeth Ross, popularly known as
made flags from 1776 to 1827.
Betsy's Story in Brief
Washington, accompanied by Robert Morris and
Ross, uncle of her late husband, called on her "shortly before the
of Independence." Washington showed her the design of a flag he wanted
She took the job and the flag was so satisfactory that Robert Morris,
the "secret committee" on the conduct of the war, and George Ross,
of the Declaration of Independence and uncle of her late husband,
ordered her to
make all the flags she could and that they would pay for the bunting
Betsy continued the making of flags thus begun until 1827, assisted
much of the
time by her four daughters and other members of the family. In 1827 the
Clarissa Sidney, took over the business and continued it until 1857.
have made affidavits duly attested establishing the Betsy Ross story.
complete and convincing, are published in "The Evolution of The
(7)." These affidavits, together with other corroborating evidence,
Betsy Ross incident on an assured historic foundation.
Francis Hopkinson Claims
to Design Not Make
The Geographic Magazine offers no disproof of
Ross story except to refer to Francis Hopkinson as "a more authentic
of the flag" and quotes in full a bill he filed for such service and
for the currency, etc. True, but Hopkinson nowhere claims to have MADE
‒ only helped design it, and it was in 1776 he was in Congress. He was
with heraldry and it may be that he gave Washington the design having
stars, for in heraldry a five-point was not considered a star but a
mallet or spur.
But when Betsy suggested a five-point star because she could make it
with one clip
of her scissors, Washington, who never claimed to know anything of
once made the change. We see the effect still in our coinage for the
the head of the goddess of liberty are six-pointed while on the other
the stars represent states, they are five-pointed. Look at a half
dollar for yourself.
So this Francis Hopkinson incident tends to
and not disprove the Betsy Ross story for she claims only to have MADE
stars and stripes flag, giving Washington credit for the design.
Money Paid Betsy for
Practically all flags during the Revolution
by the states or by individuals. So in contrast to Hopkinson's
as designer, here is one of actual money "paid to Betsy Ross as maker
"State Navy Board, May 29, 1777 (8). Present
Bradford, Joseph Marsh Joseph Blewer, Paul Cox ‒ An order on William
Webb to Elizabeth
Ross, for fourteen pounds twelve shillings, two pence for making Ships
c, put into William Richards' Store. 14-S12-D2."
Here is about $70 paid for the labor of making
Even today the slowness of such matters in getting by the red tape to
the pay stage
would suggest that at least some of the money was earned well back in
as Pennsylvania did not adopt a state flag until Oct. 9, 1799, it is
to conclude in view of other known facts, that "Ships Colours" means
stars and stripes.
Washington in Philadelphia,
May 22 To June 5, 1776 (9)
Betsy Ross and her daughters were not of a
turn of mind but were devout Quakers devoted to the arts of the needle.
of the date of the visit of Washington, Morris and Ross is given only
as "a short time before the Declaration of Independence." It is
necessary to show that Washington was in Philadelphia at that time,
which is established
by letters he wrote from there at the time and by a number of entries
in the Journal
The Journal of Congress for May 16, 1776,
resolution instructing its president, John Hancock, to request
Washington to come
to Philadelphia to consult regarding "the ensuing campaign," and the
of the Hancock letter to Washington is now in the Library of Congress.
Washington accompanied by his wife arrived May 22 and remained until
June 5, 1776,
but was not again in Philadelphia until Aug. 2, 1777.
On May 31, he wrote to his brother saying that
of England had become such that there remained but one choice ‒
On May 28 he wrote in detail to Major General Putnam at New York. Among
things he urged that he "Speak to the several Colonels and hurry them
their colors done"." So the records not only prove that Washington was
in Philadelphia at the time indicated by Betsy Ross but in addition
that he was
mindful of the need of flags, particularly as he recognized that the
The Flag House
In 1898 an association was formed to buy the
flag house and maintain it as a shrine of liberty free to all the
people. The charter
members number many to whom even "unsentimental historians" would bow
in deference in matters historic.
Stars and Stripes Used
Freely During Revolution
The Geographic Magazine says that the "stars
stripes was not carried in the field by the land forces during the
It is true bunting was scarce and flags few and usually individual
meaning not supplied
by the Congress. While company "colors" were carried yet the
of all land forces, all forts and ships did show "Old Glory." Further
the Geographic Magazine contradicts itself by showing the stars and
by the 3d Maryland regiment. See flag 411, page 339 and described on
page 352. It
is the same flag shown by THE BUILDER as 32. It is one of the few if
not the only
flag of the Revolution still preserved. It is carefully guarded in the
at Annapolis and bears on the case the legend "No. 1 Old Glory (12)."
What the Maryland regiment did, it is more than probable other
regiments did also.
Thus THE BUILDER is sustained and the Geographic Magazine refuted even
out of its-own
Another proof is the Bennington flag No. 395,
and described on 348. This flag is not only the stars and stripes but
are arranged around the year 1776, probably the date the flag was put
The Geographic Magazine
Overlooks the Flag Of 1818
Finally the Geographic Magazine omits the flag
April 4 and approved by the President April 13, 1818, and substitutes
again erroneously contradicting THE BUILDER and perverting history. No.
8 in the
Geographic Magazine is given as the flag before Congress in 1818,
whereas No. 22
in THE BUILDER was the flag adopted and the ONLY one before Congress at
After pages of discussion which seemed to get
and farther from agreement, Congress referred the whole flag problem to
Reid (13), commander of the Armstrong. He solved it by returning to the
13 stripes and adding a Star for each additional state. Mrs. Reid made
flag and it was presented with her husband's report to Congress and was
without change, April 4, 1818, and in compliment to Mrs. Reid, its
maker, the new
flag was raised over the Capitol April 13, though the law did not go
until July 4, 1818. The Mrs. Reid flag then adopted had its 20 stars
the form of one large star (14) and this form of Old Glory was the ONLY
to the interior of the country for many years. Preble says: "This form
used for many years by the Military Department whereas the Navy
to parallel lines." True, Congress made no requirement as to the
of stars because it adopted a specific flag then on exhibition before
them. It was
a parallel to the action of Congress on June 14, 1777, in adopting a
flag then before
them and well known. Congress never specified the arrangement of the
stars or stripes.
So there came to be used so many forms and proportions that there were
in use by the various government departments. This led President Taft
in 1912 to
issue an order covering the whole subject (15). It is assumed that page
312 of the
Geographic Magazine is in harmony therewith.
Of this form of the flag so unfortunately
the Geographic Magazine, the historian James Schouler says (16):
"The new flag of the United States, hoisted
13, 1818, for the first time over the chamber of assembled
representatives at Washington,
WITH ITS TWENTY STARS SO DISPOSED AS TO FORM ONE GREAT STAR in the
center of the
azure field while the long red and white stripes danced in the breeze,
spoke a parable.
That spangled host, soon to be increased in number, spoke of a Union to
and perpetual, while the thirteen stripes recalled the founders whose
ever be cherished."
As stated at the outset these errors are not
out in any spirit of captious criticism. Indeed, they are sincerely
it is earnestly hoped the Geographic Magazine will correct them in an
(EDITOR'S NOTE: "The Story of 'Old
The Oldest Flag," by Brother John W. Barry, the present Grand Master of
was first published in Volume II of THE BUILDER, in 1916. This article
reprinted in pamphlet form in two styles of binding, red buffing at
$1.00 and paper
at 35c per copy. A frontispiece in colors showing the evolution of the American Flag accompanies each
Vide American Archives, 4th
Series, vol. IV, p. 568,
also Avery, vol. V, p. 307.
Vide American Archives, 4th
Series, vol. IV, p. 750.
Vide Cyclopedia American
History, vol. II, p. 1432.
Vide Avery, vol. VI, p. 68.
Vide Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th
Ed., vol. XXIII, p.
Vide Washington Irving's
Washington, vol. IV, p. 327.
Vide Evolution of the American
Flag, Appendix C.
Vide Pennsylvania Archives, 2d
Series, vol. I, p. 164.
Vide Journal of Congress for May
16, 24, 25th.
of Washington, vol. IV, p. 105.
vol. VI, p. 637.
Clinton L. Riggs, p. 5.
Preble, p. 339
Vide American Encyclopedia, vol. VII, p. 251.
vol. XX, p. 905. Vide 14 Niles Register for 1818.
vol. 1637, Oct. 29, 1912, Taft.
(16)Vide History of U.
S., James Schouler, vol. III, p. 106.
The real history of mankind is that of the slow
of resolved deed following laboriously just thought.
For The Monthly
Correspondence Circle Bulletin
‒ No. 17
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
Edited By Bro. Robert I.
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC
STUDY FOR MONTHLY
LODGE 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 1. 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
once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the
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 Clegg's paper
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 subsequent
sections of Brother Clegg's paper
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 "Approaching
- Into how
many sections is the present study divided?
- What are
- What is
your definition of the meaning of the word "orientation"?
- When may
the candidate be said to be "oriented"?
- To what
were temples of ancient times dedicated?
- How were
they oriented? Why?
- How were
ancient cities oriented?
- Where was
the altar placed in ancient times? Why?
- What was
the situation of the Holy place in the Temple of Solomon?
- From whom
did the Operative Masons derive their practice of placing the Master's
- What did
the Pagans see in the Sun?
- Is there
a representation of the Sun in the Masonic East?
- How did
the ancient peoples hope to find God?
whom do we expect to find God?
- How far
north does the Sun reach in its summer journey?
- Whence originated
the thought of the North as a place of darkness?
- What did
the North symbolize to the ancient peoples?
- What does
it symbolize to us? Why?
- Have Masons
today any superstitions regarding the North?
- What does
the South symbolize?
- What stage
of man's existence is symbolized by the South?
- Whose station
is in the South in the Masonic Lodge? Why?
- What order
of architecture is represented in the South? In the West? In the East?
- What is
the significance of the West?
- What place
did the West occupy in Operative Lodges?
- In Greek
the expression "gone West" signify?
- Why is the
candidate instructed to face the East?
- What does
the East symbolize?
- Whence originated
- Name some
of the symbols of the East visible in the Masonic Lodgeroom.
- What celebrated
characters in ancient and biblical history came from the East?
- What nations
are synonymous with the word "East"?
- To whom
did the East signify the dawn of a new day?
our dead buried with their feet to the East?
- What is the significance of the candidate's
to the East?
- How would you answer the questions propounded
present study paper concerning your duty to God, your country, your
- Are you in accord with the answers
given to these questions
in that part of the paper just read? Can you add to them? (Discuss the
of a Mason as outlined in the Entered Apprentice Charge.)
p. 134. East, p. 226. Orientation,
Vol. I ‒ Symbolism of the First
Degree, p. 235. Vol.
II ‒ What An Entered Apprentice Ought to Know, April C. C. B., p. 7.
* * *
By Bros. H. L. Haywood and
R. I. Clegg
We have this month combined the papers of
and Brother Clegg rather than to print them separately as formerly and
then to use
one as a supplemental paper, as we find that at many study meetings the
paper is sometimes neglected simply because to use it would necessitate
discussions that had already been closed. The material of Brother
we are using is taken from the manuscript of his forthcoming book on
of the Three Degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry," soon to be published.
Part V ‒ Approaching the
THIS portion of the ceremony has many things to
us, which, in order to simplify the discussion, we may break into four
of the Cardinal Points,
of the East, and
of the Candidate's Approach to the East.
In early Egypt, as Norman Lockyer tells us in
of Astronomy [Lib 1894],"
the most brilliant of all works on Orientation, and as authoritative as
it is readable,
it was the custom to dedicate a temple to some planet or star, to the
Moon in one
of her phases, or to the sun at one of his various periods. Originally,
a majority of the temples were dedicated to the rising sun; in that
event the building
was so situated that on a given day in the year the light of the sun
between the pillars at the entrance and fall upon the altar at the
moment of his
first appearance above the horizon. This placing the temple so as to
face the dawn
gave rise to the term "Orientations," which means "finding the east."
However, other temples were directed toward the moon or star, and this
an accommodation of language, was called orientation. The term was
in after days, when a building of a city was laid out in harmony with
points; according to this usage the City of Rome was oriented, for its
was a quadrangle with a gate facing in each direction. (A.Q.C. vol. 4,
p. 87. [Lib
1891) This custom was practiced
by the Jews, and indeed may be considered as universal throughout the
Moreover it was carried over into Christian customs, for all the early
were oriented to the sun, the Apostolic Constitutions specifying that a
be "an oblong form, and directed to the east."
Inasmuch as the orienting of a temple was
the purpose of permitting the light to fall on its altar on a given
day, the altar
was necessarily placed in the west end of the building. This
arrangement must also
have been often used by the Jews, even though they did reverse so many
customs, for Dr. Wynn Westcott tells us that, "It is clear that both
Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon had the Holy Place at the west."
he goes on to say, and this is a point especially deserving of our
is equally certain that churches from the earliest Christian
development have always
reversed the positions when possible." This is to say, though Christian
of worship were placed east and west as the heathen temples had been,
built with their altars in the east end instead of in the west. It is
from the Christian
churches of Medieval times, no doubt, that the Operative Masons derived
of placing the Master's station in the East.
The pagans saw in the sun a symbol of Deity, in
rays an emblem of the Divine forth-shining; accordingly they had the
sun, or a representation
of the sun, in the East. We also worship a Deity whom we have clothed
but in our East is no longer the natural sun, or even a representation
but a man, the Master. To my mind this is a thing of profound
I cannot place the weight of the name of any one of our authorities
behind my interpretation.
Ancient peoples, like ourselves, were in search of God, even as are we.
to find Him in Nature, among the things that He had made, even as the
Wise Men followed
a star in their search for Him; but whereas they went "through Nature
we go "through man to God," and believe that His completest unveiling
will be found in the perfected human soul, even as the Master of
Masters said, "He
that hath seen ME hath seen the Father."
