Masonic Research Society
of the Masonic Overseas Mission
Bro. Geo. L. Schoonover, P. G. M., Iowa
the most significant and far reaching
occurrence of the conference at Cedar Rapids was the report of the
in which Judge Scudder, a Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, and
a most scholarly
and forward looking brother, recited to those present the details of
with the government looking to the fraternity being recognized as one
of the official
agencies engaged in welfare work among the men of the army and navy
Masonry of the United States was so recognized by the War Department,
in which it proposed to engage were approved, and everything was
in the pathway of service along which we desired to travel, until some
disclosed by name in the report of the Overseas Mission, by some
blocked our way. No reasons were given which would stand the test of
fair and unbiased
analysis. Certain officials stated that "the Masonic fraternity had
victim of a series of circumstances." The Mission was refused passports
go to France and engage in this work as an independent, recognized
a series of long negotiations the Overseas
Mission was accepted by the Y. M. C. A. as a part of their welfare
machine on foreign
soil. They, too, approved the desire and ambition expressed by our
passports were applied for by them for our five Overseas Commissioners
to go as
Y. M. C. A. secretaries, the basis of their work when they reached
been mutually agreed upon.
application for passports remained pigeonholed
in Washington for seven weeks without a reply. Then Judge Scudder,
impatient at the delay went to Washington to ascertain the cause. He
the passports were to be denied. In making the application for
of the intended purpose of the Overseas Mission to engage in Masonic
had been covered up everything was frank and aboveboard. Without doubt
it was for
this reason that the applications were held up, and were about to be
Scudder had several copies of the Overseas Mission's report with him,
for by this
time it had been distributed to the several Grand Jurisdictions in
He read considerable portions of it, notably those which argued the
case as it appeared
to the Mission, to certain governmental officials. The results followed
with miraculous rapidity. Within an hour from the time Judge Scudder
reading this report, the passports were forthcoming, and the Mission
was able to
sail. In fact, so illuminating had been the arguments and reasons set
forth in support
of our Masonic contentions for practically a year and a half prior to
that the Mission was informed that if it so desired it might sail as an
agency, but because the Mission had given its word to the Y. M. C. A.,
could not, of course, be availed of. To have done so would have meant
to break faith
with the "Y."
Overseas Mission sailed the week of February
6, 1919, more than a year and a half after their original intention,
and part of
them returned to New York on May 5, 1919. For the following summary of
and activities I am indebted to Brother Scudder, chairman of the
Mission, who recently
made an exhaustive report at the Grand Lodge of New York. Unfortunately
now give this report in his own language, and must for the sake of
in a few paragraphs his most illuminating survey of the conditions
which they found
and the steps which they took to have Masonry play its part.
knew the fraternity in America to be aggrieved
because it had not been allowed to participate as it had been promised
that it should
do, because that permission had been in effect withdrawn. They only
our soldier brethren on the other side had longed for them to come,
that they did not come, and, finally, felt that they had been neglected
They had joined Masonry for its high aspirations and ideals; they felt
had not been lived up to, and so far as their knowledge went in the
could only feel that the neglect was due to indifference. When,
therefore, our Overseas
Mission arrived in France they found our boys in khaki cold. From their
it seemed that, the Mission having sailed when the seas were safe, it
insult to the injury, or else gave ground for an indictment of
cowardice. They were
homesick, these boys. They had had no Masonry to lean upon except that
own construction, and they were not in a mood to come home and feel
that the Masonry
which they left behind was the same Masonry that they had conceived it
to be. The
Mission found them filled with but one idea, that of coming home, and
coming sore at heart, disappointed, and critical of the fraternity.
the difficulties of travel, of delayed
mails, of military discipline, of some opposition in government
circles, of convincing
the overseas supervisors of the Y. M. C. A. of the value of the work
which the Mission
had in view, they were able, after five or six weeks of what seemed
accomplishment, to begin to make some headway. In time they were able
to reach the
hearts of the boys and convince them that the reason for Masonry's
the welfare activities on foreign soil was not one of choice. They
showed them how
and why it had been deemed unwise by some governmental officials to let
us go, and
that those officials seemed to have the power to keep us at home. The
of the Y. M. C. A., at first incredulous and skeptical, came after a
while to see
that the proposed work was worthwhile, and the attendance upon Masonic
which they finally permitted in the "Y" huts generally proved to them
the desire on the part of Masons for the Masonic fellowship which had
denied them. The meetings became enthusiastic. The clubs formed, and
more than sixty of them, mounted to thousands in membership, and the
taxed the capacity of the huts. Once the Masons in khaki understood the
the Mission had to tell, they became once more the firm and
enthusiastic and proud
supporters of the Masonic fraternity which they had been when at home.
