Masonic Research Society
at McAlester, Oklahoma
By Bro. C.E. Creager, Oklahoma
Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Oklahoma recently
assembled at the
Crypt on "Mount Moriah," an atmosphere of Cryptic Masonry enveloped the
brethren and pervaded the entire session, for probably no body of men
in a place more appropriate to the occasion.
in which the Grand Council held its Assembly is the home of Union
Council No. 1,
R. & S. M., located at McAlester, Oklahoma, a city of 20,000
busy people. It
is situated on a mountain four miles north of the city. The elevation
is a little
over a thousand feet above the fertile valley, the city being built
upon a knoll
which overlooks green prairies in every direction. Looking eastward,
westward from the wooded cliff on which, or rather in which the
buildings are constructed,
is a panorama which includes five different towns, the home of 40,000
of cattle grazing upon the velvet prairie pasture, the Oklahoma State
and two trunk line railroads and many beautiful country drives
stretching here and
there like "so many threads of silver winding o'er the plains." And
away beneath it all are coal mines representing wealth of over fifty
road leads from the city to the top of the mountain, but in due time
this is to
be made into a permanent and beautified drive which will form a link of
in McAlester's famous "sky-line" drive.
itself consists of two buildings, thirty by ninety feet, built into the
Each building is of two stories but the lower floors are in reality
The older and higher building contains the main assembly, preparation
rooms, which are on the upper floor. This floor is supported by nine
arches of natural
stone. Immediately beneath the altar, on the upper floor of this
at the last of the series of nine arches, is another subterranean
to the south and descending in a series of three, five and seven steps
to the second
or lower building.
building is used entirely for degree work, while the lower is used for
of the "knife and fork" degree and such similar work as may be found
from time to time.
westward from the upper building, with a roof of the same height, is a
balconies and eaves of which are appropriately inscribed. Even the
style of architecture
is suggestive and interesting.
triangular enclosure near the northeast corner of the main building
and appropriate relics are deposited. This deposit is to be unearthed,
and a new
deposit made, in the year of 2014, or Anno Deposit 3014.
H. Doyle, one of the oldest and most interesting Masons in the
the site and perfected the plans for the Crypt, after the idea had been
by himself and Brothers Springer, Essex and Voorhees. Brother E. T.
of McAlester but now located in Kansas City, approved the idea and the
Richards and Springer financed the project, assisted by others, but no
in money or sentiment is more highly valued by the companions than the
and sincere cooperation of the ladies of the Eastern Star, who feel as
much at home
on Mount Moriah as they do in their own chapter room.
ago the Grand Council of Oklahoma took official action to encourage the
by extending to Union Council concurrent jurisdiction with all other
the State. In consequence of this action pilgrimages are made to Mount
each year by Royal and Select Masters from all parts of the State, and
indeed is the candidate who is permitted to receive the Cryptic degrees
unique assembly room.
arrangements have not yet been completed for conferring the
with its unlimited possibilities, but it is hoped that within the near
upper floor of the second building can be properly equipped for this
independent electric light plant has already been installed.
Mysteries and Rites
By Bro. Dudley Wright, Assistant
Editor "The Freemason," London
Mysteries, observed by nearly all Greeks, but particularly by the
celebrated yearly at Eleusis, though in the earlier annals of their
were celebrated once in every three years only, and once in every four
the Celeans, Cretans, Parrhasians, Pheneteans, Phliasians, and
Spartans. It was
the most celebrated of all the religious ceremonies of Greece at any
period of the
country's history and was regarded as of such importance that the
Festival is referred
to frequently simply as "The Mysteries." The rites were guarded most
and carefully concealed from the uninitiated. If any person divulged
any part of
them he was regarded as having offended against the divine law and by
the act he
rendered himself liable to divine vengeance. It was accounted unsafe to
the same house with him and as soon as his offence was made public he
Similarly, drastic punishment was meted out to any person not initiated
mysteries who chanced to be present at their celebration, even through
or genuine error.
were divided into two parts-the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater
lesser Mysteries were said to have been instituted when Hercules,
Castor, and Pollux
expressed a desire to be initiated, they happening to be in Athens at
the time of
the celebration of the Mysteries by the Athenians in accordance with
of Demeter. Not being Athenians they were ineligible for the honor of
but the difficulty was overcome by Eumolpus, who was desirous of
including in the
ranks of the initiated a man of such power and eminence as Hercules,
he might be. The three were first made citizens, and then, as a
preliminary to the
initiation ceremony as prescribed by the goddess, Eumolpus instituted
Mysteries, which then and afterwards became a ceremony preliminary to
Mysteries, as they then became known, for candidates of alien birth. In
this lesser festival, celebrated in the month of Anthesterion, at the
of spring, at Agra, became a general preparation for the Greater
Festival and no
persons were initiated into the Greater Mysteries until they had first
into the Lesser.
of the Lesser Mysteries were entirely different from those of the
The Lesser Mysteries represented the return of Persephone to earth
which, of course,
took place at Eleusis, and the Greater Mysteries represented her
descent to the
infernal regions. The Lesser Mysteries honored the daughter more than
who was the principal figure in the Greater Mysteries. In the Lesser
Persephone was known as Pherrephatta, and in the Greater Mysteries she
the name of Kore. Everything was in fact a mystery and nothing was
called by its
right name. Lenormant says that it is certain that the initiated of the
carried away from Agra a certain store of religious knowledge which
to understand the symbols and representations which afterwards were
their eyes at the Greater Mysteries at Eleusis. The object of the
was to signify occultly the condition of the impure soul invested with
body and merged in a material nature. The Greater Mysteries taught that
in the present life, is in subjection to his irrational part, is truly
If Hades, then, is the region of punishment and misery, the purified
soul must reside
in the region of bliss, theoretically in the present life and according
to a deific
energy in the next. They intimated by gorgeous mystic visions the
felicity of the
soul, both here and hereafter, when purified from the defilements of a
nature and consequently elevated to the realities of intellectual
No one was
permitted to attend the Mysteries who had incurred the capital
punishment for treason
or conspiracy, but all other exiles were permitted to be present and
were not molested
in any way during the whole period of the Festival. No one could be
debt during the holding of the Festival.
anything is known of the program observed during the course of the
They were celebrated on the 19th to 21st of the month Anthesterion and,
Greater Mysteries, were preceded and followed by a truce on the part of
in warfare. The same officials presided at both celebrations. The
opened with a sacrifice to Demeter and Persephone, a portion of the
being reserved for the members of the sacred families of Eumolpus and
main object of the Lesser Mysteries was to put the candidates for
a condition of ritual purification and, according to Clement of
included certain instructions and preparations for the Greater
Mysteries. Like the
Eleusinian Mysteries, properly so-called, they included dramatic
of the rape of Persephone and the wanderings of Demeter, in addition,
to Stephen Byzantium, to certain Dionysian representations.
before the full moon of the month of Boedromion, sphondophoroi or
from the priestly families of the Eumolpides and Keryces went forth to
the forthcoming celebration of the Greater Mysteries and to claim an
the part of all who might be waging war. The truce commenced on the
15th of the
month preceding the celebration of the Mysteries and lasted until the
10th day of
the month following the celebration. In order to be valid the truce had
to be proclaimed
in and accepted by each Hellenic city.
for the proper celebration of the Mysteries, both Lesser and Greater,
were in the
hands of the families of Eumolpides and Keryces. These were ancient
whose origin was traced back to the time when Eleusis was independent
and the former family survived as a priestly caste down to the latest
Athenian history. Its members possessed the hereditary and sole right
to the secrets
of the Mysteries. Hence the recognition by the State to their exclusive
privilege to direct the initiations and to provide each a half of the
staff of the temple. Pausanias relates that following a war between the
and the Athenians when Erectheus, King of Athens, conquered Immaradus,
son of Eumolpus,
the subdued Eleusinians, in making their submission, stipulated that
remain custodians of the Mysteries, but in all other respects were to
to the Athenians. This tradition is disputed by more modern writers,
but it was
accepted by the Athenians and acted upon generally, and the right of
the two families
solely to prepare candidates for initiation was recognized by a decree
of the fifth
century B. C., the privilege being confirmed afterwards at a convention
the representatives of Eleusis and Athens. The Eumolpides were the
a mythical ancestor, Eumolpus, son of Neptune, who is first mentioned
in the time
of Pisastrus. On the death of Eumolpus, Ceryx, the younger of the sons
But the Keryces claimed that Ceryx was a son of Hermes by Aglamus,
daughter of Cecrops,
and that he was not a son of Eumolpus.
of the family of Eumolpides had the first claim upon the flesh of the
animals; but they were permitted to give a portion to anyone else as a
recompense for services rendered. But when a sacrifice was offered to
any of the
infernal divinities the whole of it had to be consumed by the fire;
be left. All religious problems relating to the Mysteries which could
not be solved
by the known laws were addressed to the Eumolpides, whose decision was
of the name "Eumolpus" is "a good singer," and great importance
was attached to the quality of the voice in the selection of the
chief officiant at the celebration of the Mysteries and at the ceremony
and who was selected from the family of the Eumolpides. It was
essential that the
formulae disclosed to the initiates at Eleusis should be pronounced
with the proper
intonation, for otherwise the words would have no efficacy. Correct
of far greater importance than syllabic pronunciation. An explanation
of this is
given by Maspero who says:
The human voice is
pre-eminently a magical instrument,
without which none of the highest operations of art can be successful:
each of its
utterances is carried into the region of the invisible and there
of which the general run of people have no idea, either as to their
their manifold action. Without doubt, the real value of an evocation
lies in its
text, or the sequence of the words of which it is composed and the tone
it is enunciated. In order to be efficacious, the conjuration should be
by chanting, either an incantation or a song. In order to produce the
the sacramental melody must be chanted without the variation of a
one false note, one mistake in the measure, the introversion of any two
of the sounds
of which it is composed, and the intended effect is annulled. This is
why all who recite a prayer or formula intended to force the gods to
acts must be of true voice. The result of their effort, whether
successful or unsuccessful,
will depend upon the exactness of their voice. It was the voice,
played the most important part in the oblation, in the prayer of
and in the evocation ‒ in a word, in every instance where man sought to
of the god. Apart from a true voice the words were merely dead sounds.
was a revealer of holy things. He was a citizen of Athens, a man of
and held his office for life, devoting himself wholly to the service of
and living a chaste life, to which end it was usual for him to anoint
the juice of hemlock, which, by its extreme coldness, was said to
a great measure the natural heat. In the opinion of some writers
celibacy was an
indispensable condition of the highest branch of the priesthood, but,
to inscriptions which have been discovered, some, at any rate, of the
were married, so that, in all probability, the rule was that during the
of the Mysteries and, probably, for a certain time before and after, it
on the hierophant to abstain from all sexual intercourse. Foucart is of
that celibacy was demanded only during the celebration of the
Pausanias states definitely otherwise. In support of Foucart it may be
among the inscriptions discovered at Eleusis there is one dedicating a
a hierophant by his wife. It was essential that the hierophant should
be a man of
commanding presence and lead a simple life. On being raised to the
dignity he received
a kind of consecration at a special ceremony, at which only those of
his own rank
were permitted to be present, when he was entrusted with certain
to his high office. Prior to this ceremony he went through a special
rite, immersing himself in the sea, an act to which the Greeks
virtue. He had to be exemplary in his moral conduct and was regarded by
as being peculiarly holy. The qualifications of a hierophant were so
high that the
office could not be regarded as hereditary, for it would have been an
to find both father and son in possession of the many various and high
regarded as essential to the holding of the office. The robe of the
a long purple garment; his hair, crowned with a wreath of myrtle,
flowed in long
locks over his shoulders, and a diadem ornamented his forehead. At the
of the Mysteries he was held to represent the Creator of the world. He
permitted to penetrate into the innermost shrine in the Hall of the
holy of holies, as it were and then only once during the celebration of
when, at the most solemn moment of the whole mystic celebration, his
suddenly to be transfigured with light before the rapt gaze of the
alone was permitted to reveal to the fully initiated the mystic
objects, the sight
of which marked the completion of their admission into the community.
He had the
power of refusing admission to those applicants whom he deemed unfit to
with the secrets. He was not inactive during the intervals between the
of the Mysteries. It was his duty to superintend the instruction of the
for initiation who, for that purpose, were divided into groups and
officials known as mystagogues. The personal name of the hierophant was
it was supposed to be unknown, "wafted away into the sea by the mystic
and he was known only by the title of the office which he bore. Lucian
this in one passage in Lexiphanes:
I met were a torch-bearer, a hierophant, and others of the initiated,
before the judge, and protesting that he had called them by their
he well knew that, from the time of their sanctification, they were
no more to be named but by hallowed names.
In the Imperial
inscriptions we find the titles substituted for the proper names. The
was compelled to avoid contact with the dead, in the same manner as the
of the Jewish faith, and with certain animals reputed to be unclean.
any person from whom blood was issuing also caused impurity. He was
a female hierophant, or hierophantide an attendant upon the goddess
her daughter, Persephone. She also was selected from the family of the
and was chosen for life She was permitted to marry and several
the names of children of hierophantides. On her initiation into this
she was brought forward naked to the side of a sacred font, in which
her right hand
was placed, the priest declaring her to be true and holy and dedicated
to the service
of the temple. The special duty of the female hierophant was to
initiation of female aspirants, but she was present throughout the
played some part in the initiation of the male candidates. An
inscription on the
tomb of one hierophantide mentions to her glory that she had set the
the seal of mystic communion, on the heads of the illustrious
Aurelius and his son, Commodus. Another gloried in the fact that she
the emperor Hadrian.
Next in rank
to the hierophant and hierophantide came the male and female Dadouchos,
taken from the family of the Keryces. They were the torchbearers and
consisted mainly in carrying the torches at the Sacred Festival. They
purple robes, myrtle crowns, and diadems. They were appointed for life
permitted to marry. The male Dadouchos, particularly, was associated
with the hierophant
in certain solemn and public functions, such as the opening address to
for initiation and in the public prayers for the welfare of the state.
was frequently handed down from father to son. Until the first century,
B. C., the
Dadouchos was never addressed by his own personal name, but always by
of his office.
or messenger of holy tidings, was the representative of Hermes, or
as the messenger of the gods, was indispensable as mediator whenever
to approach the Immortals. He also wore a purple-coloured robe and a
He was chosen for life from the family of the Keryces. He made the
to the candidates for initiation into the various degrees and, in
them to preserve silence. It was necessary for him to have passed
through all the
various degrees as his duties necessitated his presence throughout the
The Phaidantes had the custody of the sacred statues and the sacred
they had to maintain in good repair. They were selected from one or
other of the
two sacerdotal families.
other officials were: the Liknophori, who carried the mystic fan; the
who purified the candidates for initiation by sprinkling them with holy
the commencement of the festival; the Spondophoroi, who proclaimed the
which was to permit of the peaceful celebration of the Mysteries; the
who brought and maintained the fire for the sacrifices; the Hieraules,
the flute during the time the sacrifices were being offered they were
of the sacred music, who had under their charge the hynmodoi, the
neokoroi, who maintained the temples and the altars; the panageis, who
class between the ministers and the initiated. Then there were the
of the altar," who performed expiatory rites in the name and in the
all the initiated. There were also many other minor officials, known by
name of Melissae, i.e., bees, perhaps so-called because bees, being
makers of honey,
were sacred to Demeter. All these officials had to be of unblemished
and wore myrtle crowns while engaged in the service of the temple.
whose duty it was to take care that the ritual was punctiliously
followed in every
detail, included nine Archons, who were chosen every year to manage the
of Greece. The first of these was always the King, or Archon Basileus,
at the celebration of the Mysteries it was to offer prayers and
sacrifices, to see
that no indecency or irregularity was committed during the Festival and
at the conclusion
to pass judgment on all offenders. There were also four Epimeletae, or
elected by the people, one being appointed from the Eumolpides, another
Keryces, and the remaining two from the rank and file of the citizens;
and ten Hieropoioi,
whose duty it was to offer sacrifices.
symbols used in the ceremonies were enclosed in a special chamber in
or Hall of Initiation, known as the Anactoron, into which the
hierophant alone had
the right to penetrate. During the celebration of the Mysteries they
to Athens veiled and hidden from the gaze of the profane, whence they
back to Eleusis. It was permitted only to the initiated to look upon
as they were called. These sacred objects were in the charge of the
however graphic or eloquent, convey but a faint impression of the
that were enacted; Aristides says that what was seen rivalled anything
heard. For nine centuries that period of time being divided almost
the pre-Christian and Christian eras they were the Palladium of Greek
In the latter part of their history, when the restriction, as to
to be relaxed, and in proportion to that relaxation, their essential
disappeared and they became a mere ceremony, their splendor being their
attraction, until finally they degenerated into a mere superstition.
in vain to infuse new life into the vanishing cult, but it was too late
Mysteries were dead.
of the Greater Mysteries, and this was, of course, by far the more
on the 15th of the month Boedromion, corresponding roughly with the
month of September,
and lasted until the 23rd of the same month. During that time it was
arrest any man present, or present any petition except for offenses
the Festival, heavy penalties being inflicted for breaches of this law,
fixed being a fine of not less than a thousand drachmas, and some
assert that transgressors
were even put to death.
was the program of the Festival:
day was known as the "Gathering" or the "Assembly," when all
who had passed through the Lesser Mysteries assembled to assist in the
of the greater Mysteries. On this day the Archon Basileus presided over
cults of the city and assembled the people at a place known as the
After the Archon Basileus, with four assistants, had offered up
sacrifices and prayers
for the welfare of Greece, the following proclamation was made by the
wearing his robe of office:
is clean of all pollution and whose soul has not consciousness of sin.
hath lived a life of righteousness and justice. Come all ye who are
pure of heart
and of hand, and whose speech can be understood. Whosoever hath not
a pure soul, and an intelligible voice, must not assist at the
were then commanded by the hierophant to wash their hands in
consecrated water and
the impious were threatened with the punishment set forth in the law if
discovered, but especially, and this in any case, with the implacable
anger of the
gods. The Hierocceryx then impressed upon all the duty of observing the
secrecy with respect to all that they might witness and bade all be
the ceremonies and not utter even an exclamation. The candidates for
assembled outside the temple, each under the guidance and direction of
who repeated these instructions to the candidates. Once within the
all the initiated were subject to a purification by fire ceremonial.