Mackey uses as an illustration the fact that
in its summer journey never passes north of 23d 28', and that a wall
above that will have its northern side entirely in shadow even when the
at his meridian. As this fact became known to early peoples it led them
upon the North as the place of darkness. Accordingly, in all ancient
that portion of space was regarded with suspicion and even with terror.
was carried over into the Middle Ages, and traces of it, often dim and
to this day in popular customs. In his "Antiquities of Freemasonry,"
writes that the "North by the Jutes was denominated black or somber;
called it 'Fear corner.' The gallows faced North, and from these
beyond the North everything base and terrible proceeded." To the
of medieval times it carried a like sinister meaning, as we may read in
Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture" [Lib 1896] (E. P. Evans, p. 258); "The
north is the region
of meteorological devils which, under the dominion and leadership of
of the power of the air' produce storms and convulsions in Nature and
passions and deeds of violence in man. The evil principle, as embodied
beasts and exhibited in obscene and lascivious actions, was properly
the sculptures and painting on the north side of the church, which was
to Satan and his satellites, and known as 'the black side.'" Milton
Satan with the North and Shakespeare speaks of demons "who are
under the lonely monarch of the north." This cardinal point has a
in Masonry, and the portion of the Lodge on the northern side should
furniture or lights.
By token of the same symbolic reasoning the
for all that is opposed to the North; in that direction the sun reaches
pouring light, warmth and beauty. Accordingly, church builders of old
wont to depict on the South wall of their churches the triumphs of
and the millennial reign of Christ. In the Lodge the Corinthian column,
beauty, is stationed in the South as is also the Junior Warden. It is
of High Twelve, and the scene of the labors of the Craft. As the West
is the place
of the sun's setting and of the closing of the day it stands for rest,
and for death. In Operative Lodges it was the place set apart for
In Greek mythology it was the place of Hades, that is, darkness and
death; as we
may read in Sophocles.
"Life on life
Swifter than the wild bird's flight,
Swifter than the Fire-God's might,
To the westering shores of Night."
Tennyson makes Arthur to go into the West and
to travel beyond the paths of the setting sun; and at this day, it is
in the trenches of Europe speak of a dead comrade as having "gone
To the West all men come at last, men and Masons, to the beautiful,
and lay them down in the sleep that knows no waking.
We face the source from whence comes light.
has ever been associated with the East. Thence came the Arabian
algebra to our mathematical information. Euclid and Pythagoras were
the many who in mere conversation unconsciously use such phrases as
distance between two points is a straight line," or practically refer
music of the spheres," are alluding to these industrious and thoughtful
scientists and philosophers whose names are forever famous among
the East came the mysterious Magi, the three Wise Men, unto the manger
Around them has lovingly clustered, the legends founding and
formulating a great
faith, the very graciousness of glory that is Christendom. Led by a
serene of hope, they came. At the quaint and curious cradle they gave
worshipped and went their way.
Egypt, the mystical and ancient, is in the
mysterious and of great antiquity are scattered over the land with
in numbers and dimensions. Figures and hieroglyphics appear profusely
on very many
surfaces and these inscriptions, more or less definitely deciphered,
stories of the world's oldest-known centers of civilization.
Further to the eastward sweeps India, China,
Japan. These be homes of philosophies profound and appealing. Down from
period of the earth's history there has been nourished in these
countries the blaze
of a religious reasoning not yet reduced to embers, only, of once
active fiery faiths.
To the East then do we turn our eyes as did the
of Britain or the followers of Mithras. They saw in the East the dawn
of new days,
a source of light and warmth, a never-failing and never-faltering
friend the hope
for harvests, the sure promise of sheaves of grain and garlands of
If there is one symbol that recurs again and
Our Blue Lodge Ritual, like a musical refrain, it is the East; of this
despair to speak, save in crudest outline, so rich and so many-sided is
enshrined in it. As the center of gravity is to the earth, and all
so is the East to a Masonic Lodge; the Master sits there, the
a complete humanity; the Blazing Star shines there, the mystic "G" at
the center of the rays; it is the bourne, the goal, the ultimate
which the whole Craft moves.
If this interpretation of the East is valid, as
profoundly convinced that it is, the candidate's "approach to the East"
is a symbolic act of far-reaching meaning, for it means nothing less
than that he
has tuned his will toward the perfecting of his own human nature in
order to enter
into communion with the Divine; if he is compelled to advance by a
manner it is in token of the fact that the soul itself is a realm of
law and that
he who would reach the soul's highest development must walk in harmony
spirit's laws; and if, in the succeeding degrees, his manner of
more and more toward a perfect step it is in recognition of the
necessity of gradual
and orderly progress in the highest growth Always and everywhere, in
or task a man finds himself, if he would "go up into the seer's house,"
he must mount by those virtues of Purity, Beauty, and Truth which are
laws of the seer's own heart.
Is this the mood wherein we all walk to the
and regular of step? None other should be our manner if we but grasp
of the instruction.
At this time, too, we may also bear in mind the
of Masonic ethics. Do we give heed to our duty to God? What is our-
debt to Country?
What may our neighbors expect of a Freemason? What owe we to ourselves?
Nought is there in Masonry that interferes with
very fullest performance of every single syllable of just requirement
can fulfill in answer to the foregoing questions.
Our duty to God is a sincere accord with all
to live in his world with every willingness to do his will, to serve
to be his in all things and for all ends. Nothing less may be the
measure of a Mason's
My country affords me home and property
a fair foothold among men, a buckler and a bulwark against hostile
armies, a place
where prosperity is surely possible and happiness most probable if I
but do my part.
Could I do less? As a Mason I should aim at more. Patriotism assuredly
is a primary principle.
Am I a distant neighbor? Am I friendly? Is
better way of making friends than by being one? Does duty to neighbor
mean to a
Mason aught else than a courteous concern that they shall never receive
anything but help in misfortune, commendation in success, and always
Shall a Mason be selfishly solicitious of his
and property? Certainly not to the extent where it endangers the rights
A Mason is moderate of claims personal to himself. He is cautious of
his body and mind may suffer. Intemperance of appetite is as shunned by
him as is
the intemperate word. Never does he over-indulge the body, or by
or deed wound another. Out of his mouth goes not the hasty
neither into it enters the enemy to steal away his brains or cripple
Think of these things, my brethren, when making
assuming any obligation to God or man. For these be indeed the thoughts
the thinking Mason at all critical times. Yes, they do truly come close
to his mind
and heart when he sees the initiate first face Eastwardly.
He that faces the East aright and proceeds to
thereto is wise and opportune in purpose and in timeliness. His feet
will walk the
path deliberately if he is but started properly and instructed
how is he instructed to proceed?
Brethren, you know as well as I. You are aware
manner of movement and the extent thereof. Think well of its meaning.
importance of motion by a regular plan.
Search the symbolism of all these acts. Not one
is unimportant. Each has a deep significance to the discerning eye. For
is Masonry. It means nothing to those that are blinded by prejudice,
dumb of expression
and deaf to understanding. To the attentive glance much is revealed and
to him that
is fortified and equipped by a cultivated consciousness the Craft opens
store of Knowledge when approaching the East.
I ask not for forgiveness,
Lord, nor help, nor strength nor mercy at Thy hand.
Give me just faith, Oh Lord, sincere and true,
Faith in my fellowman.
I see, Oh, Lord, the wonder of Thy work
But ask not understanding of Thy plan
Grant me a faith to guide me in the world,
Faith in my fellowman.
‒ -George Gatlin.
and Other Essays" A Review
By Bro. John Seaman Garns,
University Of Minnesota
"Christian Mysticism" [Lib 1917] is the title of a
slender little volume of essays by Brother H. L. Haywood, Editor of the
Department of THE BUILDER ‒ a volume which even the most casual reader
The author's foreword states the impulse out of
the book has grown: "the hope that it may lead some kindred spirit to
a closer walk with that little band of God-intoxicated spirits who hold
hands today, as ever before, the destinies of religion."
The initial essay, which lends its title to the
is an illuminating introduction to mysticism in general. In it the
author has rendered
great service to the lay reader by clearly discriminating mysticism
on the one hand, and from religions or authority on the other. He then
to sketch with rare appreciation the spirit of each of the various
groups of mystics
‒ Nature, Love, Philosophical and Devotional Mystics, as well as that
of those who, like St. Augustine, Luther, Fox, Loyola and many another
never yielded themselves entirely to the life, albeit they have tasted
of its hidden
manna and drunk from its brimming wells."
There follows a spirited defense of mysticism
oft-repeated charge of other-worldliness and sloth on the one hand, and
vagueness and fuzzy mindedness on the other. Far from being a beautiful
up by visionaries along life's hard horizon lines, it is, the author
"human nature's daily food."
At the close of the essay the author takes the
reader by the hand and points him helpfully forward into the literature
of the subject,
advising as to the best order in which to read the books mentioned and
may hope to gain from each. Taken all in all, as a brief, practical and
introduction to mysticism, this little essay has probably never bee
the literature of the subject.
The two remaining essays in the volume are the
fruit of the author's own mystical experience. A the titles would
Secret Place of the Most High" and "The Invisible World" are short
excursion into the world of spiritual experience, under the guidance of
of foot and keen of vision. The author's thought in all the essays is
his style smooth and flowing. To readers mystically inclined, as well
as that larger
audience of uninitiated ones who would in brief compass get a first
of mysticism, the book will prove invaluable.
"Christian Mysticism" is published by The
Murray Press, Boston, at fifty cents. Copies may be had from the
publishers or through
the National Masonic Research Society.
* * *
Reverence for age is a fair test of the vigor
* * *
Regard him as a revealer of treasure for you
* * *
The Degrees Problem
By Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
THE "Degrees Problem" (it will long remain
that ‒ a problem) may be best stated in a group of questions: What is a
Why have we three degrees? How many degrees did the old Operative
Masons use? What
were they? How did they originate? Whence came our Blue Lodge Degrees?
these questions in what way circumstances permit I shall try to observe
rule of keeping separate our theories of what may have happened from
the facts which
show what did happen; and when a theory is required to bridge over a
gap in the
facts I shall try to be frank enough to call it a "theory." This may in
itself prove a gain, for times without number Masonic writers, more
accurate, have offered as facts what really were theories having very
behind them. (Let this not be understood as throwing stones against any
of our writers,
for in many cases ‒ Oliver may be mentioned here ‒ their wildest
theories have led
ultimately to fruitful discoveries of facts; besides, what weaknesses
have had they have shared in common with writers in other fields.)
The division of our ritual into three degrees
of the evidences that Masonry is truly a "progressive" science for it
is by this means that it adapts itself to the gradual unfoldment of the
comprehension. Gould defines a "degree" as "representing a rank
conferred." Speth's definition is more elaborate: "A Masonic degree is
a rank and dignity with which one is, by legal authority, invested; by
of initiation or reception, longer or shorter, scenic, spectacular or
or with scenic pomp." (A.Q.C. vol. 1, pp. 77. [Lib 1895]) Hughan speaks to
the same end in writing on degrees: "they are conferred," he writes in
the A.Q.C. Transactions, (vol. 3, p. 25 [Lib 1890) "only on the favored few, to
the exclusion of
all others, with peculiar secrets attached to each; separate
obligations as respects
their esoteric (secret) character, and distinct ceremonies."
Blue Lodge Masonry may be pictured as an
ascended by three steps; indeed, the three degrees are sometimes spoken
of as the
"three steps," for they represent stages of a progress. But a degree is
more than a step; more also than a rank, or grade, though it contains
of each of these terms within itself, because, as now used, every Blue
is embodied in a distinctive ceremony without which the degree can not
be a degree.
This embodiment of the degree in its appropriate ceremony is a fact of
for around it evolves the whole controversy over the origin of our
This "grading" of members according to their
several stages of development, like almost every other usage in
Masonry, is no arbitrary
arrangement but springs up out of the requirements of human nature as
out of the sod. This is proved by the fact that in all forms of secret
among primitive races the membership was divided into grades,
of boys, young unmarried men, married men, and elders. On this,
Webster, whose "Primitive Secret Societies" [Lib 1908] gave us our information
concerning the "Men's House," makes this significant comment: "The
tribe becomes in fact, a secret association, divided into grades or
of which as a later development arise the 'degrees' of the secret
And just as we have words, grips, and secrets to distinguish the
degrees one from
another so the primitive men were often physically marked ‒ as by
and were usually given a new name and a secret language. Such a custom
as this would
not have survived through these almost countless centuries did it not
requirement of our nature.
That the members of the old Operative Masons
were similarly graded is a fact which our authorities have not
may have been their other differences. All of them would, I believe,
R. H. Baxter when he says: "One thing is clearly determined, that from
times the grades of Apprentice, Fellow, and Master were recognized, and
it is purely
a question for debate as to whether separate ceremonies, with
marked the admission to the different steps."
Our authorities have also been agreed that much
symbolic material which now composes our three Blue Lodge ceremonies
was in existence
long before the Grand Lodge era, during which time our degree ritualism
its present form. Two or three citations will prove this. In his
Essays" [Lib 1913] (p. 125)
Gould writes: "Beyond all reasonable doubt the essentials of the three
degrees must have existed before the formation of the First Grand Lodge
‒ that of
England ‒ in 1717." Speaking of the Ancient Constitutions (or "Old
which were in use at least as early as the Fifteenth Century, Baxter
says that "only
a slight stretching of the imagination is necessary to read the whole
of the essentials
of the Three Degrees (including the Royal Arch) into these documents."
same end writes Woodford: "Where did the Freemasonry of 1717 come from?
accept for one moment the suggestion that so complex and curious
so many archaic remains, and such skilfully adjusted ceremonies, so
matter, accompanied by so many striking symbols, could have been the
a pious fraud, or ingenious conviviality, presses heavily on our powers
and even passes over the normal credulity of our species. The traces of
are too many to be overlooked or ignored." Thus, these three
modern writers agree that the materials of which our three degree
composed existed, for the most part, before the era of Speculative
the moment we pass behind that date there is no time limit to be set to
of these materials. "If we once get back beyond or behind the year
into the domain of Ancient Masonry, and again look back, the vista is
illimitable, without a speck or shadow to break the continuity of view
presented to us."