Y. M. C. A. realized fully how catering to the desire of Masons to meet
level helped to revive its own usefulness in a considerable degree,
they lent their
full influence to these new and long-denied activities. The personnel
of the Mission
was splendid. Their morale was high, their self-sacrifice complete.
they had none, but they carried the great message of Masonry all over
the occupied portion of Germany. They went into Belgium and Flanders
likewise, and their reception was a tribute indeed to the at last
desire of the Masons of America.
a private interview, Judge Scudder gave his
conclusions as to the value of the work, somewhat after the following
was pitiful to see how little the boys
needed to make them happy. They organized their clubs and did business,
as a rule,
as nearly in accordance with lodge practice as they could. The very
their meetings to those to which they were accustomed in the lodges at
to make them happy. Small entertainments were sufficient. The
opportunity for an
unrestricted Masonic fellowship was what they craved. Gathered together
quarters of the United States, they found infinite joy in merely
under the club auspices, and spent the next to the last minute of their
in this way. All that was needed was a semblance of the Masonic
they loved, and their hearts responded in an atmosphere of fellowship
the simplest kind of a meeting a unanimous success.
had some opposition at times much of
it. But after the preliminary weeks of waiting were over, we found that
we had made
some substantial progress toward the perfection of our plans. We did
not do what
we had covenanted with the Y. M. C. A. to do go over and assume
certain huts at our own expense, under their supervision. We did not do
we were asked not to do so. The "Y" found in our plan of club
a wiser course, and were generous enough to accept it, in fact to adopt
on their own motion, assume much of the expense of it, because they
found that it
was a real addition to their own activities, and was helping materially
cause. They became convinced that the Masonic fraternal tie was the
binding men of the fraternity together the best tie there is. At first
our efforts with misgiving, but they became convinced, and were finally
so far won
over as to feel that the adoption of our designs was a substantial
entire work was conducted in behalf
of the Masonry of the United States. No state in particular was
brother was welcomed, no matter where he hailed from. And the Masonic
coming home, convinced that the fraternity had a real desire to serve,
that it was
prevented from serving in the first instance by opposition which was
able to control
the governmental policy. They are coming home convinced of the good
effects of the
fraternity. They appreciate our stand in persisting until we could get
even though we were compelled to forego our desire to do so as an
Our fraternity will not be on the defensive before them as they come
will not be bitter they will understand the obstacles which we had to
and by the manner of our overcoming them, which they now appreciate,
they are convinced
that through it all our hearts were with them. They are proud of their
Contrast this with the opinion they held of it when they believed that
been forgotten and there had been those who had not neglected to remind
it and you will have some appreciation of the value of the mission.
work may have succeeded in measuring up to our own desires, we may be
our soldier brethren now know why we did not get to France sooner, and
why we had to come as we did come, in the garb of another agency.
delivery of this message has cost
the fraternity in the United States not more than $15,000 expended
overseas up to
date; if the work is continued for a year, it will cost us, under the
circumstances under which we now work, not to exceed a total of perhaps
amount. Is it not worth it?"
Large Lodge Question
Bro. A. G. Pitts. Secretary Palestine Lodge, Michigan
IT is possible, though this might not be suspected, to treat
of the question of large
lodges in a way to bring out some really illuminating points. I shall
the various heads of such a discussion.
The Why of Large Lodges
is noteworthy that they begin in and are
usually confined to cities which have, beside lodges, chapters,
shrine, a grotto and a full complement of Scottish Rite bodies. The
a few lodges which do not meet all this competition but the most of it.
is a little less keen not much, because if they have no shrine and no
still those bodies exist in near-by cities and divide the interest and
of their members in only a slightly less degree. For the rest those
grown large in imitation or in rivalry of the large lodges of the other
lodges in America are the result of the
excess of Masonic bodies in America. If a city lodge has 300 active
workers in Masonry,
250 of them will be active chiefly in Commandery, Shrine, Grotto,
or Chapter. Fifty active workers is hardly too many for a lodge. To
have that many
the lodge needs 300 who are active in some branch of Masonry. To have
300 who are
at all active in any branch of Masonry she must have at least 1800
members on her
roll. Ergo, the smallest number suitable for a Masonic lodge in a large
city is 1800.
about the five-sixths of inactive members?
