Masonic Research Society
of a Mason
By Bro. J. George Gibson,
THERE is no disgrace in working for wages. In
days there are some who prefer the word "salary" or that of "stipend"
as more "genteel." In reality neither of these words is even a wee bit
more "genteel" than the old, old word "wages." Has the world
fallen out of love with the idea of receiving just that which
represents some work
done and no more? If so is there anything more honorable in the taking
of what is
not only the due but carries with it also a profit of a trade nature?
be days of contracts and of unequal profits; but that does not, and
make us forget that there is nothing more honorable or ancient than the
of our just wages, which are the cash equivalent of the work we have
done. It may
sometimes inconveniently suggest the "work of one's hands," and
to some the menial task. This is, however, no objection, for he who
which represents what he has done receives that which will make him
hold up his
head with the greatest. He who accepts a profit may be equally honest
but yet may have to wonder at times just what his profit costs his
fellow man. It
may be significant or not according to the point of view, but the fact
in the new country where men are face to face with facts, deep
of life, there is none of this squeamishness as to the use of the word
There is after all a great deal of the absurd in this attempt to gloss
fact that we labor for wages, as though it were a something to be
ashamed of that
we are engaged in manual toil, instead of being matter for joy and
glory that we
are able to contribute to the art and wealth of the world about us.
All this talk of the "honorarium," the "fee,"
the "remuneration," and the like is the coinage of the "shabby genteel"
who are ashamed of all that should give them the right to live and the
a place in society. The sooner we get back to the place from which so
many of us
have fallen the better for the world and for our own manhood. There is
no one so
little of account among the respectable classes as the idler, who is
not even an
apprentice "working for his meat." And it is time that the world which
can be taught by Masonry learned more the value of a regular occupation
practice of which all received, not an allowance, but wages. Justice is
not so blind
as she is made out to be, and it is a fact that the rule in life is
that we receive
exactly the wage for the work we have done, and no more.
A Mason is not only the temple he builds but he
more ‒ the Builder. His life is his masterpiece, and woe to him if he
of his best. Where are his wages but in the work itself? All labor that
is in accordance
with the teaching of the tracing board goes unpaid for. And in life
there is no
deferred payment either. It is not kept from him until he can no longer
use it in
this lodge below, but the Great Warden settles with each man every day
task is performed. "And each man's reward shall be according as his
be." This is the Law of Life: it is also the Masonic Law. But the
is Labor. No playing at the forms of toil will be sufficient. The
recital of the
ritual, and the statement that we are prepared to be liberal beyond the
the reformer will not avail us when we stand before our Master each
we give liberally of that which we shall never miss, of that the loss
of which costs
us nothing, we are no richer at the end of our Masonic career than we
were at the
beginning. But if the gift of our goodwill is also the gift of our real
is if it has cost us something, then the reward comes to us in the
of our soul, and in the greater power by which we yield to the claims
of need in
the future. "He who would be. greatest must be servant of all." That is
to say "he must serve." It is service that passes a man from the lower
work of the bench to the higher, and it is service that creates within
us the spirit
of the true artisan.
It is no reason for shame that we are filled
desire to covet earnestly the greater gifts. The Entered Apprentice
need not hang
his head at the thought that he would like, even he, to reach the seat
of K. S.
in his lodge. But if it be rank alone that draws him, then he is still
in the outer
courts of the Masonic Temple. A Master of his lodge who has never
dreamed, and never
executed the masterpiece is one who holds a high office unworthily. He
without dignity. Office should come in the ordinary course of the
a man's Masonic experience. To the best workman the best work. The
is a degradation to the throne if the king be too foolish to reign in
a man's life capacity should be the surest nomination for office and
for labor in
the highest grades. To give the Craft its due it is only right to say
that the weak
Worshipful Master is the exception and the officers who are chosen are
who are best fitted for the duties of their office. But with the rapid
of our numbers in these days of a favorably received Freemasonry there
is just a
danger that with the huge new membership there may creep in the profane
and then the weakening of the Masonic testimony. This is seen too often
in the way
in which brethren are hastened through the degrees to the exaltation in
We sometimes wonder how many of the workmen
to handle the chisel of life, and how many are capable of spending the
receive out of all reason before their work is completed. We have also
Worshipful Masters who were not even word perfect in the ceremonies,
and who did
not seem to consider it necessary that they should take much trouble to
upon the initiate lessons they had perhaps never understood themselves.
that we have often wondered upon what grounds of efficiency some of the
to positions in the higher walks of Freemasonry have been allocated.
Men whose whole
lives have been devoted to the explication of the meaning of true
Masonry are ignored
excepting in the paragraph of the Masonic Press, while others whose
service to Masonry,
and whose development in the direction of the templar erection has been
to say the
least obscure have been pushed to the front, much to their discomfort.
We have seen
the social position outside the lodge qualify for high position within,
potentiality of the true workman lost sight of. We are glad to know
that such incidents
are rarer than they were, but they should be impossible. Some kind of
be kept of the wages due to the Mason by the Craft he works for. The
has his account and the reward will surely come; but it would tend to
of the bond of Freemasonry did the brethren know that their labors were
in the human book of remembrance.
And yet, when we come to think of the multitude
have in our own recollection been laboring at the bench to which they
sent from the first, we cannot recall one of the real workmen who has
with his modicum of human recognition and left his tools before the
great work of
his life has been accomplished. Why is this? The answer is simple. They
wages, though men paid them none. They who give receive, they who labor
are enriched, they who sacrifice to give are yet more enriched. The
whose mind the profane impression is still evident may turn tired of
the long period
of toil to which he is called when he enters the lodge; but the veteran
the call of profane ambition the goby since his Masonic ambition is to
enrich the world in which he is set apart to the ministry of service.
He may have
been robbed by the obtuseness of those who are in the front ranks of
the army of
those opportunities of usefulness which at one time he longed to win;
but he has
made the best use of those he won for himself, and looks back with
and forward with hope. His reward is in himself, and none can deprive
him of the
fruit of a long service. When we see the world about us moved by our
we know that as the result of our sacrifices a higher standard of
set up all over the world, and know that the angles that symmetry does
are rubbed away, and that the anger that once spoiled many a good cause
is now discredited,
the mere pomp of place does not count with us, for these results are
and we give the receipt for them with new resolutions that are even
than those that now are realized.
Harmony – [A Poem]
John Dryden, 1631-1700
This universal frame began;
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
In order to their stations leap,
And Music's power obey.
From Harmony, from heavenly Harmony
This universal frame began;
From Harmony to Harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.
Notes on the Comacine Masters
By Bro. W. Ravenscroft,
PERHAPS the most distinguishing feature of
work is the campanile, and of all parts of their churches their towers
than any their individual character. They abound in Italy, but not
campanili of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and earlier, for in
are not included the large number of much diversified form built in
At first plain, without corbel tables, pilaster strips or strings, and
single opening at the top, afterwards adorned with two, three,
sometimes four, round-arched
openings, supported on shafts, much as some of our Saxon belfry windows
they soar in many cases to quite a considerable height, and form the
miles around as well as being real belfries and not merely places of
refuge or defense,
such as church towers are often found to be further east.
They abound, as may be expected, around the
lakes, but also are plentiful in Rome and in fact are everywhere in
Italy as has
been already noticed.
As a type of all the rest and remarkable for
and situation, is the campanile of the ruined church of Sta. Maria
close to Bellagio
On the influence of Byzantine over Comacine
word may be allowed in connection with the sculptured and pictorial
work of the
two schools. While the former developed a spiritual side associated
the latter, where unaffected by this, manifested a grosser conception
of the human
body, and as in the eleventh century it came more under the influence
of the Byzantine,
so its pictorial and sculptured art became refined. This is well
the church of St. Pietro al Monte di Civate, already referred to. (1)
Thus far, as to the relation between the two
we have had under consideration, and it only remains to remark how
many instances Greek, Roman and Comacine details appear to be jumbled
At the church of S. Prassede Rome there is a doorway consisting of a
Roman egg and dart enrichment, dentils, chevrons and interlaced
the capitals of the columns are after a debased Ionic treatment. A
appears in the vestibule of S. Mark's at Venice but without the
Merzario (I. Maestri Comacini [Lib 1893; Vol 1, Vol 2 (Italian)]) claims
that the forerunners of the Comacines on leaving Rome took with them
but worked out their own style chiefly on basilican forms, and that it
by degrees they came under Byzantine influence as they worked eastward.
That the Comacines were everywhere in Italy we
already seen, and now have to consider point number six: "They spread
influence over all Western Europe and even to our own shores."
Edgecumbe Staley, writing on the Gilds of
1906], states that the
Comacines were consolidated by A. D. 590 and influenced the
architecture of the
whole of Italy but had no governing lodge, saying in the words of their
their Temple "was one made without hands." Merzario writes (2) (I.
Comacini, vol. I, p. 78):
remained still alive and went about scattered through many cities and
to exercise their art even after the fall of the Lombards, and that as
of Greece kept behind (followed) the long steps of Alexander in the
by him in Asia and Egypt, and those of Rome behind the victorious
Caesar upon the
Rhone and the Rhine, so they followed closely upon the traces of the
Desiderius, of the dominator of the Saxons and the Normans. "Thus
the first seeds of that art which was altogether unknown and there rose
on the surface
of the earth and elevated itself in Germany and Gaul, with the
physiognomy of the
fathers, named in common Comacines, or Lombards, who had given birth to
it or taught
Further on he continues (p. 80):
Quatremere de Quincy, in his Historical Dictionary of Architecture
(as they called themselves in the Middle Ages,) that company of
builders who, from
the borders of the lakes of Como, of Lugano and Maggiore, with usage
not yet interrupted
scattered themselves through Europe to build edifices, some sacred,
and in the Lombard laws with the name of Magistri Comacini, were
honored by special
"'To these artificers
‒ architects, sculptors, mosaicists or workmen who idealized and
executed, is attributed
the resurrection of art and its propagation in the Northern countries
where it was
introduced and propagated with Christianity. Certainly we owe to them
that the heredity
of the ancient age was not altogether derelict, and that at least by
by imitation the practice of the constructor remained alive and
produced works which
even at this time are admired and recognized as more surprising in
the ignorance of science in those obscure centuries.'"
One makes no apology for translating Merzario's
from other authorities, because they give a weight of added testimony
Thus he continues (vol. I, p. 81) after
German Kugler and the Frenchman Ramee as most competent men in the
history of art,
and as holding similar views:
"We will add the
opinion of other of our authoritative writers. The lamented Pietro
that the architecture which held sway from the eighth to the thirteenth
in Europe consisted of Byzantine and Roman elements conjoined, but in
mixed with another which, in part produced from those, had nevertheless
elements so original as to construct an independent art. This, he says,
is the Lombard
or Comacine architecture call it which you like, which is distinguished
by the low
pitched roofs, by the always semi-circular arches rising from the
columns in the
facade resembling the Greek and Roman; it was indeed not enlarged in
after being born, but taking root little by little, resulted in a sure,
unity after the first half of the ninth century.
"This, it cannot
be denied, was the product of the union of the Masters of Como with the
of their connection with Aquileja towards the Levant.
"Caimi, in the
first page of a valuable work of his, writes: "
'Toward the beginning
of the ninth century architecture, which in Italy presented a mixture
of Roman and
Byzantine elements, commenced to develop under a more original and
form and, without repudiating the origin of its being, took normal and
from which came to be constructed that manner or architectonic style
the country, was called Lombard. That style spread rapidly, not in the
Italy alone, but in many regions of Northern Europe especially through
of those associations or companies of Freemasons who were better known
name of Comacine Masters. "Professor Camille Boito makes to stand out
clearly still the figure and merit of our Masters, 'The Comacine
He writes: "
'Some have wished to
demonstrate a secret society having the monopoly of the architectural
arts for the
space of several centuries while others have wished to make them out
or but little more called here and there in Italy and in foreign
countries to manual
labor. It is certain that in every case they had great importance and
would not cede to other provinces the ancient merit of having been the
a new art, wise and beautiful in its own time, from which art was born
after a series
of transformations the pointed arch styles which found so much favor in
France and England, and also the ways of our art of the thirteenth
century, so rich
in artistic variety, so free, so refined, of the art in fact which at
beautified, civilized, was able to become perhaps the base of the
Italian art of
On page 91 Merzario writes:
"From the declaration
of an almost contemporary author it appears quite clearly that the
had, after the dispersion of the Lombards, a school in Rome ‒ a quarter
near that of the Franks and Saxons, who were protected by Charlemagne
and his successors.
From this school must have derived that community and brotherhood which
we see extended
between the Lombard and German artists with the faculty for the
Lombards to go into
Germany, where they found fellow-disciples and friends, and the name
given in successive periods to the Lombard artificers, who in great
part were Comacines."
Merzario traces the footsteps of the Comacines
the Lombards in their descent upon Sicily where they came in contact
with the Normans,
also into Germany where their mark is seen in the Cathedral of Spires,
and other cities but enough has been quoted from this author for our
Comacine influence on the Normans was in two directions, northward and
and in evidence of the former a few references may here be permitted.
Paul the Deacon (De gestis Longobardorum, book
6) states that at the beginning of the seventh century Pope Gregory
sent certain "religious" to England, who, following in the footsteps of
the blessed Augustine, of Melitus, John and others, were directed to
visit and bring
under obedience the divided Britons of the world ("divisos orbe
who had only once seen the face of the Romans. These brought with them
who were to raise up the temples of the faith and who, coming from
Italy, most probably
belonged to those Craftsmen, which had the use and privilege of such
The Venerable Bede tells us how S. Benedict
Wearmouth, in A. D. 674, wishing to build his church went into France
masons who could erect it after the manner of the Romans, and when
these had completed
their work in order to the furnishings of the church he had recourse to
of the Romans for things he could not procure in France or England.
Richard, Prior of Hagustald, narrates how S.
about 674, made pilgrimage to Rome and became enamored of the beautiful
and buildings there, and that having in mind to build a church in honor
of S. Andrew
of Hagustald near to York, he brought together in Italy and France and
countries as many builders and industrious artificers as he could find
them into England. It is said that in these writings of Bede and the
and phrases are to be found which were in the edict of King Rothrares
and in the "Memoratorio" of Liutprand (A. D. 713) thus connecting the
work of S. Benedict and S. Wilfred with the Comacines.
W.S. Calverley, writing of Stephens [Lib*],
on the Early Scriptured crosses, etc., in the Diocese of Carlisle"
his view the latter part of the seventh century was a period of great
under Wilfreth and other Romanizing leaders, and at that date these
interlacings were learnt from Lombardy and not from Ireland. For
example, the tomb
of the Irish Saint Columbanus at Bobbio, which one would expect to find
with the so-called Irish art, is decorated merely with the patterns
then in vogue
in Rome, while in Lombardy ‒ not in Ireland ‒ interlaced scrolls were
in the seventh century."
Dr. Colley, F. S. A., in a paper read before
Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, published in 1913, says:
"The three decorative
interlacements (on a font at stone, near Aylesbury,) may indicate a
Such designs had much vogue in Italy during the eighth century and were
to the north of Europe by Italian monks. The intreccio that runs round
the rim of
the font is threefold and represents the Trinity in Unity, that on the
right having neither beginning nor end means eternity, while the other,
band interlacing a circle, teaches that Infinity is controlled by a
S. Ninian, it is known, was a great friend of
of Tours and from him obtained masons skilled to work in stone.