But now arises the questions, when was this
material cast into its present form? Was this done by the fraternity
Grand Lodge period, or afterwards? This constitutes the famous "Degrees
over which our scholars have conducted so prolonged a debate.
In dealing with this debate it will help us
get first in mind the fact that all the debaters agree that a Third
degree was "concocted"
after the formation of the Grand Lodge, the proofs of which are many
The Anderson Constitution of 1723 [Lib 1723] recognizes but two degrees
and uses "Fellow Craft"
and "Master Mason" as meaning the same thing; but in the 1738 edition
of the same Constitutions three degrees are recognized, thus proving
that the Third
came into existence during the intervening period. The earliest mention
of the Third
is found in a speech by a Dr. Drake, dated 1726, delivered at York. The
known date of the use of the three degrees by a regularly constituted
Lodge is 1732.
[Lib 1738] So much of an innovation
was this Third Degree that at first men were made "Masters" only in
Lodge; so slowly did the new system take hold that we find, so late as
when George Bell was deputized to constitute a Lodge at Cornwall he was
only a Fellow
Craft and was not made a Master until sometime afterwards. Subordinate
permitted to make Masters in 1725 but the part seems to have been so
that special "Masters' Lodges" were organized to confer the degree. As
more and more members among the various subordinate Lodges came to
learn the part,
the "Masters' Lodges" died out and all Lodges "put on" the Three
Degrees. But even so, this system was not definitely and finally fixed
the "Union" in 1814; two years after this date R.H. Baxter says, "a
special Grand Lodge was convened at which the Lodge of Reconciliation
opened a Lodge
in the first, second, and third degrees, successively, and exhibited
of initiating, passing, and raising a Mason. These ceremonies were
adopted by Grand
Lodge as rehearsed, with two alterations in the Third, and are
therefore the true
and only genuine ceremonial of the Craft for use at the present day."
Having arrived at this point we can see that
"Degrees Problem" hinges on the question, Whence came the Entered
and Fellow Craft degrees? Were they in use by the Operative Masons of
Our scholars have fallen into two "schools" in their answer to these
one holding that the old Masons used only one degree ceremonial the
that they used two.
Degree" theory. The first of our historians to advance this hypothesis
Findel in 1862; [Lib 1866] but as
it is W. J. Hughan whose name is most usually associated with the "One
school we shall let him present that side of the case. "In the light of
authenticated facts, distinct and separate Masonic degrees are never
met with, alluded
to, or even probable, prior to 1716-7. . . It is still a difficulty
with me to understand
how brethren versed in Craft lore can see proof that more than one
ceremony was known to and practiced by our Masonic forefathers anterior
to the Grand Lodge era." (See A.Q.C. vol. 10, p. 127.[Lib 1897]) "The antiquity
or continuity of Freemasonry is one thing, and that of degrees quite
He admits that the members of the old Lodges were divided into grades
but he denies
that a separate ceremony was used in passing the candidate from the
grade to the Fellow Craft grade, and he can find no evidences of any
in the Ancient Constitutions. "The Apprentices became Fellow Crafts or
on their 'essays' or work being passed by competent judges . . . but
of taking certain degrees (ceremonies) until the last (Eighteenth)
With this position Steinbrenner, Murray-Lyon and other writers have
Degrees" theory. The best statement of this "school" is George William
Speth's essay published in the A.Q.C. vol. 3, p. 28, [Lib 1890] and I would refer
you to that for a complete statement. In that argument he contends that
the 14th to the 18th centuries, two ceremonies existed ‒ that of making
or binding to the Craft – and that of passing masters and admitting to
He declares that in those ceremonies "there were secrets, other than
of the manipulation of stone." If asked why we have no plainer
these two ceremonies in the latter Seventeenth and early Eighteenth
would reply "that the Masons of 1717 inherited symbolism of the meaning
which they were ignorant; that to produce this ignorance a long course
and deterioration must have obtained, thus carrying our symbolism back
for an infinite
period." Speth believes that the passing from the Entered Apprentice
to the Fellow Craft grade was too important a step not to have received
in a ceremonial; that the Fellow Craft must have received secrets
the Apprentice; and that the giving of these secrets must have
constituted a separate
ceremony, or degree. With this position Gould, it seems, and Woodford
do a large number of modern Masonic scholars. Hughan, even, towards the
a rare candor, acknowledged that the most recently discovered evidence
the direction of "two Degrees."
Thus stands the case! When doctors fall out how
we common folks agree? Speaking for myself I am undecided as yet,
though it seems
to me that the "Two Degree" theory is the more probable of the two; I
believe that two simple ceremonies must have been in use down to the
century; that during that period a great deal of symbolic material was
or re-discovered, by the Speculatives who were then accepted; and that
material increased the length of the ceremonies so much that they were
into three parts for the sake of convenience, the old Fellow Craft or
being used as the Third, and the old Apprentice part being split in two
us our present First and Second degrees. However, this is only theory,
as is also
the "One Degree" hypothesis, and they must be considered as such. You
also, brother, may fashion your own theory; if it is reasonable we
shall not quarrel,
however much we may differ.
In whatever manner these degrees came into
and whatever their age, one thing is certain at least, there is a truth
and a symbolism, which have proved worthy to teach the world. For
Masonry has long
aspired to be, and in a strict sense, now is, a universal science.
Early Knights Templar in
Bro. Marshall DeLancey Haywood,
In the old files of newspapers in the North
State Library, at Raleigh, are many scattered items relative to
Masonry, in its
various branches, but the one given below, concerning the Knights
somewhat out of the ordinary. It is from the Raleigh Register of
December 31, 1813:
KNIGHT TEMPLAR ENCAMPMENT Notice is hereby
Brethren, &c. ‒
That the Encampment at Mock's Old Fields, Rowan
(N.C.) acting under charter designated "Freeland Lodge, No. 33," on the
registry and under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina and Tennessee,
will have their regular meetings, (or Encampments hereafter) on
Friday, and Ascension days.
Visitors will cheerfully be admitted, and due
paid them. By order of the M. W. H. P. &c.
JOHN HAM, Scribe. October, A. D. 1813.
There are several remarkable points about this
The Templars therein mentioned profess to work by authority of the
Grand Lodge of
North Carolina and Tennessee, a body embracing the two States jointly
formed a separate Grand Lodge in 1813, but which never claimed
any subordinate bodies except Blue Lodges. Furthermore, Freeland Lodge
No. 33, in
Rowan County (as shown by the old Grand Lodge Proceedings) was a Blue
presiding officer in the above quoted notice, M. W. H. P. (Most
Priest?) sounds more like the Chapter than the Commandery of the
present day, as
does also "Scribe" instead of Recorder, though the Scribe in a Chapter
is not the recording officer. On the other hand, the observance of
Friday, and Ascension Day are anniversaries observed by the Knights
not by the Royal Arch Masons.
The above mentioned newspaper, less than a year
on March 24, 1814, contained an obituary which has a bearing on the
It is as follows:
DIED. ‒ At Salisbury, on the 12th inst., after
and complicated illness, Mr. Francis Coupee, Sen., editor of the "North
Magazine," and member of the Knight Templar Fraternity. He was interred
Sunday by a Masonic procession, and the solemn performance of all the
of that high order, in the presence of a great and respectable
concourse of people.
‒ Mr. C. was a man of humane and benevolent affections ‒ of a just,
manly, and patriotic
spirit. He was a kind and affectionate husband, a tender and indulgent
faithful and obliging friend, and a good citizen. He was left a loving
children, a numerous connection of relatives, and a large circle of
acquaintances to deplore his loss. He is gone! His spirit has fled to
of spirits whence no traveler returns! And how applicable to him are
the words of
"How lov'd, how
valu'd once, avail thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be."
It would be interesting to know where the
Rowan County in 1813, were taught the work they used. As for their
work, we may gain some light from Redding's Illustrated History of Free
[Lib*], published in 1907, which (on p. 670) says: "Blue Lodges
the Templar degrees." The oldest Commandery now working in North
back only to 1825, and the several Commanderies of the State did not
Grand Commandery of North Carolina until 1881. In Webb's Freemason's
of 1802, pp. 292 ‒ 293, there is a brief chapter on Knights Templar in
mentioning the formation in 1797 of the "Grand Encampment" of
with later "Encampments" at Philadelphia (two), Harrisburg, and
It also gives "Encampments not under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania,"
The Old Encampment in the City of New York.
Encampment, New York. Montgomery Encampment, Stillwater. Temple
St. John's Encampment, Providence (R. I.)
In the collection of Masonic Songs in the back
monitor will also be found, among other poetic effusions, the "Knight
Life, the Builder – [A Poem]
Life, the Builder,
demands more room,
He calls his servant, Death,
And bids him take to the earth once more,
The body, of form and breath;
But he keeps for himself, of course,
The timeless worth of the whole;
All love, all light, all truth,
All thought, and hope, and force;
And builds them again a form more rare,
To house the advancing soul;
With a joy more deep and a faith more fair,
Than ever it owned before;
For Life, the Builder, is lord of Youth,
And master of Death and Pain;
And weights the balance with absolute truth,
On the side of permanent gain.
The Faith That Is In Them
‒ A Fraternal Forum
Edited By Bro. George E.
PRESIDENT, THE BOARD OF STEWARDS
Wildey E. Atchison, Iowa
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia.
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.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
H. L. Haywood, Iowa.
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 mor
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. 10
Shall Each American Grand
Lodge Establish Representatives at Each Central and South American
… as a means of promoting Pan-American harmony?
shall such representatives be residents of the foreign jurisdictions to
are accredited? If you do not favor the policy involved, please state
of the attitude of American Masonry in bringing about closer and more
between the nations of North and South America.
Real Masonry in South America.
In your statement of the "next question for
you have touched me on a belligerent spot. For several years I have
all means in my power the extension of our acquaintance with our South
brethren and I am glad you have now taken it up, as my field was
If American Masonry is not to be dubbed and
the Masonic Pharisee of the world and the hypocrite of the century it
must get out
of its "holier-than-thou" attitude toward all other Masonic peoples
by racial or temperamental difference of make-up differ in how they do
I was told that it was almost impossible to get
touch with the South American brethren ‒ I had not the least difficulty
in intimate and pleasant connection and correspondence with the
officers of three
Grand Bodies. I did not try for any more. I found the trouble was at
this end. I
found out this, that one Grand Secretary returned a very fraternal
letter with the
request that it be either written in English, or the charges for
‒ just think of it!
I found those I was fortunate enough to select
to be very interesting and most anxious to become better acquainted.
They were very
polite and courteous, very much more in earnest than any other Masonic
whom I had ever been in touch. Of course they do not do things as we
do, but their
principles are the same, their ideas coincide, they are hungry for
size up with us in their average with our average, while their stars
are of as great
magnitude as any which shine over us.
In my opinion, the first thing to do is for the
Lodges to unite on an Ambassador to the Masons of South America ‒ a big
man, a broad
sympathetic Mason, an intelligent, courteous gentleman, an experienced
who is able to see things through the other fellow's spectacles, and
well-versed in the acknowledged universal principles of Universal
Masonry, has forgotten
the verbiage of the ritualist and the technical silliness of the
Send him down and I will guarantee that his report will coincide with
what I have
‒ T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
* * *
An Earnest Negative.
In reply to the question propounded for
the Fraternal Forum for this month I would emphatically say No!
The term "universality" has been misused almost
universally. My conception of its proper Masonic meaning is perhaps
I think, logical and correct. True, in a secondary sense it does mean
clime a Mason may be found," but that has been perverted to include
and men calling themselves Masons who cannot properly be recognize as
primary and principal meaning of universality is comprehensiveness. Our
is more peculiar in this than in any other feature. It includes all
among men but is in no wise religious, philosophical or political
Latin Masonry is its exact antithesis in this
and also in being, like the Church of Rome and the German (Prussian)
from above, and is not a Brotherhood. They are not of our household,
of our consideration otherwise. I would as soon recognize the Odd
Fellows or Knights
of Pythias. These are honorable and good organizations, but each is
doing a specific
branch of good work and we cannot unite with them without narrowing our
horizon. Far be it from us to criticize them for their specific
or for antagonizing the corruptions of the Church of Rome, but neither
one is of
I want no "closer relations" with anything
under God's blue sky except Ancient Masonry. Disaster lies ahead of
relations" and if the mistaken movement goes far enough dissension and
are not far away.
I am sorry I have not a copy of our special
Correspondence Committee) adopted unanimously last week by our Grand
Lodge on a
request for French recognition. Perhaps our Grand Secretary would send
it to you.
It is along the above lines and covers the ground more fully.
I do favor extending relief to French
in distress, and even those among German prisoners, on the ground that
generous principles should extend further. Every human being has a
claim upon our
kind offices. Do good unto all, etc.," but I would not affiliate with
which perverts Masonry or which has not as it’s fundamental the
Fatherhood of God
and the Brotherhood of Man, and is not a democracy.
‒ Joseph W. Eggleston, Virginia.
* * *
Send Down A Delegation.
Unless we can find some more potent influence
of establishing representatives at Central and South American Grand
Lodges, I doubt
if the Pan American Masonic harmony will find the bonds of Brotherhood
closer, or receive much benefit.