One-sixth will be non-residents. One-sixth will be men who by reason of
taste or of ability never became active and never would have done so
had joined a large lodge or a small one. One-third will be those who
have been active
but have ceased to be so, and, in the large cities which we are
will be men who never cared for the lodge and never expected to, but
who used the
lodge only to get into the "higher" bodies.
is proper to consider the wishes of these
men. Which will they prefer: to belong to the ideal small lodge or to
one which by reason of its size and its consequent activities has a
perhaps a national, perhaps even an international reputation?
What Is a Small Lodge
Masons have no notion. I have never
known a small lodge in any American city. Those that have few members
are in that
situation because they are just out of the Grand Master's hands. All
have the intent
and purpose of growing large. They are already large lodges in intent
in heterogeneity, in point of view.
can see great good in a really small lodge
and great good in a really large lodge. I can see no good in one
betwixt and between.
And, unfortunately, that is the situation of nine-tenths of our city
all the distinguished Masons who took part in the symposium in the June
THE BUILDER speak of the virtue there is in the close fellowship of
Have they stopped to think? There will be just as many cliques and
as many divergences of taste and sympathy, in a lodge of 100 members,
lodges are constituted, as in one of 3,000. The cliques and circles
will be smaller,
that is all, and consequently more injurious. The man of education and
tastes and habits of mind will seek the society of his kind. He may
find them in
the lodge of 3,000. He almost certainly will not in the American lodge
of 100 members.
brings me back to my question, "What
is a small lodge?" The answer is: It is a lodge of men who have similar
and interests and habits of thought and who come together for that
reason. If a
lodge is a cross-section of the community no one member will take a
and abiding interest in every other member whether the lodge has 100 or
Lodge Quatuor Coronati is the typical small
lodge. I need not describe it. Years ago I read of the organization of
a lodge to
be confined to the clergy connected with St. Paul's Cathedral in
genuine small lodge.
demand is made that Grand Lodges shall legislate
against large lodges. But the large American lodges are the result of
Lodge innovations. First, the excess of Masonic bodies to which I have
and which has been promoted by grand lodge legislators if not by grand
Second, by the law, almost universal in America, that a man may belong
to but one
lodge. Do you suppose that I, a member of the largest lodge in the
not also belong to one of the smallest if I were allowed to do so? One
organized on the basis of a similarity of tastes and avocations (mark,
and intellectual interests.
Englishman who devoted as much attention
to Masonry as I have done would belong to at least four lodges. One
because it was
his father's lodge and he was made in it. A second because it was
devoted to the
study of Masonry. A third, because he would meet there the men to whom
give and from whom he could receive the most useful ideas along his
line of thought
and activity. And so on. Nor in any one would four-fifths of the
members be running
after "higher bodies," they being practically non-existent in all parts
of the British Empire except Canada which is contaminated by her
nearness to the
United States. Say as much as you like in praise of the British system
lodges but don't talk about small lodges for this country. The time is
for them in the United States.
small lodge is one essentially small and that
would always and in any event be small because however broad a man may
be his real
intimates will always be few. A small lodge in America is small only
has not yet grown large. It will, with its fifty members, already have
men and illiterates, men that read books, men that read magazines, men
nothing but newspapers and men that read nothing at all. They will all
another well, say your writers. No doubt and that is the reason why
they will avoid
one another and the lodge. Where do you find the dry rot, the
inactivity, the somnolence?
Where does the situation arise where one circle will blackball every
one of a certain
other circle so that no one can be elected and the lodge is at a
in the villages where there can be but one lodge, and accordingly even
sort of selection cannot take effect which takes place in any city
where there are
as many as half a dozen lodges.
accepted answer to the famous question,
"Is life worth living?" is: "It depends upon the individual."
That is also the answer to the question, "Is a large lodge justifiable?"
confess I know of but one large lodge which
has justified its existence. No doubt there are others but I have not
know them and I know many of the other kind. But if there is only one
(and that the largest of all) which has worked out the excuses and the
its numbers, that is enough. It proves the possibility of a solution.
It kills all
excuse for legislating against large numbers. Let the other large
They will learn.
lodge of 3,000 members is without excuse or
reason for existence if it is conducted just as it was when it had 300
Three thousand members bring new problems which must be solved.
bring new possibilities which must be taken advantage of.
have been secretary of Palestine Lodge for
27 years and have known her intimately when she had 200 members and
when she had
3,200 and at every stage between.
I quote from the June "Fraternal Forum":
Hamilton says: "It is a practically
universal rule that the smaller the membership the larger percentage of
attend the meetings."