A little book published by Talbot, London,
"Lives of the Saints" says (p. 216) [Lib*]:
"Both the churches
of Ripon and Hexham were built after the Roman manner ‒ that is the
with the altar in a chord of a western apse by which the celebrant
faced the east
when saying mass."
Mr. George Coffey, in his guide to Celtic
in the Dublin National Museum, notes that while the intreccia of Italy
universally three stranded, those of Greece and Central Syria, as well
consisted mainly of two strands. Certainly those in England are rarely
strands, but generally of two or one only. Mr. Coffey seems to think
pattern was derived from both Roman and Greek sources. Whatever the
origin of the
Comacine intreccia may be, it would seem to be pretty clear that the
form was their particular one, and may be taken generally as indicative
Interlaced patterns in these islands are
on crosses, fonts, and other such details and of these crosses
remain a great number.
There is no doubt that intercourse between
our Western shores in the early Middle Ages was fairly intimate, and
since the pagan
Saxon hold on England would prevent it being overland, especially in
regard to church
matters, such intercourse was necessarily by sea. Hence the association
of the Irish
Round Towers with those of Italy gets confirmation, and indeed seems to
held (see Arch. Review fol October, 1908, and following numbers).
A comparison of other details found in Italy
will give some interesting results.
Some of the oldest Comacine capitals, side by
richly carved ones, are massive cushion capitals, such as are to be
found in the
Crypt of S. Vincenzio at Gravedona.
The illustration of the capital of a column in
di Como (Fig. 11) should be compared with the Norman capital from
12), and one from the Como Museum with that from Milford Hants, and
Selham Sussex (Figs. 13, 14 and 15).
Outside the apse of S. Sisto Viterbo (a
church) an arcade occurs in which the interlaced pattern is alternated
dog-tooth of almost Early English type (Fig. 16) . At S. Pietro Ancona
arcade is notched with an early dogtooth ornament while at the same
arcade is surmounted with a chevron and running ornament of what we
Norman character (Figs. 17 and 18).
On the west front of S. Paolo Pisa (a generally
church) occur two pointed arches in the arcading having chevron
treatment as at
Wimborne Minster Dorset.
The lion excavated at Corstopitum near Hexham,
mentioned, (3) is obviously of the same family as those of the
Comacines in Italy
and its proximity to Hexham gives added reason for regarding it in this
The use of pilaster strips, common to the
and the Saxon or early Norman Tower, suggests a relationship between
the two and
as regards plan there is not wanting good evidence of the Comacine
Not long since discoveries were made in
Abbot Wulfric's round church at S. Augustines Canterbury and, writing
the Times, Mr. G. McN. Rushforth, F. S. A., mentions several round
churches as having
existed in England, saying it was about 68 A. D. that Wilfrid built the
of S. Mary at Hexham, while Riviora points out that all these circular
derived directly or indirectly from Roman models, and that in choosing
for the church of the Holy Sepulchre, Constantine did but follow the
a typical Roman Mausoleum on the grand scale. The plan of Canterbury
it existed before 1076 carries out the Comacine idea, even to the two
at each end and the campanili flanking the aisles, north and south.
Comment on all this is surely superfluous. It
for itself, and indeed it would appear that most authorities are agreed
North Italy English architecture received both its inspiration and
its earlier days. That it was through the Comacines rather than through
or Lombard school (if indeed there were two distinct schools) one would
practically demonstrated in the foregoing comparison of the chief
of the two schools. (4)
That the Comacines merged into the great
of the Middle Ages, and that as these declined, forms and ceremonies
held and practiced
by them were to a great extent preserved in the speculative Masonry of
day, particularly that practiced under the English and American
still doubted by some and denied by one or two.
Merzario would have us believe that the
whom he appears to derive a large number of other schools of medieval
could be traced down to 1800 A. D., but such opinion would want a great
evidence to make it acceptable.
Sig. Monneret de Villard, who takes the view
were a school distinct from other contemporary ones, holds that as an
body they ceased to exist after the twelfth century.
A good illustration of the way in which symbols
transmitted even from the Temple of Solomon to the medieval Craftsmen
to our speculative Masonry, is to be found in the two pillars at
already mentioned. It has been pointed out that they were originally
either side of the porch but are now in the body of the Cathedral
positions reversed), and that these shafts are interlaced in a manner
to in these pages.
One has thought it worthwhile to make some
with regard to these pillars and hence before the commencement of the
I was able to ascertain, on what I have reason to believe to be
that these pillars originally supported three archways of a porchway or
just within the nave, having over them a gallery approached by a
staircase. In this
position they would correspond to the arrangement of the porch at S.
Pietro al Monte
di Civate, and they are said to be of the same date (Fig. 3a).
To get the knot effect they had to be clustered
and like those at Arlezo (see Fig. 9) one appears to have more of these
number than the other. This is significant, but what is more so is the
one capital bears on it the word B..... and the other the word J.....
If these words
were added at some recent time there would be nothing much in the
as one is told as the result of expert examination the writing is of
the same date
as the columns, viz., before the end of the twelfth century, then it
to be a fair and reasonable conclusion that the Medieval Gilds had
King Solomon's Temple, and also that our speculative system did take
and symbols, etc., from the operative lodges. The position of the
pillars and their
inscriptions admit of no other conclusion.
One wonders whether this particular form of
than the intreccia of the Comacines is not that which is still named in
Solomon's knot. If so, this would be yet another association worthy of
The carving of working tools in connection with
Gild work of the Middle Ages is not without significance. The
a square or a plumb-rule in the Catacombs, such as may be seen in the
probably merely indicated the trade of the person commemorated, but
when as in the
representation of the Quatuor Coronati at Or S. Michele at Florence,
are found the
compasses, the level, the plumb-rule and the square, and in addition to
of the four masons describing on the reversed capital of a column, a
the same time that he applies a square, the conclusion is obvious that
a deeper signification.
Again, at Assisi, on the Comacine Lodge, as
on the Castle, the open compasses containing a rose are to be seen, and
in the Castle
work also a mason's square. Other working tools are also depicted in
Isabella Missal in the British Museum.
And as regards the Four Crowned Martyrs
while not pressing too far from this connection any conclusion, it is
well to call
to mind a few, outstanding facts.
Sarcophagi are claimed as theirs in their
Rome, founded in their honor, and in connection with which a Gild of
to the present time celebrate mass on the last Sunday of the month.
Over the door
of their chapel (S. Sylvestro, A. D. 1198- 1215) there is a fresco of
the four with
the inscription "statuariorum et Lapicidarum Corpus Anno MDLXX."
Edward Condor, in his paper contributed to "Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum," (vol. 27, part 2 [Lib*]), not only shows the
placed upon the Craft generally in London to attend mass on the 8th
festival of the Quatuor Coronati, as set forth in the ordinances and
of the body, A. D. 1841, but adds:
"The legend of
the Four Crowned Martyrs (5) is purely Italian in its inception and
the Craft into Germany, Gaul and Britain. There is evidence of the
legend in MSS
of the seventh century A. D., and a church was built in their honor at
in the eighth 'century. (6)
was fixed for November 8th in the Sarum Missal of the eleventh century
that date to the Reformation in the sixteenth century the day was
in the English Church."
To this, be added, that the Masonic Lodge
the widest association in the world, viz., the Quatuor Coronati Lodge,
significantly associates its name with these martyrs.
The Masonic association with the two Saints,
Baptist and John the Evangelist, finds some counterpart in the same
of these Saints with the Comacines illustrated in the frequent
dedication of many
of their churches to one or the other of these, as well as the
dedication of the
Island of Comacina to St. John the Baptist, whose annual festival, with
ceremony and high pageant, is still attended on the Island on Midsummer
people from far and near.
Once more, and finally, from Merzario (page 93):
"It is at that
time and to that movement of thought of studies and of persons
on foot by the Comacines that certain writers make to rise the
institution of Masonic
unions or lodges, and of the primitive Masonry. Troya says that the
curious or secret
societies of the Comacines which under the Lombards had been
public, and lived without mysteries and without arrogance, began after
to restrict themselves into more compact societies, to form their
to have private rights and occult language, and to look forward to a
international and almost European."
Hope has written:
the cradle of the Association of Freemasons, and it is from these
Societies or Gilds
initiated by the Comacine Masters that he and various historians,
Italian and not
Italian, derive the Companies of Freemasons which diffused themselves
to England, in Scotland, in Germany, in Switzerland, in Provence and
were the origin of the Freemasons lodges composed at first of
and their colleagues only."
Taking together all these items of evidence,
can be reached other than that link by link we have a chain extending
from the Roman
Collegia through the Comacines to the Medieval Gilds of the Middle
Ages, and our
speculative lodges of today, with traditions and associations clearly
As a frontispiece to the July issue of THE
reproduced an old print, now in the Como Museum, showing the Island of
Como as it
was supposed to be in the day of its strength.
(1) See page
198, THE BUILDER, July.
(2) Peculiarity of some of the expressions in the transcripts made in
from Merzario is probably due to the translation from Italian to
English being somewhat
(3) See page 196, THE BUILDER, July.
(4) Notwithstanding the two views of Merzario and Monneret it is not
to point the probability of the derivation of the Milanese from the
seeing that in the early days of the Lombards when they required
sent for the Comacines, having none of their own.
(5) For an interesting article on the Church of the Quatuor Coronati,
special reference to its recently restored cloister, by Professor
Forbes, see Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. 27, part I.
(6) There may be a little mistake here since a church was built to the
the Quatuor Coronati, in Canterbury, early in the seventh century.
was another at Winchester, but evidence is wanting.
The Lyric Argument – [A Poem]
Robert Herrick, 1591-1674
sing of brooks, of
blossoms, birds and bowers,
Of April, May, of June, and July flowers;
I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal cakes.
I write of Youth, of Love, and have access
By these, to sing of cleanly wantonness;
I sing of dews, of rains, and piece by piece,
Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris;
I sing of times trans-shifting, and I write
How roses first came red, and lilies white;
I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing
The Court of Mab, and of the Fairy King.
I write of Hell; I sing and ever shall
Of Heaven, and hope to have it after all.
Flowers – [A Poem]
John A. Joyce
on my life,
And do it very often;
I'll need them in my daily strife
But not upon my coffin.
of the Three Degrees
By Bro. Oliver Day Street,
Part II ‒ The Symbolism
Of The Fellow Craft Degree
of initiation, passing, and raising, as well as the lectures
explanatory of them,
are necessarily brief; want of time and the danger of over-burdening
require that they should be so. The Mason, therefore, who relies solely
he sees and hears in the lodge will obtain a very inadequate conception
He may and doubtless will be more or less affected by our ceremonies;
it could scarcely
be otherwise, so solemn and impressive are they, but he will fail to
understand some of the greater truths which lie hidden beneath the
can never become truly speaking a "bright Mason."
Masonic symbol or ceremony (like all true allegories) has two
(sometimes more) significations,
one literal, the other symbolical. The literal meaning, usually the
is often of great interest, frequently affording striking evidences as
to the origin
and antiquity of Freemasonry. But it is the symbolical or allegorical
the more recondite, which appeals most to the thoughtful mind.
Nor is it
unfortunate that the more important lessons are somewhat veiled from
We do not prize what we obtain easily; it is that for which we have
striven or paid
a big price which we value. If, therefore, from beneath the surface of
ceremonies any of us by our own studies and reflections are enabled to
and bring to light truths which have lain somewhat hidden, the
appreciation of them
is keener and the impression produced deeper and more lasting than if
they had been
open to superficial observation. For this reason many of the greatest
Freemasonry are wisely hidden away as prizes for the studious and the
The "mysteries" and the "secrets" of Freemasonry are not synonymous
terms; the mysteries continue such forever even to the Mason who will
and read. Do you feel that Masonry is an idle and frivolous thing,
unworthy of the
attention of serious men? If so, did you ever reflect whether the fault
or that of the institution? Unless you are sure that you know what
and what it teaches and what are its designs and that you thoroughly
its methods of teaching withhold your condemnation till you have made
it the subject
of a little serious study, because, as observed by an eminent
authority, the character
of the institution is "elevated in everyone's opinion just in
the amount of knowledge that he has acquired of its symbolism,
philosophy and history."
is a many sided subject. There is something in it which arrests and
appeals to the
shallowest mind or the most frivolous moral character. At the same
time, there is
much in it which has chained the thought and attention of the world's
and wisest philosophers. It presents many aspects for study and
of which will amply repay the efforts of the intelligent mind and will
lead to knowledge
not merely curious, as some suppose, but of the utmost practical value.
I am forced
to refer again to one line of thought touched on in the preceding
I regard it as fundamental to the study and understanding of any part
This idea is that Freemasonry is an elaborate allegory of human life,
and collectively, in all its varied aspects, past, present, and future;
lodge represents the world into which mortal man is introduced, lives,
his being and eventually dies; that it also represents the place or
state of the
redeemed in the life which we believe follows this; that the
the individual man; that its organized membership represents mankind
human society; that the ideal lodge-member, ruled by love, wisdom,
beauty, typifies man raised from this state of imperfection to one of
Of all the
ceremonies of the lodge, the Fellow Craft degree, when viewed by itself
is the most
difficult and I believe the least generally understood. Preston, who
wrote the first
Monitor tells us that "such is the latitude of this degree that the
may fail in an attempt to explain it." In Akin's Georgia Manual we read
the "splendid beauty of the Fellow Craft degree can be seen only by the
eye and that the Master vho would impress it upon the candidate must
store his mind
with the history, traditions and ritualism of this degree."
A flood of
light, however, is at once shed upon the subject when we consider it a
part of a
human allegory, of which the Entered Apprentice and Master's degrees
the beginning and the completion.
Let us then
briefly consider it in this manner and endeavor to reach a clearer
of its meaning. That we may the better perceive just where it falls
into the complete
scheme, it will be necessary first to consider for a moment the Entered
and Master's degrees.
We are told
in the Master's lecture that the Entered Apprentice represents youth;
Craft, manhood; and the Master Mason, old age. A little study will
serve to show
us how completely this simile is justified. The introduction or first
of the Entered Apprentice candidate into the lodge, therefore, typifies
of man upon the world's stage of action or in other words, the birth of
into this life. The distinguished Masonic scholar, Dr. Mackey, says
that the Entered
Apprentice is a "child in Masonry" and we read in many Monitors that
first or Entered Apprentice degree is intended symbolically to
represent the entrance
of man into the world in which he is afterwards to become a living and
actor. In English working the candidate is reminded that his admission
Entered Apprentice lodge "in a state of helpless ignorance was an
representation of the entrance of all men on this their mortal
of the candidate and the plight in which he is admitted an Entered
symbolizes the helpless, destitute, blind and ignorant condition of the
babe. Yea, it is even certain that there are features preserved in
which allude to that part of life preceding even birth and which hint
at the phenomena
of coition, generation, conception and gestation of the child in its
These things rightly considered are as much a part and as pure and holy
a part of
a human life as birth or death, and could no more be omitted from any
of it. Let no one, therefore, imagine that he has found anything impure
because he has discovered in it symbols and ceremonies which once
We may, therefore,
say that the Masonic system epitomizes allegorically the life of man
from the moment
he is begotten through every stage of existence, conception, gestation,
childhood, youth, manhood, old age, death, the resurrection and
Did any greater theme ever engage the attention of any society?