All wore regalia
special to the occasion; this is evident from the wording of
have been discovered, but particulars of this regalia are wanting. We
extravagant and costly dresses were regarded by Demeter with disfavor
and that it
was forbidden to wear such in the temple. Jewelry, gold ornaments,
belts and embroideries were also barred, as were robes and cloths of
The hair of women had to fall down loose upon the shoulders and must
not be in plaits
or coiled upon the head. No woman was permitted to use cosmetics.
day was known as Halade Mystae, or "To the sea, ye mystae" from the
which greeted all the initiated to go and purify themselves by washing
in the sea,
or in the salt water of the two lakes, called Rheiti, on what was known
Sacred Way." A procession was formed in which all joined and made their
to the sea or the lakes where they bathed and purified themselves. This
purification was akin to that practiced to this day by the Jews at the
of the Jewish year. The day was consecrated to Saturn, into whose
province the soul
is said to fall in the course of its descent from the tropic of Cancer.
compares Saturn to a river, voluminous, sluggish, and cold. The planet
pure intellect and Pythagoras symbolically called the sea a tear of
bathing was preceded by a confession and the manner in which the
bathing was carried
out and the number of immersions varied with the degree of guilt which
According to Suidas, those who had to purify themselves from murder
salt water on two separate occasions, immersing themselves seven times
on each occasion.
On returning from the bath all were regarded as "new creatures," the
being regarded as a laver of regeneration, and the initiated were
clothed in a plain
fawn skin or a sheep skin. The purification, however, was not regarded
until the following day when there was added the sprinkling of the
blood of a pig
sacrificed. Each had carried to the river or lake a little pig which
was also purified
by bathing and on the next day this pig was sacrificed. On the
the pig, standing on a torch placed horizontally, appears as the sign
of the Mysteries. On this day also some of the initiated submitted to a
purification near the altar of Zeus Mellichios on the Sacred Way. For
whom it was desired to purify, an ox was sacrificed to Zeus Mellichios,
Zeus, and the skin of the animal was laid on the ground by the
Dadouchos, and the
one who was the object of the lustration remained there squatting on
the left foot.
On the third
day pleasures of every description, even the most innocent, were
and every one fasted till nightfall, when they partook of seed cakes,
salt, pomegranates, and sacred wine mixed with milk and honey. The
assisted again by the four Epimeletae, celebrated in the presence of
from the allied cities, the great sacrifice of the Soteria for the
the State, the Athenian citizens, and their wives and children. This
place in the Eleusinion at the foot of the Acropolis. The day was known
as the Day
of Mourning and was supposed to commemorate Demeter's grief at the loss
The sacrifices offered consisted chiefly of a mullet and of barley out
a field of Eleusis. The oblations were accounted so sacred that the
were not permitted, as was usual in other offerings, to partake of
them. At the
conclusion of the general ceremony each one individually sacrificed the
purified in the sea the night before.
event of the fourth day was a solemn procession when the holy basket of
was carried in a consecrated cart, the crowds of people shouting as it
"Hail, Ceres!" The rear end of the procession was composed of women
baskets containing sesamin, carded wool, grains of salt, serpents,
reeds, ivy boughs, and cakes known as poppies.
day was known as the Day of Torches from the fact that at nightfall all
walked in pairs round the temple of Demeter at Eleusis, the Dadouchos
the procession. The torches were waved about and changed from hand to
hand to represent
the wanderings of the goddess in search of her daughter when she was
the light of a torch kindled in the flames of Etna.
the name given to the sixth day of the Festival. The "fair young god"
Iacchos, or Dionysos, or Sacchus, was the son of Jupiter and Ceres, and
the goddess in her search for Persephone. He also carried a torch,
hence his statue
has always a torch in the hand. This statue, together with other sacred
were taken from the Iacchion, the sanctuary of Iacchos in Athens,
mounted on a heavy
rustic four ‒ wheeled chariot drawn by bulls, and, accompanied by the
and other magistrates nominated for the occasion, conveyed from the
Eleusis by the Sacred Way in solemn procession. The statue, as well as
accompanying it, was crowned with myrtle, the people dancing all the
way along the
route, beating brass kettles and playing instruments of various kinds
sacred songs. Halts were made during the procession at various shrines,
at a fig-tree which was regarded as sacred, also upon a bridge built
over the river
Cephissus where the bystanders made themselves merry at the expense of
At each of the shrines sacrifices and libations were offered, hymns
sung, and sacred
dances performed. Having passed the bridge the people entered Eleusis
by what was
known as the Mystical Entrance. Midnight had set in before Eleusis was
that a great part of the journey had to be accomplished by the light of
carried by each of the pilgrims and the nocturnal journey was spoken of
as the "night
of torches" by many ancient authors. The pitch and resin of which the
were composed were substances supposed to have the virtue of warding
off evil spirits.
The barren mountains of the Pass of Daphni and the surface of the sea
with the chant: "Iacchos, O Iacchos!" At one of the halts, the
descendants of the hero Crocon, who had formerly reigned over the
fastened a saffron band on the right arm and left foot of each one in
Iacchos was always regarded as a child of Demeter, inasmuch as the vine
of the earth. Various symbols were carried by the people, who numbered
as many as thirty and forty thousand. These symbols consisted of
the "mystic fan of Iacchos"; plaited reeds and baskets, both relating
to the worship of the goddess and her son. The distance covered by the
was 22 kilometres, but Lyourgus ordered that if any woman should ride
in a chariot
to Eleusis she should be mulcted in a fine of 8,000 drachmas. This was
the richer women from distinguishing themselves from their poorer
to relate, the wife of Lyourgus was the first to break this law and
had to pay the fine which he had ordained. He not only paid the penalty
a talent to the informer. Immediately upon the deposit of the sacred
the Eleusinion at the foot of the Acropolis, one of the Eleusinion
announced their arrival to the priestess of the tutelary goddess of
Athene. Plutarch, in commenting upon lucky and unlucky days, says that
he is aware
that unlucky things happen sometimes on lucky days, for the Athenians
had to receive
a Macedonian garrison "even on the 20th of Boedromion, the day on which
lead forth the mystic Iacchos."
On the seventh
day the statue was carried back to Athens. The return journey was also
procession and attended with numerous ceremonies. Halts were again made
places, like the "stations" of Roman Catholic pilgrimage, when the
also fell into line with the procession. For those who remained behind
the time was devoted to sports, the victors in which were rewarded with
of barley, it being a tradition that that grain was first sown in
Eleusis. It was
also regarded as a day of preparation for the initiation ceremony of
night. The return journey was conducted with the same splendor as the
It comprised comic incidents, the same as on the previous day. Those
the procession at the bridge over the Athenian river Cephisson
exchanged all kinds
of chaff and buffoonery with those who were in the procession,
indulging in what
was termed "bridge fooling." These jests, it is said, were to recall
tactful measure employed by a maid-servant named Iambe, to rouse
Demeter from her
prolonged mourning. During the Peliponnesian war the Athenians were
unable to obtain
an armistice from the Lacedaemonians who held Decelea and it became
send the statue of Iacchos and the processionists to Eleusis by sea.
"Under these conditions it was necessary to omit the sacrifices usually
all along the road during the passing of Iacchos."
day was called Epidaurion because it happened once that Aesculapius,
Epidaurius to Athens, desired to be initiated and had the Lesser
for that purpose. It therefore became customary to celebrate the Lesser
a second time upon this day and to admit to initiation any such
who had not already enjoyed the privilege. There was also another
reason for the
repetition of the initiatory rites then. The eighth day was regarded as
of the soul falling into the lunar orbi and the repeated initiation,
celebration of that sacred rite, was symbolical of the soul bidding
adieu to everything
of a celestial nature, sinking into a perfect oblivion of her divine
pristine felicity, and rushing profoundly into the region of
and error. The day opened with a solemn sacrifice offered to Demeter
which took place within the peribolus. The utmost precision had to be
offering this sacrifice as regarding the age, color, and sex of the
chants, perfumes, and libations. The acceptance or rejection of a
indicated by the movements of the animal as it approached the altar,
of the flame, the direction of the smoke, etc. If these signs were not
in the case of the first victim offered other animals must be slain
until one presented
itself in which all the signs were favorable. The flesh of the animal
not allowed to be taken outside the sacred precincts but had to be
is said to have been an Invocation used during the celebration of the
Daughter of Jove, Persephone
Come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline;
Only-begotten, Pluto's honoured wife,
O venerable goddess, source of life:
'Tis thine in earth's profundities to dwell,
Fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell.
Jove's holy offspring, of a beauteous mien,
Avenging Goddess, subterranean queen.
The Furies' source,
fair-hair'd, whose frame
From Jove's ineffable and secret seeds.
Mother of Bacchus, sonorous, divine,
And many form'd, the parent of the vine.
Associate of the Seasons, essence bright,
All-ruling virgin, bearing heavnly light.
With fruits abounding, of a bounteous mind,
Horn'd, and alone desir'd by those of mortal kind.
O vernal queen, whom grassy
Sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy forms in budding fruits we view,
Earth's vig'rous offspring of a various hue:
Espous'd in autumn, life and death alone
To wretched mortals from thy pow'r is known:
For thine the task, according to thy will,
Life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a
Of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life
With blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of death,
Dismiss me willing to the realms beneath,
To thy fair palace and the blissful plains
Where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto reigns.
day was known as the Day of Earthen Vessels because it was the custom
on that day
to fill two jugs with wine. One was placed towards the east and the
the west, and after the repetition of certain mystical formulae both
the wine being spilt upon the ground as a libation. The first of these
was directed towards the sky as a prayer for rain and the second to the
a prayer for fertility.
On the tenth
day the majority of the people returned to their homes, with the
exception of every
third and fifth year, when they remained behind for the Mystery Plays
which lasted from two to three days.
sanctuary in which the Mysteries were celebrated was burnt by the
Persians in B.
C. 480 or 479, and a new sanctuary was built, or, at least, begun under
of Pericles. Plutarch says that Coroebus began the Temple of Initiation
but only lived to finish the lower rank of columns with their
of the ward of Xypete, added the rest of the entablature and the upper
row of columns,
and Xenocles of Cholargus built the dome on the top. The long wall, the
of which Socrates says he heard Pericles propose to the people, was
Callicrates. Cratinus satirised the work as proceeding very slowly:
Stone upon stone the orator has
With swelling words, but words will build no walls.
In the fourth
century of the Christian era the temple at Eleusis was destroyed by the
the instigation of the monks who followed the hosts of Alaric.
from the celebrations must have been considerable. At both the Lesser
and the Greater Mysteries a charge of one obole a day was demanded from
attending, which was given to the hierophant. The Hierocceryx received
a half obole
a day, and other assistants a similar sum.
(To be continued)
of Masonic Colors
By Bro. Harold A. Kingsbury,
WHY is my
Master Mason's Lodge said to have a particular color of transcending
"Why is that particular color said to be blue?"
who pauses in his Masonic journey to ask himself these questions, or
ones, has thereby set himself in the way of investigating yet another
phase of Masonic
symbolism. For, in the attempt to answer his two queries, the
first thought is that the lodge is not possessed, in a physical sense,
of a particular
and transcendingly important color, blue or otherwise; and, when he
that there are rational explanations for practically everything in
Masonry and that
most of those explanations are founded in symbolism, his second thought
a color, a particular color, is assigned to his lodge for symbolistic
that that color has a symbolic meaning. Thus he is brought to a
the symbolism of colors and, more particularly, to a consideration of
he investigates the matter very briefly, running over almost
superficially the general
subject of the symbolism of colors and considering somewhat more deeply
of blue, the inquiring Mason will, it is probable, arrive at
substantially the following:
of symbolic meanings to colors is probably as old as symbolism itself.
To cite but
one set of examples from the practices of an ancient people: The
ancient masters of symbolism to whom the investigator of the symbols
used in Masonry
first looks for explanations of those symbols, made use of colors in
to convey certain definite ideas, each color being expressive of
Hieroglyphs of the spirits of the dead were characterized by white. Men
out by having their flesh red, while the flesh of the women was yellow.
was the color of the Egyptian god Amon. Green was the color used for
the flesh of
the god Ptah, founder of the world, the active creative spirit and the
and was also the color used for the flesh of Lunus, the moon. Russet ‒
the color given to the flesh of Thoueri, the concubine of Typhon. And
the color of Anubis, the god of the dead and of embalming.
symbolically significant in Masonry are purple, red, white, black,
violet and blue. Each color has for its purpose the teaching to the
Mason of a valuable
moral lesson or the calling of his attention to some historical fact of
Masonically, certain of the colors serving both purposes at one and the
a mixture of blue and red, is, to the Mason, the symbol of fraternal
it is composed of the color adopted for the Master Mason's Lodge and
for the Chapter of Royal Arch Companions, these two Masonic bodies
connected since the Royal Arch is an essential and component part of
mutilated Master Mason's degree. For this reason purple is adopted as
color for the Mark, the Past, and the Most Excellent Master degrees, to
the fact that those degrees connect the Master Mason's degree with the
Red is the
color of fire, and fire was to the Egyptians the symbol of the
the purification of souls. Hence, in the Masonic system, red is the
symbol of regeneration.
Thus red is the color assigned to the Royal Arch Degree since that
the regeneration of life.
the symbol of purity, the reasons for adopting this conception being
in Masonry it is, properly, the color adopted for certain of the
garments of investiture
of the candidate.
the remotest antiquity has been the symbol of grief and such is its
to the Mason.
the unchanging color of the various evergreen trees, shrubs, and so
forth, is, in
the symbolistic system of Masonry, the color symbolic of the unchanging
of all that is divine and true. This conception Masonry has received
from the ancients,
more particularly the Egyptians. For example, with the Egyptians, as
Ptah was pictured as having green flesh. Also, the goddess Pascht, the
and Thoth, the instructor of men in the sacred doctrines of truth, were
with green flesh. So the Mason, adhering once more, as he so often
does, to the
conceptions of the Egyptians, chooses for his symbol of the immortality
of the soul
which he knows to be divine and true an object, the acacia, whose color
to the ancients the symbol of light. Though unemphasized and seemingly
in Masonry yellow is, nevertheless, a true Masonic symbolic color since
to the Mason that Great Thing to the finding of which his Masonic
Search is devoted
and to the source of which his Masonic pathway leads the Light of Truth.
the symbol of mourning, the Mason here adopting yet another of the
an ancient people, this time the Chinese.