What, for instance, has the representative of
Lodge of Ireland near the Grand Lodge of Virginia, or the
representative of the
Grand Lodge of Illinois near the Grand Lodge of Ireland, done to
promote such harmony?
I ask because I know. (That's Irish.) The offices of representatives
Lodges, from my experience in many jurisdictions, are usually handed
out to the
brethren worthy of some preferment that will give them Grand Lodge
rank, but not
active Grand Lodge office, and they are usually not expected, or
permitted, to "put
in their oar" in Grand Lodge affairs.
No! a delegation of prominent and properly
Masons will do more in one Grand Visitation than a representative will
in a life-time.
Joe L. Carson,
* * *
Favors Exchange of Representatives.
I have long been in favor of a proposal that
Lodge establish representatives at each Central and South American
as a means of helping Pan-American harmony, for the reason that this
has been advocated
so continuously by our Latin American Masonic brothers, and I know from
assurance that it would accomplish the desired effect. Many of my
are Grand Lodge officers and Masonic leaders in the Central and South
They tell me that Freemasonry in their belief is to be the strong
between the United States and their countries. They do not seem to
attitude at all. I have had suggestions that we American Masons
them in establishing an international bureau of some sort for the
purpose of getting
our countries better acquainted with each other. These suggestions take
forms, from museums of South and Central American products, to a
something like that of Switzerland. Mexicans have assured me that their
appreciate for the most part Americans, and have a sympathetic attitude
and that the distrust of Americans by Mexicans is due to the
exploitation of their
country by great corporations.
From Brazil I was informed that the actual
of that country was directly responsible with his brother Masons for
nation into line with America in this war. A member of the Colombian
is very much disgusted with his own country as headquarters for German
and wants to know if we in America could not co-operate with the Masons
a campaign of education, and so on.
They all think that if the American Grand
of the great educational and charitable work of the South and Central
we would be only too glad to establish firm Masonic relations with
them, and they
strongly state that in that event they would be able to do tremendous
work of conciliation.
Our Latin American brothers have abandoned all
of getting in touch with us at present and are planning an
of their own for May 25th.
I would favor the appointment as representative
American Grand Lodges not only residents of foreign countries to which
accredited, but natives as well. I must say that I believe all this
will be impossible
to accomplish unless our American jurisdictions can refer the matter
to act, to some central bureau such as was suggested by Grand Master
Cuba several years ago and practically ignored by us.
Joseph W. Norwood,
* * *
Is Latin Masonry Our Masonry?
In reply to the question "shall each American
Lodge establish representatives at each South American and Central
Lodge as a means of promoting Pan-American Masonry," I beg leave to say
I am in doubt as to the propriety of this movement.
In my sea-going days I visited many South and
American countries, but balked at attending most of their Lodges,
discussing the purposes of Masonry with individual Masons with whom I
First of all I do not believe that Latin Masons
Masonry as we do. We all know that no nation has ever been able to
change its religion
without taint of the preceding creed. The very bronze effigy of Saint
the church of that name in Rome, is in reality but a statue of Jupiter.
The Cholos of Peru and the Peones of Chile will
the mass of the Church of Rome and, within an hour, devotedly bow in
the deities of their ancestors, without, in all probability, knowing
It is habit with them.
And so with Masonry. Many American Masons seem
to Christianize Masonry, while the Latins are segregating in their
seeking relief from the oppression of the soi
disant Christianity in their Republics.
The writer is looking at the situation as
possible and is not influenced by hearsay or public opinion, but speaks
The average Latin Mason balks at the Master's
as being higher than the thirty-third degree, but for peace and harmony
and to secure
the recognition of American and English-speaking Masons, has separated
degrees and formed his sovereign Grand Lodge which he believes, or at
will bridge the chasm. But he has, beyond a doubt, a lingering belief
Rite Masonry is "universal" Masonry. He often states this belief, and
has many good reasons for his statement.
There are many very superior men and Masons in
States who cannot be convinced that we should recognize any Grand Lodge
Rite origin, and as the Latin nations rarely have a Masonic origin
other than the
Scottish Rite, we can understand why they regard that Rite as
I am making a life effort to reconcile
or "universal" Masonry. The very lectures in the Entered Apprentice
instruct the candidate that "Masonry unites men of every country, sect
opinion," and this is much better executed in English, Scotch and Irish
than in our own American Lodges.
In British Lodges visitors are admitted if they
prove legitimacy in any Lodge not interdicted, while visitors to our
frequently turned away if they come from a Lodge that has not been
You can find proof of this in the decisions of Grand Masters in the
proceedings, year after year.
I would like to ask the reader to place himself
position of a visitor thus turned down. What would he do, naturally?
Only a few
years ago a prominent Mason asked my advice concerning the eligibility
Argentine Masons, then in the city, to visit our Lodges, as our Grand
Lodge at that
time had not formally recognized Argentine. My view was that they were
‒ the Argentine brethren, however, found the doors of the Scottish Rite
them, and a warm welcome awaiting them within, and did not return to
This is my view of the situation, and my belief
before we can amicably, profitably and fraternally make the
a success in the South and Central American countries we must first
fraternalism and altruism possible.
We are but creatures of habit. What we learn in
early youth we are certain to practice and soon it becomes a habit with
is why the Church of Rome, in its wisdom, insists upon the parochial
public schools, and adopts babies, for what the little creature absorbs
in its tender
years it will be certain to retain.
– George W. Baird, District of Columbia.
Teach Our Masonry to South America. The Latin
seems to value his Masonry ‒ to be proud of it. We have some Latin
us whose wives go to confession. They are good fellows ‒ good Masons,
as they see the light ‒ scoffers generally at church ceremonials.
love to pray in their Lodges. The prayer rather ties them, as it were,
to the "old
regime." Now in the balance of their Lodge work they have quite a
substitute for church. This is particularly true of those who belong to
Rite. As many join as are able. Grand Lodges they have, of course. How
exist without the right and title or opportunity to wear the lordly
Grand Lodges afford? How little the thing would amount to, were they
to hold stately, magnificent court, and in grandiose fashion, sign
their names to
gorgeously "sealed" documents for transmission to the Masonic world.
is a condition existent there, which has developed into a misfortune.
It is the
practice of the Scottish Rite in most of the South American countries
within their temples and under their seal, all the degrees of Masonry,
first to the thirty second. This is very unfortunate, inasmuch as their
a great deal that is immaterial for our own satisfying, complete and
symbolism of the symbolic degrees.
Many of their novitiates stop at the Master's
I have examined some of them ‒ once by authority of our Grand
Secretary. They apparently
know very little concerning symbolic Masonry. The Scottish Rite
practice has brought
symbolic Masonry into some disrepute among them. That Rite was to them,
fit into the niche vacated by the pot of incense.
Yet these peoples are endeavoring to be Masons
it all. Western civilization, together with commercial connections with
will help along. A new business system, wiping out their universal
desire to make settlements but once a year must be adopted before we
shall be able
to take the place of Germany in their markets. We in California know
the Spanish "grandee" methods of business. There are exceptions of
To make a new man, from start to finish, out of
Southern brother is almost too much to expect of Masonry in one
generation. A representative
from each of our Grand Lodges to each of theirs would be but a small
would be better to appoint one of their own residents each time to such
After appointment, bring him over here once a year at our expense.
Teach him some
"Blue Lodge" Masonry in all its truth and simplicity. Teach him of a
relation to God and Government, and of the absolute necessity of their
from the control sought to be exercised by Church ‒ of a new baptism
for his wife
and children at the font where liberty was baptized. So make an
American Mason (there
is no North or South) out of a few of these delegates, turn them loose
native sons and daughters and time will tell the story of a revolution
in spite of all ‒ which shall bring light out of darkness and salvation
to an oppressed
‒ Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
* * *
We Differ Only As To Details.
My opinion is that an attitude of cordial and
esteem should be taken and maintained by the Masonic Bodies of North
those of Central and South America. Sympathetic and careful
be given to the claims of regularity of all of the Masonic
organizations of our
Southern neighbors and we should establish fraternal relations and
with every one of them found to be practicing real Freemasonry. It is
in every way
desirable that the great peoples of North and South America should know
better fraternally, socially, politically and economically. By all
means let us
shake hands with our South American brethren. Our great ideals are
much we may differ on details.
‒ O. D. Street, Alabama.
* * *
The 1918 Congress at Buenos
There is room and place for more
we must prepare for a great commercial war with the despicable Huns
after the present
carnage has passed into history, unless, as I sincerely hope and pray,
of the German rattlesnake may be so thoroughly extirpated after America
with the abnormal monster, that Germany may occupy among the nations a
lesser than that of poor Belgium and Serbia which she has ravaged to
As a first means of promoting a better
between the Masonry of North America and that of Latin America, I would
the sending of one or more accredited representatives of one or more
of the United States, or of a National Masonic Educational Society like
the International Masonic Congress to be held at Buenos Aires,
Argentina, May 25th,
1918. Such representatives might study the aims and purports of this
the dividing lines which have hampered recognition of certain of our
brethren and report back their findings in such a manner as to reach
all of the
Grand jurisdictions of this country.
I incline to the opinion of Sovereign Grand
Vicente Biagini that our present status as regards our international
is "an impossible sociological consideration." The germinal idea of the
forthcoming International Latin American Congress called by the Masons
of the Argentine
studies as may arise for debate.
of future action which may promote Pan-American Masonry.
and consideration of any proposition from delegates.
means of submitting propositions to the bodies interested.
communications and correspondence."
The way lies open to American Masonry to at
hear their Latin American brethren upon their own ground. We can no
to shut ourselves behind a Chinese wall of exclusion. We must weld the
Masonic universality stronger. Even as new conditions have again
brought up the
old, old question of devising a possible means for again according
that French Masonry which played so important a part in abolishing
France, through its spread of the Masonic philosophy and the slogan
Equality, Fraternity," so now with an eye to the future should we
invitation of Latin American Masons to at least talk the matter over.
More can be
accomplished by having our representatives, even though unofficially,
such a representative Latin American gathering than reams of
pro and con flooding our Masonic grist mills from year to year.
The crying need of today is action ‒ quick and
action that may be provocative of results. After cementing the bonds of
recognition it will be time enough to call a European International
upon the same lines and so achieve ultimately the great need of the
future ‒ a real
‒ John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
* * *
A Canadian Opinion.
The question that you submit for discussion is
from the wording of it, is of interest to American Grand Lodges only.
For the sake
of promoting international harmony in its broadest sense, I would say
possible should be done in the way of establishing friendly relations
bodies of Masons. This would involve, of course, a careful searching
into the antecedents
of each of these foreign jurisdictions and generally finding out
My idea has always been that more friendly
should be established, if possible, not only with South America but
with the Masonic
jurisdictions of the whole world. If we talk universal Brotherhood we
it as well, and this end can never be accomplished by putting up
which, in some cases, our neighbors cannot even look over. P.
‒ E. Kellett, Manitoba.
By Bro. Roscoe Pound, Dean,
Harvard Law School
III. Masonic Common Law
IN England, the common law, using the term to
traditional element of the legal system, is the customary course of
the English courts from the thirteenth century to the present, as
applied to the conditions of the present by jurists and judges in the
century. In America, the common law, using the term in the same sense,
of decision in the English courts prior to colonization, or at least
prior to the
Revolution, so far as applicable to the social, political, economic,
conditions in America;
of decision in American courts since the Revolution;
of decision in England and other countries with England legal
the Revolution; and
law, or the body of rules governing the relations of individuals with
and citizens of one state with those of other states which has been
general agreement of the community of nations in modern times.
Thus it will be seen there are two types of
go to make up the common law of the lawyer ‒ universal principles, upon
and American courts alike have proceeded since the Revolution, and
usages, of a general and permanent nature, which have developed in this
since our independence.
In the same way we may recognize two types of
in our Masonic common law: on the one hand a universal body of usage,
in eighteenth-century Masonry after the revival of 1717, and on the
other hand a
general body of usage developed in the United States, chiefly in the
century, through decisions of Grand Masters and the review thereof in
in which the former is developed and applied. In this lecture I shall
of the former.
Masonic common law, in the stricter sense, I
be the body of tradition and doctrine, developed in eighteenth-century
which is of such long standing, is so universal? and is so well
although it lacks the absolute authority of the Landmarks, it stands at
of our Masonic legal system. It is to be used to interpret and supply
gaps in Masonic
legislation and it is never lightly to be set aside. Our fathers used
to say that
statutes in derogation of the common law were to be strictly construed.
or not this is true in the everyday law of the state it may well be
true in Masonry
where these settled customs have entered into the very structure of the
foundation of all study of Masonic common law is in Mackey's exposition
of the Landmarks.
[Lib 1972] We may
grant that not more than one-third of his twenty-five Landmarks are to
as such. Nevertheless he succeeded wonderfully in putting his finger on
points in generally accepted Masonic usage. Everything that has been
has been done in the light of his exposition and on more than one point
all that was to be said. Hence the most effective mode of treating
law is to take up his list of Landmarks seriatim and expound those
which seem to
be rather doctrines or institutions of our common law as such, showing
are not to be classed as Landmarks.
Dr. Mackey puts as the first Landmark the modes
These, he says, are the most legitimate and unquestioned of the
Landmarks. To use
his own words, "They admit of no variation; and if ever they have
alteration or addition, the evil of such a violation of the ancient law
made itself subsequently manifest." Indeed at first sight, nothing
more fundamental, and yet Masonic history gives us pause.
For one thing, there is Preston's version of
of the great schism in Masonry in the eighteenth century. Even if we do
this ‒ and I take it Gould has shown that we should not ‒ it is highly
as to the development of the important Masonic institution in question.