Anything that pertains
to any of these great subjects and which tends to strengthen, to
elevate or to ennoble
the human mind and character is properly a part of Freemasonry.
important lesson impressed upon the candidate after his entrance into
is intended to signify to us that the very first idea that ought to be
into the mind of the child is a reverence and adoration for the Deity,
and incomprehensible author of its existence. From beginning to the
end, the Entered
Apprentice degree is a series of moral lessons. This is a hint so broad
need not be wise in order to understand that the moral training and
the child should precede even the development and cultivation of its
How many parents and teachers fail just at this point! They polish and
minds of their children and pupils with great diligence at the same
their moral training, and when too late find that often they have made
of them smart
of the young Entered Apprentice in the northeast corner of the lodge in
of the ancient custom of laying the corner stone of a building in the
corner, signifies that as an Entered Apprentice he has but laid the
to build his future moral edifice, that of life and character. It aptly
symbolizes the end of the preparatory period and the beginning of the
period of human life.
there given him is to the effect that, having laid the foundation true,
take care that the superstructure is reared ill like manner; in other
his life, his moral temple be kept in harmony with the moral precepts
been given him in the Entered Apprentice degree.
of the human body to a temple of God is an ancient metaphor. Jesus'
it in speaking of his own body was but in keeping with a common
practice among Jewish
writers and teachers of his time. It immensely dignifies the physical
body of man
and teaches that, when kept clean both in the literal and the moral
sense, it is
a fit place for even Deity himself to dwell.
so powerfully and yet so delicately contrived that often apparently
produce death, we have no right to defile or abuse with any kind of
excess. No mechanism
was ever so delicately adjusted and no careful engineer would ever
think of putting
even too much oil upon a fine piece of machinery. Yet excessive
indulgence in food,
drink, or other appetites works far greater injury to our bodies.
is that we have no more right to defile or abuse our bodies than had
the Jew to
defile the Temple of God upon Mount Moriah.
In the Third
degree the matter pressed upon our attention are the closing years of
and the vast hereafter. The xii chapter of Ecclesiastes, the most
affecting description of old age in all literature, is introduced. We
are also told
that the events it celebrates occurred just before the completion of
which is but a figurative way of saying that the period of life
symbolized by the
Master's degree is that just preceding its close, just before the
the moral and spiritual temple. (2) It is, therefore, with the greatest
that the Master's degree is said to represent old age.
If then the
Entered Apprentice represents childhood and youth, and the Master Mason
the Fellow Craft degree should, in order to complete the allegory,
life and its labors, and this is precisely what it does with the
the candidate for the Fellow Craft degree is to be regarded as a seeker
yet the first section of this degree consists chiefly of a reiteration
of the moral
teachings of the First degree. This is to remind the young man as he is
enter upon the serious labors and struggles of life that virtue is to
the first consideration, that no knowledge, no success which is
purchased at the
sacrifice of morals, honor or integrity is to be prized. This lesson is
more than once in the course of this degree, admonishing us that, no
engrossed in the affairs of life we may become, we should never suffer
of coveted gains to seduce us from the pathway of strict rectitude and
thus reiterating and emphasizing the moral precepts of the First
degree, the Fellow
Craft degree is as distinctly intellectual in its purpose and spirit as
Apprentice is moral. The great theme of the Second degree is the
attainment of knowledge,
the cultivation of the mind and the acquisition of habits of industry.
feature becomes prominent in the second section of this degree.
Preston, who, as
already observed, wrote what might he termed the first Monitor, says
the First degree is intended "to enforce the duties of morality," the
Second "comprehends a more diffusive system of knowledge." We read in
Simon's Monitor that "the Entered Apprentice is to emerge from the
to light; the Fellow Craft is to come out of ignorance into knowledge."
Mackey expresses it thus: "The lessons the Entered Apprentice receives
simply intended to cleanse the heart and prepare the recipient for that
which is to be given in the succeeding degree," and further he says,
candidate in the Second degree represents a man starting forth on the
life with the great task before him of self-improvement," and that the
is to be the development of all his intellectual faculties and the
truth and knowledge. In England, the candidate is informed that while
in the Entered
Apprentice degree "he made himself acquainted with the principles of
truth and virtue, he is in the Fellow Craft degree permitted to extend
into the hidden mysteries of nature and science," and that he is "led
in the Second degree to contemplate the intellectual faculty and to
trace it from
its development, through the paths of heavenly science, even to the
throne of God
himself." Brother J. W. Horsely, Rector of St. Peter's Cathedral,
expresses the idea: "Generally, therefore, we may say that the Third
represents and enforces the blessedness of spiritual life and the duty
therein, as the Second degree performs the same office for the
and the first for the moral life." (4)
The Jewels of a Fellow Craft
means of gaining admission into a Fellow Craft lodge* * *, alluding to
jewels of Fellow Craft, are made to typify the processes of
and preserving knowledge. "The attentive ear receives the sound from
tongue and the mysteries of Freemasonry (as indeed all other knowledge)
lodged in the repository of faithful breasts."
The Working Tools
square, and level were the appropriate tools of the operative Fellow
To the Master or Overseer fell the duty of superintendence, to the
that of gathering and rough hewing of the materials, but to the Fellow
the labor of actual construction. This involved the laying of level
and courses, the erection of perpendicular walls and the bringing of
to perfectly rectangular shape. These labors necessitated the constant
use by the
operative Fellow Craft Mason of the plumb, square and level. Their
very appropriately symbolize the analogous processes in the building of
This symbolical application of these implements of the builder is by no
it dates back even among the Chinese more than 700 years before Christ.
years before Christ what we call the Golden Rule was by the Chinese
principle of acting on the square." Mencius, the great Chinese
who lived in the third century before Christ, teaches that men should
square and level to their lives, and speaking figuratively says that he
acquire wisdom must make use of the square and compasses.
Boaz and Jachin
in accordance with the common practice of his day, placed two immense
ornate pillars or columns at the entrance of his temple. It is well
known that King
Hiram did the like for the great temple to Melcarth erected by him at
other instances might be cited. Whence originated this custom has been
for much speculation. We have seen what was the ancient conception of
the form of
the earth. To their world the Strait of Gibraltar appeared to be a
of entry. On either side of this entrance rose two enormous rock
and Calpe, (now called Gibraltar and Ceuta) which completely commanded
ingress and are familiarly known as the Pillars of Hercules. They were
by the ancients to mark the western boundary of the world, Many have
seen in these
two vast columns of stone, set by nature to the entrance of the then
the counterparts of the pillars so often set by the ancients at the
their temples, which were to them, as the lodge is to us, symbols of
objects that engage the attention of the Fellow Craft on his way to the
are the representatives of these pillars at the entrance to Solomon's
addition to the explanation given in the lodge, they undoubtedly have
also an allusion
to the two legendary pillars of Enoch upon which tradition tells us all
of the ancient world was inscribed in order to preserve it "against
and conflagrations." Standing at the very threshold of Solomon's
well as of the Fellow Craft lodge, they admonish us that after a proper
the acquisition of wisdom is the next necessary preparation for a
useful and successful
life. (5) Their names, Boaz and Jachin, possess also a moral
together that "in strength God will establish His house." Symbolically
applied to the candidate, they mean that God will firmly establish the
spiritual edifice of the just and upright man.
that the globes upon the two brazen pillars represent the globes
celestial and terrestrial
is certainly modern. The globular form of the earth was unknown to the
Except to a few profound thinkers like Plato, the conception of the
earth as a sphere
was utterly foreign. Not until about the time of the discovery of
America did this
fact become generally understood.
the Bible, at least in English translations, says nothing of any globes
pillars, but distinctly states that there were "made two chapiters of
brass to set upon the tops of the pillars," and that "upon the tops of
the pillars was lily-work." 1 Kings vii, 16, 22. The more recent
of the Bible call the "chapiters" by their more familiar name of
The learned Jewish Rabbi, Solomon Jehudi, speaks of them as "pommels,"
a word signifying a globular ornament. It is well known that many of
features and ornamental designs of Solomon's Temple were borrowed from
The so-called "lily-work" was unquestionably some form of water-lily or
lotus pattern of ornamentation so common in ancient architecture and
now is employed in conventionalized forms nearly everywhere. It
the form of the lotus leaf, at others of the full blown blossom, and at
of the bud. Our common "egg and dart" pattern is a development
At the time
of Solomon, one of the most frequent and at the same time one of the
of the lotus or water-lily designs was the lotus-bud capital, which
an egglike or oval shape. It is accurately indicated by the word
and indeed this term is employed in some of our Masonic Monitors in
lieu of the
term "globes." There seems little reason to doubt that the two Brazen
Pillars were columns of the Egyptian style with the lotus-bud capitals.
diameter as compared to their height (about six diameters) is another
of their Egyptian derivation. Furthermore, we know that winged globular
sometimes of immense size, were extensively employed by the Egyptians
the entrances to their temples.
or water-lily was the sacred plant of the Egyptians and among other
"Universality." The conclusion, therefore, seems reasonable that, if
was anything like globes on the two Brazen Pillars, they were not true
the earth and of the heavens, but representations of the lotus-bud. If
the symbol has not been accurately perpetuated, the symbolism has.
another ancient conception to which the idea of globes upon the pillars
may be related.
From remotest times men must have observed that numerous forms of life
from an egg. This observation gave rise to the belief which we know to
widely disseminated in ancient times, and which modern science has
confirmed, that life in every form proceeds from an egg. This supposed
source of life became to the ancients the symbol of the source of
In other words, the egg was the symbol of the Universal Mother. It is
that to a people entertaining these ideas, globes or eggs mounted upon
convey the idea of universality.
to the lotus capitals, no doubt the two pillars were, in keeping with
custom of the time, further ornamented with various forms of the lotus
design. The familiar token of peace with us is the palm branch, but to
and the Jew this office was fulfilled by the lotus or water-lily. It
with precise accuracy that we say that the lotus, or Egyptian
water-lily, (an entirely
different plant from our lily,) denotes peace.
The net work
which adorned the capitals or chapiters of the pillars might be more
described as "lattice-work." Curious specimens of this ornamentation
found in ancient and medieval architecture, particularly in that of the
Comacini, or Comacine Masters of Northern Italy. Many of these are of
the most beautiful
and intricate designs and without either beginning or end. A more
of unity than these could not be conceived.
It is interesting
to note in this connection, that recently a woman, and of course a
Baxter, writing under the nom de plume of Leader Scott, has in her
"The Cathedral Builders, adduced much evidence to prove that our modern
is derived from these same Magistri Comacini, and through them from the
Fabrorum, or Colleges of Builders, of the pre-Christian Roman era. To
my mind, one
of the strongest of these evidences is the common possession and
employment of this
of our society back to the Roman Building Societies of the eighth
Christ, (if it can be sustained,) carries us back to the time when we
building societies were common not only in Rome, but in Greece, Egypt,
and Palestine. Indeed, it is impossible to explain the erection of such
wonders as the great pyramids and temples of Egypt, Asia, Greece and
supposing the existence at that time of building societies, or
associations of architects,
embracing within themselves the most brilliant intellects and skillful
not only then living, but whose superior the world has never since
seen; in other
words, precisely such a society as our traditions teach built King
Evidences of ancient history point to the existence of such a
as the Dionysian Architects, at Tyre, the home of the two Hirams at the
the building of the Temple and it was to this place, according to
Solomon sent when he wanted artisans competent to carry out his great
which also adorned the capitals of the pillars, is a symbol of great
but its meaning seems to have been sacredly guarded. Pausanias, who
160 A. D., calls it aporreto teros logos, ‒ i. e. a forbidden mystery.
were often depicted holding this fruit in their hands and this,
Bishop of Alexandria, says "had a mystical meaning." The Syrians at
anciently worshipped a god whom they called "Rimmon," and this we know
to be the Hebrew word for pomegranate.
Bishop of Peterborough, a most learned antiquarian, guessed that on
account of the
great number of its seeds a pomegranate in the hand of a god denoted
or fecundity. This corresponds closely enough with the meaning that we,
attach to it, ‒ that of plenty.
Operative and Speculative
is informed that there are two kinds of Masonry, operative and
one, the erection of material edifice to shelter us from the
inclemencies of the
seasons; the other, the building of that moral, religious and spiritual
human life and character, that house not made with hands eternal in the
He is reminded of the historical fact that our ancient brethren wrought
kinds of Masonry, but we work in speculative only. With this
distinction in mind,
the candidate is expected to be able to grasp the allegorical meanings
of the succeeding
The Winding Stairs
In the Winding
stairs an architectural feature of Solomon's Temple is seized upon to
the journey of life. It is not a placid stream down which one may
it is not even a straight or level pathway along which one may travel
with a minimum
of exertion; it is a devious and tortuous way, requiring labor and
effort for its
accomplishment. This is appropriately symbolized by a winding stairway.
us that our lives should be neither downward nor on a dead level, but,
difficult, progressive and upward.
Science of Numbers
stairs consist of 3, 5 and 7 steps, numbers which among the ancients
of a mysterious nature. This introduces us to what is to us one of the
bodies of learning of the ancient world, what is known as their Science
many fragments of which are scattered throughout Masonry. It is
for the modern mind to get any grasp whatever upon what is meant by
this so called
science, so highly speculative was it. It does not allude as its name
to indicate, to any of the mathematical sciences, or anything akin to
them. It was
a system of moral science or philosophy, wherein numbers were given
and the letters of the alphabet were given numerical values; whence
words were supposed
to have certain occult significations according to the sums or
multiples of the
numerical equivalents of its letters. The elaboration of this idea was
of what is known as the Hebrew Kabala. Pythagoras is reputed to have
this school among the Greeks and according to Aristotle he taught that
is the principle of all things and that the organization of the
Universe is an harmonic
system of numerical ratios." (6) To illustrate, the soul was made to
to the number 6, and 7 was the counterpart of reason and health.