Blue is the
supreme color of Masonry. First, because it is that color which, among
used in Masonry, is the unquestioned Masonic possession of every Mason.
Arch Mason may attempt to appropriate to himself the red, the Perfect
feel himself the exclusive proprietor of the green and the black, and
so on, but
blue is acknowledged by every Mason to belong to us all and no Mason,
degree, questions the Master Mason's ownership of blue. Second, blue is
color because it has, coupled with its universality, a place in
both as regards importance of lessons taught and as regards legitimacy
as a symbol,
is second to that of no Masonic color.
The use of
blue in religious ceremonials, and as a symbol, comes to Masonry from
many of the
different peoples of antiquity. Among the Hebrews various articles of
the high priest's
clothing were blue. One of the veils of the tabernacle was blue. In his
into the Druidical Mysteries the candidate was invested with a robe one
colors was blue. The Babylonians clothed their idols in blue. The
Hindoo god Vishnu
was represented as blue. And among the medieval Christians blue was
peculiarly important color.
the symbol of perfection to the Hebrews, to the Druids the symbol of
Truth, to the
Chinese the symbol of Deity, and to the medieval Christians it was the
immortality. So, for the Mason, the color of his Master Mason's lodge
is the symbol
of perfection, truth, immortality and Deity.
preeminently, and following the teachings and conceptions of the
Egyptians and the
Hindoos, blue is the symbol of that which the Craftsman must, since he
is a Mason,
always revere and of that which his Master Mason's lodge must, when its
its teachings are properly understood and accepted, cause him to
the more Divine Wisdom.
of Missing Men
war with its awful holocaust of human life is ended, and the world
the arts of peace, the casualty lists with the long roster of the
missing are still
breaking the hearts of thousands, and mothers, wives, sisters and
alternately by hope and despair, who are eagerly seeking information
about the soldiers
so close to their hearts.
To ease their
sufferings, the American Red Cross has undertaken a search for the
searchlight, thrown on overseas battle fields, base hospitals, and
has probed the mystery of many a boy's silence and brought news of his
or death to the anxious family at home.
send me news of my boy," begged the mother of one private. "I only know
he has been missing since July 15. It is worse to be in doubt than to
know he is
killed." The young man's name and his regiment were immediately filed,
sent abroad to be added to the searcher's list that is published
monthly by the
travel through the base and military hospitals, through rest camps and
camps, carrying with them their book of missing men. Everywhere they go
into communication with patients and other soldiers stationed at the
as the missing men. In a recent case, a young lieutenant was found in
Hospital No. 3 who knew one of the missing men and had seen him die.
His story as
written into the record was that Private Sand, the missing soldier, had
on July 15th at the battle of the Marne, while saving the lieutenant's
news was immediately wired the bereaved mother. She is now waiting to
meet the lieutenant
for whom her son went to his death and to learn from him the details of
And the lieutenant will make this trip to see the boy's mother even
before he goes
home to his own family.
A Real Queen -- [A Poem]
Frank Drew Hall, 33d Hon.
N. D., Oct. 20, 1915.
a great marble mansion on Avenue B,
Where Want never came, nor gaunt Poverty,
Stood a woman bejeweled, decked in a rich gown
Of satins and silks; ‒ on her head a grand crown.
The masque-ball was over; ‒ she had posed as a queen.
Her crown was of gold, and bright was its sheen.
Worn out with the waltz, the tango and glide.
She fell on the couch that stood at her side.
The bauble she prized she had carefully laid
On a cushion of velvet, exquisitely made.
A deep sleep came o'er her, when out of the gloom
A majestical Presence stood in her room.
A seamless robe garbed Him, and in His sweet face
Nor rancor nor malice e'er found resting place.
From each hand and each foot there gleamed a red scar,
Standing out in the darkness as though 'twere a star.
He stood by her side, and, glancing around,
Stretched forth His scarred hand and lifted the crown.
"I say to thee, woman, how gained thou the right
Such jewels to wear, or this diadem bright?
Dost know that only to those who have striven
The poor and the needy to lift up to Heaven, ‒
To feed and to clothe them, and love them for Me,
Is given the crown of My glory to see?
Think not that thy selfish indifference may
Pass unnoticed by in Judgment ‒ that Day
When I make up My jewels and gather from far
All who are found worthy when judged at My bar.
If thou would'st have treasure in Heaven, I trow,
True service to others you clearly must show
Has been freely giv'n in My Name, and for Me,
In that Day when, as King, thy record I see.
For I was a stranger, hungry and cold;
Ye came not to Me, nor gave of thy gold
My thirst to assuage, My hunger to stay,
Nor spoke the kind word thou could'st easily say.
The poor ye have with you; ‒ their burdens are Mine;
'The least of these' need thee, ‒ for mother-love pine.
This crown and these jewels will crumble to dust
If worn by the selfish, cold-hearted, unjust."
The Presence then vanished. The lesson well-learned,
A new motive possessed her; her footsteps she turned
Toward tenement houses and slums of the city,
Where poverty drew from her heart all its pity;
And finding an urchin without home or mother,
She kissed its soiled cheek, then gave it another;
And on her way home, with someone to love her,
A childish voice prattled, "Are you my new Muvver?"
That night while she slept, in her room there appeared
The same Presence majestic, but nothing she feared.
His voice broke the stillness; ‒ 'twas the voice of her Lord, ‒
And in reverent silence she heard His sweet word:
"Daughter, thy deed hath brought Heaven to thee;
Who receiveth such child in My Name receives Me."
Oasis in the Mud
soldier-humorist has remarked that Brest, the French city from which
the boys start
for home, is about four miles square and four miles deep. Since the
rains have made
that place a quagmire of mud, the efforts of the Red Cross have been
to supplying a few dry spots, and the little rest huts with something
to read and
a place to smoke in dry comfort, are greatly appreciated.
Treatise on Masonry
From The Catholic Encyclopedia
been asked many times "What are the objections of the Roman Catholic
to Freemasonry?" and "Why can not a Catholic become a Freemason?"
Believing that our readers would be interested in the article on
which appears in "The Catholic Encyclopedia," we are herewith
it by permission of the publishers of that work.
Part I – Name and Definition
various fanciful derivations we may trace the word mason to the French
maito or machio), "a builder of walls" or "a stone-cutter" (cf.
German Steinmetz, from metzen, "to cut"; and Dutch vrijmetselaar). The
compound term Freemason occurs first in 1375 according to a recently
even prior to 1155 (The Freemason's Chronicle, 1908, I, 283, frequently
to in this article as Chr.) and, contrary to Gould (Concise Hist., 109,
means primarily a mason of superior skill, though later it also
designated one who
enjoyed the freedom, or the privilege, of a trade guild (Gould,
I, 278, 279, 410 [Lib 1884]; II, 153 sqq. [Lib 1884]).
In the former sense it is commonly derived from freestone-mason, a
or building in free (ornamental) stone in opposition to a rough (stone)
Q. C., VIII, 35, 155 sq. [Lib 1895]; Boos, 104 sqq. [Lib*]). This
derivation, though harmonizing with the meaning of the term, seemed
to some scholars. Hence Speth proposed to interpret the word freemasons
to those masons claiming exemption from the control of the local guilds
of the towns,
where they temporarily settled (A. Q. C., X, 10-30 [Lib 1897]; IX, 167 [Lib*]). In
with this suggestion the "New English Dictionary of the Philological
(Oxford, 1898) favors the interpretation of freemasons as skilled
according to the medieval practice from the restrictions and control of
in order that they might be able to travel and render services,
wherever any great
building (cathedral, etc.) was in process of construction. These
a universal craft for themselves, with a system of secret signs and
which a craftsman, who had been admitted on giving evidence of
could be recognized. On the decline of Gothic architecture this craft
with the mason guilds (A. Q. C., XI, 166-168 [Lib*]).
W. Begemann (Vorgeschichte, I, 1909, 42-58 [Lib*]) combats the opinion
(A. Q. C., X, 20-22 [Lib 1897]) as purely hypothetical,
stating that the name
freemason originally designated particularly skilled freestone-masons,
the time of the most magnificent evolution of Gothic architecture, and
In English law the word freemason is first mentioned in 1495, while
occurs already in an Act of 1444-1445 (Gould, "Concise History," 166
sq. [Lib 1904]). Later, freemason and mason
were used as convertible
terms. The modern signification of Free in which, since about 1750, the
been and exclusively understood, dates only from the constitution of
the Grand Lodge
of England, 1717. In this acceptation Freemasonry, according to the
Scottish, American, etc., craft rituals, is most generally defined: "A
(some say 'particular' or 'beautiful') system of morality veiled in
illustrated by symbols." Mackey (Symbolism of Freemasonry, 1869, 303
declares the best definition of Freemasonry to be: "A science which is
in the search after the divine truth." The German encyclopedia of
"Handbuch" (1900, I, 320 sq. [Lib*]), defines Freemasonry as "the
activity of closely united men who, employing symbolical forms borrowed
from the mason's trade and from architecture, work for the welfare of
morally to ennoble themselves and others and thereby to bring about a
league of mankind (Menschheitsbund), which they aspire to exhibit even
now on a
small scale." The three editions which this "Handbuch" (Universal
Manual of Freemasonry) has had since 1822 are most valuable, the work
declared by English-speaking Masonic critics "by far the best Masonic
ever published." ("Transactions of the Lodge Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
XI [London, 1898], 64 [Lib*]).
Origin and Early History
upon this and the following divisions of our subject it is necessary to
that the very nature of Freemasonry as a secret society makes it
difficult to be
sure even of its reputed documents and authorities, and therefore we
only those which are acknowledged and recommended by responsible
members of the
craft, as stated in the bibliography appended to this article. "It is
of Freemasonry," says Mackey (Encyclopedia, 296 [Lib 1914]), "that its history has never
yet been written in a spirit of critical truth; that credulity . . .
has been the
foundation on which all Masonic historical investigations have been
built, . . .
that the missing links of a chain of evidence have been frequently
supplied by gratuitous
invention and that statements of vast importance have been carelessly
by the testimony of documents whose authenticity has not been proved."
historical portion of old records," he adds, "as written by Anderson,
Preston, Smith, Calcott and other writers of that generation, was
little more than
a collection of fables, so absurd as to excite the smile of every
1890, II, 145). The germs of nearly all these fantastic theories are
Anderson's "The Constitutions of Free Masons" (1723 [Lib 1723], 1738 [Lib 1738]) which makes Freemasonry
with geometry and the arts based on it: insinuates that God, the Great
founded Freemasonry, and that it had for patrons, Adam, the Patriarchs,
and philosophers of old. Even Jesus Christ is included in the list as
of the Christian Church. Masonry is credited with the building of
Noah's Ark, the
Tower of Babel, the Pyramids, and Solomon's Temple. Subsequent authors
origin of Masonry in the Egyptian, Dionysiac, Eleusinian, Mithraic, and
mysteries; in sects and schools such as the Pythagoreans, Essenes,
and Gnostics; in the Evangelical societies that preceded the
Reformation; in the
orders of knighthood (Johannites, Templars); among the alchemists,
and Cabbalists; in Chinese and Arabic secret societies. It is claimed
Pythagoras founded the Druidic institution and hence that Masonry
in England 500 years before the Christian Era. Some authors,
finds as Masonic emblems, trace Masonry to the Miocene (?) Period
the Ante-diluvian World" [Lib 1882]); while others pretend that
science "existed before the creation of this globe, diffused amidst the
systems with which the grand empyreum of universal space is furnished"
I, 20, sq. [Lib*]).
It is not
then difficult to understand that the attempt to prove the antiquity of
with evidence supplied by such monuments of the past as the Pyramids
and the Obelisk
(removed to New York in 1879) should have resulted in an extensive
these objects (Chr., 1880, I, 148; II, 139; 1884, II, 130; Gruber, 5,
Though many intelligent Masons regard these claims as baseless, the
the craft (see, for instance, "The Voice" of Chicago, Chr., 1885, I,
still accept the statement contained in the "Charge" after initiation:
"Ancient no doubt it is, having subsisted from time immemorial. In
monarchs (American rituals: "the greatest and best men of all ages")
been promoters of the art, have not thought it derogatory to their
dignity to exchange
the scepter for the trowel, have participated in our mysteries and
joined in our
assemblies" (English ritual, 1908, almost identical with other English,
Scottish, and American rituals). It is true that in earlier times
were neither operative masons nor architects, the so-called geomatic
Gould, "Hist.", I, 408, 473, etc. [Lib 1884]) joined with the operative,
Masons in their lodges, observed ceremonies of admission, and had their
recognition. But this Masonry is by no means the "speculative" Masonry
of modern times, i.e., a systematic method of teaching morality by
means of such
symbols according to the principles of modern Freemasonry after 1723.
As the best
German authorities admit ("Handbuch," 3rd ed., I, 321; Begemann,
etc.," 1909, I, 1 sqq. [Lib*]), speculative Masonry began with the
of the Grand Lodge of England, 24 June, 1717, and its essential
completed in 1722 by the adoption of the new "Book of Constitutions"
of the three degrees: apprentice, fellow, master. All the ablest and
investigations by competent Masonic historians show that in 1717 the
had almost ceased to exist. The new lodges began as convivial
societies, and their
characteristic Masonic spirit developed but slowly. This spirit,
finally, as exhibited
in the new constitutions was in contradiction to that which animated
Masons. These facts prove that modern Masonry is not, as Gould
(History, II, 2,
121 [Lib 1884]), Hughan (A. Q. C., X, 128
[Lib 1897]) and Mackey (Encyclopedia,
296 sq. [Lib 1914]) contend, a revival of the
older system, but
rather that it is a new order of no greater antiquity than the first
the eighteenth century.
Fundamental Principles and
been many controversies among Masons as to the essential points of
speaking Masons style them "landmarks," a term taken from Deut., xix,
14, and signifying "the boundaries of Masonic freedom," or the
limits within which all Masons have to confine themselves. Mackey (3,
17 - 39) specifies
no less than twenty-five landmarks. The same number is adopted by
1878, I, 187, 194 sqq. [Lib*]) "as the pith of the researches of the
Masonic writers." The principal of them are: the method of recognition
signs, words, grips, steps, etc.; the three degrees including the Royal
Hiram legend of the third degree; the proper "tiling" of the lodge
"raining" and "snowing," i.e., against male and female "cowans,"
or eavesdroppers, i.e., profane intruders; the right of every regular
Mason to visit
every regular lodge in the world; a belief in the existence of God and
life; the Volume of the Sacred Law; equality of Masons in the lodge;
method of teaching; inviolability of landmarks (Mackey,
17-39 [Lib 1872]; Chr., 1878, I, 194 sqq.;
1888, I, 11 [Lib*]).
In truth there is no authority in Freemasonry to constitute such
landmarks or fundamental laws. Strictly judicially, even the "Old
which, according to "Anderson's Constitutions," contain the
laws, have a legal obligatory character only as far as they are
inserted in the
"Book of Constitution" of each Grand Lodge (Fischer, I, 14 sq. [Lib*];
Groddeck, 1 sqq., 91 sqq. [Lib*]; "Handbuch," 3rd ed., II, 154 [Lib*]).
But practically there exist certain characteristics which are
as essential. Such are the fundamental principles described in the
first and sixth
articles of the "Old Charges" concerning religion, in the texts of the
first two English editions (1723 and 1738) of Anderson's
"Constitutions." [Lib 1723 and 1738] These texts, though differing
are identical as to their essential tenor. That of 1723, as the
original text, restored
by the Grand Lodge of England in the editions of the "Constitutions,"
1756-1813, and inserted later in the "Books of Constitutions" of nearly
all the other Grand Lodges, is the most authoritative; but the text of
was adopted and used for a long time by many Grand Lodges, is also of
in itself and as a further illustration of the text of 1723.
In the latter,
the first article of the "Old Charges" containing the fundamental law
and the essence of modern Freemasonry runs (the text is given exactly
in the original, 1723): I. Concerning God and Religion. A Mason is
obliged by his
Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art,
he will never
be a stupid Atheist (Gothic letters) nor an irreligious Libertine
But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be
of the religion
of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more
only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving
Opinions to themselves: that is, to be good men and true or Men of
Honor and Honesty,
by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished;
becomes the Centre of Union and the Means of conciliating true
Persons that must have remained at a perpetual Distance."