Preston's narrative is that in consequence of
of Masonry in Prichard's Masonry Dissected, a change was made in the
mode of communication
of the degrees, so that the words of the Entered Apprentice and
were exchanged. This change, he gives us to understand, took place in
there is pretty conclusive evidence that the order of the Moderns,
tells us, represents a change made in 1739, was the order which
obtained in 1737
and the assertion that there was a change, made by Dermott and by
Preston a generation
later, seems traceable to two sources: (1) The change from two parts to
definitely established in 1738, which was the cause of much discontent
at the time
and was one of the causes of a revolt from the Grand Lodge of England
in 1739; and
(2) a statement of a spurious ritual of 1766, one of a crop of spurious
and exposes of which the decade 1760 to 1770 was prolific, that such a
made in consequence of Prichard's Masonry Dissected. What the author
knew was that
Prichard's order and that of the Grand Lodge of England were not the
same. Of course
Prichard could not be wrong! That Prichard's book had a considerable
Masonic ritual is a significant as well as a curious fact, showing how
Masonry of the period really was. The conclusion that the order of 1737
it remained till the union with the ancients in 1813 might at first
seem to sustain
Mackey's view. But how can we adhere to it when we find that the
today is not that of 1737 and that two distinct systems of recognition
in England from 1747 to 1813?
Again, we are taught not to be dogmatic when we
that a distinct substitute word has prevailed in many parts of the
world and may
possibly go back to Jacobite Masons in the first quarter of the
Even if we do not accept the view that "macbenac" is mac benach
is the son) and is an allusion to the Pretender, the prevalence of this
word puts a heavy burden of proof upon those who would assert the
and universality of our present modes of recognition. If we suppose it
to be a corruption,
analogus to "Peter Gower" and "Naymus Graecus," when we put
our substitute word of four syllables (pronounced as three) beside
and the mysterious "maughbin" of operative manuscripts, we may well
whether we have anything more than a clever working into Hebrew of a
hopelessly lost or an eighteenth-century endeavor to make a word worthy
of the occasion.
At any rate, such reflections compel modesty in laying down Landmarks.
card or receipt for dues now required of the visitor in more than one
is not so counter to fundamental principles as has been asserted.
Yet one cannot doubt that the established modes
are upon a much firmer basis than the ephemeral creatures of
and Grand-Lodge decision. As far as anything can be established short
of the Landmarks
these are established. They are a part of our common law and deserve to
Dr. Mackey's second Landmark is the division of
Masonry into three degrees. Here he has support in the English
1813 "that ancient Craft Masonry consisted of the three degrees of
Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, including the Holy Royal
But, he adds, "that disruption has never been healed, and the Landmark,
acknowledged in its integrity by all, still continues to be violated."
universally violated since 1813 may indeed excite our suspicion. And
history compels us to take a different stand. For whether 1717 was a
a beginning in Craft Masonry, there can be no doubt that the middle of
century did not preserve our high degrees ‒ it created them. The first
to the Royal Arch is in 1741. In that year the records of a Lodge (No.
21) set forth
that in a procession the Master was "preceded by the Royal Arch carried
two excellent Masons." In 1744 Dassigny, an Irish Mason, tells us that
was an assembly of Royal Arch Masons at York, that the degree had been
York to Dublin, and that it had been practiced in London "some small
before." He also tells us that the Royal Arch Assembly at York was "an
organized body of men who have passed the chair." The evidence seems
that this was the first additional or high degree. On the whole we may
sure it was worked in England at least from 1740 and Gould thinks it
has its origin
in the alteration of the Master's creed in the constitutions of 1723.
The Past Master's
degree does not appear till the Grand Lodge of the so-called Ancients
in 1751, and
this was not admitted by the regular or so-called Modern Grand Lodge
But gradually, as the thirst for high degrees grew, probably influenced
not a little
by the growth of elaborate "systems" of high degrees on the Continent,
a practice arose of conferring the Royal Arch upon Masons not qualified
it by a fictitious or constructive passing them through the chair, and
thus a Past
Master's degree arose and in effect a new rite. For this a new ceremony
which, it is shown clearly enough, has no relation to the simple
secrets known to Payne, Desaguliers, and Anderson. This rite or these
worked in the Craft Lodges, and during the schism both the Modern and
Grand Lodges came to permit them indifferently. Thus at the union it
to recognize the Royal Arch as a component part of ancient Freemasonry.
time, however, it had achieved an independent existence. One might say,
that this is but the tale of the disruption of which Mackey speaks. But
clear testimony to the contrary. In 1757, Manningham, Deputy Grand
Master of the
Grand Lodge of England (Modern), in a letter on the subject of the high
said: "These innovations are of very late years, and I believe the
will find a difficulty to produce a Mason acquainted with any such
nay ten years ago. My own father has been a Mason these fifty years and
at Lodges in Holland, France and England. He knows none of these
Master Payne, who succeeded Sir Christopher Wren, is a stranger to
them, as is also
an old Brother of ninety I conversed with lately. This Brother assures
me he was
made a Mason in his youth and has constantly frequented Lodges till
by advanced age, and never heard or knew of any other ceremonies or
words than those
used in general amongst us." This is not conclusive. But it is very
that the Royal Arch was attributed by Ireland to distant York, and yet
has no warrant
in York records till 1761. A priori, one must feel the true word is an
part of Masonry; that it is, as Dermott put it, "The root, heart, and
of Masonry." Yet in the face of history this is no warrant for
it a Landmark that communication of the true word is a part of Craft
the contrary it is notorious Masonic common law that this is a matter
that build on Craft Masonry and vary infinitely in the details.
So also with the division into three degrees. I
the evidence upon this point in a lecture last year upon the causes of
in ritual (1). Perhaps it is enough to say that there seems indubitable
originally there were two "parts" and that our present system of
the two parts in three degrees arose in some way between 1723 and 1728
and was not
accepted universally for many years after the latter date. And yet
nothing in Masonry
short of a Landmark could be better established. If the system of three
cannot claim the immemorial existence that characterizes a Landmark, it
to be of such long standing, to be so universal, and to be so well
attested ‒ in
that it is the common element in every rite that has ever been devised
‒ as to be
a fundamental institution of Masonic common law.
The third Landmark in Mackey's exposition,
legend of the third degree, was considered in the last lecture. (2)
Next Mackey puts, as his fourth Landmark, to
own words, "The government of the fraternity by a presiding officer,
a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the Craft." Here again
gives us pause. Tradition does indeed tell us of Grand Masters prior to
Anderson, in 1738, gave us a long and palpably apocryphal list. As to
Wren, whom Anderson has taught us to consider the last Grand Master
prior to the
so-called revival, there is at least much doubt whether he was a Mason
at all. And
there is every reason to hold that there were no Grand Masters prior to
of Sayer on St. John the Baptist's day, 1717. It might be said that the
not important if it may be shown that some such officer, elected from
the body of
the Craft, has existed from time immemorial. But this cannot be shown
is not true.
We have abundant evidence as to speculative
England at least as far back as 1646, and have good reason to believe
Masonry was widely diffused in seventeenth-century England and that
persons of the
first rank were joining eagerly. Had there been such an institution as
a Grand Mastership
with the dignity and authority which it involves, it could not possibly
no trace in the voluminous writings and loquacious diaries of the time.
we have actual written minutes of the Masons at York from 1712 and
1705 were once extant and are authentically established. These show
that there was
no Grand Lodge and no Grand Master at York till 1725. Prior to that
time there was
an annual assembly of Masons presided over by a "President" for the
being. But this President was a mere chairman of what was really a sort
In 1778 when a claim of priority was made for the Grand Lodge at York,
were made into Grand Masters. But the contemporary records show they
of the sort and that the Grand Lodge organization at York in 1725 was
upon the model of the London Grand Lodge of 1717. Likewise in Scotland
we have abundance
of evidence, including Lodge records, covering the whole of the
Nowhere is anything disclosed at all like a Grand Mastership, unless it
be the appointment
by the crown of a "Warden-General" for the Masons at the end of the
century. This obviously proves too much.
It must be concluded, therefore, that the
of the Grand Master is no Landmark. Yet here also is an undoubted and
institution of Masonic common law. From the revival in 1717 to the
present the Grand
Mastership has been the cornerstone of Masonic organization. It has
itself as a universal institution and is as thoroughly a part of
Masonry as anything
short of a Landmark may be. Hence one must needs feel some pain in
reading in the
proceedings of American Grand Lodges that "the office of Grand Master
constitutional office" ‒ meaning that it is derived from, gets its
virtue of, and has its prerogatives determined by Masonic legislation.
One may suspect,
indeed, that those who so speak confound the "constitution" of an
state and the "constitutions" of Freemasonry. The latter, let us ever
bear in mind, are but statutes. So far as we have a "constitution" in
the sense of American public law, it is to be found in the Landmarks.
Master is not the creature of Masonic legislation. To that extent
Mackey was absolutely
right. If his office and his prerogatives are not Landmarks, then we
may grant that
Masonic legislation in any jurisdiction may impair the office and shear
it of its
time honored prerogatives. In the same way the ruthless hand of the
as a mere display of power, alter any of our established usages short
of a handful
of Landmarks. But unless and until this is clearly and expressly done,
law of Masonry prevails. Surely the mouth of the Masonic legislator is
great things when he tells us that we are to look to the pages of his
codes to tell
us the full measure of the powers and prerogatives of the Grand Master,
who is older
than legislation. For the Grand Master dates from 1717, while the first
legislation ‒ itself only declaratory ‒ is the compilation of General
by Grand Master Payne in 1720, approved by the Grand Lodge of England
in 1721. Legislation
may alter and take away, but is not the source and will not be until
innovation go so far as to lead some jurisdiction to set up a
in the sense of American public law in the place of the "constitutions"
(as a body of legislation) which alone are known to Masonic law.
Mackey's fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth
have to do with prerogatives of the Grand Master and hence cannot be
be Landmarks for the reasons above set forth. If the office of Grand
not exist in form or in substance prior to 1717 it is obvious that the
of that office cannot be of immemorial antiquity. Some of these
are undoubted common law. Thus Mackey's fifth Landmark reads :- "The
of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly of the Craft,
whensoever held." As he is Grand Master only within his jurisdiction,
means that he may assume the chair at any and every communication not
only of the
Grand Lodge but of any subordinate or constituent Lodge. This is
common law and is not a power derived from legislation, although
have declared it. Until constitutions add or subtract something we may
that they are sources. When they merely declare we may look to the
of Masons since the eighteenth century and to the established customs
of the Craft
since the Grand Lodge system became established as the real sources of
The sixth and seventh Landmarks in Mackey's
to do with the prerogative of the Grand Master to grant dispensations
degrees at irregular times and for opening and holding Lodges. Here
again we have
undoubted institutions of Masonic common law. For we have here an idea
familiar to the formative period of Masonic Institutions however alien
to the political
and legal ideas of today. The dispensing power was part of the royal
in England down to 1688 and a dispensing power for special occasions
reasons was regarded ‒ and perhaps must to some extent be regarded
always ‒ as inherent
in all magisterial office. Adaptation and application of general rules
cases which are sometimes particular rather than general in their
is the essence of administration.
As laws are general rules the process of making
involves elimination of elements of particular controversies which are
those controversies. In eliminating immaterial factors to reach a
in view of the infinite variety of controversies and the almost
of degree in their approximation to recognized types, it is not
to avoid the elimination of factors which will be more or less material
particular controversy. To take account of all these variations an
in the magistrate would be required. On the other hand, if exceptions
and provisos are appended to legal rules to any great extent the system
of law becomes
cumbrous and unworkable. A compromise must be made; a middle course
must be found
between over-wide discretion and over-minute law making. Necessarily,
legal standards are more or less artificial. In the law of the state we
difficulty by discretion of judges and magistrates? by the pardoning
power of the
supreme executive, by a certain extra-legal power of juries to run away
law in bringing in a general verdict. All these are but phases of a
that is inevitable if lifeless rules are to be made to govern creatures
and blood. Hence the equitable powers of the Roman praetor, the
the Roman emperor in cases of shocking breach of confidence that led to
of testamentary trusts, the power of the Frankish king to decide
the power of the Anglo-Saxon king to mitigate the law, the power of the
to deal with particular cases of great hardship in accordance with
equity and good
conscience. Hence we commit the regulation of public utilities today to
commissions rather than to courts. Hence the ecclesiastical law
recognized a dispensing
power in the pope and to less extent in the bishops. Thus the
dispensing power of
the Grand Master is inherent in his office. It has its origin in the
nature of things
and is but recognized and declared by Masonic legislation where such
purports to confer it.
More serious question arises with respect to
of Mackey's list, namely, the alleged prerogative of the Grand Master
to make Masons
at sight. This has been the subject of much debate and clearly is not a
institution of Masonic common law Brother Hughan, indeed, styled it an
pretension." But much misapprehension has prevailed in the discussion
subject. Some tell us that the power has not existed "since 1717,"
reasoning that it is incompatible with the Lodge and Grand-Lodge system
prevailed since that date. On the other hand we are told that it is a
has been suffered to fall into disuse by some while others have
vindicated it in
its integrity. Neither position can be maintained. When we are dealing
with a question
of Masonic common law our only criterion is long-standing, general,
usage. And authorities and jurisdictions will necessarily differ as to
of this criterion and will reach different results, exactly as the
courts of our
states differ as to what are principles of common law under which we
live and reach
different results so frequently that, with a common foundation in each,
of the traditional law differ in all our states. Certainly one may say
that the power in question is not a general much less a universal
Masonic common law. But if it is recognized and obtains anywhere by
custom or declaratory
legislation, there is no reason why Masonic jurists elsewhere should
thunderbolts at the authorities of that jurisdiction. The nine American
that accept Mackey's twenty-five Landmarks in their entirety are at
to claim that with them this prerogative is Masonic common law and
rests in their
law on a higher basis than such purely legislative rules as those which
American jurisdictions preclude those who follow certain occupations
Masons. For a logical argument may be made for the power as an incident
of the common-law
prerogative of the Grand Master to dispense with the law for grave
reasons or on
important occasions and it is at least disputable whether some such
power was not
exercised by eighteenth-century Grand Masters.