3, 5 and 7 had many meanings among the Jews which are not elucidated in
The preservation in our ritual of hints of this learning of a past age
is now chiefly
valuable to us as a proof of the antiquity of Masonic symbolism. (7)
The Three Steps
the method of these ancient worthies but varying the meaning, we make
3 to allude to the organization of our Society with its three degrees
and its three
principal officers. Among the earliest realizations of every man is
that no man
lives to himself alone; that he is dependent upon his fellow creatures
upon him; that he owes them and they owe him mutual aid, support and
that to secure these advantages some must rule and some must at least
obey; that there must be classes and that progress from one class to
depend upon proficiency in the former. This state of mutual obligation
dependence of men upon one another we call Society. The Three steps,
the three degrees and the division of our society into those who govern
who obey, leads to the ideas of organization and subordination in the
have seen that the lodge symbolizes the world; so its organization
of the world into society and governments. Dr. Mackey says "that the
to the organization of the Masonic institution is intended to remind
of the union of men into society and the development of the social
state out of
the state of nature. He is thus reminded in the very outset of his
journey of the
blessings which arise from civilization and of the fruits of virtue and
which are derived from that condition. In the allusion to the affairs
of the lodge
and the degree of Masonry as explanatory of the organization of our own
we clothe in symbolic language," says Dr. Mackey, "the history of the
organization of society" in general. (8) This feature is brought out
in many Monitors.
of the pathway to knowledge would of course be complete without some
the means by which it is to be acquired. Thus are the allusions to the
of human nature to be understood. A moment's reflection will prove to
us that through
them we gain all our knowledge and that without them we could learn
wonderful and noble faculties and yet how seldom even thought of by us
and how little
appreciated and understood! No nobler or more interesting subjects for
in all the realms of nature than hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling,
What a truly marvelous organ is the eye, which can without contact make
of the presence, the form and the color of objects at a distance and
we obtain our knowledge and appreciation of all that is beautiful in
senses of hearing and feeling are scarcely less wonderful and are
A little reflection will also furnish us with additional reasons to
in the lodge why hearing, seeing and feeling are most revered by
Masons. They are
in every way the most important. Consider for a moment the relatively
of our knowledge that comes through tasting and smelling, and how
these two senses were to our ancient brethren in their operative
labors. Then consider
again how helpless a human creature would be who possessed neither
or feeling. Helen Keller is rightly considered a marvel, yet she is
bereft of only
two of these, hearing and seeing. Deprive her of her finely attenuated
feeling and it would have been impossible for her to have made any
in knowledge. Commenting on this part of the ritual, Thomas Smith Webb
sum up the whole of this transcendent measure of God's bounty to man,
we shall add
that memory, imagination, taste, reasoning, moral perception and all
powers of the soul present a vast and boundless field for philosophical
which far exceeds human inquiry." We could have none of these without
senses, and they are, therefore, introduced as symbols of intellectual
upon the five senses of human nature which appears in our American
be found in the English Monitors also which preceded the revision of
in 1813. He eliminated all reference to them and they are still missing
English "work." We feel that in some way Dr. Hemming must surely have
failed to catch the meaning of this part of our symbolism. Dr. George
eminent and learned English Mason, deplores the omission and says that
by all means to be restored.
indicated to the candidate something of the importance and the means of
knowledge, the proper fields of study and investigation are next
The Five Orders in Architecture
steps are said to allude further to the five orders in architecture,
the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian and the Composite. Their origins
relative merits are pointed out, and we are told something of
architecture in general.
We would naturally expect something on this subject in a society
derived from one
of actual builders and architects, and here we have an internal
evidence of the
great age of Freemasonry. This is a flotsam which has been wafted to us
stream of time from that remote period when Freemasonry was an
organization of operative
Masons. To our speculative society it typifies all the other useful
arts and serves
to convey to the intelligent mind the truth that architecture
considered as one
of the fine arts is a subject well worthy of our study. It is through
that every great people have left the enduring records of their fame.
and decay, but from their buildings, which still remain, we know for a
of the great nations of antiquity. George Moller, in his charming essay
Architecture, speaks of these architectural remains as "documents of
and declares that they "afford to those who can read them the most
of centuries that have lapsed." (10)
The Seven Liberal Arts and
of study are said to consist of the seven liberal arts and sciences and
as grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.
In our Fellows
Craft's charge we are recommended to study "the liberal arts and
tend so effectually to polish and adorn the mind." In England
Working,") the candidate is informed that he "is expected to make the
liberal arts and sciences his future study, that he may 'the better be
discharge his duties as a Mason, and estimate the wonderful works of
It is, of
course, obvious at a glance that these seven subjects enumerated above
by no means
exhaust the fields of knowledge now open to man, but the time once was
did. And herein is another incontestable evidence of the great age of
and its ceremonies. I cannot do better than quote Dr. Mackey again. He
in the seventh century, that is to say 1300 years ago, "these seven
supposed to include universal knowledge. He who was master of these was
to have no need of a precepter to explain any books or to solve any
lay within the compass of human reason; knowledge of the trivium (as
and logic were then denominated,) having furnished him with the key to
and that of the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy)
to him the secret laws of nature." At a period, says Dr. Mackey "when
few were instructed in the trivium and very few studied the quadrivium,
to be master
of both was sufficient to complete the character of a philosopher."
trivium means the three ways or paths, and quadrivium the four ways or
knowledge. Hence it is with the greatest propriety that it is said that
we are taught
in the Fellow Craft degree to explore the paths of heavenly science.
another interesting feature of the total number of steps of the Winding
fifteen in all. This was an important symbol among the Jews, because it
sum of the numerical equivalents of the Hebrew letters composing the
word J A H
‒ one of the names of Deity.
It will also
be noted that the number of each series of steps, three, five and
seven, as well
as the total number of steps, fifteen, is odd. As we have seen, odd
by the ancients regarded with greater veneration than were even
the great Roman architect [Lib 1914], who flourished just before
states that the ancient temples were always approached by an odd number
The reason, he says, was that commencing with the right foot at the
worshipper would find the same foot in advance when he entered the
temple, and that
this was considered a favorable omen. The thoughtful Mason cannot fail
to be struck
with the coincidence here indicated.
is given by our ritual to the science of Geometry. This now appears
if we regard its history we will cease to be surprised. It and its
(trigonometry, architecture and astronomy), was the only exact science
the ancients, but the perfection to which they had reduced it is even
surprising us. By it all mathematical calculations were made.
Arithmetic and algebra
were then unknown. The astonishing results obtained by them from an
of geometrical processes were well calculated to impress the mind. As
the only exact
science known to them, it was the most appropriate emblem of moral
an age when everything had its symbol. We accordingly read in our
that of the seven liberal arts and sciences, "Geometry is the most
by Masons"; that "it is the foundation of architecture and the root of
mathematics"; that it is "the first and noblest of sciences"; that
it is "the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry is erected";
by it "we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to
concealed recesses"; and "discover the power, the wisdom and the
of the Grand Artificer of the Universe"; that "Geometry or Masonry,
synonymous terms, being of a divine and moral nature, is enriched with
useful knowledge"; that "while it proves the wonderful properties of
it demonstrates the more important truths of morality."
be denied that to the present generation and in our present state of
is nothing of the kind. To anyone except a Freemason, and to the great
of them, the idea that Geometry inculcates moral truth is utterly
foreign and incomprehensible.
Those members of the craft who have ever thought of the matter at all,
as a rule
look upon these expressions as crude extravagances, as distorted
attempts to attach
a speculative meaning to a science or an art which had never properly
other than a practical signification. We are not surprised, it is true,
still incorporated in our system these inheritances of a past age and
them as such without any serious attempt to ascertain their meaning or
stated, Geometry does not at present enjoy any such an enviable
the sciences as that claimed for it in our Masonic ritual, yet the time
when it was precisely so regarded by the wisest of men on earth. (13)
is the significance of these ideas of a past age in our Masonic system?
to me to afford the strongest internal evidence of the great age of our
ritual and symbolism. (14)
liberal arts and sciences, as thus enumerated in the lodge, are not now
to be understood
literally, but rather as a symbol of what they once were in fact,
namely, the entire
domain of human knowledge and research. No one man is, of course,
expected to cultivate
the whole of this vast field, but this part of the ceremony of passing
us the importance and the duty of constantly applying our minds to the
of wisdom in some of its forms. We have no right to be idle. It is a
God, ourselves and society.
the despicable figure of the habitual loafer who sits on the curbstone
away his days, telling anecdotes which could not be repeated in
Listen to the "loud laugh of his vacant mind," see what a large share
of his time, that most priceless gift of God, he wastes in indolence or
in the pursuits
that are either unprofitable or positively hurtful. Is it any wonder
that so many
men fail in life and that the progress of the race as a whole is so
slow? What a multitude of drones there are in the hive who are not only
to be fed
and clothed by the industrious, but who are positive hindrances and
in the way of those industrious ones who would progress. Note how
you find the idler on the wrong side of every question that arises in
See how he resents with bitterness the prosperity of his moral and
and falls into a habit of chronic antagonism to him. They will not
work; fed and
clothed they must be; if they cannot dead-beat a living, they turn to
crime in order
to get it. What a great lesson then is here taught by Masonry! Whatever
be, Masons have no right to be idlers and loafers. It is our God given
and our solemn duty to work, work, work, not because a night is coming
work is done, but that we may be able to do better work and more work
in that brighter
day that all good Masons expect to see when this life has passed away.
The Wages of a Fellow Craft
In the Middle
Chamber we are informed what the wages shall be to the faithful
Craftsman who has
observed the moral and the divine law and wasted not his time in
idleness or vice.
We are told that they shall be corn, wine and oil. Such was literally
true to our
ancient operative brethren, as our old documents abundantly prove. With
us, of course,
they are not received in the realistic sense, but emblematically. From
of time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, the spica,
or ear of
corn, has symbolized plenty; wine has symbolized health; and oil has
Fellow Craft is, therefore, assured that his wages, his reward, shall
not mere sufficiency but plentitude to supply all his physical, moral
wants; health of body, mind and soul; peace in this life, in the hour
and in the life to come. Are not these wages worthy of the laborer?
Verily, do they
not include all things that can in any wise contribute to our real
comfort and happiness?
and vice surely lead to their opposites, poverty, disease and despair.
While I have
by no means exhausted the subject this, my brethren, is briefly the
purpose of the Fellow Craft degree, and, if you do not already, I am
sure that a
little study and reflection will lead you to agree with me that in
beauty and purity
and loftiness of conception this degree is worthy to keep company with
degrees of Entered Apprentice and Master Mason.
Symbolism, p. 307. [Lib 1882]
(4) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. XII. p. 2. [Lib*]
(5) Mackey's Symbolism, p. 219.
(6) Univ. Cyc., vol. 9, p. 560.
(7) Mackey's Symbolism, pp. 219, 225.
(8) Idem, p. 221.
(9) Idem, p. 222.
(10) Mas. Mag. vol. 6, p. 427; Mackey's Symbolism, pp. 222, 223.
(11) Yarker's Arcane School, p. 118. [Lib 1909]
(12) Mackey's Symbolism, pp. 223, 224.
(13) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. X, p. 82 [Lib 1897], Freeman,
vol. XLVIII, p. 417.
(14) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. V, p. 168 [Lib 1892].
Committee on Masonic Research of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin
To further the study side of Masonry to such an
as possible, was the purpose for which this Committee was appointed.
The idea was
not new; many of our Past Grand Masters have earnestly desired to
promote a more
thorough knowledge of Masonry, and in 1915, Past Grand Master N. M.
offered the following resolution, which was adopted: "Resolved, That at
meetings of subordinate lodges when there is no degree work, the
shall have prepared and introduce exercises of an interesting and
such as an address, the reading of interesting articles, recitations,
music or other
proper entertainments calculated to keep the members interested in the
work of the
Many Masters of lodges endeavored to carry out
of the resolution; but in too many cases the degree work was apparently
that time was not to be found at the regular communications for the
lodge to improve
itself in Masonic knowledge beyond the ritualistic work. The ritual is
of all Masonic knowledge; it is the key to the secrets that are
we believe the Master Mason should not be permitted to infer that he
the sum of Masonic knowledge, but should have the way to the beauties
of its literature
clearly pointed out to him. If the regular communications of the lodge
are so far
taken up with degree work as to make it impracticable we believe an
communication for the purpose of helping the brethren and inducing
others to become
interested would be of great benefit to the lodge and to its
membership. It has
always been found that the Mason who has a broad conception of Masonry
is the most
helpful to his lodge and to the Craft and it will reflect credit on the
have a high percentage of such Masons.
Immediately after its appointment your
and formulated plans. A circular letter was sent to every lodge asking
for the names
of those brethren who would be interested, and upon receiving replies,
outlining plans of study, containing suggestions for the formation of
giving a short list of the most available and reliable books for
and a notification that the Committee would use the Masonic Tidings for
short outlines of topics of interest. We also invited the brethren to
us for any assistance we could give them.
With the co-operation of Masonic Tidings, we
able to furnish the brethren with seven of the outlines of Masonic
A copy of "The Encyclopedia Handbook" has
been sent to all brethren who have expressed an interest in the work of
and we believe this book will induce many of the brethren to use
in their search for more light. The "Handbook" itself contains a fund
of the most useful information to every Mason.
A pamphlet entitled "What is Freemasonry?
did it originate?" written for the purpose of arousing an interest in
of Masonic history and philosophy has been issued by the Committee.
Your Committee held a meeting at the Scottish
on March 29th, at which time we invited representatives from Milwaukee
be present, and plans were discussed for promoting the study side of
Milwaukee. Several earnest, zealous and well qualified brethren in
working hard to inculcate a love of Masonic literature among the
brethren and one
lodge has quite materially improved its library.
Your Committee has received the co-operation of
talented and well informed brethren in the organization of a "Lecture
and these brethren are now ready to respond to calls for lectures from
or lodges who desire them. We feel that this is one of the best results
In response to inquiries, your Committee has
brethren in the selection of Masonic books and answered inquiries as to
might be procured.
A meeting of the Committee has been held every
and in several cases oftener and the appropriation of $300.00 which
this Grand Lodge
voted for its use has been used with economy. The expenditures have
leaving an unexpended balance of $208.86.
Our work is for your inspection, and should it
with your approval we recommend that a Committee on Masonic Research be
for the coming Masonic year and that $300.00 be appropriated for their
Signed by entire committee.
Report was adopted by Grand Lodge, June 11th,
FOR THE MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
Correspondence Circle Bulletin
‒ No. 20
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
Edited By Bro. H.L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY
FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
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 papers by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into five principal
which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry.
A. The Work of a Lodge.
B. The Lodge and the Candidate.
C. First steps.
D. Second steps.
E. Third steps.
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
B. Working Tools.
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions.
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
5. Official Duties and Prerogatives.
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of Candidates.
3. Initiation, Passing and Raising.
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical Masonry.
A. The Mysteries ‒ Earliest Masonic Light.
B. Studies of Rites ‒ Masonry in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
D. National Masonry.
E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets.
H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
I. Biographical Masonry.
J. Philological Masonry ‒ Study of Significant Words.
* * *
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by
Haywood, 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
list of questions
to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period
which will bring
out every point touched upon 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 Haywood in his monthly paper.
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 Haywood'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 business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge
over to the
Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully
prepared in advance
on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for
papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and
should also have
a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
1. Reading of the first section of Brother
paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these
papers are being
read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may
wish to discuss
or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper
those used in elections should be distributed among the members for
at the opening of the study period.)
2. Discussion of the above.
3. The subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's
and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and
of in the same manner.
4. 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
Questions on "The Lights"
- Why do you
suppose that the old operative Masons made use of the "shock" in their
- What is
your theory as to why they used it at the time of the candidate's
- Why should
the "shock of enlightenment" be retained in our ritual?
- Can you
think of some analogous ceremony used in everyday life?
- Is our custom
of firing a volley over the grave of a soldier, or while raising or
flag like the "shock" as used in our ritual?
the "shock" affect you during your initiation?
- Of what
is the hoodwink a symbol?