VI, 2 (Masons' behaviour after the Lodge is closed and the Brethren not
added: "In order to preserve peace and harmony no private piques or
must be brought within the door of the Lodge, far less any quarrels
or Nations or State Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholick
above mentioned, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds and
are resolved against all Politicks (printed in the original in Gothic
what never yet conduced to the welfare of the Lodge nor ever will. This
been says strictly enjoin'd and observ'd; but especially ever since the
in Britain or the dissent and seccession of these Nations from the
In the text
of 1738 the same articles run (variations from the ed. of 1723 are
given in bold-face
type): 1. Concerning God and Religion. A Mason is obliged by his Tenure
the moral law as true Noachida (sons of Noah, the first name of
if he rightly understands the craft, he will never be a stupid atheist
or an irreligious
libertine nor act against conscience. In ancient times the Christian
charged to comply with the Christian usages of each country where they
or worked; but Masonry being found in all nations, even of diverse
are now generally charged to adhere to that religion, in which all men
each Brother his own particular opinion), that is, to be good men and
of honour and honesty, by whatever names, religions or persuasions they
may be distinguished;
for they all agree in the three great articles of Noah, enough to
preserve the cement
of the lodge. Thus Masonry is the centre of their union and the happy
means of conciliating
true friendship among persons who otherwise must have remained at a
VI. 1. Behaviour in the Lodge before closing: … No private piques nor
nations, families, religions or politics must by any means or under any
presence whatsoever be brought within the doors of the lodge; for as
Masons we are
of the most ancient catholic religion, above mentioned and of all
nations upon the
square, level and plumb; and like our predecessors in all ages, we are
against political disputes, as contrary to the peace and welfare of the
to appreciate rightly these texts characterizing modern "speculative"
Freemasonry it is necessary to compare them with the corresponding
the "Gothic" (Christian) Constitutions regulating the old lodges of
Masonry till and after 1747. These injunctions are uniformly summed up
in the simple
words: "The first charge is this that you be true to God and Holy
use no error or heresy" (Grand Lodge Ms. No. 1, Gould, "Concise
236 [Lib 1904]; Thorp, Ms. 1629, A. Q. C.,
XI, 210 [Lib*];
Rawlinson Ms. 1729-39 A. Q. C., XI, 22; Hughan, "Old Charges" [Lib
The radical contrast between the two types is obvious. While a Mason
the old Constitution was above all obliged to be true to God and
heresies, his "religious" duties, according to the new type are
reduced to the observation of the "moral law" practically summed up in
the rules of "honor and honesty" as to which "all men agree."
This "universal religion of Humanity" which gradually removes the
divisions of mankind due to particular opinions "or religious,"
and social "prejudices," is to be the bond of union among men in the
society, conceived as the model of human association in general.
is the term used to designate the essential principle of Masonry
3rd ed., I, 466 sqq. [Lib*]). It occurs in a Masonic address of 1747
"Remains," I, 96; 332 [Lib 1847]). Other watchwords are
"unsectarian," "cosmopolitan." The Christian character of the
society under the operative regime of former centuries, says Hughan
I, 113 [Lib*]), "was exchanged for the unsectarian regulations which
to include under its wing the votaries of all sects, without respect to
of colour or clime, provided the simple conditions were observed of
age and an approved ballot" (see also Chr., 1878, I, 180; 1884, II, 38;
[<Lib*], Gould, "Conc. Hist.," 289 sq.[Lib 1904]). In Continental Masonry the
notions are expressed by the words "neutrality," "laicité,"
"Konfessionslosigkeit," etc. In the text of 1738 particular stress is
laid on "freedom of conscience" and the universal, non-Christian
of Masonry is emphasized. The Mason is called a "true Noahida," i.e. an
adherent of the pre-Christian and pre-Mosaic system of undivided
mankind. The "3
articles of Noah" are most probably "the duties towards God, the
and himself" inculcated from older times in the "Charge to a newly made
Brother." They might also refer to "brotherly love, relief and truth,"
generally with "religion" styled the "great cement" of the fraternity
and called by Mackey (Lexicon, 42 [Lib 1869) "the motto of our order and
the characteristic of our profession."
Of the ancient
Masons it is no longer said that they were obliged to "be of the
but only "to comply with the Christian usages of each Country." The
of the said "unsectarian" religion as the "ancient catholick"
betrays the attempt to oppose this religion of "Humanity" to the Roman
Catholic as the only true, genuine, and originally Catholic. The
of Masonry is also implied in the era chosen on the title page: "In the
of Masonry 5723" and in the "History." As to the "History"
Anderson himself remarks in the preface [Lib 1738]: "Only an expert Brother, by
the true light, can readily find many useful hints in almost every page
book which Cowans and others not initiated (also among Masons) cannot
Hence, concludes Krause (Kunsturkunden, 1810, I, 525 [Lib 1810 (German)]), Anderson's "History"
is allegorically written in "cipher language." Apart, then, from "mere
childish allusions to the minor secrets," the general tendency of this
is to exhibit the "unsectarianism" of Masonry. Two points deserve
mention: the utterances on the "Augustan" and the "Gothic" style
of architecture and the identification of Masonry with geometry. The
which is praised above all other styles alludes to "Humanism," while
"Gothic" which is charged with ignorance and narrow-mindedness, refers
to Christian and particularly Roman Catholic orthodoxy. The
identification of Masonry
with geometry brings out the naturalistic character of the former. Like
Society, of which a large and most influential proportion of the first
were members (Begemann, "Vorgeschichte," II, 1910, 127 sq., 137 sq.
Masonry professes the empiric or "positivist" geometrical method of
and deduction in the investigation of truth (Calcott, "A Candid
etc.," 1769 [Lib 1769]; Oliver, "Remains," II, 301.
In general it appears that the founders of Masonry intended to follow
the same methods
for their social purposes which were chosen by the Royal Society for
researches (Gould, "History," II, 400). "Geometry as a method is
particularly recommended to the attention of Masons." "In this light,
Geometry may very properly be considered as a natural logic; for as
truth is ever
consistent, invariable and uniform, all truths may be investigated in
the same manner.
Moral and religious definitions, axioms and propositions have as
regular and certain
dependence upon each other as any in physics or mathematics." "Let me
recommend you to pursue such knowledge and cultivate such dispositions
as will secure
you the Brotherly respect of this society and the honour of your
in it" (Calcott; Oliver, ibid., II, 301-303). It is merely through
that some Grand Lodges of North America insist on belief in the Divine
of the Bible as a necessary qualification and that not a few Masons in
Germany declare Masonry an essentially "Christian institution."
to the German Grand Lodges, Christ is only "the wise and virtuous pure
par excellence, the principal model and teacher of "Humanity" ("Sign.",
1904, 45 sq., 54 [Lib*]; Gruber , 49 sqq. [Lib*]; Idem [41, 23 sq.).
In the Swedish system, practised by the German Country Grand Lodge,
Christ is said
to have taught besides the exoteric Christian doctrine, destined for
and the duller mass of his disciples, an esoteric doctrine for his
such as St. John, in which He denied that He was God (Findel, "Die
Hierarchie, etc.", 1870, 15 sqq. [Lib*]; Schiffmann, "Die Entstehung
der Rittergrade," 1882, 85, 92, 95 sq. [Lib*]). Freemasonry, it is
is the descendant of the Christian secret society, in which this
was propagated. It is evident, however, that even in this restricted
sense of "unsectarian"
Christianity, Freemasonry is not a Christian institution, as it
pre-Christian models and teachers of "Humanity." All instructed Masons
agree in the objective import of this Masonic principle of "Humanity,"
according to which belief in dogmas is a matter of secondary
importance, or even
prejudicial to the law of universal love and tolerance. Freemasonry,
is opposed not only to Catholicism and Christianity, but also to the
of supernatural truth. The only serious discrepancies among Masons
interpretation of the texts of 1723 and 1738 refer to the words: "And
rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist or an
Libertine." The controversy as to the meaning of these words has been
sharp since 13 September, 1877, when the Grand Orient of France erased
introduced in 1854 into its Constitutions, by which the existence of
God and the
immortality of soul were declared the basis of Freemasonry (Bulletin du
de France, 1877, 236-50) and gave to the first article of its new
the following tenor: "Freemasonry, an essentially philanthropic,
(naturalist, adogmatic) and progressive institution, has for its object
after truth, the study of universal morality, of the sciences and arts
and the practice
of beneficence. It has for its principles absolute liberty of
conscience and human
solidarity. It excludes none on account of his belief. Its device is
Fraternity." On 10 September, 1878, the Grand Orient, moreover, decreed
expunge from the Rituals and the lodge proceedings all allusions to
as the symbols of the Grand Architect, the Bible, etc. These measures
solemn protests from nearly all the Anglo-American and German organs
and led to
a rupture between the Anglo-American Grand Lodges and the Grand Orient
As many freethinking Masons both in America and in Europe sympathize in
with the French, a world-wide breach resulted. Quite recently many
of the United States refused to recognize the Grand Lodge of
Switzerland as a regular
body, for the reason that it entertains friendly relations with the
Grand Orient of France ("Intern. Bull.," Berne, 1908, No. 2). This
might seem to show, that in the above paragraph of the "Old Charges"
belief in a personal God is declared the most essential prerequisite
and duty of
a Mason and that Anglo-American Masonry, at least, is an uncompromising
of this belief against the impiety of Latin Masonry.
But in truth
all Masonry is full of ambiguity. The texts of 1723 and 1738 of the
law concerning Atheism are purposely ambiguous. Atheism is not
but just sufficiently disavowed to meet the exigencies of the time,
when an open
admission of it would have been fatal to Masonry. It is not said that
be admitted, or that no Mason can be an Atheist, but merely that if he
the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, etc., i.e., he will not
hold or profess
Atheism in a stupid way, by statements, for instance, that shock
and bring Masonry into bad repute. And even such a stupid Atheist
incurs no stronger
censure than the simple ascertaining of the fact that he does not
the art, a merely theoretical judgment without any practical sanction.
Such a disavowal
tends rather to encourage modern positivist or scientific Atheism.
serious is the rejection of Atheism by the British, American and some
Lodges in their struggle with the Grand Orient of France. The English
it is true, in its quarterly communication of 6 March, 1878 (Chr.,
1878, I, 161)
adopted four resolutions, in which belief in the Great Architect of the
is declared to be the most important ancient landmark of the order, and
profession of that belief is required of visiting brethren belonging to
Orient of France, as a condition for entrance into the English lodges.
were taken by the Irish, Scottish, and North American Grand Lodges. But
in a Great Architect is so vague and symbolical, that almost every kind
and even of "stupid" Atheism may be covered by it. Moreover, British
American Grand Lodges declare that they are fully satisfied with such a
fact merely verbal declaration, without further inquiry into the nature
belief, and that they do not dream of claiming for Freemasonry that it
is a "church,"
a "council," a "synod." Consequently even those are acknowledged
as Masons who with Spencer and other Naturalist philosophers of the age
the hidden all-powerful principle working in nature, or, like the
followers of "Handbuch"
(3rd ed., II, 231 [Lib*]), maintain as the two pillars of religion "the
sentiment of man's littleness in the immensity of space and time," and
assurance that whatever is real has its origin from the good and
must be for the best."
Grand Orator Zabriskie (Arizona) on 13 November, 1889, proclaimed, that
members may believe in many gods, if their conscience and judgment so
(Chr., 1890, I, 243). Limousin (Acacia, 1907, I, 48), approved by
(Sign., 1907, 133 sq), says: "The majority of men conceived God in the
of exoteric religions as an all-powerful man; others conceive God as
idea a man can form in the sense of esoteric religions." The latter are
Atheists according to the exoteric notion of God repudiated by science,
are not Atheists according to the esoteric and true notion of God. On
add others (Sign., 1905, 64), they are less Atheists than churchmen,
from whom they
differ only by holding a higher idea of God or the Divine. In this
Grand Secretary of the Grand Orient of France, in an official letter to
Lodge of Scotland (30 January, 1878), states: "French Masonry does not
that there exist Atheists in the absolute sense of the word" (Chr.,
134); and Pike himself (Morals and Dogma, 643 sqq. [Lib 1871]) avows: "A man who has a
conception of God than those about him and who denies that their
conception of God,
is very likely to be called an Atheist by men who are really far less
in God than he," etc. Thus the whole controversy turns out to be merely
and formal. Moreover, it is to be noticed that the clause declaring
belief in the
great Architect, a condition of admission, was introduced into the text
of the Constitutions
of the Grand Lodge of England, only in 1815 and that the same text
Mason therefore is particularly bound never to act against the dictates
of his conscience,"
whereby the Grand Lodge of England seems to acknowledge that liberty of
is the sovereign principle of Freemasonry prevailing over all others
when in conflict
with them. The same supremacy of the liberty of conscience is implied
also in the
unsectarian character, which Anglo-American Masons recognize as the
of Masonry. "Two principles," said the German Emperor Frederick III, in
a solemn address to Masons at Strasburg on 12 September, 1886,
above all our purposes, viz., liberty of conscience and tolerance"; and
"Handbuch" (3rd ed., II, 200) justly observes that liberty of
and tolerance were thereby proclaimed the foundation of Masonry by the
authority in Germany.
Grand Orient of France is right from the Masonic point of view as to
of the question; but it has deviated from tradition by discarding
symbols and symbolical
formulae, which, if rightly understood, in no way imply dogmatic
which cannot be rejected without injuring the work of Masonry, since
this has need
of ambiguous religious formulae adaptable to every sort of belief and
of moral development. From this point of view the symbol of the Grand
of the Universe and of the Bible are indeed of the utmost importance
Hence, several Grand Lodges which at first were supposed to imitate the
of the French, eventually retained these symbols. A representative of
Lodge of France writes in this sense to Findel: "We entirely agree with
in considering all dogmas, either positive or negative, as radically
to Masonry, the teaching of which must only be propagated by symbols.
And the symbols
may and must be explained by each one according to his own
they serve to maintain concord. Hence our G. L. facultatively retains
of the Gr. Arch. of the Universe, because everyone can conceive it in
with his personal convictions. (Lodges are allowed to retain the
Symbols, but there
is no obligation at all of doing so, and many do not.) To excommunicate
on account of metaphysical questions, appears to us the most unworthy
can do" (Sign., 1905, 27). The official organ of Italian Masonry even
"The formula of the Grand Architect, which is reproached to Masonry as
and absurd, is the most large-minded and righteous affirmation of the
of existence and may represent as well the (revolutionary) God of
Mazzini as the
Satan of Giosue Carducci (in his celebrated hymn to Satan [Lib 1893]); God, as the fountain of
not of hatred; Satan, as the genius of the good, not of the bad"
1909, 44). In both interpretations it is in reality the principle of
that is adored by Italian Masonry.
Propagation and Evolution
of the Grand Lodge formed in 1717 by the union of four old lodges, were
few in number and inferior in quality. The entrance of several members
of the Royal
Society and of the nobility changed the situation. Since 1721 it has
Europe (Gould, "History," II, 284 sq.). This rapid propagation was
due to the spirit of the age which, tiring of religious quarrels,
ecclesiastical authority and discontented with existing social
for enlightenment and relief to the ancient mysteries and sought, by
of kindred tendencies, to reconstruct society on a purely human basis.
In this situation
Freemasonry with its vagueness and elasticity, seemed to many an
To meet the needs of different countries and classes of society, the
(1717-23) underwent more or less profound modifications. In 1717,
contrary to Gould
(Concise History, 309 [Lib 1904]), only one simple ceremony of
or one degree seems to have been in use (A. Q. C., X, 127 sqq. [Lib 1897]; XI, 47 sqq. [Lib*]; XVI, 27
sqq. [Lib*]); in 1723 two appear as recognized by the Grand Lodge of
"Entered Apprentice" and "Fellow Craft or Master." The three
degree system, first practiced about 1725, became universal and
official only after
1730 (Gould, "Conc. Hist.," 272; 310-17 [Lib 1904]). The symbols and ritualistic
as they were practiced from 1717 till the introduction of further
1738, together with the "Old Charges" of 1723 or 1738, are considered
as the original pure Freemasonry. A fourth, the "Royal Arch" degree
280) in use at least since 1740, is first mentioned in 1743, and though
to the system of pure and ancient Masonry (ibid., 318) is most
the later AngloSaxon Masonry. In 1751 a rival Grand Lodge of England
to the Old Institutions" was established, and through the activity of
Secretary, Lawrence Dermott, soon surpassed the Grand Lodge of 1717.
of this Grand Lodge are known by the designation of "Ancient Masons."