Lodge, then, is the exception. She
will have an attendance of 600 next Friday. Two hundred take lunch
together in the
lodge house every day, not always the same 200 by any means. Fifteen
mostly members and their ladies will take the annual evening boat ride
June 18, if the experience of past years is any criterion. She is
planning a dinner
for next fall to honor her 500 returned soldiers and she thinks it
find a room where 2,000 can sit together and be served.
are never 600 members in her lodge room
at one time but she has learned that presence in her house is the
continuous presence in her lodge room.
Bro. Street: "A better camaraderie
will be obtained and preserved" (in the small lodge). I defy him to
a lodge (in the United States) where there is more solidarity, more
more intimacy than in Palestine.
initiations are so numerous as they
must be in large lodges little or no time is left for the development
of the social
or study side of Masonry."
the contrary in Palestine Lodge the social
side is being developed every day and for an average of 10 hours every
of a few minutes in the intervals of work twice a month. How can you
beat the social
effect of having 200 take lunch together every day and an average of
together every day?
dear brother, if your lodge is large enough
the social side will be developed while the work is going on. Next
Friday in Palestine
Lodge at a certain time there will be 300 men listening to after-
and music in Palestine's large dining room, fifty more dining with
ladies in the
small dining rooms, fifty carrying on the work in Palestine's lodge
more playing together in other parts of the house cards, billiards,
talking or reading in other parts of the house, many of them in the
room in company with ladies and fifty more coming and going.
one can fix his eyes upon his vest and figure
out exactly how Palestine Lodge is run. But the information is not hard
at. Lacking the information, one need not assume that she is run just
like the lodge
which meets twice a month. Palestine meets formally twice a week but
she keeps open
house all the time every day from 11 a. m. to 11 p. m.
one guiding principle of Palestine Lodge
is that a lodge of 3,000 must not be run like one of 300. If you try to
Palestine Lodge, as fast as pictures arise before you of the ways of
the lodge you
know, discard them one by one. Palestine is different. That is her
If she resembled in any particular the lodge she was when she had 300
would condemn her.
every large lodge the proper caution
in admitting members can not be observed."
jurisdiction is the city of Detroit, covering,
perhaps 100 square miles. We find it necessary to keep two card
catalogues one of
which is arranged by wards and districts and streets. It is very hard
for any man
to find a decent place to live in Detroit where he will not have a
on each side of him within two blocks. Those two members will be on his
Would the situation be improved if we had 100 members, one to each
a difference there always is between theory
and experience. In fact we find it easier to appoint suitable and
as the lodge grows. From this point of view 3,000 is the smallest
number that can
properly cover a city of the size of Detroit. Nevertheless we are true
to the principle
to do nothing as we did when we were 300 strong. I cannot stop on
details but having
a big house of our own we can and do insist on applicants coming down
there to be
looked over before being balloted upon.
have no time for addresses," etc.,
says Bro. Adams. I refer to what I have said concerning after dinner
have them twice a month and a notable speaker each time. We can give
an audience worthy of him.
Carson asks: "Can a member of such
a lodge know all the others?" Of course not. How did the idea ever
that is necessary? But I venture to say that there is not a man in
today who does not know more members of Palestine Lodge than I knew a
I was first elected secretary when she had 200 members and I had been a
way to get the members acquainted is to
give them a beautiful big home where they can and do eat together, play
read together and talk together for twelve hours every day, and six
days every week.
But you must have 3,000 members before you can establish such a home.
home represents an investment of $185,000.00.
him the opportunity of spending a
social hour with his friends." We give him the opportunity seventy-two
of every week.
Schoonover says the large lodge is negligent
on funeral occasions. Our attendance at funerals is entirely
satisfactory if we
are given time to send notices and not unbecoming in any case. We
to go sixty miles to bury a brother last month and got them all by
we have had to change our methods in this matter as in every other. We
bury a larger
proportion of our dead than we did when we had 300 members. Here is a
text for a
separate article but I must hasten along.
confer 900 degrees a year and nobody sweats
a hair. How can we do it? Another article is called for. As in every
we have changed our ways since the time when we had 300 members. But I
deny that there has arisen any tendency to slight or neglect the work
in any particular.
have not enough officers, and do not make
as many past masters as we ought. This is true but it is an argument
off restrictions instead of for putting on new ones. We have invented
half a dozen
ways of making half a dozen past masters a year but Grand Lodge will
it would take another article to tell about
the advantages which Palestine Lodge secures from her large numbers. It
may be that
she is the only one on earth that does secure all these advantages.