- Was it used
in ancient fraternities?
- In the Ancient
Mysteries, for example? If so, why do you think they used it?
- What does
the removal of the hoodwink signify?
- Why is it
removed just when it is?
- Why is it
not left on until the end of the work in each degree?
- When is
the school-boy's hoodwink of ignorance removed?
- Are you
wearing any mental hoodwinks? If so, how can you get them off?
political, religious, social hoodwinks?
- What is
the meaning of "Light" in Masonry?
- Are there
any other Lights in Masonry aside from the (Greater and the Lesser?
- What are
the Great Lights in politics? In business?
a man or a nation find "a place in the sun"?
- Why is the
Holy Bible called the V. S. L.?
- To what
extent are the materials in our ritual drawn from it?
- In what
sense is the Bible true?
- What constitutes
- How many
books in it?
- Can you
tell how these books came to be gathered together?
- Can you
tell the difference between the canon (or "collection") of books used
as the Bible by the Greek Catholics, the Roman Catholics, and the
- What is
- In what
way is the Bible inspired?
- What does
- Is the Bible
infallible as history?
- As a book
- In what
way is it infallible?
- If it is
infallible in any manner at all how can we prove it?
- How can
its teachings be verified?
- How are
scientific teachings verified?
- Of what
is the Bible a symbol?
- What are
the sacred hooks of other races?
- When, and
for what reason, can those books be substituted for the Bible on a
manner can other sacred books serve as a symbol of that of which the V.
S. L. is
- In how many
ways is the Square used in our ritual?
the Square as it is used Masonically.
- Why did
early peoples think that the earth was cubical or square-shape?
- How did
the Square come to have its present significance?
- What is
the Great Light of which it is a symbol?
- Why do we
say of an honest man "that he is square"?
- What do
we mean by "the square deal"?
- Why do we
say that a dishonest man is "crooked"?
- Is dishonesty
man like one who walks in the dark? Why?
- Why did
ancient peoples believe the heavens to be circular?
- What did
the Compasses signify to them?
- What do
they signify to us?
- Do you believe
that there is a divine element in you?
- Is there
a divine element in a murderer?
- How can
we discover the divine in others and in ourselves?
we learn to let it rule us?
the various positions of the Compasses with relationship to the Square,
the reason for this.
- Who were
- How did
their symbols come to be adopted by early Masons?
- Are the
Hermeticists still in existence?
- Why is the
sun an emblem of the male element in nature?
- The moon
an emblem of the female?
- Can you
name some noted modern man in whom the masculine predominates?
- In whom
- What is
meant by "balance" in life?
- Why do you
call some men "unbalanced"?
- What are
the penalties of being unbalanced?
- Is a fanatic
unbalanced? If so why?
- Who is the
- How does
he become masterful?
- In what
way is he a more valuable member of society?
- How does
Masonry help us to become masterful?
* * *
The articles in this issue, "The Three Lesser
by Brother Taylor, and "The Symbolic Lights," by Brother Atchison,
if time will permit, be read at the September study meeting before
paper is taken up. The reading of them will prepare the brethren
present for a more
intelligent discussion of the subject when the section in the study
the Lesser Lights is reached.
Bible in Masonry, The, vol. 1, p. 254; Great
(poem), vol. II, p. 273.
Mackey's Encyclopedia. Bible, p. 104;
173; Fixed Lights, p. 267; Lesser Lights, p. 442; Light, p. 446;
p. 447; Square, p. 708; Square and Compasses, p. 709.
* * *
By Bro. H.L. Haywood, Iowa,
Part VIII ‒ The Lights
I – The Shock of Enlightenment.
In very early Masonic initiations it seems that
shock, or battery, was employed twice during the initiatory ceremonies;
the candidate made his entrance and again at the time that his hoodwink
Why the use of the shock in the former instance has been dropped we do
but we may be glad that it has been retained in the latter connection
most certainly adds to the impressiveness of the ceremony when the
brought from darkness to light. Moreover it enables the brethren to
as well as the Wardens, and it seems to emphasize the importance of the
of the hoodwink: whether or not it had some symbolic meaning of its own
Masons we have not learned.
II – Removal of Hoodwink.
The hoodwink, all the way through, is a symbol:
purpose is not to hide from the candidate what is going on, but to
remind him that
until the lodge grants him light he still walks in Masonic darkness. It
the inner darkness of the uninitiated: not a darkness of bodily vision
but an un-illumined
state of the mind: the candidate has not yet found the Masonic wisdom
the path of life. When the hoodwink is removed it is not merely that he
the Great Lights but to symbolize the fact that his mind is now to be
that of which the Great Lights are the symbols. The removal is as if
the lodge said
to him, "Open now your mind, even as you have opened your eyes, and you
see that which will light your way through life henceforward."
III – The Great Lights.
We must remember that when the Great Lights are
to the candidate they are not to be considered as things in themselves
but as symbols,
and it is that which they symbolize that is the real illumination of
pathway. What are the mental, or spiritual realities, of which the V.
S. L., the
Square, and the Compasses are the symbols?
IV – The V. S. L.
In American Masonry no lodge can receive or
candidates except while the Book lies upon its altar. So much of the
our ritual is drawn from the Holy Bible that students have traced to it
seventy-five references; almost every name used throughout the
ceremonies are drawn
from it, and the teachings of the Craft are built upon it as a house is
the ground: for this we may all be very grateful because, in spite of
all that critics
and skeptics have said, the volume remains the most remarkable book in
A library of sixty-six books of the most diverse character, and drawn
peoples and conditions, there is all through it a marvelous unity, as
if its hundreds
of chapters had been strung, like pearls, on one golden wire. For two
it has remained as fresh and new as when written, and today it is being
in more than five hundred languages or dialects. To make such an
appeal, to manifest
such a life, it must, in some real sense, be inspired; and not only
inspiring, for there is no other writing which so stirs the depths of
As Coleridge said, "It speaks to the deeps in us."
Masonry does not attempt to define its
least of all to formulate any dogma as to its infallibility: but it may
in this present connection, that for strictly Masonic purposes it is
if we will carefully note the accurate meaning of that abused term.
means "that which will not fall down, that which will not fail." The
makes no claim to be a text-book on history or on science but offers
itself as a
revelation to us of the Mind and Will of God and when so used it will
us, as millions could testify, millions, even, of Masons, for the Book
one of our Great Lights these many centuries.
Nevertheless, to Masons the Book is after all a
of something that lies behind the Book. It stands for the Mind of God
as we have
come to know that Mind, and it is this Mind which is our real guide. If
other lands find that Mind revealed to them in some other book we are
to permit them to substitute their own sacred book for ours, as when
use the Old Testament, Mohammedans use the Koran, Hindus the
Bhagavad-Gita or the
Vedas, or when Parsees use the Zend-Avesta. The point is that no lodge
furnished unless it have to its altar some book to symbolize the Faith
the guide and rule of the life Masonic.
In placing the V. S. L. upon its altar the
in effect, "In this dark world, where every pathway lies in shadow,
human mind cannot guide you to your goal; you need the assistance of
the Mind that
made the world, and that Mind will be revealed to you if you seek to
have it. While
following that Kindly Light you will not go astray, even in your
attempt to thread
the labyrinth of this existence where the wisest is as a child that
cries in the
dark, and with no language but a cry." In sum, we may say that the Mind
Will of God, as we know it, is the first Great Light of Masonry, and
that the V.
S. L. is the symbol thereof.
V – The Square.
In the Blue Lodge ritual the Square has three
and separate uses. It serves as an emblem of the Worshipful Master, as
tool of the Fellow Craft, and as one of the Great Lights; it is
important that its
symbolism in the last named connection should not be confused with its
Primitive people thought of the earth as being
of oblong square or cube: in consequence thereof all emblems of square
thought to have some reference to the earth, and since the try-square
was used to
measure angles it was held to be a symbol of that which is mundane or
opposed to the Divine. But as it was used to prove that angles were
right it came
to have the further significance of a true character, a character in
with righteousness. Such seems to be its meaning when used as one of
our Great Lights:
it symbolizes our right earthly relationships; in other words, our
with our fellows.
Consequently, in placing the Square before the
it is as if the lodge said to him, "Here is another guide for you to
your earthly pilgrimage: deal with your fellows squarely; do to them as
that they should do to you. Any other conduct brings us into social and
A perfected earthly nature, that is the thing of which the Square is
VI – The Compasses.
In this connection we must again remember that
symbol is elsewhere used in the initiatory ceremony; much confusion
will be avoided
if this is kept in mind. The people of old days, as has already been
of the earth as square shape: by token of the same reasoning they
thought of the
skies, or the heavens, as being circular. Was not the sky itself a
dome? Did not
the stars and planets move in curved tracks? Was not an astronomical
chart an assemblage
of curves and spirals? By an inevitable association of ideas the
were used to test or to draw circles and spirals, came to stand for the
in man, the divine. Such has been the significance of the compasses in
of ceremonies, and such remains its meaning when used as one of our
In other words, there is in each of us a spark,
of the divine, one may call it what he will: at least there is a
capacity for communing
with the divine, else all religions are utterly vain. Accordingly, our
says to us that the God-like elements in our nature constitute another
in life, and that if we will always yield ourselves to such Goodness,
Beauty as is given us to know we will be safely led through life.
It may be noted just here that in the First
compasses are placed in a certain position relative to the Square, that
changed in the Second degree, and still again in the Third. A careful
study of these
three positions will disclose to us a beautiful symbolism of progress
in the Masonic
life. In the first degree the candidate's divine nature is supposed to
underneath his earthly self; in the Second, which stands midway in the
the divine nature is partly disengaged from the earthly; in the last
divine nature is in the ascendant, and properly keeps the earthly
VII – The Lesser Lights.
The Sun, Moon and Master compose a symbolism
have received from the Hermeticists, a group of occultists very
influential in Europe
two or three hundred years ago. Some scholars have sought to trace this
to another source but the balance of evidence is in favor of the
The Sun. ‒ According to the Hermeticists the
hurls out light and heat from itself, is the emblem of the active, or
in nature: that this was not very far-fetched is proved by the fact
that we still
commonly speak of the sun as "he" or "him."
The Moon. ‒ By virtue of a similar reasoning
made the moon to stand for the passive, or female, element in nature:
and here again
the interpretation is in harmony with our customary practices because
we all speak
of the moon as "she" or "her." This is appropriate because the
moon emits no light of her own but merely reflects such light as she
The Master. ‒ In our Masonic usage we make this
to the Master of the lodge, not as an actual officer, but in a
the Master is to us the type of the perfect, the masterful man, the
Again, we may note that this is in consonance with the Hermeticists for
typified the same thing. Who is the masterful man? According to this
is the one in whom the male and the female are symmetrically blended.
to give an example, was all for masculinity: he taught that the more
are weak signs of degeneration: if we were all like Nietzsche, or like
ideal of a man, the world would be peopled with blond beasts. John
Woolman, on the
other hand, was so feminine that he wept over the death of a robin
which he killed
as a boy; if the world were peopled with Woolmans it may be feared that
race would become ill-fitted to wrestle with the hard gray realities of
ideal man, the Master, is one in whom the male and the female, the
active and the
passive, the gentle and the aggressive, are balanced. Such was Horus,
in the old
Egyptian mythology, who combined the masculinity of Osiris with the
Isis: such was Jesus in real life, of whom Tennyson justly says that he
Thus it is that the Three Lesser Lights teach
old doctrine of balance, while the Lesser and Greater Lights as a whole
the ideal of the symmetrical life: when, through our knowledge of the
Mind and Will
of the S.G.A.O.T.U., we learn to perfect our earthly nature by giving
to the divine
in us its proper sovereignty; and when, again, these elements of life
are kept in
poise, neither one over-riding the other, we have reached the Masonic
ideal of life
as disclosed to us in this wonderful symbolism of the Lights.
* * *
The Symbolic Lights
By Bro. Widley E. Atchison,
"A lodge has three symbolic lights; one of
in the East, one in the West, and one in the South. There is no light
in the North,
because King Solomon's Temple, of which every lodge is a
representation, was situated
so far north of the ecliptic, that the sun and moon, at their meridian
dart no rays into the northern part thereof. The North, therefore, we
term a place of darkness."
THE WRITER must confess to preconceived ideas
own in regard to the location in the lodge-room of the "representatives
the Three Lesser Lights"; ideas which to his mind, were well-founded.
present investigation of the subject reveals a wide divergence of
opinion, and has
convinced him that a surprising number of other brethren are possessed
widely at variance with his.
Nothing more or less than "custom" or
seems to govern the location of these symbolic lights in many varied
the different Grand Jurisdictions of America. In at least one
jurisdiction the ritual
does not specifically require that they shall be placed in a triangular
the altar" but "about the lodge." Hence in that particular jurisdiction
it would be perfectly proper to place them singly or in a group north,
or west of the altar, or even in any part of the lodge-room distant
from the altar.
The custom of grouping the symbolic lights in
form about the altar does not prevail, so far as we are able to learn,
Britain and other European countries. In England and Scotland in
are placed at the stations of the Master and Wardens. One theory of
(1) is given as follows:
The medieval lodge was a frame building,
of planks, and erected close to the spot where a church or other
was in process of building. It had three main windows ‒ one in the
East, one in
the West, and one in the South. There was none in the North, because
the lodge was
always built on the southern side of the church and close to it on
account of the
advantages of light and warmth presented by a southern aspect. Hence a
the North would have been useless. These windows were termed by the
craft the "three
great lights", the words lichter, light, and windows being synonymous.
in Vitruvius and in Cicero the word lumina, or lights, used to denote
These windows are always represented on the
boards and are distinctly alluded to in our old rituals of 1725 and
1730. In the
latter they are termed "fixed lights", their uses being to "light
the men to, at and from their work"; and in a note it is expressly
these fixed lights "are three windows supposed to be in every room
lodge is held."
At these three windows were seated the Master
two Wardens; the Fellowcrafts had their appropriate positions, and the
were placed in the North as they required less light than the more
advanced Fellowcrafts. The ritual of 1730 alludes to this fact and
places the Junior
Entered Apprentice in the North, his business being "to keep off all
and eavesdroppers." This is explained by the fact that the narrow space
the northern wall of the lodge and the southern wall of the church
would form a
convenient hiding place for cowans and eavesdroppers, and hence the
duty of the
Junior Entered Apprentice. On the Master's table at the east window
the Bible, Square and Compasses; the former as a token of devoutness
and the latter,
not merely as the peculiar implements of the Master, but also a sign or
The Craftsmen while busied at their labors well
that they received the light necessary for their work from the three
in the East, South and West; but they also knew that an inward, or
was even more necessary, and without it they could not properly
complete their task.
As expressive symbols of that mental light, they accepted the
implements of the
Master and the sacred Book which were displayed on the table; for the
given to them as the rule and guide of their faith and practice; the
an ancient symbol of the law, hence among the Greeks and Romans the
or gnomon tuo nomon and norma legis; and the compasses was an
of that fraternal conduct which should characterize their dealings with
and more especially within their own circles. These three Great Lights
a knowledge of God, of themselves and of mankind.