They are also called "York Masons" with reference, not to the ephemeral
Grand Lodge of all England in York, mentioned in 1726 and revived in
1761, but to
the pretended first Grand Lodge of England assembled in 926 at York
ed., I, 24 sqq. [Lib*]; II, 559 sqq. [Lib*]). They finally obtained
the United Grand Lodge of England adopting in 1813 their ritualistic
In its religious
spirit Anglo-Saxon Masonry after 1730 undoubtedly retrograded towards
orthodoxy (Chr., 1906, II, 19 sq.; 1884, II, 306). This movement is
the Christianization of the rituals and by the popularity of the works
Preston, and Oliver with Anglo-American Masons. It is principally due
to the conservatism
of English-speaking society in religious matters, to the influence of
members and to the institution of "lodge chaplains" mentioned in
records since 1733 (A. Q. C., XI, 43 [Lib*]). The reform brought by the
of union between the two Grand Lodges of England (1 December, 1813)
all in the restoration of the unsectarian character, in accordance with
allusions to a particular (Christian) religion must be omitted in lodge
It was further decreed "there shall be the most perfect unity of
of discipline, or working … according to the genuine landmarks, laws
… throughout the Masonic world, from the day and date of the said union
1813) until time shall be no more" (Preston, "Illustrations," 296;
seq. [Lib 1867]). In taking this action the
United Grand Lodge
overrated its authority. Its decree was complied with, to a certain
extent, in the
United States, where Masonry, first introduced about 1730, followed in
stages of Masonic evolution in the mother country.
of Mother Grand Lodge of the United States was the object of a long and
between the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The
at present is, that from time immemorial, i.e., prior to Grand Lodge
1887, II, 313 [Lib*]), there existed in Philadelphia a regular lodge
dating from 1731 (Drummond, "Chr.," 1884, II, 227 [Lib*]; 1887, I,
163 [Lib*]; II, 178; Gould, "Concise History," 413 [Lib 1904]). In 1734 Benjamin Franklin
an edition of the English "Book of Constitutions." [Lib 1734] The principal agents of the
Grand Lodge of England in the United States were Coxe and Price.
were chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. After 1758, especially
War of Independence, 1773-83, most of the lodges passed over to the
The union of the two systems in England (1813) was followed by a
similar union in
America. The actual form of the American rite since then practiced is
to Webb (1771 ‒ 1819), and to Cross (1783-1861).
and Germany, at the beginning Masonry was practiced according to the
(Prichard, "Masonry Dissected," 1730 [Lib 1730]); but so-called "Scottish"
Masonry soon arose. Only nobles being then reputed admissible in good
fully qualified members, the Masonic gentlemen's society was
interpreted as a society
of Gentilshommes, i.e., of noblemen or at least of men ennobled or
knighted by their
very admission into the order, which according to the old English
ritual still in
use, is "more honorable than the Golden Fleece, or the Star or Garter
other Order under the Sun." The pretended association of Masonry with
of the warlike knights and of the religious was far more acceptable
than the idea
of development out of stone-cutters' guilds. Hence an oration delivered
by the Scottish
Chevalier Ramsay before the Grand Lodge of France in 1737 and inserted
into his first French edition of the "Book of Constitutions" (1743) as
an "oration of the Grand Master," was epoch-making (Gould, "Concise
History," 274 sq., 357 sq. [Lib 1904]; Boos, 174 sq. [Lib*]). In
oration Masonry was dated from "the close association of the order with
Knights of St. John in Jerusalem" during the Crusades; and the "old
of Scotland" were said to have preserved this genuine Masonry, lost by
English. Soon after 1750, however, as occult sciences were ascribed to
their system was readily adaptable to all kinds of Rosicrucian purposes
and to such
practices as alchemy, magic, cabbala, spiritism, and necromancy. The
of the order together with the story of the Grand Master James Molay
and its pretended
revival in Masonry, reproduced in the Hiram legend, representing the
fall and the
resurrection of the just or the suppression and the restoration of the
of man, fitted in admirably with both Christian and revolutionary high
The principal Templar systems of the eighteenth century were the system
of the "Strict
Observance," organized by the swindler Rosa and propagated by the
von Hundt; and the Swedish system, made up of French and Scottish
degrees in Sweden.
In both systems
obedience to unknown superiors was promised. The supreme head of these
which were rivals to each other, was falsely supposed to be the
Charles Edward, who himself declared in 1777, that he had never been a
2nd ed., 11, 100 [Lib*]). Almost all the lodges of Germany, Austria,
Poland, and Russia were, in the second half of the eighteenth century,
in the struggle between these two systems. In the lodges of France and
(Abaft I, 132) the admission of women to lodge meetings occasioned a
immorality (Boos, 170, 183 sqq., 191 [Lib*]). The revolutionary spirit
itself early in French Masonry. Already in 1746 in the book "La Franc-Maçonnerie écrasée," [Lib 1747 (French)] an experienced ex-Mason, who,
a Mason, had visited many lodges in France and England, and consulted
in official position, described as the true Masonic program a program
to Boos, the historian of Freemasonry (p. 192), in an astonishing
with the program of the great French Revolution of 1789. In 1776 this
spirit was brought into Germany by Weisshaupt through a conspiratory
soon spread throughout the country (see Illuminati, and Boos, 303
Augustus of Saxe-Weimar, Duke Ernest of Gotha, Duke Ferdinand of
Herder, Pestalozzi, etc., are mentioned as members of this order of the
Very few of the members, however, were initiated into the higher
degrees. The French
Illuminati included Condorcet, the Duke of Orleans, Mirabeau, and
"Chr.," 1907, II, 95; see also Engel, "Geschichte des
1906 [Lib 1906 (German)]). After the Congress of
reforms were made both in Germany and in France. The principal German
L. Schroder (Hamburg) and I. A. Fessler, tried to restore the original
and purity. The system of Schroder is actually practiced by the Grand
Lodge of Hamburg,
and a modified system (Schroder-Fessler) by the Grand Lodge Royal York
and most lodges of the Grand Lodge of Bayreuth and Dresden. The Grand
Frankfort-on-the-Main and Darmstadt practice an eclectic system on the
the English ritual (Bauhütte, 1908, 337 sqq. [Lib*]). Except the Grand
Royal York, which has Scottish "Inner Orients" and an "Innermost
Orient," the others repudiate high degrees. The largest Grand Lodge of
the National (Berlin), practices a rectified Scottish (Strict
of seven degrees and the "Landes Grossloge" and Swedish system of nine
degrees. The same system is practiced by the Grand Lodge of Sweden,
Denmark. These two systems still declare Masonry a Christian
institution and with
the Grand Lodge Royal York refuse to initiate Jews. Findel states that
reason is to prevent Masonry from being dominated by a people whose
attachments are incompatible with the unsectarian character of the
1898, 100; 1901, 63 sqq. [Lib*]; 1902, 39; 1905, 6).
system in the United States (Charleston, South Carolina) is the
and Accepted Scottish Rite, organized in 1801 on the basis of the
Rite of perfection, which was established by the Council of the
Emperors of the
East and West (Paris, 1758). This system, which was propagated
throughout the world,
may be considered as the revolutionary type of the French Templar
for the natural rights of man against religious and political
by the papal tiara and a royal crown. It strives to exert a
on the other Masonic bodies, wherever it is established. This influence
to it in the Grand Orient systems of Latin countries; it is felt even
and Canada, where the supreme chiefs of craft Masonry are also, as a
members of the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite. There are at the
(1908) twenty-six universally recognized Supreme Councils of the
Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite: U. S. of America; Southern Jurisdiction (Washington),
in 1801; Northern Jurisdiction (Boston), 1813; Argentine Republic
1858; Belgium (Brussels), 1817; Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), 1829; Chile
1870; Colon, for West India Islands (Havana), 1879; Columbia
Republic (S. Domingo); England (London), 1845; Egypt (Cairo), 1878;
1804; Greece (Athens), 1872; Guatemala (for Central American), 1870;
1826; Italy (Florence), 1858; Mexico (1868); Paraguay (Asuncion): Peru
Portugal (Lisbon), 1869; Scotland (Edinburgh), 1846; Spain (Madrid),
(Lausanne), 1873; Uruguay (Montevideo); Venezuela (Caracas). Supreme
universally recognized exist in Hungary, Luxemburg, Naples, Palermo,
The founders of the rite, to give it a great splendor, invented the
fable that Frederick
II, King of Prussia, was its true founder, and this fable upon the
Pike and Mackey is still maintained as probable in the last edition of
"Encyclopedia" (1908), 292 sq. [Lib*]
(To be continued)
By Bro. Joseph Fort Newton,
they who ask us for a Masonic interpretation of the Book of the Sacred
Law but not
often are we able to refer them to anything so well put as the
following; such a
treatment of the Bible is one that every Mason will find helpful, be he
Jew, or what not. As to the author, there is no need to introduce him
to our readers,
for he was THE BUILDER'S first editor and will remain to the last one
of its warmest
word of God is living and active." (Heb. iv. 12.)
to end the Bible is a unity in faith, in spirit, and in purpose, yet it
speaks of itself as a whole. It is too wise, too modest, too intent on
story it has to tell. Nor does it ever call itself the Word of God.
Indeed, it is
a striking fact that in the Bible the name "Word of God" is never once
applied to anything written. No, the Word of God is living, active,
seed, a fire, a light, a power at once august and intimate, and no
book, nor all
the books in the world, can contain it. Every land, every people, every
it, each in its own tongue, and because there are always listening
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world has never lost.
of God is eternal. It spoke to man before he had learned to write; it
speak when all books are faded and forgotten. Heaven and earth may pass
the Word of God will not fail of fulfilment. "All flesh is grass, and
glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withereth and the
falleth away, but the Word of God endureth forever." What God has to
man, and what at last He actually did say, is something too great, too
for any human words, even the most eloquent or searching or patient,
ever to tell.
It is a Living Word, not known by pronunciation, but only by
incarnation. As it
has been written: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake
times past unto our fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days
us by His Son. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we
beheld His glory,
full of grace and truth."
What, Then, Is The Bible?
It is a record
of the God-revealing experiences of the poets, prophets, and apostles
of a noble
people, as they learned of God through long, tragic ages and wrote what
learned. Not in writings primarily, but in living history, in actual
life, God shows
Himself to men. From the Bible we learn not only the truth made known
time, but the method by which it was revealed, and the one is hardly
than the other. God spoke to the people which were of old, as He speaks
we have ears to hear, through life, through facts and events and
actions and persons,
through history and reflection, and the Bible tells us of the life and
personal and national, in which He was revealed. Thus God speaks in the
He does not write. Then, as now, it was revelation through experience,
and the value
of the Bible is not only that it tells us what men learned of God in
the long ago,
but that it helps us to read His newer Word as it is written in the
events and actions
the answer to these two profound questions: Does God speak to man
today? If so,
how? Primarily, men are inspired, not writings. Wherever a man, by any
learns what reality is, and what are the laws of the world, he is
reading the Word
of God. Often he can decipher only here a line and there a stanza, but
God is speaking
to him. Thus, when Job passed through his bitter trial he learned a new
God about suffering, namely, that suffering is not always punishment;
and he was
able to utter it in a drama that has in it the wide spaces of the
desert, its lucid
skies, its loneliness and storm. When David was an outcast, a fugitive
pursued, finding shelter in caves, he learned that
God Lives in the Heart
in palaces, and he told in song what he had learned in sorrow. When the
and the nation was shaken, and men felt the insecurity of all things
was given Isaiah to look through that event and see One who never dies
and a throne
that cannot be shaken; and he made record of his vision. When Jeremiah
to stand alone in defiance of the people whom he loved one of the
grandest and most
tragic figures in history he made a new adventure in prayer, and rose
religion to life religion; as, later, the Prophet of the Exile
discovered, in the
dark night of his sorrow, the Suffering Servant of God walking the
dreamy ways of
manner the Bible was written, slowly and painfully; not so much written
out amid the struggle and sorrow of human life, each page lived before
it was written
each line, as Whitman said, wet with human tears. Hence the power that
is in it
which passes like fire from heart to heart adown the ages; and hence,
close connection between this Book and the living and abiding word of
God. No other
book has such power to comfort and command. A famous Master of Balliol
us that we should "read the Bible as we read any other book"; and that
is the surest way to learn that it is unlike any other book. The Bible
if by that we mean "the lasting expression in words of the meaning of
but it is something more. It is not art, it is life. Men feel this to
be so. Let
a man try to read the Bible as literature only, and he will find that
in the drama
which it unfolds there can be no spectators, no lookers on. Everybody
included is drawn into the action; each must take sides or make "the
refusal." Something reaches out from its pages and pulls us into the
its realities. It is not a fiction of what life might have been; it is
Life Itself Speaking To
Nor is this
to disparage literature and its service to the human spirit. Far from
it. How we
love to wander in its Chamber of Imagery, amid forms lovely and
Homer sings, and Plato speaks, and Hamlet dies; and there are lines in
poets often, even, in lesser poets which open, in the light of a flash,
half on earth and half in heaven. Literature is beautiful and benign,
and richly rewarding. But the Bible is more compelling than persuasive.
not entertain; it commands. It is too serious, too earnest, too honest
to care for
art for the sake of art. Its art is artless, its purpose being to lay
hold of the
heart, the conscience, the will, bringing to the service and solace of
man the truth
made known in the agony and bloody sweat of mortal life. When a man
tries to read
the 51st Psalm as he reads any other poem, he finds himself face to
face with God
and the soul, humbled, subdued, rebuked, exalted. He will not doubt its
the sense that he is one with that long-dead singer will melt his
heart, and he
will say, if he be wise, "This thing is of God." Such is the power of
the Bible, as unique as it is searching, and if we let it have its way
yielding our souls to its passion for righteousness, and its sense of
Life in Time, it will lead us infallibly in the way everlasting.
Argument is not needed; the fact proves it. The Bible grew up out of a
life, rich, profound, revealing, and if rightly used and obeyed it will
in us, infallibly, the kind of life which produced it.
No Other Kind of Infallibility
Strong men, serious men who wish to fight the battle of character
through to something
like decency, ask for no surer token. As the Bible is a Book of Life,
so its verity
and value are to be known only in the midst of life. Experience is the
"The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that
mayest do it." Texts often tell us their meaning if we turn them over,
if we invert this text we learn that the word that is nigh unto us, in
and in our hearts, is the Word of God. Evermore the challenge of Jesus,
is, If we
do, we shall know. The writers of the Bible did not argue; they obeyed.
before they wrote. They were men of like passions as ourselves, of like
fears and failings. They wrestled with reality; they were sorely tried,
cries of anguish echo to this day deathless trumpets from the oblivion
time. In weakness they were made strong; in darkness they saw "the
on the other side of life"; in death they were not dismayed. They show
actual life, in outward experience and inward realization, how the
victory is won
how truth is learned by living.
this wise and faithful Book, is the very stuff of life itself; the
out of which, not as a theory, but as a fact, faith in God grows. How
are! The two characters of this Book are the Sky and the Dirt. Its
The Romance of God and Man
eternal life together. Sunrise, sunset, summer, autumn, winter, calm,
marriage, love, laughter, pain, sorrow, sin, repentance, the broken
heart and the
open grave these old, familiar, human things live in the Bible against
of Eternity. Those men of old needed guidance as they faced the mystery
and realized how many questions remain unanswered. They needed comfort
courage in disappointment, hope in failure. They needed forgiveness for
in monotony, and companionship as one by one their friends dropped
them to walk alone. Above all they needed light as they looked out upon
of their day, so tangled and so troubled, and were tempted to despair
a way out. They found what they needed in God, and in God alone, and
set down in
simple words what they learned of His will, His care, His plans for
them and their
duty to Him. God was made known to them in heroic experience, in sins
in minds made clear of earthly mists, in hearts healed of the old hurt
of life that
dumb and nameless pain that throbs at the heart of our being as we
march or creep
or crowd through the welter of war, poverty, disease and death.