Mackey's ninth Landmark is thus stated: "The
of Masons to congregate into Lodges." He adds: "It is not to be
by this that any ancient Landmark has decreed that permanent
organization of subordinate
Lodges which constitutes one of the features of the Masonic system as
it now prevails.
But the Landmarks of the order always prescribe that Masons should from
time congregate together for the purpose of either operative or
and that these congregations should be called Lodges. Formerly these
meetings called together for special purposes and then dissolved, the
to meet again at other times and other places according to the
necessity of circumstances.
But warrants of constitution, by-laws, permanent officers, and annual
modern innovations entirely outside the Landmarks and dependent
entirely on the
special enactment of a comparatively recent period."
The comment of Brother George F. Moore in this
is very pertinent. He says: "This amounts to saying that a society of
be a society ‒ that an association of men must associate, that a
fraternity of men
must fraternize. A common definition of a Freemason is 'one of a secret
composed of persons united for social enjoyment and mutual assistance.'
But it is
not so clear that the meeting of Freemasons were to be called 'Lodges'
nor is there
any evidence of a Landmark prescribing the use of the word 'Lodge'."
We must remember that the Lodges of
England were often mere occasional assemblies of Masons and indeed were
at York. Often any number of Masons who find themselves in a convenient
a convenient time are seen holding a Lodge. As a Landmark, therefore,
fail. Yet nothing is more undoubted in Masonic common law than the
system of regular
and permanent Lodges that grew up in England after 1691, became an
of the Grand Lodge system of 1717, and obtained universal authority in
Mackey states his tenth Landmark thus: "The
of the Craft when so congregated [i.e. in a Lodge] by a Master and two
also a Landmark. A congregation of Masons meeting together under any
as that for instance of a president and vice-president, or a chairman
would not be recognized as a Lodge. The presence of a Master and two
as essential to a valid organization of a Lodge as a warrant of
at the present day. The names, of course, vary in different languages;
but the officers,
their number, prerogatives and duties are everywhere identical."
A few points are noteworthy in connection with
of a Masonic Lodge: (1) the organization with a Master and two Wardens
to that of a parish in England, with the rector and two wardens. (2) It
is the same
as that of the Craft gilds in England, where there was a Master or
some such title) and two wardens. (3) We know the title Master was not
In York the chief officer was called President. In Scotland he was
But this is not decisive and is no proof that there were not three
The Master and Wardens were recognized and their duties defined in the
of the Steinmetzen of the fifteenth century. (5) The relation of the
to the numerical symbolism so universal in Masonry suggests strongly
of the Master and Wardens.
On the whole this tenth of Mackey's Landmarks
very near to fulfilling the requirements. In a former article (3) I
reasons for not so recognizing it. But Brother Moore accepts it as a
any rate its place as an unquestioned institution of our common law is
come next to Mackey's eleventh Landmark. His language is: "The
every Lodge when congregated should be duly tiled is an important
Landmark of the
institution which is never neglected. The necessity of this law arises
esoteric character of Masonry. The duty of guarding the door and
keeping off cowans
and eavesdroppers is an ancient one which constitutes, therefore, a
I suppose if there is such a thing as a
should have to agree that secrecy is a Landmark. But notice that Mackey
only secrecy as a Landmark, but also the mode of maintaining secrecy by
of the Lodge and by tiling. Notice also the way he proves this, not
but logically or analytically. This is a good example of the analytical
Masonic jurisprudence. Mackey's argument may be put thus: Masonry is a
in its very nature. Hence secrecy is an unalterable fundamental. But
incidents of secrecy, which are necessary to the maintenance of this
institution of secrecy, are logically inseparable from secrecy and
also are Landmarks. Consequently in his Encyclopedia, under the word
Mackey says that the name tiler and the office itself are based "not on
conventional regulation, but on the Landmarks of the Order." In other
not only secrecy, but the tiling of the Lodge and the tiler, as a means
secrecy, are Landmarks.
Undoubtedly we must agree that secrecy is a
We do not need analysis or logic for this. It is an immemorial,
not merely of Masonry, but of all the like societies which, as I told
you in another
connection, have existed among all men in all times. But how far are
the means of
preserving secrecy Landmarks? How far are they fundamental and
immutable, and how
far are they but Masonic common law? This is not so easy to answer. For
I should say they are not a Landmark. One might say that where there is
against tradition in such a case we should accept it. And here we have,
so far as
there is evidence, the evidence of universal and immemorial usage. So
say that the tiling of the Lodge and the doorkeeper, sentinel, outside
tiler are Landmarks. But this is only saying that secrecy is a
Landmark. As to the
name "tiler" ‒ we cannot be sure. It is hard to say what the word
Some think it means one who lays tiles and is symbolical of the
or completed. And in justification of this we are cited to the old
when a clandestine or a cowan got into the lodge a brother called out ‒
rains" ‒ signifying that the roof leaked for want of proper tiling.
ingenious, and may be so. Others derive tiler from "tailleur,"
This is philologically erroneous. There is some philological evidence
that it may
mean only guard. If so, the whole is clear. The symbolism of the roofed
is not well enough established to make it safe to rely on this for a
recognition of secrecy and of purgation and tiling as a Landmark is as
far as we
can go. Brother Moore accepts Mackey's view entirely.
Mackey states his twelfth Landmark thus: "The
of every Mason to be represented in all general meetings of the Craft
and to instruct
his representatives is a [twelfth] Landmark. Formerly these general
were usually held once a year, were called General Assemblies, and all
even to the youngest Entered Apprentice, were entitled to be present.
Now they are
called Grand Lodges and only the Masters and Wardens of the subordinate
summoned. But this is simply as the representatives of their members.
each member represented himself; now he is represented by his officers."
This is certainly Masonic common law, but I am
it cannot be maintained as a Landmark.
In the first
place it contains a refutation in itself. If prior to 1717 all Masons
had a right
to attend, what warrant was there in that year for changing a right of
attendance into a right to attend by representatives? This shows that
we are hardly
dealing here with a Landmark.
As I showed
in other lectures, the existence of these general assemblies prior to
1717 is involved
in great doubt historically. I think there is evidence of such
assemblies in the
seventeenth century. But I do not believe there is evidence of regular
much less of a system of periodical assemblies prior to 1717. To
dispose of the
matter in a few words, Masonic history is against this alleged
Landmark, and Mackey's
argument for it as a Landmark is in conflict with his assertion. But as
a bit of
Masonic common law, it is undoubted.
In passing it should be noted that here, as in
cases of Masonic common law, we have a purely English idea.
Representation of every
Englishman in Parliament through the knights of the shire and the
burgesses is the-obvious
analogy. Indeed Mackey's very language is taken from Blackstone. A very
of Masonic common law is English. But when we have an idea so
we may well pause and ask ourselves whether we are sure that we have a
Two matters of some practical importance are
in the question as to the existence of this supposed twelfth Landmark.
One is the
question, once much mooted, of the right of the Entered Apprentice to
candidates for the Entered Apprentice degree. This was the subject of a
learned report by Albert Pike in 1854. As is well known, the question
has been settled
in the negative. The other point is one still controverted in many
namely, whether a Lodge of Master Masons is opened on the Entered
or a Lodge of Entered Apprentices is opened. This is really, it is
a matter of local law. One may think that the local law should be this
or that on
general principles of Masonic common law. But it cannot be that any
violated by a jurisdiction which takes the one view or the other.
Mackey states his thirteenth Landmark thus:
right of every Mason to appeal from the decision of his Brethren in
to the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons is a Landmark highly
to the preservation of justice and the prevention of oppression. A few
Lodges, in adopting a regulation that the decision of subordinate
Lodges in cases
of expulsion cannot be wholly set aside upon appeal, have violated this
Landmark as well as the principles of just government."
Notice how Mackey proves this Landmark. He says
right of appeal is essential to justice: therefore it is a Landmark. It
is a fundamental
notion in justice that there shall be a review of a decision; therefore
it is fundamental
in Masonic justice. But unappealable decisions are known to all legal
example: Criminal appeals were not allowed in England till a few years
and decrees for less than $5,000 in our federal courts were not
to 1891; petty judgments are unappealable in many states, and judgments
appealable in Roman law prior to the empire. Hence it is by no means
Mackey's premises are maintainable. Moreover, as he admits, the
practice has not
been universal in modern times. But the conclusive objection is that
Landmark assumes the existence of Grand Lodges prior to 1717, which we
Nevertheless this is clearly a doctrine of Masonic common law.
Mackey states his fourteenth Landmark in these
The right of every Mason to visit and sit in every regular Lodge is an
Landmark of the Order. This is called the right of visitation. This
right of visitation
has always been recognized as an inherent right which inures to every
Mason as he
travels through the world and this is because Lodges are justly
considered as divisions
for convenience of the universal Masonic family. This right may of
course be impaired
or forfeited on special occasions by various circumstances; but when
refused to a Mason in good standing who knocks at the door of a Lodge
as a visitor,
it is to be expected that some good and sufficient reason shall be
this violation of what is in general a Masonic right founded on the
This is a matter of great difficulty, not
to the existence of a Landmark of visitation, but also with respect to
of the right, whether founded on a Landmark or on common law. That
there is a Landmark
that Masons have a right of visitation is quite possible. There are
reasons for asserting this. (1) Originally Lodges were not necessarily
The Masons present at the time and place opened a Lodge. A striking
of this may be found in Ashmole's well-known account of his initiation.
circumstances all who were there had a right to take part. But there
were also permanent
Lodges in Scotland, at least, in the sixteenth century. (2) The right
it may be said, inheres in the ideas of fraternity and universality. So
far as we
can use logic and philosophy they sustain Mackey on this point. (3)
in all brotherhoods and societies in all time, so far as not purely
local. It is
said to have been a maxim of the Pythagoreans. (4) The old charges
a duty of receiving "strange fellows" ‒ that is, foreign Masons ‒ and
of treating them well. This is a very strong argument.
We might, then, accept a Landmark of
however, are its limits? This is one of the most difficult and vexed
Masonic jurisprudence. Hence I prefer to regard visitation as a common
the limits and scope whereof must be considered in the next lecture.
(To be continued)
(1) "Causes of
Divergence in Ritual," THE BUILDER, vol. III, Nov.
C. C. B: pp. 4-10. ‒
(2) Masonic Jurisprudence ‒ II, The Landmarks," THE BUILDER, vol. III,
GEORGE WASHINGTON was a man. He lived and did
He was a Mason. He was Worshipful Master of his Lodge. Not only did he
in his life, he loved Masonry for itself. He was a large man. He had a
had a mole on his cheek. He did not look like a Sphinx. He was human.
He laid the
cornerstone of the National Capitol with Masonic ceremonies. In doing
so he used
a Freemason's trowel. As Worshipful Master he sat in a large leather
leather chair now rests in a glass case, just a few feet from where it
in a building since burned down) when he occupied it as the Master of
The bases of the lights which burned in that Lodge Room still exist.
But for the
ravages of fire, the bier upon which he was borne to his grave would
still be in
existence. At the moment when he breathed his last, his physicians cut
cold of the clock which for years had ticked away the hours in his
bedroom. It has
never ticked since. The gloves which he wore as a Mason still remain.
that he had large ‒ very large ‒ hands. And, withal, in that old Lodge
hangs his portrait, painted shortly before his death. A human face,
rounding shoulders, covered with long, white hair. The face of a man
who has lived
much. An austere face ‒ but a kindly eye. An eye which knew
Brotherhood, and appreciated
it. The eye and the face of the man and Mason whom, in 1788, was
Edmund Randolph, Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, as "our
well-beloved brother, George Washington, Esq., late General and
of the forces of the United States of America," and who, with others,
a Charter for Alexandria Lodge, General Washington becoming its first
These intimate personal relics, and hundreds of
which repose in that little old Lodge Room in Alexandria, prove that
was a Mason, and loved his Masonry. Except perhaps the room at Mount
Vernon in which
he died, there is no more hallowed place in all Virginia. His presence
there. You can feel it. And when Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 is
is a thrill for every Mason ‒ even the words of the ritual seem to be
the echoes of the days of long ago. To the American Mason, at least, it
is an holy
A Priceless Legacy? Yes. And a legacy house as
red-blooded American Mason would not have it housed. As it stands, our
still subject to the ravages of fire, and nothing but the bravery of
members of the Lodge could possibly save more than a fraction of what
is left to
us after the fire of 1871.
"To Us," because for eight years the "spirit
of '76” has been reawakened, and these priceless memoirs of the Father
of Our Country
are to be preserved. The coming of the World War has heightened their
and the FIRST Leader of American Democracy mean more to us than they
did a year
or two ago. And so it was that on February 22 last, when the George
National Memorial Association held its annual meeting, the
determination to see
this great American Masonic Legacy properly housed was stronger than
the death of General Shryock, the lamented President of the
Association, could not
deter the representatives of a large number of Grand Lodges there
was his death accepted as a challenge to progress. And progress was
Cash and bona fide pledges to the amount of
$125,000.00 were reported by the Treasurer. The goal which was set at
as the evidence of the practicability of the plan had been passed. It
is not enough
to justify erection of a suitable building, even if other circumstances
But it is now only a matter of organization, and a little more time.
Steps were perfected to expand the organization
to include the whole United States. Funds over and above the reported
total of donations
to the building fund are in hand to carry the message of the need for
into every Lodge in the United States of America. Progress up to date
all that is needed is to present that message, and the patriotic ardor
Masonry will respond to the Call. No Grand Lodge, and no Mason able to
his mite to a fund for this Washington Memorial, will want to be left
out. The success
of the movement is at hand.