The three lesser lights of Masonry are derived
the same source. The actual work of the Masons was performed during the
daylight. When, however, the brethren met for social enjoyment or
business at night,
artificial or candle light became necessary. The officers retained
their usual positions
and before each was placed a candle. These three candles were now
lesser lights," and the idea of the sun, moon and Master was connected
In the ritual of 1736 the three lesser lights
as "three large candles placed on high candlesticks; they represent the
moon, and Master Mason." When in the course of time the practice was
of holding lodges in taverns, or ordinary-houses, the three great
but the three candles were retained. The oblong square formerly
represented by the
lodge itself could no longer be properly represented, either in form or
by the meeting- room of an ordinary-house, and its place was supplied
by the "drawing
upon the floor," consisting of an oblong square drawn with chalk and
The places of the officers were removed from the walls to the interior
of the drawing,
while the rest of the brethren stood around.
Subsequently this custom was again changed and
of the officers and candles were removed outside of the drawing. Again,
times, for the purpose of convenience, the oblong square was painted
upon a movable
carpet or tapis and when this custom had once been adopted it soon led
to the introduction
of more and more emblems upon the carpet until the original symbolism
of the latter
was entirely lost. In America the use of the carpet has been totally
its place being taken by the altar which was formerly the Master's
table, and which
has been transferred from the East to the center of the lodge.
Sun-worship played a prominent part in the
of the ancients and was introduced into the mysteries, says Mackey, (2)
not as a
material idolatry, but as a means of expressing an idea of restoration
to life from
death, drawn from the daily reappearance in the East of the solar orb
nightly disappearance in the West. The Gnostics derived many of their
the Mithraic initiations [Lib 1903], in which
sun-worship played an important part. These again exercised their
the medieval Freemasons. Thus it is that the Sun has become so
prominent in the
Masonic system; not as an object of worship, but purely as a symbol,
of which is presented in many different ways. As the source of material
sun reminds the Mason of that intellectual light of which he is in
But it is especially as the ruler of the day, giving to it a beginning
and a regular course of hours, that the sun is presented as a Masonic
of the three lesser lights, we are told that one represents or
symbolizes the sun,
one the moon, and one the Master of the lodge, because as the sun rules
and the moon governs the night, so should the Worshipful Master rule
his lodge with equal regularity. And this is in strict analogy with
symbolism. For if the lodge is a symbol of the world, which is thus
its changes of times and seasons by the sun, it is evident that the
Master who governs
the lodge, controlling its time of opening and closing, and the work
which it should
do, must be symbolized by the sun.
"The sun is the symbol of sovereignty, the
of royalty; it doth signify absolute authority," says Gwillim.
This representation of the sun as a symbol of
while it explains the reference to the Master, enables us to amplify
and apply it to the three sources of authority in the lodge, and
accounts for the
respective positions of the officers wielding this authority. The
in the East is a symbol of the rising sun; the Junior Warden in the
South, of the
meridian sun; and the Senior Warden in the West, of the setting sun.
In the ceremonies attendant upon the lighting
of the three symbolic lights, why should we not carry out this
reference to the
sun's daily journey, as we do in our rite of circumambulation? In fact,
done in one Grand Jurisdiction, and possibly in others, by the officers
of the lodge
whose duty it is to attend to these matters. In lighting the lights the
one in the
East is attended to first, followed respectively by those in the South
thus symbolizing the opening of the day. In extinguishing the lights at
of Masonic labors, the same detail is carried out, significant of the
first apparent in the East, thence in the South and West.
Compare this practice with the custom obtaining
jurisdictions of simply snapping a button to light or extinguish the
all at the same instant.
Manifestly this ceremonial cannot be carried
the use of electrical substitutes, especially where the three
candles are all on one circuit, and therefore in lodges where such
is permitted, this symbolism would be lost.
But why should we not abolish the substitutes?
in the days before electric lights were available got along very well
actual "burning tapers", or candles.
The general excuse offered for the employment
electric imitation is that the tallow or paraffine candle is "mussy";
that the drippings fall to the floor, and in warm weather the candles,
a short time, become softened and have a tendency to curve from an
Such troubles may be easily overcome by the use of an ingenious
of a hollow metal tube, white enameled, in which the candle is inserted
bottom leaving only the wick protruding at the top. The tube is longer
candle, and after the candle has been inserted the tube is placed over
the top of
the candlestick. As the candle is consumed by the flame at the top, the
the tube is such that it slides down over the top of the candlestick
and the candle
is forced upward in the tube as it is consumed, leaving the wick always
the top of the upper opening. There are no drippings to fall to the
floor, and since
the body of the candle is contained within the tube it cannot therefore
out of its upright position.
In his report for 1916, as Chairman of the
on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, Brother
Lawrence N. Greenleaf
raised a question concerning the "Symbolism of the Burning Taper," with
especial emphasis on the "burning". Another studious brother of the
of Fraternal Correspondents" thereupon began an investigation the
which gives us some pertinent facts relative to the matter. He says: (4)
This correspondent has not thus far found the
to look up the symbolism of candles in religious worship, but the study
use is quite a simple matter. They were so used prior to the Christian
the elder Pliny, who flourished in the first century of that era, tells
us in his
Natural History that the Romans employed them at funerals, making them
out of different
kinds of rushes. The rush formed the wick and was probably drawn
wax or grease, something after the manner of the old rush-lights.
The extensive use of candles or tapers in the
of the Roman Catholic Church is well known. The second of February is
known as Candlemas
Day (candle mass) and on that day, there is a blessing of candles by
and a distribution of them to the people, by whom they are in some
and carried in procession. Candlemas Day is also observed by Catholics
as the festival
of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, and hence some writers have
candle bearing on that day to refer to Simeon's words: "a light to
It would be interesting, as Brother Greenleaf
to know whether there is any symbolism in a burning taper with special
on "burning". Years ago it was customary to mark divisions of time by
the burning of certain makes of candles down to certain marks left on
them. In England,
prior to the Reformation, a meaning was attached to the size of candles
manner in which they burned during the procession. The reserved
portions of the
candle were also supposed by the populace to possess a strong
Thus we find in Barnaby George's translation of Naogeorgus in the
as printed in Ellis' edition of Brand's "Popular Antiquities," [Lib
Vol 1, Vol 2] these lines:
This done, each man
his candles lights,
Where chiefest seemeth he
Whose taper greatest may be seen
And fortunate to be
Whose candle burneth clear and bright;
A wondrous force and might
Doth in these candles lie, which if
At any time they light
They sure believe that neither storm
Nor tempest doth abide.
Nor thunder in the skies be heard
Nor any devils spied
Nor fearful spirits that walk by night,
Nor hurts or frost or hail, etc.
It is, of course, possible to imagine a certain
of symbology for burning candles in the lodge. They may represent the
light of truth,
the torch of knowledge or the light referred to in the second verse of
chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes. Though truth is unchanged and
our knowledge of it here can only be "in part," and consequently "more
light," both in Masonry and in every department of Knowledge should be
constant aim. The taper burning more or less slowly, but always surely
inevitable end and formerly employed, as we have seen, to mark the
passage of time,
may be considered as fitly representing the light referred to by the
wise man in
his injunction to "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,
. . . the light . . . be not darkened." * * *
In regard to the substitution of gas or
for candles, it may or may not be of interest to Brother Greenleaf and
know that the Roman Catholic church, which uses candles so much in its
not tolerate the substitution for them of more modern forms of
either in the case of the essential lights on its altars or in that of
employed around the catafalque at funerals. Extra illumination is now
made by means
of electricity in many churches, even about the altars, but never in
the case of
the essential altar lights.
An interesting history of the use of candles in
Roman Catholic ritual, with an account of their symbolism to members of
has been kindly furnished to the writer, in answer to his inquiries, by
theologian who is both a Doctor and a Professor of Divinity, and is,
an authority upon the subject whereof he speaks. May it not be that the
employment of candles in Freemasonry was necessitated, as in the case
of the Roman
Catholic church, by the darkness of the subterranean or other concealed
in which its votaries found it necessary in the Dark Ages to hold their
and that the use of them has been perpetuated, not only as a symbol of
from the darkness of ignorance to the increasing Light that comes with
of Knowledge, and Freemasonry's constant aim to contribute to this
of the race, but also ‒ as in the case of the church in question ‒
because of the
early associations connected therewith.
The information which has come to us from the
above referred to, reads as follows:
"Lights have always
been connected with sacrifice and the worship of God. We find that a
light, of purest
olive oil, was ever to burn in the Tabernacle of the Old Testament,
vide Exod. xxvii.,
20-21. This would suffice to explain the presence of lights in the
the New Testament. But there is to be added the necessity of using them
in the early
church. Christianity was prescribed for centuries and in the great
centers of the
Roman Empire, chiefly in Rome, it had no right to existence, and had to
in the catacombs. There the Christians met, in the bowels of the earth,
celebration of mass, the reception of the sacraments, and instructions
in the faith.
Lights were consequently an absolute necessity in that subterranean
association of lights with mass and sacraments was too dear to the
Church not to
endure after she came to her place under the light of day, and was free
it under God's open sky. Lights therefore, became a ritual obligation,
and the faithful
who had seen them used in the catacombs, expected to find them in the
mass and all the liturgical ceremonies. In these countries, olive oil
was used ‒
naturally ‒ being the common oil that served for lighting purposes.
And, of course,
it was pure oil, as God's worship required the best, and forbade
admixture of foreign
and less worthy elements. Candles were not used on the altars for many
after. They were carried by the acolytes, etc., and placed about the
but not on the altar. Lamps were hung about and around the altar,
filled with pure
olive oil. But candles used at mass were of beeswax, and for the same
facility of obtaining the material, rejection of mixture with baser
candles were of pure wax. When later the candles were placed on the
altars as today,
these candles of pure beeswax were required. The mind of the church has
that what is best and purest should be used in God's service. Hence,
pure beeswax for the candles. This is a matter of legislation. There
and clear rules on this point.
must be beeswax, vide, for instance, Decision of Congregation of Rites,
- These candles
are prescribed for mass and for the administration of the sacraments.
The two candles
lighted at low mass, and the six at high mass, must be of beeswax. As
- Other candles
used for ornament, for devotional purposes, are not included in this
of oil may be used upon the altar, but when mass is said, there must be
climatic and economic reasons, in countries far removed from the basin
of the Mediterranean,
allowances have been made, and an admixture is permitted. For candles
mass on the altar, the beeswax must be in greatest proportion; as for
candle, too. The other candles, in greater part, or in notable part of
Vide Cong. of Rites, Dec. 14, 1904. These regulations were formal and
"As to the symbolism
of candles, we must recall the use in the Old Testament, and its
the destruction of a victim in expiation of sin. Man substitutes a
victim in his
own stead, and offers it in his own place. These victims were not only
as in the Old Temple, but also other things, as lights (oil), incense,
"Just as the victims,
animals, etc., should be without defect for God's worship demands what
so the other things offered should be unadulterated. Consequently, it
was pure olive
oil that was prescribed in Exod. 20, and pure oil and pure beeswax
into the sacrificial worship of the New Testament. All the sacrifices
of the Old
Testament were merely the shadow of the Sacrifice of the Cross and of
which is its continuation. So that the idea of purity of the material
to the sacrificial use.
"The use of electric
lights is forbidden when they would replace the candles at mass or in
of the sacraments, or in benediction. They may be used about the altar,
or ornament. A recent ruling from Rome forbade their use upon the altar
purposes. All the bishops have not yet promulgated this ruling, and
until a bishop
of a diocese does so, it does not come into effect. Hence, some
differences in the
use of electric lights upon or about the altar."
It should not, we feel, be necessary to offer
to any of our brethren, whatever their religious faith, for printing
the above exactly
as we have received it. To those members of the Fraternity who are
the use of the lights so kindly and so interestingly described above in
places of worship, and to many more of us who delight in the study of
there is much therein that is particularly striking and instructive.
understand, that for Masons in general, any of the symbolism of the
hundred years to which reference is made in the above contribution is
as affording to students of our rituals the opportunity of judging to
if any, our use of candles is connected with that employed in the Roman
church, and what reasons exist, if any, against changing them for
imitation candles, especially in view of the fact that such proposed
met with strenuous adverse criticism in the United states. With this
we believe ourselves justified in printing the above information just
as it has
reached us, and in thus contributing to cast upon this "burning"
all the "light" at our disposal.
of Lights With Reference
to Altar in American and Canadian Jurisdictions
In the following diagrams showing the manner of
the symbolic lights in the various Grand Jurisdictions, it will be
noted that in
every instance the arrangement is in triangular form ‒ some states
right-angled triangle and others the equilateral ‒ the triangle being
recognized as a symbol of Deity.
To the Mason who has never visited lodges
his own jurisdiction a comparison of the location of the symbolic
lights in other
jurisdictions should prove interesting. A letter sent out from the
to every Grand Secretary in the United States and Canada resulted in
of diagrams showing the arrangement of the lights in nearly every Grand
and eleven different plans are here exhibited.
Figure 1. Right angled triangle, apex at
Lights at northeast, southwest and northwest corners of altar.
Adopted in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Figure 2. Right-angled triangle, apex at
Lights at northeast, southeast and southwest corners of altar.
Adopted in Connecticut, South Dakota and
Some lodges in this jurisdiction group them in triangular form directly
altar, as in Figure 5.
South Dakota. Several lodges use electric
a single-base standard having three branches for the lights, placing
them at the
northeast corner of the altar.
Figure 3. Right angled triangle, apex at
Lights at southeast, southwest and northwest corners of altar.
Adopted in Georgia.
Figure 4. Equilateral triangle, apex at south.
centered directly east, south and west of altar.
Adopted in Arkansas.
Figure 5. Equilateral triangle, apex at south.
grouped on south side of altar.
Adopted in Arizona, British Columbia,
Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Missouri, Nevada, Nova Scotia, Utah,
British Columbia. ‒ Canadian and American
follow no fixed rule, some placing the lights in this position, and
others in the
form shown in Figure 7. English working lodges follow the English
custom of placing
them at the stations of the three principal officers.
California ‒ Placed in this form "for
Idaho. ‒ This plan is general, but there is no
Kentucky. ‒ No uniform rule, but the general
is to place them in this form. Personal reasons of Grand Secretary
as "because there was no light in the North. In triangular shape so as
greater light to aid reading the Great Light."
Louisiana. ‒ Prior to ten years ago the lights
arranged around the three sides of the altar farthest from the north
side of the
lodge room and the explanation was then given as "three burning tapers
in a triangular form around the altar." After that time the verbiage of
description was changed to "three burning tapers arranged in a
about the altar," and the lights were then placed on the south side.
‒ This form was adopted by the Grand Lodge some twenty years ago on the
the majority of Grand Lodges so placed them. Missouri ‒ Placed in this
because the south is "the place of the sun at its meridian height," and
"a place of light." Nevada. ‒ This custom established "by precedent."
Texas. ‒ This form is generally used because the lights are grouped on
having a single base, with three prongs for the lights. Some lodges use
candlesticks and arrange them otherwise. Utah. ‒ The conclusion of
McCarty, who consulted several Past Grand Officers in the matter, is
that when the
first Utah lodges were established the brethren instrumental in
followed the custom prevailing in their mother jurisdictions and that
eventually became an "unwritten law" or custom of the Grand
Figure 6. Equilateral triangle, apex at north.
grouped on north side of altar.