What about Our Own Day?
least: God is not the great I was, but the great I am, and His Word
speaks to us
today, as of old, through the facts, the events, the actions, the
persons of our
time, in actual life, as it unfolds, in history as it is wrought out in
fire and tears. "This day hath this Scripture been fulfilled in your
not as some one event was foreshadowed in the imagery of Ezekiel or the
of the Apocalypse, but as the same laws of righteousness which ruled in
fulfil themselves anew in the outworking of events in the overthrow of
in the triumph of right over might, in the deliverance of the poor and
"God is not dumb that He should speak no more." He who awakened the
of Israel and lifted Isaiah to a purer vision through the march of the
army must have some word to speak to us in the upheavals and
overturnings of our
day. Manifestly, it is a word not only for our individual leading, but
in its collective life, if we have the insight to read and interpret
it. But who
is sufficient for these things?
How can we
read aright the strange, troubled, tragic history of our own day? Here
is our surest guide, prophet, and friend, if we would trace the ways of
God in "long-lived
storm of great events," since His newer Word must confirm the old,
itself in the processes of the years. The mighty prophets were the
first to see
that events do not run wild, but are held and guided by an unseen Hand.
one nation, but as their vision broadened, all nations, all lands, all
seen to be subject to Divine control; all events of history the march
the fate of dynasties, the fall of cities are at the bidding of His
was a razor to cut away things outgrown. Egypt was a pruning hook.
There is no fact
today, however appalling, that those watchers of the ways of God did
not face. Then,
as now, the hills trembled and the uproar of the people was like the
the sea, but they saw God in all, through all, over all. They
discerned, now dimly,
now clearly, the moral, social, and spiritual purpose of God in
history, and it
is thus that their Book of Vision is a light to our feet in this
By Bro. Joseph Barnett,
a distinction between Mystery and Secret. Anything not understood is a
After it is understood it may be held a secret. Before he receives the
knowledge is a mystery to the candidate. After he receives the
knowledge it may
be spoken of as a secret, something to be guarded by him. yet the
mysteries of Masonry
is a specific term for Masonic knowledge; and this is concerned with
the fact that
there are two separate and distinct words written "mystery."
One of these
words is derived from the Greek muo, meaning "I conceal." This
may have referred originally to something enclosed and thus hidden from
A secondary meaning seems to have developed from this; for some
muo, "I cover the eyes and mouth." The other word, originally
is derived from the Latin ministro, meaning "I perform a service." It
is a variant of ministry, and is associated with serviceable knowledge
of an art.
In ages past, when few could read, knowledge was generally conveyed by
word of mouth.
The two words, mystery and mistery being pronounced alike, naturally
with one another. And so far as our Fraternity is concerned, mystery
both meanings something unknown, and technical knowledge of an art.
temple Mysteries included esoteric knowledge communicated only within
precincts to those who had been carefully examined as to their fitness
to be intrusted
with such knowledge, and guarded from those excluded from the temple
ceremonies. These latter have been called the "profane," which means
the temple," in contradistinction to those admitted, suggesting the
as distinguished from the consecrated. From references in the
literature of that
period we learn that some of these teachings concerned the gods, and
that the initiate
was called a "mystes." Because the candidate or some other person or
was veiled or concealed, the ceremonies have been called the Mysteries.
they alluded to the gods, mystery has come to have a special
application to the
supernatural, to sacred things, to the higher knowledge. In church
instance, the Communion is called "that holy mystery," suggesting
beyond human understanding. Freemasonry uses the word concerning the
makes no suggestion of the impossibility of understanding. On the
teaching is that both human and Divine knowledge are diligently to be
now, the honor of being invested with important secrets consisted in
the fact that
initiates were carefully selected as men worthy to be intrusted with
And guarding such secrets has always had a twofold purpose the keeping
the unworthy, and the preservation of them that they should not be
interest the former may have, the latter has always been the real
times, the various crafts often staged bible scenes, which they called
At Chester, in 1327, a number of different crafts or gilds acted a
series of these
plays: The Fall of Lucifer, by the Tanners; The Creation, by the
Drapers; The Last
Supper, by the Bakers; and other scenes by other crafts. These dramas
partly to teach the ignorant and partly from natural love of the drama,
inherent in man from childhood to age. These plays have also been
possibly because they dealt with sacred subjects, possibly because they
by craftsmen; for at that time a trade was called a "mistere." Chaucer
so used the word in the following lines:
"In youth he learned hadde a
He was a well good wright, a carpentere."
was from the French mestier, since modified to metier. The trade itself
a "mister," or "mistere," and the knowledge of the art its "misterie."
knowledge of the art and the higher knowledge to which the candidate
included in the Mysteries of Masonry. Freemasonry is probably the only
which uses the word in this way; and it may be held as Significant of a
connection with the past. It includes art and science, skill and
and thinking. And in wedding labor and wisdom, as did the ancients, in
that man should be a complete, well-balanced being, with all his
corporeal as well as mental, constantly developing, as becomes one who
relationship, it may offer evidence that Freemasonry is the legitimate
heir of the
hopes, ideas, and methods on teaching, that from remote tunes have been
with human aspiration and progress.
expression is conserved and a hint of the original teaching still
the art itself serves mainly to furnish us with symbols for a more
noble and glorious
purpose. Whether the mysteries of Masonry be considered from the
viewpoint of knowledge
of a useful art, or as higher knowledge guarded and preserved by the
select, there is in both alike the principle of service; and this was
a dominant idea through all the past. To the Freemason, service is an
word. It is one of our ideals, a better word than autocracy. It means
that he who
is highest is he who is most useful.
speaks of "those sacred Mysteries which fortify the initiated against
of death and inspire them with pleasing hopes of a happy immortality."
they were associated in some degree with the priesthood, and in so far
Thenceforth they and their works were devoted to the gods, and it
became a duty
to endeavor to make themselves worthy of their high calling. This
service. Instead of being the sign manual of interiority, serviceable
an exceptionally honorable thing, the evidence of real worth, the
of men's claim to consideration among their fellows. Freemasonry by
example teaches the importance of material usefulness as well as of
it is interesting to note that the whole world is awaking to the
importance of citizenship
based on usefulness. The people of our own country are beginning to
class the idle
rich with the idle tramp; and in so doing they are developing the
that as we are "rational and intelligent beings, so should we ever be
It is also
the Masonic teaching that in our service to God and man is
consecration. The interests
of Freemasonry are many, but all tending to one purpose. Its direction
up. Its work is all constructive. Its reward is in itself the
consciousness of walking
'uprightly in our several stations before God and man." Its genesis,
and methods are the mysteries of Masonry. They include what is
worthiest and highest
in human aspiration and effort, and especially concern the practical
of our relations with one another and with the world around us, through
and skill acquired from apprenticeship to the Art that Builds.
The Grace of Tolerance -- [A Poem]
By Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
is the grace, among those classed sublime
That gives to all beliefs their right to be Divine;
It is the key that swings the doors of progress wide,
It stands at every turn where creeds, as such, divide.
The religions of the world must its true meaning know
Ere to a progress real they can credentials show.
All men of all of them must equal be to each
And by its spirit live and practice what they preach.
'Tis true that tolerance as the essential grace
Must be lived out to win the try-outs of the race;
All what faith may imply, all pleadings of the soul
Will never find the way unto the glory goal.
We've got to be "converted," made over to the new
And this, to men of creeds will seem the strangest to;
Though they stake all on them, though they square to their plan,
No mere belief in them has ever made a man.
And he may be a man who clearly shuns them all
And full salvation finds in nature's way and call.
'Tis character that stamps upon the soul its worth
And this gives tolerance its right to rule the earth.
And till its sway shall come, the peace beyond compare
Will never come to earth, though fervent be its prayer.
There's naught save its rare grace can smoothe its wrinkles out
And make the going fine upon its upward route.
And all this being true, there is no way or plan
Among the ways and means that have been tried by man
To make the world ideal than is the mystic Art
That truly brothers all if clean of soul and heart.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
overseas but on this side of the water the Red Cross has found the need
of a larger
young mothers, homes suddenly deprived of husband and father, old
people left alone
in the closing years of their life presented new problems that had to
Service Bureau was organized to deal with the problems of the families
men and during the period of the war "The Greatest Mother" watched
over the welfare of "those at home." Household questions were solved
her friendly aid. Advice and counsel were freely given. Home service
instructed in carefully planned classes on such matters as dietetics,
simple hygiene and sanitation.
of delayed rent were met by temporary loans, legal matters were
directed in proper
channels and instructions were given in regard to making applications
allotments. She lent her friendly aid toward smoothing out the rugged
often blocked communication overseas: She carried to the man in the
of his new responsibilities at home and she brought back to the young
message that he trusted in the Red Cross to help care for them both.
signing of the armistice Home Service work has almost doubled. The
families of over
250,000 soldiers and sailors were already under its care. Now that the
men are coming
back they extend to them the same sympathy and encouragement. Clothing,
and temporary aid, with the psychological support of helping to start
him on the
right road to civil reinstatement, all come within the province of Home
and he may apply to the Home Service Bureau of any Red Cross chapter
(and only fifty
of the thirty-seven hundred chapters lack a Home Service Department)
with the sure
consciousness that he will obtain help and encouragement.
essence itself is love and wisdom.
to an Old Scottish Lodge
By Bro. S. Clifton Bingham,
ago it was my privilege to spend a brief portion of a well-earned
holiday in the
beautiful City of Edinburgh; all too brief, however, to properly view
objects of interest that await visitors there.
In the newer
part of the town the premises of Grand Lodge have much to interest a
member of our
Fraternity, whilst the hall of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland,
which is modelled
on the form of an Egyptian Temple, is probably unique of its kind, and
arrangements for the working of the degree of the H. R. A. are most
I met a dear old Craftsman in the person of the late M.E. Comp. R. S.
passed to his eternal rest, but then the most respected Grand Scribe E
of the Supreme
Grand Chapter of Scotland. Although our Supreme Chapters were not at
that time in
amity (nor are they now so far as that point goes), he courteously
waived all questions
of the kind, and was at considerable pains to facilitate my desire for
on Freemasonry. From him I received an invitation to attend a Chapter
next evening, which I was informed was timed to commence at eight
with my New Zealand experience of Masonic punctuality in my mind, I
at the hall at 7.55 p.m., to find the Janitor in sole possession. At
8.10 p.m. a
Companion wandered in who turned out to be the presiding officer for
Five minutes later the Grand Scribe E arrived, and the members began to
work commencing at 8.40 p.m., and as it comprised an Obligation in the
the conferring of the Excellent and Arch degrees following, the Chapter
busy. We closed down at 10.50 sharp, and at that hour the subsequent
had little interest for me. Here, however, I was introduced to a very
member of the Craft in the person of the late Dr. Geo. Dickson, with
whom I had
a very interesting conversation during the intervals of labor, and
renewed when we met in other bodies. On his advice the next day I made
my way down
to Canongate, the heart of old Edinburgh, in search of St. John's
Chapel, the home
of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of
The Canongate, which is the main avenue from the Palace of Holyrood to
contains many interesting dwellings, once the abode of the nobility and
Scotland. Along here was the gallant but ill-fated Montrose drawn on a
his execution, whilst his enemies jeered from the balconies above. In
year of 1745 did "Bonnie Prince Charlie" ride through in gay procession
during that short campaign, the disastrous result of which practically
active prosecution of Stuart claims to the throne of Great Britain. Our
of the neighborhood had been, indeed, not of the best, as the previous
evening, on our arrival in the city, we had strolled this way, and were
of some Scottish methods of ending the week which were not altogether
Many, if not all, of the houses are now very dilapidated in appearance,
family washing generally in evidence. From the Canongate, under an
archway, we entered
St. John Street, occupied in the last century by the aristocracy of the
Tobias Smollett, the author of "Roderick Random [Lib 1908]," lived in lodgings. The Earl
of Dalhousie, Grand Master of Scotland in 1766, resided in No. 5,
whilst No. 10
once housed James Ballantyne, friend of and publisher to Sir Walter
a member of our great Fraternity. We entered an unpretentious building,
the stairs, and found ourselves in the hall, which, built in the year
been continuously used ever since for the purposes of Freemasonry. In
no other building or lodge room in the wide world can compare. The
the room was somewhat familiar, as I had often looked at the picture of
inauguration as Poet Laureate of the lodge, said to have occurred on
March 1, 1787,
of which two copies are in our own building. Although for some time it
to be a true representation of the event, Masonic historians are today
agreed that such did not take place. The lodge minutes of the meeting
on the point, and the artist has introduced into the picture
individuals who could
not possibly have been present on the occasion, and some of them not
of the Craft, as far as is known, whilst Burns himself, who would
esteemed such a recognition as a great compliment, never made reference
to it. Over
the fireplace hangs a portrait of William St. Clair, who occupied the
position of first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and was
made a "brother
of the Antient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons" in
Lodge on 18th May, 1736, and on the third of the following month was
to the degree of Fellowcraft," he "paying into the box as usual";
raised in November of the same year, at which meeting the minutes
record that St.
Clair, during the ceremonies, occupied the chairs of J. and S. W. and
R. W. M.,
finally dismissing the lodge in that character. It seems evident from
that our distinguished brother must have been very apt at assimilating
the work have been much simpler than our present-day methods. In a
recess on the
opposite side of the lodge is the organ, the oldest pipe instrument in
use in Scotland
at the time. It was built as far back as 1734, but still possesses a
sweet tone. A peculiarity is that the flat keys are black, and the
originally white, are now of a deep orange. A corner by this instrument
is yet pointed
out as Burns' favorite work, and often he must have heard his own
to its accompaniment.
chair (dating back to 1730) that occupied by the Secretary seemed even
design with the "lokkit kist" and the poor box, the quaint Warden's
and the peculiar coat and vest worn by the Tyler were all objects of
The old measures, drinking and firing glasses, and toddy ladles, bore
the punch bowl depicted in the picture previously mentioned was put to
by our ancient brethren.
dates back to the year 1677 as an organized body, when a number of
residing in the Canongate, applied to Mother Kilwinning for permission
and pass Masters, which was, after due consideration, granted.
As this is
the earliest known warrant or charter, and differs very considerably
from the document
that is attached to the Master's pedestal in our lodge, I give the text
"At the Ludge of Kilwining the
of December 1677 yeares, deacons and wardenes and the rest of the
the love and favour shown to us be the rest of the brethren of the
Edinbroughe, ane part of our number being willing to be boked and
inroled the qch
day gives power and liberty to them to enter, receive, and pass ony
that they think fit, in name and behalf of the ludge of Killwinning,
and to pay
their entry and booking moneys due to the Grand ludge as we do
ourselves, they sending
on of their number to us yearly, and we to do the lyke to them if need
be. The qlk
day ther names are insert into this book."
The signatures of twelve brethren follow, to each of
which a mark is affixed. Fortunately the document
was entered verbatim in the records of the Mother Lodge, as the
original has long
since disappeared. Thus we find the Lodge of Kilwinning exercising the
a Grand Lodge some forty years before the formation of the Grand Lodge
whose Bicentenary we celebrated in the year just past. The traditions
as an operative body go much further back, however, when the building
Abbey and Palace was commenced by King David, in 1128. The lodge seems
to have been
identified with the foundation of the building, and was probably formed
by the bands
of workmen brought together to work thereon. The troubles of the
sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries gradually severed the ties that bound the religious bodies
together, and the latter finally took full charge of their own affairs.
charter than that originally issued by Mother Kilwinning has ever been
indeed would be accepted, and, the original document not being in
portion of the ceremony of initiation with which we are familiar, viz.,
to "our charter or warrant of constitution," is perforce omitted.
the early minute books of the lodge are not to be found, those in
from February 13, 1735, when "the lodge having met according to
a committee was set up for the preparation of by-laws. In accordance
with the custom
of the time, fines were strictly enforced for non-attendance, and
brethren who regularly attended were all the more ready to see such
the historian of the lodge relates that the money so collected was laid
out in refreshments
for the evening.
took a leading part in the erection of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and
in obtaining the office of first Grand Master for one of its own
St. Clair, of Roslyn," who had previously graciously renounced the
hereditary dignity of "Patron, Protector, Judge or Master of the
Scotland," which appeared to have been but a visionary position.
delegates from the thirty-three lodges assembled in the hall seemed to
much impressed, and a unanimous vote was the result, although other
in the field. It may be noted that the lodge showed no undue modesty in
the merits of their other brethren, as in issuing its deliverance upon
and Regulations anent the Erection of Grand Master," it recommended
St. Clair not be elected, four other members of the lodge be named for
offices of Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary. More
other members of the lodge subsequently occupied the highest position
in the Craft,
a record of which the lodge may well be proud. A hasty glance through
book was all that time permitted, but the following items of interest
may be noted:
In 1739 the sum of three guineas was voted in response to a petition
Relief of the indigent Episcopal clergy." In 1741 mention is made of a
brother, who "had been guilty of ane indignity to the lodge," a very
reference, probably the earliest of the initiation of a member of the
Friends, whose tenets, it will be remembered, forbid the taking of
oaths. In 1752
the lodge and members combined raised 30 pounds towards a fund to
beautify the City
of Edinburgh. The following year Sir Ralph Abercrombie, the hero of the
of Aboukir Bay, was admitted, also the Rev. Peter Simpson, "free out of
to the ministerial cloth and character," a mark of respect now very
of date. A visit from the Grand Master, Lord Aberdour, is noted in
1755, and the
following year this brother occupied the same position in the Grand
Lodge of England.