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
"The Mercy of Hell"
IT is a notorious fact that the most eloquent
make dull reading. The speaker makes his appeal to a crowd and must
his subject forth in those sweeping generalizations which ill accord
with the printed
page addressed to a solitary mind; he is compelled to lay on his colors
with a lavish
brush in order that the dullest of his hearers may see the picture.
While we listen,
this goes well enough but to read it becomes a different matter, for we
writer most who leaves something to our own wit or imagination.
Moreover, as Emerson
was wont to remind himself, art is ever warning its votaries with "thou
not preach" because nothing is more fatal to a writer's appeal than the
didactic temper of the moralist. For these, and for other reasons
suggested by these,
it is not often that the great sermonizer is also a great writer.
have been but not many: Bossuet may still be read, especially if one is
in French; F.W. Robertson has been listed among the makers of modern
in this country we have had Brooks and Swing. The list is so soon
when a man appears who displays masterhood in both crafts we are all
to heed so rare an apparition.
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, whose volume of
Mercy of Hell," [Lib 1917] has been
recently issued by the Murray Press of Boston (at one dollar), has
upon the public, but in nothing does he more challenge attention than
in his ability
to both preach and write in the grand style. He has the exquisite grace
of the literary
craftsman combined with the unction and power of the prophet and one
knows not which
of the two to admire the more.
Dr. Newton has read prodigiously. In
philosophy, in theology, and in certain specialties, such as
Freemasonry, he is
so much at home that the most literate reader is astonished by the
a man only turned forty; but his thirst for knowledge has never been
discredit the arts wherewith knowledge is turned into light and made to
When the present writer asked him to name the teachers to whom he owed
most by way
of literary inspiration he mentioned Mark Rutherford, David Swing,
Theodore Watts-Dunton and Emerson; Dr. Newton has saturated himself
with the spirit
and mood of these men so that one will ever and anon catch echoes of
them in the
pages of "The Mercy of Hell"; but Dr. Newton's style, for all that it
may owe to these and other masters, is quite his own. It is a style as
as it is original, capable of effects like music and painting combined,
really poignant in its beauty, as those will remember who have read his
sermon on "Why Birds Sing."
It must not be supposed, however, that Dr.
a preacher who uses the sermon as a mere subterfuge for essay writing.
the essential thing in him is the prophet, the mystic, the teacher of
the art of
living the spiritual life, to whom the pulpit has become the house of
and the sermon a speaking of man to man about the highest things. His
is a religion
without dogmatism, a faith innocent of metaphysical subtleties, and
it one will discover the chaste beauty of the Mind of Christ; the life
of God in
the soul of man; it is this which he sets forth in all his scores of
is this which he is ever seeking, or which he is always recommending
art of persuasion. They who have grown weary of sectarian
exaggerations, and the
gritty bitterness of much that passes for evangelical faith, but who
a house of doctrine in which the spirit may find rest and refreshment,
in the present volume that which sounds like the voices of their own
Dr. Newton's most signal contribution to the
spirit of the times, we may say, is his persistent emphasis on beauty
as an essential
element in religion. If the Medieval Period can still send forth an
from its ancient towers it is because the worshippers of that period
as necessary to the church as goodness or truth. When the Reformation
its gray conventicles and its harsh moralities, the note of beauty was
out of the Gospel of "the Poet of Galilee"; but now, we may thankfully
say, the prophets of religion are once more awakened to the need for an
element in common worship, and it is Dr. Newton's distinction that he
has a place
among those who lead this new renaissance which contends that God is as
of ugliness as of falsehood.
The element of beauty in "The Mercy of Hell"
is so blended with the other elements that one cannot disengage it for
but those who care to see it in freest play may turn to the sermon on
Vision of the Dead." It so happens that two other master preachers have
this theme, Phillips Brooks and George A. Gordon; comparisons are
when the living are concerned, but the student who lays these three
him will see at once that Dr. Newton's own distinctive note is the
he has enveloped his pages, a loveliness of spirit, of thought, and of
By this restoration of beauty to the craft of
Dr. Newton has done much to reconcile the tradition which builds on the
holiness with that other tradition which builds on the holiness of
beauty. He has
helped to do that which was so sorely needed, he has given the preacher
place among those other workers who build "the House Beautiful, which
minds of all generations ‒ the artists and those who have treated life
in the spirit
of art ‒ are always building together, for the refreshment of the human
All who teach or preach, whether from the platform or from the printed
long needed this recall to the primacy of beauty in the presentations
of truth and
the appeals to goodness; they have long needed such a warning "against
stupidity which is dead to substance and the vulgarity which is dead to
The Question Box
(The Builder is an open forum for free
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.)
What Is Truth?
In reading "The Trial of Christ From a Lawyer's
Standpoint" in the December issue of THE BUILDER, I was set to
I came across the passage where Pilate, without waiting for an answer,
brooding question which has haunted free men with free minds since the
of time, "What is Truth? "
I would appreciate your definition of Truth, as
wanders to the words "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth," and the
Stars say "Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness," and, if I remember
the same word is used again in both the York and Scottish Rites.
I have looked up the reference to the word in
of St. John and have also consulted three dictionaries.
"What is Truth?” If we could answer that
we could be gods and know all the secrets of the universe. Pilate's
put to Truth itself, but he could not understand it. Truth is the great
Masonic study ‒ the age-long quest of man. It is the reward promised to
are faithful, when their spiritual temple is completed. It has been
lost in the
darkness of error, and, in this life at least, we must be content with
which approximates to the real according to our faithfulness.
"Truth is a tenet
of our Brotherhood;
It is the essence of Divinity;
It is the spirit's native, mystic food;
It is the magnet of eternity,
Which holds all that has been or is to be,
To one grand center, which is fixed in God,
Whom the Accepted, Ancient and the Free
Adore as Master ‒ Whose impartial rod
Each soul hath felt which yet Life's rugged path hath trod.
Truth is eternal ‒ all else but decay;
For Truth is God, and God is Truth, and we
Are shades of destiny that pass away,
Or blend in oceans of Divinity.
The Sun, God's Junior Warden, beams on high,
When moon and stars have faded into night,
To lure the soul from earth to yonder sky,
Wherein life's mystery is lost in light
To be unveiled at last when it hath taken flight."
Books might be written on this subject, my
and not exhaust it. No one definition that man can give can convey an
idea of Truth's
nature. We can hint at its meaning but we can no more comprehend it
than we can
comprehend God himself.
We do indeed find it in all our Masonic work,
the York and the Scottish Rites, because the search for Truth is but
for man's efforts to attain the Real and Eternal and free himself from
and the temporal.
"The earth shall
The stars shall fall,
The heavens roll together
Like a parchment scroll;
But Truth shall live forever,
And through endless ages give
Her blessings to the sainted,
And fail them, never, never."
* * *
Definitions of Masonry
You have struck a sympathetic chord in my
your article "First Steps ‒ Entrance and Reception" in the January
of THE BUILDER.
Your definition comes very close to one I have
You say Freemasonry is a system of moral knowledge in action. Why not
and say "Masonry is morality in action"?
Now I have twenty-four definitions by the
brethren: Oliver, Dalcho, Mackey, Pierson, Pike, Connor, Drummond,
Parker, Saunders, Morris, Sickles, Fitch, Dutch Handbook, Mitchell and
I have but a small library and would like to learn more of this subject.
Definitions may be divided into several
instance, I would classify Sir Gilbert Parker's saying that "Masonry is
the exposition of a manufactured ritual, nor is it a revelation. It
underlying principles which govern all the religions which the race has
is founded upon the accumulated traditions which are necessities to
as a Scottish Rite definition.
The great apostle of Scottish Rite Masonry,
gives the definition of a philosopher.
It seems to me that the Fellowcraft also has
several of them in fact. Oliver says: "Geometry is the basis upon which
superstructure of Masonry is erected." Dalcho and Oliver say "a
science founded on an operative art.
Mackey says "a science of morality," but it
seems to me that A.T.C. Pierson has the Fellowcraft's definition best
of all. He
says "the science of sciences, because it comprehends within itself
I merely mention the above examples to
idea, and if you can point me to a further elaboration of it, I shall
be very thankful
Definitions are only helpful when adding to our
of any subject. They limit or curb the tendency of our minds to
looseness of understanding
or vagueness of vision. A good definition enables us to see straight,
and acquire insight.
A definition may be so scanty of scope that it
better, if any, than the use of the word it aims to explain. This is
the only criticism
I make of your definition and my own, ‒ both are impoverished sadly by
As mere trite expressions of an impression left upon our mind, they
have their uses
perhaps, but they are too lame, impotent and bald for full meaty
meaning and wealth
of ripe suggestion.
I commend to you my old paraphrase of St.
in I. Corinthians, 13th Chapter. Begin at the first verse if you wish,
‒ I prefer
to begin at the fourth. In some versions of the scriptures we have the
rendered as "love." I suggest you read it as "Freemasonry" wherever
"love" or "charity" occur in that memorable chapter.
I also like to think that Romans 12:11 defines
of what a Mason should be.
All these definitions are faulty because not so
sharp, exclusive and co-ordinating as to mark the Mason in any wise
apart and aside
from all other good men. Truly he is of that goodly company but not all
My only answer to such a comment as the above
I think most of Masonry because to me it affords a rallying ground
where we can
unitedly as Masons pool our efforts with the profane for the service of
A Mason is surely made so to prepare and guarantee him for such labor
and to consecrate
him for a larger usefulness among men. As a Mason he recognizes the
equal to himself in standing and in dedication, stones cut and gauged
for the temple of God, fitted to stand together in closest unity
But there is more than this to Masonic purpose
and this aspect is purely the attitude of the Mason to the world's work
his labors with Masons and non-Masons. No definition aiming to be
complete and accurate
will ignore this phase of Freemasonry.
You do not quote either the late Geo. W. Speth
late Wm. J. Hughan, or Oswald Wirth, all of whom have attempted to
Brother Hughan's definition is not as well known as it deserves to be
it handy I copy it herewith. It first appeared in answer to some
comments by that
able and now departed Masonic writer, Brother Joseph Robbins:
in the erection, by aid of the proper working tools, and on the plan
laid down by
the Grand Architect of the Universe on His great moral and Masonic
the Holy Writings, of a spiritual edifice, composed of stones which
the overseer's square and bearing the mark of the Craft thereon,
wherein shall dwell
the Holy Shekinah, surrounding the Cherubim who guard the revealed Word
Any rite administered to this end by the Craftsmen who have passed the
door by the
words of wisdom, upon the steps of prudence, and with the salutations
is Masonic beyond all possibility of doubt."
The above very instructive definition I copy
440, Official Bulletin, Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic
the United States, Vol. 7, 1885.
And now finally, my brother, let me try again.
Freemasonry is a system
of knowledge and of morals taught secretly to the elect for public and
What a Mason should be, what he should know and what he should do is
of Masonic teaching. Masonry is rehearsed to the initiate by the
rendition of ritual,
imparted to his mind by story, and impressed upon the memory by
symbols, a triple
guarantee against forgetfulness. By stage-set drama, stirring story and
of symbolism, the eye, the ear and the recollection continually enrich
of the reflective members of the Craft. He that so learns its lessons
will not expect
of it the mere establishment of historical facts, but he may be sure
that it will
convey to him the finer philosophical doctrines of truth. Such were the
of Him that spake as never man spake. Even as He taught in the enduring
of a straight-forward story, and used the nearby objects of street and
and inn, the whole chastened by the tragedy of His death upon the
cross, at the
hands of those for whom He labored, ‒ so are we Masons today humbly and
too often unconsciously employing methods of instruction having a
likeness to those of the glorified Galilean.
* * *
Masonry in Sweden
Our Study Club would appreciate it very much if
would answer the following questions as soon as possible:
What is the present status of Masonry in
is the reason that Masons visiting that country from the several Grand
of the United States cannot lawfully visit Swedish Lodges?
We shall reply to your last question first by
that, to our knowledge, the Masons of Arkansas, District of Columbia,
New York may lawfully visit Swedish Lodges, as the Grand Lodges of
have officially established fraternal relations with the Grand Lodge of
Possibly the only reason that Minnesota Masons cannot lawfully visit
is that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota has never officially "recognized"
the Grand Lodge of Sweden and the latter, for no other reason than
this, is considered
"clandestine" by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, if we rightly interpret
Section 65 of Article V of the General Regulations of Minnesota, which
"clandestine" Lodge as "one without a charter or dispensation from
this Grand Lodge or from a Grand Lodge recognized by it."
Brother R. F. Gould, in his larger "History of
Freemasonry," vol. IV, chapter XXVI, says that the history of Masonry
possesses an interest peculiar to itself. The Swedes appear to have
from the simple teachings of the Craft as easily and early as the other
of Europe, but with this difference, that instead of flitting from one
Rite to another,
constantly seeking variety, they have remained steadfast to their first
and still work the same ceremonies that originally rivetted their
1760. These ceremonies are in great part their own invention, although
improbably ‒ upon the degrees of the Clermont Chapter; and as they have
adopted by one Grand Body in Prussia, and by Denmark, Sweden has ever
practically outside the circle of Freemasonry ‒ a distant connection
only of the
great Masonic family. This want of intimate Masonic intercourse,
combined with a
marked absence of indigenous Masonic literature, is the reason that any
of Swedish Freemasonry can be no more than a sketch.
In 1780 the Rite was rearranged and divided
John's Lodges, comprising
Andrew's Lodges, the Scots
degrees: 4d, Elect
or Scots Apprentices and Fellows; 5d, Scots Master or Grand Scots
Elect; 6d, Stuart
brothers or Knights of the East and Princes of Jerusalem.