Adopted in Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota.
Iowa ‒ This form is the general custom in this
although the ritual simply says the lights are to be placed in a
"about the lodge. Hence it would be perfectly proper to place them in a
form in any other part of the lodge, near or distant from the altar, or
the stations of the three principal officers similar to the English
Minnesota. ‒ At the Annual Communication of the
Lodge in October, 1867, a committee of five was appointed, of which E.
was chairman, to formulate the "work" for this Grand Jurisdiction and
report at the next Annual Communication, which they did and exemplified
before Grand Lodge, which adopted it as exemplified. In arranging the
the altar they decided to place them on the north, instead of the south
some of the lodge rooms in those early days were so narrow that it was
for the Senior Deacon and candidate to pass between the lights and the
the Junior Warden.
Figure 7. Equilateral triangle, apex at south.
and West lights opposite northeast and northwest corners, South light
south of altar.
Adopted in Colorado, British Columbia,
Colorado. ‒ Brother W. W. Cooper, Grand
"This method of placing the lights is probably
based on local custom. No doubt the influence of Dr. Albert G. Mackey
had much to
do with the establishment of the custom, as he specifically recommends
in his Monitor, which was the standard in this jurisdiction for many
"Dr. Mackey also resided temporarily in
and on one occasion, when visiting the Grand Lodge, addressed the Grand
the subject of the lights." The use of the lights to form an
was also advocated by Albert Pike.
"One reason for placing them in this manner is
that the equilateral triangle is a great and ancient symbol of the
deity. We cannot
read or understand the Great Light without assistance which is
furnished by the
reason or intelligence which comes to us from God, who is symbolized by
British Columbia. ‒ See reference under
of Figure 5.
Michigan ‒ This is considered the best plan to
the East, South and West.
Ohio. ‒ Thus located to interpret the ritual.
Manitoba. ‒ American working lodges place the
in this position. They are not lighted in the second and third degrees.
Figure 8. Equilateral triangle, apex at south.
and West lights on a direct line with the north side of altar; South
directly south of altar.
Adopted in District of Columbia.
Figure 9. Equilateral triangle, apex at south.
and West lights on a direct line with the south side of altar; South
directly south of altar.
Adopted in Indiana.
Grand Secretary Prather says this arrangement
by Brother Rob Morris and so taught in the Indiana Monitor.
Figure 10. Equilateral triangle, apex at east.
north and east of altar.
Adopted in Massachusetts.
Some lodges in this jurisdiction follow the
custom of placing the lights at the Master's and Wardens' stations.
A cut of the lodge room in the Masonic Temple
Canal Zone, (under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts,)
lights arranged as in Figure 7.
Figure 11. Equilateral triangle, apex at west.
directly east of altar.
Adopted in Maryland.
Grand Lecturer Seipp describes this triangular
as symbolic of Deity and perfection, which is the moral, mental and
of the candidate in the three degrees.
Freemasons Magazine, vol. XXIV, p. 340.
While we cannot vouch for the authenticity of
of the origin of the lesser lights, perhaps some of our English or
or other members of the Society who may have access to the rituals of
and 1736, may be able to confirm the allusions.
Fort, in his "Early History and Antiquities of
Freemasonry," p. 294, states that this theory of the windows was
Krause, but he (Fort) discredits it, saying that the assumption is
incorrect, and lacks the essential elements, as usually elucidated, of
However, MacBride, in his "Speculative Freemasonry," p. 74, refers to
the lights as "three windows."
Encyclopedia, 1917 [Lib 1914] edition, p.
(3) Idem, p. 736.
(4) Kentucky Masonic Home Journal, January 1, 1917.
We regret our inability to give the name of the
who made this investigation, since it was not appended to the article.
If some member
of the Society can enlighten us as to the authorship we shall be glad
to make proper
acknowledgment in a future issue of THE BUILDER.
The Three Lesser Lights
By Bro. William H. Taylor,
P.G.M., Philippine Islands
IN all ages and among all peoples there have
two fundamental beliefs which have permeated-the body politic. The
first is, that
nature itself is subject to a constant struggle between two contending
continually strive for the supremacy. As day and night, light and
and evil. The other belief was that the soul is immortal. On these two
founded the ceremony of initiation depicted by the Mysteries of the
Masonry as the logical descendent of these
likewise seeks to impress upon its initiate of 'today', in the
possible, its continued belief in these two great fundamental
have come down to us from our forefathers of long ago. Therefore do we
initiate in Masonry from darkness to light and illustrate to him the
in the third degree.
In all the Ancient Mysteries this struggle
and darkness was typified by two deities, who in each case were a male
and a female
representing respectively the Sun and the Moon.
In the Indian Mysteries these two deities were
Mahadeva and Bhavani; in the Persian, Mithras and Asis; in the
and Isis. This same characteristic is also peculiar to the Phoenician,
Grecian, Britain and Scandinavian systems of theology.
In the Egyptian Mysteries Anubis shares in the
which were paid to Osiris and Isis. He was the friend and counselor of
when Isis started out in her search for the body of Osiris she was
aided by Anubis, who took the shape of a dog and thus becomes Sirius,
the brightest star in the heavens. Anubis is of peculiar interest to
us, as Masons
in that he was renowned among other characteristics as the inventor of
and surveying and as the deity who first taught the worship of gods and
In the Eleusian Mysteries, the temple in which
were held was lighted by a hole or a window in the roof and the three
of nature, the Sun, the Moon and Mercury (the latter being the same as
an exceedingly important part and were mystically represented by three
It has ever been a custom on the rise of a new
or institution for it to lay hold of that which was good in its
make it an integral part of itself, either on the one hand because it
so doing it would the more securely fasten its hold on its converts or
on the other,
because it desired to thus perpetuate its intimate connection with that
had succeeded. From a study of the growth of the early Christian Church
that to make the new religion more understandable to their new
converts, the priests
held their meetings in the same temples where the sacrifices had been
made to the
"pagan" divinities. They appropriated the statues of the "heathen"
gods and sometimes by placing on them a new head and at other times
with this formality they transformed them into "Saints" of the Church.
Among their new converts, especially, the
found a tendency to revert to the worship of the gods. Particularly was
in the case of Isis and her infant son Horus. After combating
this tendency for several years the priests finally assimilated both
and the attributes which were associated with it. Thus Isis and her son
the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus whence comes the prominent place
given to their
worship in the Roman Catholic Church of today.
As the church has thus unintentionally and
immortalized the mysteries no less has Masonry deliberately perpetuated
of our ancient brethren. The three great lights of nature, as we have
in the Ancient Mysteries were represented by images dedicated
respectively to the
Sun, the Moon and Mercury, have become the three lesser lights of a
but how, when or where the substitution of the "Master of the Lodge"
"Mercury" crept in, it is impossible to trace. There seems to be about
as much justification for it as there was for the addition by Jeremy
Cross of the
"Marble Monument" and its explanation as given in the lecture of the
degree. While the three lesser lights are to be found in all regular
there seems to be no fixed rule as to where they should be placed in
In some jurisdictions a light is placed at the
of the Master, one at that of the Senior Warden and one at that of the
There may be some justification for this
but it would not be possible to adapt it to the "work" as it is now
in this and many other jurisdictions.
In some lodges they are represented by a metal
about three feet high with three arms branching out at the top. At the
of each arm is a light and these lights are in the form of an
This metal stand is usually placed at the right of the altar as one
faces the East.
In other lodges the three lesser lights are grouped about the altar in
of a right angle triangle; the base of the triangle parallel to the
West, with the
hypotenuse running from the South to the East to join up with the
in the East.
The metal stand with its branching arms in the
of an equilateral triangle is emphatically incorrect. It is a product
of an inventive
age and a concession to cheapness and facility in installation which
be tolerated save when a more expensive arrangement is inadvisable.
The other grouping is the one used in this and
other jurisdictions. It is sanctioned by Albert Pike than whom there is
authority. He uses this arrangement in his liturgy for the first as
well as in the
This arrangement is justified too in that it is
natural position in which to place the triangle, could we but consider
it as separate
and apart from the necessity of avoiding the placing of a light in the
that the base, which here represents "Ignorance" is surpassed in
by "Learning," represented by the perpendicular which is longer than
base as four is to three. This perpendicular runs from East to West
reminds us of the belief of our ancient brethren that all learning has
in and proceeds from the East.
This grouping, however, might be considered
in that it places a light in the North directly opposite the one in the
is contrary both to the practices of the Ancient Mysteries as well as
of modern Masonry. In the Ancient Mysteries the initiate in his
followed the course which our forefathers ascribed to the sun in his
When the initiate reaches the East, it is here the Sun rises, at the
South the Sun
is at meridian height, while it is in the West that the Sun sets. From
he reaches the East again the initiate is supposed to be traveling at
as we say in a place of darkness. For this reason modern Masonry has no
the North and not for the stupid reason as given in our lecture in the
The correct placing as depicted in all the
we have been able to find, fixes the lights about the altar in the form
of a right-angled
triangle but with the right angle at the South; the base runs from the
East to the
South, the hypotenuse runs from the East to the West with the
the South with the West.
Both methods represent the right angled
we have it in the 47th Problem of Euclid. Its sides in the proportion
of 3, 4 and
5 of which proportion 3 is the base, 4 the perpendicular, and 5 the
Its perpendicular represents the male, its base, the female, while the
represents their progeny or the product of the two. Thus to the
ancients did this
right-angled triangle represent "Humanity."
The light in the East is dedicated to the
the lodge, the one in the West to the sun and the one in the South to
As the Master sits in the East the light dedicated to the Sun is on his
the one to the Moon is on his left. Hence you will understand why the
the Senior and Junior Deacons who likewise sit on his right and left
representations of the Sun and of the Moon.
Therefore, in pointing out the lesser lights to
initiate, the Master should be careful to call his attention first to
in the West as representing the Sun, next to the one in the South as
the Moon and finally to the one in the East as representing the Master
of the Lodge.
When the three principal officers of the lodge group themselves about
each should be careful to take his stand directly in front of his
They will thus form an equilateral triangle ever considered by our
as an emblem of "Deity."
With the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens thus
about the altar we have formed a living equilateral triangle symbol of
the three lesser lights about the altar forming the right-angled
triangle of Euclid,
symbol of Humanity. We, therefore, have at the conferring of each and
in Masonry a striking symbolism of the two great fundamental teachings
of our order:
‒ "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man."
A Certain Point Within A
YOU are all familiar with what is crudely set
by glaring colored stereopticon slides as to a "certain point within a
Two parallel lines of equal length are drawn tangent, or let us say,
circle containing at its center a prominent dot, or circular spot or
mark. On the
top of the circle and midway between the two vertical lines or
tangents, is a representation
of the Holy Bible. At either side of the parallels, or vertical lines,
actually upon them, are the two robed and bearded men commonly
designated as St.
John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.
The monitorial explanation is familiar to all
and is printed freely in many authorized publications of the Craft.
explanations of the symbolism are extant. Another suggestion is not so
to the fraternity, and is here submitted.
Two bearded figures standing by a sphere or
by a dove is by no means a rare medieval representation of the Trinity;
Son and the Holy Ghost.
Let us refer to the work entitled "Christian
or History of Christian Art in the Middle Ages," [Lib 1851] and to volume I (and
volume I is all that was issued of the series so far as can be
discovered by the
present commentator) bearing date of 1851, and being an English
translation by E.
J. Millington, from the French of M. Didron and published by Henry G.
Bohn, of London,
If you look at page 39 you will find there a
of a miniature, taken it is so averred, from a manuscript having the
name of Louis,
Duke of Anjou, and the title "Heures du Duc d'Anjou (Hours of the Duke
Bib. Roy. The date of the manuscript is ascribed to have been at the
end of the
thirteenth century, and the illustration in question is intended to be
of the Trinity. Now please proceed with the suggested comparison in
There are two bearded figures. Between them,
on their outstretched hands, is a circle or sphere, and surmounted on
‒ resting on and above the circle ‒ is a dove with wings outstretched.
wings of the dove do, at but a very little distance, resemble an opened
the robed figures wear the cruciform or cross type of nimbus, or
radiance or glory
circles, around the head usual in so many pictorial representations of
divinities. A nimbus or aureole is also worn by the dove.
Preference is for the middle of the
occupied by a sphere, rather than a circle, because there is a somewhat
and unfinished curved line across the circular figure in center and
just about where
the equator might be depicted if the world were to be roughly shown.
The similarity of this symbolical drawing to
so well known to we Freemasons is not capable surely to explanation as
mere accident. If indeed the one illustration is born of the other, as
unlikely, then quite another and a very different, but obvious,
symbolism to that
ordinarily submitted to us is disclosed, of much interest to the
of the Craft.
Robert I. Clegg.
* * *
To Masonic Study Committees
It is recommended that the articles in this
"The Lesser Lights" and "The Symbolic Lights" be previously
studied by those of our members belonging to lodges and study clubs
our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study," and, if time will permit, that
one or both of the articles be read at their meetings for the benefit
of those present
who may not yet be members of the N.M.R.S.
It is quite probable that many new theories or
will be brought out at these meetings which may throw additional light
on the subject.
We shall be very glad to receive such information from study club
that we may pass it on to other lodges and study clubs.
Edited By Bro. H. L. Haywood
The object of this Department is to acquaint
with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best
now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially
Masons. The Library Editor would be very glad to render any possible
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 Drama of Savage
It has been a commonplace among us these many
that the roots of Masonry go afar into the remote past but it may be
very many of the members of our Fraternity ever realize just how
ancient are the
instincts and impulses which lie behind such an institution as Masonry.
however, many scholars have been presenting us with a wealth of facts
secret societies among primitive folk, so that now a Mason is without
does not understand that some organization, similar to Masonry, and
functions, has existed among men from the very earliest times.
Fortunately for the
scholar, there still exist in the backwashes of the world a few tribes
carry on the ancient practices; by investigating these folk the
are enabled to guess what were the customs of races long dead and
most valuable of such works, probably, is Frazer's "Golden Bough," [Lib
1922] a veritable encyclopedia
of primitive customs. Hutton Webster's "The Men's House" is another
which has thrown much light on the original roots of the secret
society. Now comes
a Yale anthropologist, Professor Loomis Havemeyer [Lib 1916], with a book bearing the
title that stands at the
head of this article, to throw added light on the entire subject.
Although it is
not written with much literary grace it is a book which the Masonic
welcome, especially since it sets forth so clearly the mental roots out
secret societies grow.
Professor Havemeyer's principal concern is with
evolution of the drama among savage peoples, and his thesis is that
who have no alphabet, no written language, and consequently no schools,
and often the old, are educated through acted representations of truths
In his first chapter he deals with "The Early Development of the
thereafter he studies the ceremonies having to do with animal food and
plant food: after comparing the savage drama with the more finished
drama he passes on to treat of the drama of initiation; war ceremonies;
It is the chapter on "Initiation Ceremonies"
that will appeal most to Masons for therein will be found many striking
resemblance between the quaint, and often terrible, rites of our
our own ritual, resemblance, that is, in principle, not in detail.