An instance of quick work is given in 1766, when the Earl of Dalhousie
passed and raised on the 29th March, and present five days later as
the claim that Burns was Poet Laureate to the lodge is now practically
records exist of a special deputation, in 1835, for the purpose of
Hogg, known to fame as "The Ettrick Shepherd," and the bestowal of such
title upon him, and thereafter some fifteen brethren have from time to
so distinguished. The lodge possesses an actual Master Mason's apron of
Lodge, in use when he was initiated, whilst Grand Lodge has amongst its
a mallet and apron said to have been used by Burns whilst presiding as
of St. Andrew Dumfries, No. 179. I had the pleasure of wearing one and
the other for a moment.
several members of the Band of the Second Battalion of Edinburgh
admitted gratis, in consideration that their services were required on
is one of the few which holds its annual festival on St. John the
St. John the Evangelist being much more frequently used. I am enabled
to give a
drawing or plan of this lodge, which you will note varies from the form
we are used
to here in some important particulars, as the position of the Wardens,
and I.G., whilst positions for additional officers are those of Bible
Bearers, two of the latter. This form is similar to that in use in
and I believe in many other Scotch lodges, and appears to be in line
customs. In the ceremonial working the preliminary perambulations are
the Wardens and brethren, and finally advancing between the pillars to
for obligation, and in that respect I witnessed somewhat analogous
methods in Pennsylvania
working, where the brethren stood in a square, and the perambulations
outside. The working generally appears to be similar to that in
Lyttelton, the test of memory, once in regular use in my Mother Lodge,
as I well
remember, never being omitted.
of officers is formidable, comprising, in addition to those with which
we are familiar
in New Zealand, a Depute and Substitute Master, Assistant Secretary,
Jeweler, Bible Bearer, Poet Laureate, Curator and Librarian, Marshal,
Director of Music, First and Second Standard Bearers, President of
seventeen other Stewards, the latter taking precedence of the I.G. I
was not privileged
to witness an installation ceremony, and therefore cannot say whether
of each are as minutely described as occasionally happens in New
Zealand. On such
occasion an obligation de fideli seems to be taken, as shown on the
program following, but probably the officers were grouped for such
a considerable amount of time would be required.
some other points of interest in the program I now exhibit to which I
direct your attention.
Festival of Saint John and Installation
of Office Bearers in the Chapel of
Sanct Johne in the Canongait, on Tuesday,
June the 24th, 1918
S. Muir, R. W. Master (bis).
R. W. Bro. James Russell, P. M.
1. The Lodge will be resumed and
the work opened.
2. The Secretary will read the
Minutes of Election.
3. The Lodge will be raised to the
Third degree and the Office Bearers elected.
The Lodge will be reduced to the First degree.
4. The directori of Ceremonies
will present the R. W. Master on his re-election.
5. The Charges and Regulations
will be read for the assent of the R. W. Master.
6. Obligation de fideli
7. Choral Sanction. Tune "French."
I to the
hills will lift mine eyes.
1. Installing Ceremony.
2. Presentation of Constitution,
3. Installation and investiture of
4. The Right Worshipful Installing
Master will address The R. W; Master.
5. The Worshipful Wardens.
6. The Brethren.
7. Hymn. Tune "Tallis."
We thank Thee, gather; let Thy
Our loving circle still embrace;
Thy mercy shed its heavenly store;
Thy peace be with us evermore.
8. Calling off and Harmony.
will be formed to St. John's Hall. The Office Bearers will precede the
R. W. Master.
The remanent Brethren will follow him.)
9. The work will be Resumed and
closed, and the Lodge will be adjourned in due
and antient form.
Note: A photograph
of Brother Thomas Scott Muir, M. A., Right Worshipful Master, and an
the arms of the lodge complete the program.
an old custom, the lodge is never closed, only the work, so that the
reads: The lodge will be resumed and the work opened. The lodge is
raised to the
Second degree for election of office bearers (other than the Master,
to have been elected at a previous meeting), and then reduced to the
After the ceremony is concluded the lodge is called off and a
the office bearers preceding the Right Worshipful Master, and remanent
following, to St. John's Hall for harmony.
full toast list is then dealt with:
"The Holy Lodge of St. John."
"The King and the Craft."
"The Grand Lodge of Scotland."
passed round and collection for Grand Lodge Annuity Fund).
"The Installing Master."
"The Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, and remanent Office-bearers."
"The Visiting Brethren."
"The Stewards and the Artistes of the Evening."
"The Right Worshipful Master."
"The Tyler's Toast."
then goes on to say: "The work will be resumed and closed, and the
be adjourned in due and antient form."
I do not
quite understand why the first toast is given such prominence, but in
may have other reference than in England, where it was for many years
for unattached brethren to describe themselves as belonging to the
Lodge of St.
John. It will be noted that the toast of the Master comes rather lower
down on the
list than would be the case with us, but it appears to be unusual to
Master every year, and in the present instance it is evidently a
note the word "bis" following the title of R. W. Master. A regulation
is in practice which may well be followed in other places, viz., that
candidate has been entered, passed and raised he will be placed under
the care of
a M. M., specially deputed by the R. W. M. to instruct him, so that his
of the Craft may be a credit to himself and to his Mother Lodge. A
varied and lengthy
experience in proving visitors commends this provision very much to my
for the three degrees are 5 5s., a higher figure than usual, I
understand, in Scotland,
but on the other hand the annual test fee of 5s. would seem to us to be
low. As is customary in Craft lodges in Scotland, the Mark Degree is
Master Masons, fee 5s. Members have the privilege of wearing a special
golf club is connected with the lodge, admission to which is restricted
to the members,
and, in common with other lodges in Edinburgh and the neighborhood,
rinks are entered
annually for Masonic bowling competitions.
of the lodge are held twice a month, indicating that candidates are
I was informed that the roll of members, running from 1736, contains
issued by the lodge also chronicles a monthly meeting of the Canongate
Royal Arch Chapter, working degrees on same lines to our own Supreme
in addition to which the C. K. Encampment of Knight Templars also
The degree of R. A. is a necessary prerequisite to this body.
has been made in Vol. I of our Transactions to an ancient body of
who appeared to have had customs closely appertaining to those of
were styled "Squaremen," and comprised masons, carpenters, slaters, and
glaziers, possibly gathering together to care for the special
privileges of such
trades, which were from their very nature interdependent upon each
other. In D.
Murray Lyon's history of Mary Chapel [Lib 1873], the first lodge of Scotland,
is made of the Squaremen "word," and of the "grip and sign"
of that organization, which the members were sworn to keep secret, and
that an obligation
was taken, but not on the Bible.
remaining section of this association, styled "The Corporation of
now meets in St. John's Chapel on the first lawful day of each month.
is restricted to Mark Master Masons who hold or have held office in a
and the ceremony is said to be suitably connected with operative work.
are quaintly expressed in old currency; thus the entrance is seven
to 7s. 7d., and the diploma costs "twa merks, twa groats and twa
which appears to me to amount to about 2s. 11d. A special apron is
an annual test fee payable, but the members object to the ceremony
a degree. The Corporation is governed by a Deacon, Boxmaster, and
Several of the quaint summonses issued seem to suggest that a certain
humor characterizes the Association.
exhibited both bear a device of a deer's head, with a rood or cross
the former close connection of the Lodge with the Abbey of Holyrood,
King David I. in 1128, and dedicated by him to the Holy Rood or Cross,
Scotland by his mother, the pious Margaret. The motto, "Post Nubila
which may be freely translated, "After darkness, Light," is a
suitable one for an organization devoted to bringing desirable and
from darkness to Light.
From Labor to Refreshment -- [A Poem]
Bro. Nelson Williams, Ohio.
labor to refreshment ‒ what a happy thought
As we journey down the avenues of Time,
To feel that sweet refreshment will award our labors here,
In that Lodge where every precept is sublime.
To feel that all the burdens, all the sorrows, all the woes,
All the trials, all the aches, and all the pains,
Will be buried as poor Hiram, when the Soul in freedom goes
To that Lodge where our Grand Master ever reigns.
G.L.P. of Mississippi, 1914.
labor to refreshment, ‒ ‘tis the Junior
In every Lodge known as Symbolic here below,
And every Brother pauses when he hears the gavel fall.
For its potent power all the Masons know.
Our mystic work suspended, sweet converse reigns supreme,
And fellowship, which is our richest gem,
Is set in Love cemented, and its iridescent gleam
Lights to brilliancy our dazzling diadem.
From labor to refreshment, ‒ tis the Great Grand Master's call
When our labors in the earthly Lodge are o'er,
And He takes us through the portals of His Grand Celestial Hall
There to live in sweet refreshment evermore.
There we shall see completed all the Master's wise designs,
No longer need the level and the square;
And there will be no longer any need of grips and signs,
For we shall all be Brethren over there.
standing in the treasure house of the conqueror of his people, when
the long-lost Ark of the Covenant, gave utterance to the supreme lament
of his countrymen
when he cried out: "How tender hath been the memory of the myriads of
these ten weeks of years, longing to know thy fate, thy destiny!" It
hour of trial. His people had been captives more than seventy years.
The sight of
the Ark, the dearest symbol of his race, awoke high exaltation in his
agony of slavery weighed heavily upon him. The tempting offer to
restore to his
people the ancient emblem of their faith was the climax of a series of
cunning inducements for him to betray his Masonic secrets to the
But the temptation was spurned. The faith of Zerubbabel did not waver.
tells us that his faithfulness was abundantly rewarded, his
him to a new understanding which enabled him to change the agonies of
into a triumphant realization of their national hope.
the curtain was rung down upon what the old earth supposed was its
That which we as boys studied and observed and admired as our
all its supposed progress, has passed into history. Much of it has been
Mankind, piling bodies one upon the other in apparently heedless
poured out its blood in behalf of a new order of things, trusting the
qualities of that red flood to wash from the human heart all its
hatred. Yea, more,
this war has divided time into "before" and "after," has dipped
the pen of fate in blood, and handed it to the new born age with the
it write a new decree, or rather an old decree with a new monition ‒
one another lest ye die!"
is the parallel to be drawn between the story of Zerubbabel and that of
hour. Twice "ten weeks of years" have elapsed since first Masonry began
to have an influence in the shaping of American destinies. We have
grown from a
handful to an army in numbers. In 1861 to 1865 a civil war could not
our brotherhood. The sharp details of the strife and sorrow of that war
blurred out throughout our nation by a newer call to arms in behalf of
Our boys returning from Flanders fields know no North, nor South, nor
West. They are Americans, prouder than ever of all that goes to make up
and glorying, now, in these long years which have finally wiped out the
Triumphant they are returning, having accomplished their Purpose.
As you welcome
them, note the new light in their eyes, the new firmness in their step,
squareness of their shoulders. Does it speak to you of nothing more
than mere physical
development? The only reason that any of these boys failed to realize
to get into action against the Hun was because that self-same Hun found
his much advertised secret service (even as it was intended that he
out), how many of them were coming, and what manner of things it was
that they were
bringing with them for his swift destruction! He found that a roll call
of his prisoners
revealed boys with German names. He asked them, in German: "Why do you
the fatherland? You speak German, your fathers came from Germany ‒ you
The answer was always ready, always the same: "No, we are not Germans.
Americans. We fight you because you have abandoned the humanities, the
those things which man has designated as civilization, those things
which of right
belong to the citizens of a true 'fatherland.' We fight you because you
our motherland, America, the motherland which our parents and we
accepted, and which has accepted us with open arms. The land which has
protection, opportunity, and the right to become a peer in a nation of
love this motherland which has educated us, taught us the rights of man
to us that we should defend those rights for ourselves, for our
posterity, for all
the world ‒ even you!" He found that here in our cantonments they had
educated ‒ educated as no other soldiers on earth ever were educated,
to pass righteous
judgment upon him. This they had done, and were on their way to execute
when he cried "Kamerad."
education which made them pass that judgment, will cause them now to
upon everything which we of the United States of America are doing and
Their judgment will be made up as a result of the education which they
in the camps, illuminated by their observation and experience in
contact with the
nations of Europe. That education was primarily a great lesson in
will accept as their leaders the wise men who fought in France, who
more of the civilization of the Old World than the schools of America
had ever taught.
Those leaders will come back with a world-vision, something we
Americans have until
now sadly lacked, and they are going to judge our American institutions
in the light
of their newer and broader vision.
I am optimist
enough to believe that on the whole they will find the things to which
come back to be the dearest and most precious inheritance in the whole
and will be resolved to do their utmost to preserve them. And yet, if
here and there
they find some product or outgrowth of our civilization, some
is lagging behind the times, failing to live up to its possibilities,
what do you
think will be their judgment upon it? Either one or the other of two
happen: they will discard it and build a new one which can be made to
the pep and ginger taught them in these months and years of efficient
or they will step into the places of leadership in that organization
and force it
to become efficient in a fashion that will make the stand-patter of old
question asked of Masonry, as of everything else, will not be "What
done?" but "What can you do?" They will not listen to platitudes.
They will make short shift of the idealist, trying to picture in words
the accomplishment of "ten weeks of years." They will not be satisfied
with mere growth, even though it be from a handful to an army. The
erection of a
thousand temples will not unduly impress them, nor the thousand marks
of what we
have been calling "progress."
will first ask: "What are your principles?" Then, if these are
"What will you do to make those principles effective?" It will not be
enough for us to say that "we preach the right to think, the right to
the right to worship in freedom, and as conscience alone shall
will demand: "How many of your Masons know what these things mean?"
many really believe in them?" "How many believe in them so hard that
are willing to fight for them, live for them, die for them if need be?"
things you mention sound decidedly like those principles of Americanism
we went out to fight. We believe in them! If your Masonic institution
them, whole-heartedly and unafraid, then we are willing to stand by
you, and use
your institution as a great force for the upbuilding of the new America
have come home resolved to build. Are you ready for such comradeship
with us? If
so, Fall in! Attention! Right face! Forward, March!"
If from the
above you understand that I mean to imply that Masonry has too often
barring the road of progress, you have understood me correctly. We have
stood idly by, with our flank exposed to the enemy. And these young men
come back to us with bars and oak leaves upon their shoulders will not
to tell us that wooden guns are as good as rifles only if neither is to
They may give us a respectful salute, but they will insist that an
is no better than a wooden gun! And when they see at work in the
country which they
were ready to die for pernicious principles subversive of that same
they will be forced to look with scorn upon those of us who have been
the post of duty.
we say in our defense? Do we want to plead that the great number of new
has swamped us with ritualistic work, making necessary the drafting of
for that alone? Will they not reply that from their new vision of
things the ritual
can be considered to be no more than the "setting up exercises" of
and but a small part of her real work in the world, measured by our own
of the things for which she stands? When they point to the thousands of
our unaffiliates, and charge that these have permitted themselves to be
for non-payment of dues because they failed to see our real and vital
carried out, what shall we say in reply? If they bring us into a court
to try us for consecrating ourselves to mere mechanical memorizing of a
spending too much time preaching principles, living too much in a dead
wasting our opportunity to become a vital force, working as an
institution for the
good of mankind, what then can we possibly plead as a defense?
I would not
be deemed a pessimist or an alarmist, but I want to say to you,
brethren, that the
experience of being Grand Master of Masons, even in so splendid and
advanced a Grand
Jurisdiction as Iowa, tends to make one humble and modest in one's
opinion of the
worth of Freemasonry to mankind. Granted that the effect of our "work"
upon men instills much of value into the very fiber and being of its
there is still so much that might be done that what has been done looms
by comparison. We may well ask ourselves whether we are not hampered by
have been slowly growing upon us for years ‒ habits which we have
formed under the
delusion that they were a part of the original Masonry when in truth
were such? Have we not canonized these habits into "landmarks" and
to idolize them? So that whenever someone tries to do something new and
great, something that shall prove Masonry a living force and not a dead
the high priest of these "landmarks" tries to stifle him with a cry of
brethren, it is all too true. There is no thoughtful one among us who
does not know
that the slavery of convention holds us in its toils. Like Zerubbabel,
we need to
see and be again inspired by the great symbols of our faith which lie
in the treasure house of an enemy, but right in our own treasure house,
we do not seem to find time to enter.