Chapter: 7d, Confidants of
Knights of the West; 8d, Confidants of St. John; 9d, Confidants of St.
this is a sort of Tenth Degree composed of three steps of honor ‒
by Commanders of the Red Cross and Vicar of Solomon. The ruling body of
is this Tenth Degree, and its officers are called the Grand Wardens of
Lamp, Sword, Square, Temple, the Standard, the Grand Chancellor,
Architects, and at the head of all is the Vicar of Solomon. Owing to
color of Freemasonry in Sweden, Solomon throughout is but a type of
his Vicar consequently becomes Christ's Vicar, a species of Protestant
the office is now always held by the King of the country is therefore
On January 24, 1798, the Duke of Sudermania
long letter to the Grand Master of England praying for a regular
mutual representation. This was granted and in spite of the great
ritual, the two Grand Lodges have ever since been in fraternal
Our latest statistics show that there are 43
and 13,558 members under the Grand Lodge of Sweden.
* * *
Information Concerning Candidates
(The following questions are referred
to us by the
Chairman of the Skowhegan, Maine, Study Club after a recent discussion
McCollum's paper on "The Ballot" which appeared in the October
Circle Bulletin. Any opinions or comments on the questions or our
by those of our members who are students of Masonic jurisprudence will
space in the Correspondence Columns of this department.)
Question 1. Should
any brother who has the right of balloting and providing he is able to
meeting at which the ballot is to be had, seek the investigating
committee to inform
them of any reason he may have for thinking the applicant unworthy of
Answer. We can see no objection to a Mason
the investigating committee of any reasons he may have for thinking the
unworthy of becoming a Mason. It is his privilege to do so. Also every
a Maine Lodge has the right, under Section 102, Article VI, of the
of the Grand Lodge of Maine, to object to the initiation of any
giving his reasons therefor and such objection is equivalent to a
rejection by ballot.
Such objection may be made privately to the Master or to the Lodge and
therefor cannot be required. Were the brother's reasons communicated to
committee before their report to the Lodge, he would still have the
right to file
an objection to the candidate's initiation with the Master or the Lodge.
Question 2. Taking
it for granted the brother has given this information to the committee,
is he subjecting
himself to trial for unmasonic conduct?
Answer. No. For if he were in possession of
if made known, would cause the candidate to be rejected it would be his
duty to reveal such facts to prevent unworthy material from being
Question 3. If he informs
the committee, is present at the meeting at which the candidate is to
upon, and asks to be excused from voting, is he guilty of unmasonic
Answer. Not according to the Maine law which
that any member may be excused from voting by consent of the Lodge.
Question 4. Does a
brother lay himself open to umnasonic conduct by informing the
committee of his
objections, providing it is absolutely impossible for him to attend the
at which the candidate is to be balloted upon?
Question 5. Should
a brother who is unable to attend the meeting at which the candidate is
to be balloted
upon inform the committee or the Master if he objects to the
Answer. See answer to question No. 1.
* * *
The Tabernacle Erected By
We are told in the Entered Apprentice Degree
Solomon's Temple was situated due east and west after the style of the
which Moses built on the banks of the Red Sea "to perpetuate the
of that remarkable east wind which wrought their mighty deliverance,
the better to receive the rays of the rising sun."
I have examined the parts of the Scriptures
and fail to find that this was the case. Will you kindly advise me if
you can locate
the passage of Scripture that conveys this meaning?
If you are looking for a passage of Scripture
gives this explanation of the reason why the tabernacle and temple were
due east and west, you will fail to find it. Both the tabernacle and
are full of symbolical significance, which is not given in the Bible.
significance was understood so well that it was not necessary to give
In some cases it was not given because the people had not reached a
stage of development
which enabled them to understand it. That every detail had a symbolical
was firmly believed by the people themselves, but they were not always
to what that significance was. Leyrer says "as to the symbolic
of the tabernacle there can be no doubt that the structure of the same
determined by a complex and profound symbolism; but its meaning remains
one of the
things which will always be guess-work. Jewish Rabbis as well as
have exercised their ingenuity with more or less success." The
gives very minute instructions as coming from God himself. Moses is to
tabernacle according to the pattern shown him in the Mount ‒ Exodus
XXV, 9 and 40;
XXVI, 30; XXVII, 8; and according to this plan the tabernacle is to be
due east and west with the entrance in the East. (See Exodus XXVI,
9-19). Unless some significance was attached to it there would be no
object in giving
such minute instructions, especially as the location of each new camp
must be chosen
in view of these instructions. If as a matter of fact this continual
the tabernacle in the same direction perpetuated the remembrance of the
wind by which their miraculous deliverance was wrought, it is natural
that it was intended to do so. Again as to the rising sun, the Jewish
says "the opening of the gate toward the East had reference to the
the sun." (See Isaiah XLI, 2 and 25; Psalms L, 1; XIX, 4, CIII, 12.)
meant forward ‒ the direction of the face. West being behind, North to
South to the right. (See Job XXIII, 8, 9; Gen. XIII, 14; XXVIII, 14;
5, 6.) East is the part of the world where God planted Paradise. Many
of the early
Christians thought that Paradise was situated in the East. Therefore,
may not be able to determine the origin of this explanation of the
the tabernacle and the temple, it is not an unnatural one and we know
of no passage
in the Scriptures with which it is inconsistent. We know that many of
writers as well as the Apostle Paul gave to many of the early customs a
significance which we do not find elsewhere in the Bible, and it is
to suppose that much of the rich symbolism of the temple like the
parables of the
New Testament was only revealed to those who were able to understand
it. It is probable
that much of it was even hidden from the earlier generations because
they had not
reached a stage of spiritual development which would enable them to so
it. Masonic symbolism is of the same nature ‒ it does not appear upon
‒ it is like the truth that comes to the diligent seeker and is
revealed to him
only as he is able to comprehend it. As illustrating a symbolical
of the tabernacle which developed many generations after the tabernacle
passed away, read Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews.
Recommends a Masonic College
Here is a matter I wish you would publish in
for the discussion and action of the brethren:
Why not have a Masonic training school, or
where the Masons and their children, or others for that matter, could
get a liberal
education? We have those in the order whose early environment forced
them to make
their own way in the world, and in so doing were denied the benefits of
a good education.
Many of these, I think, would gladly avail themselves of the
opportunity of securing
more light, or if unable to attend themselves, would gladly and freely
to the establishment of such a school for the benefit of others. We are
we should be lovers of the several arts and sciences, and in what more
could we live up to this teaching, than by the establishment of such a
in so doing set up an immovable landmark for the glory of Masonry and
of the race ‒ a landmark which even the ravages of time would not
If every Mason would contribute a dollar, or
they so desired, it would make in round numbers $1,500,000 which would
be a sufficient
sum to start a school of which none of us would need feel ashamed.
I would suggest that such a school, if
be not run for profit, but be self-sustaining, and that it be centrally
thereby serving the greater number of people, for if located in any
extreme of the
country many would be barred on account of the high traveling expenses,
‒ Wm. Dickson, Michigan.
* * *
In the matter of physical qualifications
THE BUILDER and the article "Symbolism of the Perfect Man," by Brother
Ticknor of Maryland, in the September issue, in which he says "that the
symbolizes, in his physical being, the perfect man, who alone is fit to
the composition of 'that spiritual building that house not made with
in the heavens,"' I take it that it is the perfect man, and not the
which "alone is fit to enter into the composition of that spiritual
that house not made with hands."
The perfect stone was made use of by the
to put into the building, not as a symbol, but as part of the building,
and is it
not the perfect man, and not the symbol, that goes into the spiritual
so closely to the line of symbolism, and endeavoring to hold fast to an
operative landmark, is there not danger of losing sight of the very
root and foundation
of our speculative teachings, that, "it is the internal and not the
qualifications that make one worthy to be a Mason"? Is it not as a man
and doeth, the life that he lives, that counts? Are these not the
our principles and teachings? Is a man any less able to live and love,
to do good,
to practice our divine precepts, because of having gone forth to defend
of right and justice set forth in our teachings and in the doing
thereof been deprived
of some symbolic member? On this account is he any less a man, or any
less a Mason;
or is he any less worthy to be a man, or any less worthy to be a Mason?
While symbolism enters largely into our
it may be that the external or physical is the symbol of the internal
and that the symbol should be perfect even as the internal is perfect,
and as it
was with the Great Initiate; yet it is not the teachings itself, nor
the whole of
Should all of our principles and teachings
awe of one landmark of our ancient operative brothers, who used stones
not as symbols?
‒ L.L. Reynolds. Iowa.
* * *
of the Stone Age and Activities of French Lodges
In the February issue of THE BUILDER Brother
raps Brother A.P.O. for attempting to find evidences of Masonry in the
He says that it is a scientific question. Surely Brother Jox would not
do away with
the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In every age of the world Masons were the best
that age. Evidently the Stone Age man was a fierce, blood-thirsty
know that all men are not alike even in this enlightened time ‒ some
might be termed
blood-thirsty even now. To judge this Age by the record being made by
there would be no abiding-place for Masonry. And statistics show it to
be a fact
that there are fewer Masons per capita in the German Empire than in any
nation, yet there are some Masons even there, however incredible it may
It requires no stretch of the imagination to
there were some good men, comparatively, in the Stone Age. The best men
time, no matter what they were called or named, even if they were
citizens," judging from our standard, they were the Masons of their
Age. The Divine spark is always in the heart of man, no matter how
* * *
Brother Kellett's able paper on the Grand
France reveals the same old story that has made sectarianism possible
in the material
and religious world ‒ a lack of understanding of our brother's true
what he really believes, perhaps, we might even say, our meddling, by
a standard for him. Why should not he set up one for us? No doubt he
would do so,
were he less broad-minded and tolerant.
We can contrast the life of intense interest in
Lodge under the Grand Orient where are discussed sociological,
and philosophical questions, as compared with the average lifeless
interest in our
own Lodges, except when there is a supper or work to do. Perhaps we had
careful about throwing rocks.
‒ A. K. Bradley. Texas.
* * *
An Unsolicited Recommendation
Please give me the floor, Brother Editor, until
to the brethren:
who subscribes to and reads THE BUILDER gets so much more out of his
it is a real act of conservation; it really pays him to be so engaged.
any brother would be a very enthusiastic and well-posted Mason if he
consult with such brethren as Pound, Newton, Clegg, et al., and two
dollars a year
for such a privilege would be considered a trifling cost. Well, that is
I am doing right along every month in THE BUILDER and it is a "big
at two dollars a year. May I suggest that we each and every one of us
least one new member for the Society and thus do good for all
concerned? As a printer
in the past I know that a publisher has his financial problems now as
And our publisher has his problems.
is made up of men that rally to every good cause when it is properly
their attention: brethren, THE BUILDER is a good cause and ought to be
on at least
a hundred thousand library tables. It is an exponent of true Masonry.
An anti-Mason looked
through a copy of THE BUILDER which he found on my study table (I am a
and remarked: "If Masonry is what this Journal seems to indicate, it
me that it is a good thing." Such light should be far more widely
and to that end I pledge myself to do my part to raise the number of
the Society to one hundred thousand.
number from the first, and every member joining after the first year
owes it to
himself to stock up with the previous bound volumes. He will be
building for himself
a Masonic library that will be prized in the years to come. When old
age comes on
these bound volumes will be a benediction to any Mason.
all, Brother Mason, "this is the Journal you long have sought and
you found it not." THE BUILDER does not use valuable space and ink to
that, for instance, some illustrious brother in California or elsewhere
been confined to his home for a couple of days with a slight attack of
But it gives us each month a feast of Masonic history, philosophy,
etc., and it is not run for the financial profit of any individual. It
designs on every thinking Mason's trestle-board ‒ great designs.
brother Editor, without any suggestion from you or yours, I crave
again ask the brethren to put the circulation of THE BUILDER and the
the Society to where it belongs ‒ in six figures.
‒ Frederick W. Hart, Ohio.
Choice – [A Poem]
no one ever did
a thing he didn't want to do
I do not think that we would get a whole lot done, do you?
If no one ever did a thing that wasn't any fun
There wouldn't be a lot of use on earth for anyone.
And here's a most peculiar thing about the whole of it:
Although we often hate to do our little daily bit,
The things that ultimately bring us joy and profit, too,
Are generally the little things we didn't want to do.
Textbook of Masonic Jurisprudence
Mac721 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Clark, Maynard,
Publishers, 1872. - 7th Edition : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 571. - 28.1 MB.
Animal Symbolism in Architecture
Eva96 / auth. Evans Edwin P. - New York : Henry Holt and Company, 1896.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 388. - 7.8 MB.
AQC Transactions Vol 001 - 1895
Ars95 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
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AQC Transactions Vol 003 - 1890
Ars90 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
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AQC Transactions Vol 004 - 1891
Ars91 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
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AQC Transactions Vol 010 - 1897
Ars97 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
1897. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 306. - 63.8 MB.
Book of Constitutions
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.
Book of Constitutions
And38 / auth. Anderson James. - London : J. Robinson, 1738. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 249. - 16.2 MB.
Hay17 / auth. Haywood Harry L. - Boston : The Murray Press, 1917. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 43. - 1.1 MB.
Collected Essays &
Papers Related to Freemasonry
Gou131 / auth. Gould Robert F. - Belfast : William Tait, 1913. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 313. - 14.3 MB.
History of Freemasonry
Fin66 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - London : Asher & Co., 1866. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 742. - Translated from the German - 17.8 MB.
Primitive Secret Societies
Web08 / auth. Webster Hutton. - New York : The Macmillan Company, 1908.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 241. - 7.0 MB.
The Dawn of Astronomy
Loc94 / auth. Lockyer Norman. - London : Cassell and Company Limited,
1894. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 449. - 19.2 MB.
The Mercy of Hell
New17 / auth. Newton Joseph F. - Boston : The Murray Press, 1917. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 179. - 6.3 MB.