The author shows that nearly all savage tribes
a ceremony of initiation through which the youth passes into manhood
and the full
rights of the tribe: this is usually a rehearsal of a legend of the
origins of the
tribe presented in a series of symbolical ceremonies. The savage looks
coming to manhood as a new birth: consequently in the ceremony the
youth is supposed
to die and then to be raised to his new life; or some older person,
the candidate, goes through the dramatic death and resurrection. As
last many months, and often for several years, there is opportunity to
the young man in the history of his own people; in regard to his proper
with other members of the tribe, especially the women; in the virtue of
to elders; and in the other principles of the simple tribal code of
Those Masonic students who would understand the
roots and spirit of initiation ceremonies, who would learn how deeply
our nature is the necessity for such ceremonies, are recommended to
read this richly
rewarding book. It is published by The Yale University Press, of New
the price is $1.75.
The Freeman – [A Poem]
is the freeman whom
the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes confederate for his harm
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of Nature, and though poor perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers; his to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to heaven an unpresumptious eye
And smiling say, "My Father made them all."
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and
every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination; never
till tomorrow what you can do to-day.
Earl of Chesterfield
The Question Box
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and
discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is
for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a
of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one
school of Masonic
thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for
and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are
to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on
are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected
or Study Clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic
When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before
Symbolic Masonry in Europe
It has been reported here by several Scottish
that the only higher body recognized in France is the Scottish Rite,
and that the
York Rite is hardly known in Europe. While I am not a Scottish Rite
Mason, I would
like to get some authentic information on this subject. What is the
strength of the York Rite in France, England, Scotland, Ireland and
We shall answer your questions on the
by the "York Rite" you mean the symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice,
Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Following is a list of the Grand Bodies
having jurisdiction over lodges of these degrees:
GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE.
Lodges, 471. Members, 33,000.
INDEPENDENT AND REGULAR NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF
AND THE FRENCH COLONIES.
Lodges, 136. Members, 7,600.
UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND.
Lodges, 3,203. Members, 210,000.
GRAND LODGE OF IRELAND.
GRAND LODGE OF SCOTLAND.
GRAND LODGE OF DENMARK.
Lodges, 12. Members, 5,854.
GRAND ORIENT OF GREECE.
Lodges, 18. Members, 950.
GRAND LODGE SYMBOLIC, HUNGARY.
Lodges, 91. Members, 6,526
GRAND ORIENT OF NETHERLANDS AT THE HAGUE.
Lodges, 105. Members, 4,600.
GRAND ORIENT LUSITANIA UNIDO SUPREME COUNCIL
Lodges, 135. Members, 4,278.
GRAND LODGE OF NORWAY.
Lodges, 16. Members, 4,299.
GRAND LODGE OF ROUMANIA.
GRAND SPANISH ORIENT.
Lodges,100. Members, 4,880.
SUPREME COUNCIL OF SERBIA.
Lodges, 4. Members, 96.
GRAND LODGE OF SWEDEN.
Lodges, 43. Members, 13,558
GRAND LODGE ALPINA OF SWITZERLAND.
Lodges, 34. Members 4,200
GRAND ORIENT OF TURKEY.
There are nine Grand Lodges in Germany, a list
you will find on page 94 of the March, 1918, issue of THE BUILDER.
Of the 3,203 lodges under the jurisdiction of
Lodge of England, approximately 760 of these are located in London;
1425 in Great
Britain, outside of London, and the remaining number in British
of Great Britain. This Grand Lodge has three Military Lodges not
51 of the 504 Irish lodges are located in
in Belfast, and 322 outside of these two cities. There are 11 Military
stationary, under this Grand Lodge, and some forty or more lodges are
Africa, India, New Zealand, South Australia, Spain and the West Indies.
Of the 829 Scotch lodges a little over one-half
numbers are located in Scotland and the remainder in other countries.
several lodges under the Scottish registry in Canada. The Supreme
by the Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the
of the United States are as follows:
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United
Denmark (Grand Lodge).
England and Wales, and the Dependencies of the British Crown.
France and its Dependencies.
Norway (Grand Lodge).
United States of Colombia.
Some of the foregoing Supreme Councils of the
Rite, especially those of some South American Countries, control the
in their respective countries since in many of these Republics
Lodges have not been established. In Denmark and Norway the Grand Lodge
is the governing
body of both the Scottish and the symbolic degrees. W.E.A.
* * *
Ex-President Taft Made A
Mason "At Sight".
Will you please inform me in the next issue of
how, when and where Ex-President Taft was made a Mason?
I have heard several different accounts of the
but have been unable to find anything on the subject in print.
Brother Taft was made a Mason "at sight,"
February 18th, 1909, at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Grand Master Charles S.
The entire ceremonies occupied only one hour.
Master convened an "Occasional Lodge" for the purpose of conferring the
degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason on Mr.
this lodge was duly opened Mr. Taft was escorted into the lodge and
the altar by P.G.M. William B. Melish The Grand Master, after
propounding the customary
questions and receiving the required answers, obligated the candidate
in the Entered
Apprentice obligation and then instructed him fully in the unwritten
work of that
degree. The same procedure was carried out in the Fellow Craft and
degrees and after reading the charge of the Master's degree, the Grand
Brother Taft a Master Mason, in good and regular standing.
This ceremony did not make Brother Taft a
any particular lodge and it was necessary for him to thereafter
petition a lodge
for affiliation in the regular manner and to be balloted upon for
An article on making Masons "at sight" may
be found on page 47 of volume II (1916) of THE BUILDER.
North Dakota Military Lodge
In response to your request for information
the North Dakota Lodge now operating in France, I may say that it is
known as "North
Dakota Military Lodge No. 2, U. D., A. F. and A. M.," and operates
dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the State of North Dakota, with
to confer the degrees on all members of the 164th Infantry resident in
also with usual authority to confer degrees upon any one elected by a
in the United States at the request of such lodge.
This lodge is known as North Dakota Military
2, because in 1898, at the time when the First North Dakota Infantry
was on its
way to the Philippine Islands, the then Grand Master of North Dakota,
Carothers, issued a dispensation for a military lodge for that regiment.
I was named as Junior Warden of that lodge, and
operation of the lodge in the Philippines was so palpably beneficial to
and gave so much pleasure to the Masons sojourning there, that when the
Dakota was called into service for France, the present Grand Master of
W.J. Reynolds, issued a dispensation for a lodge for that regiment,
became known under the new regimental description as the 164th Infantry.
A few meetings of the lodge were held at
N.C., and some degrees conferred. The work was done in the beautiful
by the Masonic brethren of Charlotte, who very kindly tendered the use
of the building
and in large numbers attended our meetings, and expressed great
pleasure at the
thought that there would be going with the United States troops to
for meeting and working.
Another meeting was held on the transport
over, the night before landing. No work was done at this meeting, but a
evening was spent in Masonic converse.
Since being settled in France weekly meetings
held. The rules promulgated by the Secretary of War prevent any work
in any Camp of the United States troops, so it is necessary to make
for meeting places outside the Camp limits. This we are enabled to do
kindness of the Y.M.C.A.
Our meetings are largely attended, the register
showing at every meeting brethren from various states. One meeting
showed over one
hundred brethren in attendance from thirty-seven states. Many meetings
by over a hundred.
The work is well done and great care is taken
none but good material, the rule being that when a candidate submits to
jurisdiction of this lodge, before he is balloted on his name is sent
Grand Secretary of North Dakota to his local lodge to ascertain whether
he is acceptable
If as great results Masonically follow the
to France of this lodge, as did in taking the lodge to the Philippines
no man can
tell what influence it may have on the future, for it is conceded that
Dakota Military Lodge established Freemasonry in the Philippines with
all the resultant
good that Masonry brings to its devotees.
Even if no such results should follow here, it
the less gives to hundreds of brethren sojourning in a strange land,
far from home,
the pleasure that only a Mason feels in the company of other Masons.
There is in France another military lodge,
"Montana Military Lodge U. D.," of which Major Foote is the Master.
are not located near us, so I have no opportunity of knowing just what
doing, nor how actively they work, but I am certain from my knowledge
Foote that whatever work his lodge hay do will be "good work, true work
Colonel John H. Fraine, W.M.,
North Dakota Military Lodge No. 2, U.D.,
* * *
The Zionist Movement
Freemasonry and Zionism are two distinct
Freemasonry is an institution to teach the grand lesson of the
Fatherhood of God,
and the Brotherhood of Man. Zionism is only an organization to improve
materially and intellectually of the most abused and oppressed, and
suffering, of the homeless people of Israel. Freemasonry upholds all
recognized religions. Zionism tends to uphold only the religion of
In order to understand Zionism properly, it is
to study Judaism and the Jewish history. By studying the Holy Bible you
the origin of Zionism.
David in his Psalm said, "When the Lord turned
again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our
with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the
Lord hath done great things for them; the Lord hath done great things
for us; whereof
we are glad. Turn Again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the
that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth,
seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves
(Psalm 126:1-6). By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we
we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst
there they that carried us away captive required of us a song, and they
us, required us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How
shall we sing
the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget not remember thee, let
cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem, above my
The origin of Zion started when God promised to
Isaac and Jacob the Holy Land to their descendants; then the prophets
in the minds of Israel the hope that the land will be restored to them;
and at last
the oppression of Israel in Spain, Portugal, throughout Europe during
when thousands and thousands of Jews were put to death, and at last the
in Russia, persecution in Romania, and Anti-Semitism in Germany and
the greatest stimulants to the movement of Zionism.
Zionism is not anti-Americanism. Justice
the United States Supreme Court, is an enthusiastic Zionist, still I
is a patriotic American. Lord Reading, English Ambassador to the United
is a good Zionist and loyal English Statesman. Above all, the Jewish
people as a
whole, are showing their patriotism to their countries wherever they
live at the
present time, with their lives, finance, and spirit.
When an English Lord assailed Disraeli, because
a Jew, Disraeli replied, "Yes, I am, and I am proud of it, because
grandfathers were still savages and worshiped idols, my grandfathers
and worshiped the One, true God. If it is really a crime for a Jew to
tell the world
that he is a Jew, the Gentiles are responsible for it."
During the middle ages, the Gentile nations
Jew wear on his clothing a yellow patch to remind everybody that he was
a Jew. In
Europe they have special laws enacted for the Jews only; and right here
free country even among the educated American Gentiles, an American Jew
is not admitted
to their organizations, because he is a Jew.
Zionism does not mean that if the holy land
restored that all the Jewish people from the whole world will go back
The main objects of Zionism are, first, to assist those Jewish people
who are oppressed
in Europe on account of their religion. Second, as Dr. Herzl, the
leader of Zionism
stated in his message at the second congress, that it is necessary for
people to return first to Judaism, in order to return to Zionism. But
we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? It is our hope that the
people who gave
to the world a King Solomon and his temple upon which the
super-structure of Masonry
is built, the people who gave to the world the ten commandments and the
people who gave to the Christian world a Saviour, and to the Catholics,
the Mother of God, the people who gave the world the prophets whose
the moral guide of humanity, may receive justice and recognition.
The people who gave such gifts to the world
the future, when the Lord returns the captivity of Zion, produce again
references: Zech. 8:23. Isa. 46:12-13: 49:16; 49:24;
51:3; 51:11; 52:2-3. Amos 9:13-15. Obadiah 1:17. Micah 4:2-6: 4:6-8.
1:16-17: 2:2: 8:3.
* * *
The Unchanging Spirit of
In discussing Masonry in France, Masonry in
or Masonry anywhere or in any age, perhaps we lean too much to the
to forms and ceremonies, to regularity, ritual and government. In many
ways (and they are subject to more or less change as mankind changes)
a thoroughbred, has had the foundation stock, but has been evolved into
status. This relates purely to the physical side.
The spirit, the psychic, or soul side, has
it is impossible of change, because it is the God part. The heart, or
soul, or psychic
life must first be touched otherwise there is no foundation upon which
Masonry. A Mason at heart is one who has a sincere desire to benefit
loose a body of men like that in any country, in any age, and they will
trail. In this way Masonry can be traced from the beginning of the
world. By their
fruits ye shall know them.
This is universality of Masonry. Men cannot
united on physical things, but when guided by the heart, or spirit, or
in the broader
sense, the psychic life, Masonry is absolutely the same the world over.
The quest for the truth is the same in the
the pagan or the Christian, regardless of his conception of Deity.
the best men of all nations. This is possible only when the psychic
life is wakened.
It is the foundation of Masonry. We build the physical part of Masonry
This is the eternal battle, to be temperate, and not allow excess in
Mankind is prone to make laws to govern
when guided by the physical or animal side only, he depends upon
compulsion to enforce
law, both civil and religious, all of his own making. The German Empire
Masonry would seek to arouse and stimulate the
nature of man, of peace on earth, good will to man, which will never
obtain on a
physical basis only. Masons wherever dispersed, who practice the
virtues of Temperance,
Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, should be judged tolerantly, and
should not be
held too strictly to arbitrary rules of regularity and ritual.
A. K. Bradley,
* * *
An Owner Wanted
The Rev. E. J. V. Huiginn of Beverly, Mass.,
a vacation in South Lyndeboro, New Hampshire, in October, 1917. There
he met Mr.
A. D. Cram, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, formerly a
Sergeant of the
Eighth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers. On one occasion Mr. Cram
said that he
had been in charge of a burying squad after the battle of Fort Hudson,
on the 27th of May, 1863, and that he buried the body of a young
on which he found a peculiar badge composed of three interlaced
by a crown. Though in later years Mr. Cram had tried through some of
the great dailies
and in other ways to trace the owner of the badge he had never
succeeded. He gave
the badge to Mr. Huiginn to try if he could find any trace of the young
The accompanying picture is a copy of a photograph of the badge.
Mr. Huiginn has turned the matter over to
W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, Masonic Temple, Boston,
request we are very glad to publish the circumstances surrounding the
the jewel. Brother Hamilton says that it might bring great happiness to
to have this jewel restored and the present holder is anxious to place
it in the
hands of an heir of the original possessor.
* * *
Serving His Thirty-Third Term As Grand Master Of Maryland At Time Of
I have just noticed that in my article on
which appeared in the April issue of THE BUILDER I made the error of
he was serving his thirty-second year as Grand Master. He had served
years and was elected for the thirty-third time last fall. I think this
be corrected in an early issue in the interest of accuracy.
John H. Cowles,
District of Columbia.
* * *
The Degrees Problem
To my mind one strong argument in favor of the
that at one time the degrees consisted of but two, namely the first and
second and third, is in the fact that in the second section of the
second, the three
mystic numbers, 3, 5, and 7, are explained (or supposed to be). In the
the three numbers are associated respectively with the first, second
and third degrees,
the number 7 being associated with the third degree. This being so, why
is it referred
to in the second degree?
The natural influence is that at one time the
section of the second degree, at least, must have been part of the
Ernest E. Murray,
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Observations on Popular
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Ten Books on Architecture
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The Golden Bough
Fra221 / auth. Frazer James G. - [s.l.] : Project Gutenberg, 1922. -
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The Guilds of Florence
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The Mysteries of Mithra
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Mac82 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Clark and Maynard, 1882. -
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