Had we applied
our age-old principles to modern conditions, interpreting the
of our Second degree in terms of our twentieth century life, we might
to Preston's ideal of growth and development. Because we circumscribed
too closely and would not grow up with the world, we have not been the
force in the world that we ought to have been. Because we would not
accept the responsibilities
of an institution, as institutions must in Anglo-Saxon civilization, we
been accepted as an institution. We have been misunderstood,
our enemies have seized upon the opportunity to damn us, and because of
our apathy, and especially our disunity, we have furnished them
evidences of an
impotence contrary to what we have individually wanted to do, as men
and as a fraternity,
in harmony with our great fundamental principles. Will this new world
which is now
in the throes of birth countenance anything but efficient service in
the days to
come? Will a fraternity obligated to the advancement of human freedom
if it fails to measure up to its avowed standards? I doubt it.
fossilization are not to be in this new world. If you and I do not act
them, then a younger generation will do it for us. The great, crying
need of Masonry
today is for a faith like unto that of Zerubbabel, a great faith in
God, our country,
our people, and ourselves. A faith undaunted, which will make every
Mason work to
the utmost of his abilities, whatever his rank or station, for the
and establishment of Masonic principles. And that faith must permeate
us all, craftsmen
and Master alike, else we fail utterly to accomplish the destiny which
to be ours.
The war has
challenged our efficiency in more ways than one. Our deplorable
disunity was largely
responsible for the poor showing which we made in the welfare
activities for which
so much credit was claimed by other organizations. That some agency
hostile to us
was able to almost completely thwart our ambition to serve is largely
our own fault;
we had the numbers, but not the union in which lies strength.
was more than this at fault. The activities of the lodge are today
take too little account of civic duty, to which we are pledged in our
and concerning which our charges have so much to say. Had we been awake
to our civic
duties we should long since have evolved some sort of federation among
Lodges, so that in time of national emergency we might have acted as a
unit. But for the war I doubt very much whether we should have been
even now as
near to unity of thought and action as we are.
are not said to discourage. I make no plea for an advertising
department in Masonry.
The world at large already credits us with a far greater influence than
possess. The real need is within our fraternity. The real challenge to
us is that
we prove the worth of that fraternity. That we show cause why it should
to exist. The challenge may be issued by the soldier brother returning
fields. It may be issued by the world at large. Force of circumstance
and a disdain
for camouflage may cause us to issue it to ourselves. If we will but do
our problem is half solved. The cry of the hour in the nation is for
Leaders who will do things. Leaders who are so filled with inspiration
to the development of true citizenship ‒ for the sake of America! ‒
that they will
forget self and self-interest and work for the attainment of the ideal.
So it is
in Masonry. The Masonry which is real has a contribution of infinite
value to make
to America. It depends upon our leadership. The challenge to that
ought not to be made but once! If that leadership will not take up the
at a time when America and civilization itself need true defenders of
then it is time for a change of leaders.
The Wideness in the Temple -- [A Poem]
By Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
a wideness in the Temple like the wideness
of the sun
Where the things that hearts are craving may be sought, and found, and
Based upon earth's limitations, rising to the very skies
There is ample room within it for the normal heart supplies.
We may be ourselves therein, yet upon the Level meet
In a rest-room where the spirit finds a heart to heart retreat.
And it seems to me as time shall exact its tolls of men
That 'twill be the mystic chamber where the heart can say amen
To the things that it incloses as so needful for release
From the "wear and tear" of life to its doors enclosing peace.
It has been this in the past, but it may be that its Art
May be needed more and more as the "clearing house" of heart.
And what'er be its relation to economies of earth
There must be no narrowing of its sphere of soulful worth.
It is grand that to the temper of a jostling human race
There can be its home refinement and its moral, gentle grace
Where its own may in the vying for the noblest and the best
Glorify their hours within by a true refining test.
There's a wideness in the Temple like the wideness of the need
Of the hearts who may therein for its benedictions plead.
They may come from every station, from the world's work and its care
For its trusted, true evangel "carries on" as they should fare,
O, the Temple in its wideness has not yet its measure found,
But we know it rises high, and we know 'tis on the around
Time -- [An
James T. Duncan
T-ime turns the field in a
I-mplants the seed in the soil,
M-atures the head on the harvest,
E-ndows eternal thy toil.
T-ime molds the mind of the Mortal,
I-mmortal broods in its breast,
M-aternal Matrix of spirits,
E-vangil guest of the blest.
T-ime folds thy soul as a silkworm
I-nwrapt in silken cocoon,
M-ade stronger, longer by spinning
E-ach thread of silk in its loom.
T-ime breaks the door of the prison,
I-nspires a moth in a worm.
M-ay not thy soul gain its pinions
E-volved in Time and its term?
W-ilt thou thy treasure be counting?
I-n heart, in hand, and in brain
L-ies all thy world in a kernel;
L-ies all thy life in a grain.
T-hy toil, thy planting and tending
E-xpands the seed in thy soul,
L-ifts up thine eye to the harvest,
L-eads on thy feet to the goal.
of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing
that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving
each to stand
or fall by its own merits.
Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at
Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from
particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are
"Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be
answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
Council and Commandery Membership
in the United States
Can you give
the number of Royal and Select Masons (Council) and Knights exemplar
in the United States at the present time?
is shown in the following table prepared by Brother Albert K. Wilson,
of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, and published in the 1919 Proceedings of
and Rhode Island
Total General Grand Council subordinates
Total Grand Encampment subordinates
++ General Grand Council subordinate
Grand Encampment subordinate
See Massachusetts and Rhode Island
* * *
Number of Royal Arch Masons
in the United States
A few months
since you published statistics showing the number of subordinate lodges
of the several Grand Jurisdictions. Can you give us similar statistics
to Royal Arch Masonry?
figures are taken from the Proceedings of the General Grand Chapter of
States, which have just been issued:
* * *
of Petitioners for Chapter Degrees in Missouri
Is a Master
Mason who has not proved his proficiency in the Master Mason degree
petition for the Chapter degrees?
J. M. K., Missouri.
of the Grand Lodge of Missouri cannot reach beyond its jurisdiction nor
realm of another system. The requirement of proficiency is Missouri
of the Grand Chapter of Missouri prohibit the reception of a petition
for, or the
conferring of the Chapter degrees upon any one who is not at the time a
in good standing in a lodge. His Chapter petition must show the lodge
in which he
received the three degrees and also the lodge with which he is at the
and this petition must bear recommendation from two members of the
it is filed, stating that he is a Master Mason, worthy and well
qualified, and these
names are to go on the record. It is then ready for the committee of
which has a wide latitude but must make terse report. Determination of
except as above stated are with the committee and should be covered in
then subject to final determination in the ballot.
case where proficiency is required by provision of Grand Chapter law is
in the formation
of new Chapters, and this proficiency is relative to its own ritual.
decision of our Grand High Priest in 1917 answers a similar question in
Grand Secretary, Grand Royal Arch Chapter, Missouri.
* * *
Masonic Teachings in the
Works of Great Authors
of the following writers Freemasons: Emerson, Carlyle, Channing,
W. L. F., Ohio.
such a question as this with accuracy would demand months of careful
search through such of our records as we have so far indexed gives us
on the subject. It is needless to say, however, that any reader will
find much to
delight in in the writings of these great authors, and every Mason can
in their works that will help him as a Mason. Emerson's essay on
"Friendship" [Lib 1899] is an ever-enduring
Carlyle’s masterpiece, perhaps, is "Sartor Resartus" [Lib 1897]: it is a philosophy of human
life expressed in a majestic symbolism. Channing
was a preacher of a liberal faith; Holmes was an essayist and poet; as
and Tennyson every reader will immediately recall many poems in their
are not only interesting but helpful to those that have high ideals of
Masonry in Brazil
some literary light on Masonry in South America and France through
in the native tongues, I turned to Brother Cowles, Secretary General of
Council A. and A. S. R. for aid. I thought that if anybody could put me
on the scent
of the game I was pursuing he was the man.
I was somewhat
surprised to learn from him that there are no Masonic journals in
either the Spanish
states of the south or in France to which he could refer me. But he
sent me copies
of the "Boletin do Grande Oriente do Brazil" as the best he could do
me. And it is a plenty for the present.
I must say
that in this work I find, so far as that Grand Orient is concerned, all
that a searcher
for information could desire. The Bulletin, which records the
transactions of all
of the grand bodies of the republic, is a magazine of more than a
hundred and sixty
pages, full of news in condensed form. The minutes of proceedings are
clarity and brevity in combination.
in its contents for May, 1918, one of the copies received, give a fine
the activities and the spirit of our southern brothers, and those were
that I wanted to get at.
I am not minded to inflict on the readers of THE BUILDER any lengthy
on Brazilian Masonry. But I will say that in fraternal enthusiasm and
seems to me that they are in the front rank. They appear to do things.
many of the Chapters in the different states maintain educational
I believe something like forty are mentioned as being so maintained.
to offer translations of some paragraphs from the Council General of
of the ordinary session of May, 1918. These are selected at random for
Ganganelli do Rio, reporting that it had made a contribution of $300
amounts to in Brazilian coin) for the orphans of Brazilians who had
died in the
war, and asking the high powers of the Order to take into consideration
making an appeal to the officers of the Federation in regard to aiding
was adopted to contribute $200 for a special fund to mitigate the
wives and children of "soldiers of land and sea" who had gone to the
from the Portuguese Ambassador acknowledging receipt from the Secretary
of the Order of its congratulations on the brilliant behavior of the
army on the French front, and expression his great pleasure in the same.
from Cosmopolita Chapter, Belem, state of Para, stating that it
maintained a school
of more than sixty students, and had heretofore maintained a college of
a hundred and fifty students, and because it was in difficulties in
assessments, it asked that it be relieved of this payment. This request
to the Sovereign Assembly General, and we notice in the June number
that the Grand
Master ordered a reduction of fifty per cent of the amount of the
from the secretary of the Grand Master of Pernambuco a proposition to
as a measure of general order for the facilitating of the selection and
of candidates for initiation that a photograph of the applicant be
included in application.
This was referred to the Committee on Affairs General.
Acreana, reported that it had in its session of December 15, 1917,
resolved to institute
a prize for the student in the public schools of the Orient of Villa
should be most distinguished for diligence and deportment during the
year, the prize
to be a medal of gold named for "Dr. Belfort Teixeira," in honor of the
delegate of the Grand Master in the department of Tarauca, Acre.
with special appreciation."
from the secretary of Chapter Charitas, Minas, that on May 7 it had
the inauguration of a free school to be opened with ceremonies that
with special pleasure."
many articles on various Masonic topics, and notes on Masonry in other
and the several Rites.
A good discourse
on "The Influence of Masonry in the History of Para," delivered by Dr.
Archimimo Pereira Lima, governor of that state and director of its
also Grand Master, at the Institute begins thus:
to tell you first of all that I do not come to combat any religious
creeds nor philosophic
institutions, whatsoever they may be. I recognize the moral value of
its powerful influence for human betterment. Man is profoundly
religious when he
scrutinizes the secret of his own existence; when he sounds the
mysteries of his
own laborious life; when he searches the subtilities of his own soul,
the time more the need of a creed to explain to him the why of his own
Religions pass away, destroyed by the forces of reason and of science;
endures unchangeable. Monuments raised by creeds attest to future
religious conceptions of their predecessors. The pyramids of Egypt with
concealed from the profane, like the cathedrals of Catholic worship and
of the Mussulman, witness of other great religious ideas that mark
as efficacious agencies in civilization."
I may perhaps
as well explain in closing that Portuguese is not my native tongue, nor
have I ever
regularly studied it; and if some of the other brothers wish to branch
out in the
same way in their pursuits of light it will be well to do some work in
Mere difference in the language used has not much in it to frighten one
to get water from the spring rather than from the pond, and that is why
to get in touch with literature from the different countries.
D. Frank Peffley, Washington.
* * *
Shakespeare Once More
R. Wor. Bro.
Pickford in THE BUILDER for May has rather taken Bro. Clegg and myself
as asserting that William Shakespeare was a Mason. It would appear as
good brother rather overshot the mark and swallowed bait, hook, sinker
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in the
As I read Bro. Clegg's scholarly article, I nowhere find him asserting
was, or was not a Mason. "How much did he know of Masonry? We may
the inquiry by submitting such evidence as shows what he knew of things
and of practices
that especially concern Freemasons. Obviously these can be but
fragmentary and merely
suggestive." Again, referring to my own compilation of references, with
Brother Clegg opens his thesis, it may be noted that they are prefaced:
few pertinent paragraphs from the great Bard, bearing on words and
phrases in common
use among the Craft." If our learned Canadian brother will re-read the
in the February number, I rather think he will perceive that it deals
not so much
with the question used for its title, as to show how much the Craft had
from the pages of the great Master and how words and phrases in common
use in that
day have come down to us embodied in the work.
Freemasonry had been in existence long years before the days of
an operative Craft. Whether he was, or was not, familiar with, or if he
was an initiate,
is problematical. Certainly, however, much from his pages; more from
those of Bacon
and the Elizabethan literary lights; many fragments from the classics,
curious high-ways and by-ways have found lodgment with the speculative
value in such studies as Bro. Clegg's lies in the ability to place
one's self enrapport
with the era and the thought of the age that formed our present work,
attain unto a knowledge of the intent and meaning of our forms and
controversy has been productive of one result at least, namely, that
their age produced
a wonderful and general renewal of the study of scientific truths, and
common use of cyphers. Masonry is marked with the first indelibly. Is
that the ancient ritual contained a cypher equally as fascinating as
the one so
strenuously argued for and against, in the authorship of the works of
Henry F. Evans, Colorado.
* * *
A Theory Concerning the
Rite of Discalceation
satisfied with the monitorial explanation concerning the ceremony of
I have endeavored to find some more satisfactory allusion or reason for
and a few days ago came upon an idea that is now submitted to you for
what it is
worth. The idea was obtained from an old bible commentary brought from
by my grandfather.
was edited by a Congregational writer, D. Davidson, in 1842. In his
notes on Ruth
4:11 he claims "the plucking off the shoe was the outward sign of
or renunciation of all right to stand in the place of the deceased
As most students of the bible agree that the Book of Ruth is an
a custom long established among the Israelites, our drawing on other
books of the
bible is permissible. I would call attention to Deuteronomy 25:5-10
divers laws and ordinances are set forth. The reading of these verses
me that the closing chapter of the Book of Ruth is an illustration of
and customs. The act or transaction took place in the presence of the
the gates of the city, being then confirmed.
of the candidate in Masonry at this time seems to bear out the idea of
and renunciation, and such an interpretation likewise seems
appropriate. He has
resigned a renounced all privileges of a profane and, in a measure,
unregenerate penitent seeking forgiveness and admission into the
kingdom of God.
Samuel Barron, Illinois.
* * *
Is The Term "Oblong
Square" a Misnomer?
years I have been reading laborious efforts of many writers attempting
and apply the "oblong square," and to discuss learnedly and explain
lucidity, something which never existed and which, as I have studied
has no place in Masonry and is entirely foreign to the Entered
Apprentice and Fellow
In the article
entitled "Second Steps," page 3 of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin
section of THE BUILDER for May, the writer admits that "oblong square”
a contradiction terms. We might as well try to explain and elucidate a
I may have
studied the matter to no purpose, but if I have not been improperly
Masons in this part of the Old Commonwealth, the use of the proper
and scientifically correct, "The angle of an oblong," will clear up the
matter and render wholly unnecessary grave arguments attempting to
prove and account
for an impossibility.
is a square: an oblong is an oblong. Each has angles and all of them
are right angles,
but there never has been known an "oblong square" or a square oblong.
or approach, the perfect point of entrance, of an Entered Apprentice
and of a Fellow
Craft is "the angle of an oblong."
be so instructed.
H. Fisk, Kentucky.
wisdom is impossible.
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