That is the
fault of the individual lodges, not of the system.
it be once more stated and emphasized that
there is no excuse for the existence of a large lodge unless it secures
which large numbers can give.
me simply catalogue a few of those advantages:
1. The Palestine Lodge House, a cozy,
economical club where lunch is served every noon and dinner every
night. It comprises
a large dining room, two small dining rooms, billiard rooms, card
rooms, a reading
room, ladies' drawing room, ladies' sitting room, a ball room, a lodge
It is open every day except Sunday. The lodge meets twice a week at 5
p. m. The
members come to lodge from their work. They meet their wives there and
together. While the men are at lodge the ladies entertain one another.
they played bridge. During the war they did an enormous amount of war
in the Lodge House. The dining room does a business of $3,000 a month.
can be estimated how many meals are sold. Before the war there was a
in the ballroom twice a month at least. And yet they tell us that large
cultivate the social side! I dare assert that nothing less than a large
properly cultivate social features.
The Palestine Lodge
House represents an investment of about $185,000.00. There are
$40,000.00 of bonds. They could easily be taken up within the next
It is likely that they will not be, but when $40,000.00 is accumulated
will be issued and an addition built. Plans have been made for a
feet and ten stories high. This, it is estimated, will cost about
lot is 100x130. Some day (possibly very soon,) it will all be covered
with a new
building. At least two parties are negotiating with us now. One
proposition is for
a hotel twenty-one stories high, 100x130 feet, of which the lodge would
floors from the third to the seventh inclusive
2. Prestige. See the last sentence.
Anyone would be proud to be in partnership with Palestine Lodge. This
Detroit. But Palestine Lodge has an international reputation. It is not
that a Mason who was making a trip from New Zealand to England so
planned it that
he could stop off to visit Palestine Lodge. On the other hand your
about large lodges (including Palestine) knowing nothing and caring
less as to what
they (Palestine) are really like.
3. The Palestine Bulletin, a twenty-page
monthly which also has an international reputation and which while
the activities of Palestine Lodge has frequently printed original
to the best of Masonic literature anywhere.
4. Zeal and devotion. A hundred illustrations
could be given. Few ever quit. An average of ten a year are suspended
and ten a
year dimitted. That would be in the same proportion as one of each a
year for a
lodge of 300 members. One of your wise men said that in the large lodge
soon get tired and "resign." Of course he knows. What does he mean?
For many years the
Palestine men in Chicago have maintained "The Palestine Club of
The members take lunch together every Friday at Marshall Field’s store
Where is your small lodge that can grip men like that?
5. The Palestine Directory. A book
of 200 pages giving the name, number, business address, residence
number, and date of membership of all the members. Also arranged as to
A Palestine man hardly dares buy anything without consulting this
Palestine is notorious for solidarity. It is made a reproach to her.
6. The Palestine Button. Smaller lodges
have Lodge buttons but not until you have 3,000 members are they
make one another's acquaintance in China by the fact that both wear the
7. Adequacy for any good work. We sent
the tuberculosis sanitarium $400.00 the other day. We raised thousands
for war relief work. The Palestine Lodge House Red Cross section was
one of the
best in the city. We were used as a headquarters on the occasion of a
welcome to a returning regiment. We spent $600.00 on Christmas boxes
for our soldiers
in France. We have published the names and details of the service of
our 500 soldiers
in a thirty-page book. We are looking after several orphans and
widows. Masonic homes would be unnecessary if all lodges were like
of course, home relief is better and cheaper than institutional relief.
8. We can look after our members almost
anywhere. We have twenty in Los Angeles, forty in Chicago, twenty in
twenty-five in New York, and so on. When a non-resident member is sick
or in double
we notify members of his own lodge in his own town to look after him.
9. Dignity. Hardly anyone in Palestine
Lodge fancies that the lodges exist only to make men eligible to the
bodies." Indeed we have almost killed that idea in Detroit. The newer
of Masons do not even realize that such used to be the feeling in
Detroit as it
is yet in most cities. Perhaps it is not worth noting but it is a fact
Mason that objects to large lodges is a higher degree man. Also that
Rite bodies, the Shrine and the Grotto find profit in limiting the
number of their
bodies and exaggerating their size. If these brethren would say frankly
preference for small lodges is due to the sentiment that they do not
want the lodges
to equal in dignity and influence the Consistories and the Shrine their
would be reasonable at least. A natural objection would be an
improvement on those
thus far expressed which are all artificial and laboriously
of your writers speaks of the great success
of the Shrine and makes that an argument for small lodges. It is a
wonder that he
did not say that the success of the Shrine is due to the small size of
The one in Chicago, for example, has not to exceed 15,000 members. But
it is growing!
stop solely out of regard for your space.
What I have written is so composed that there are joints which are not
and which look like flaws. Let them be pointed out by others. I am
willing to come
there be such a thing in America as a Masonic
writer or a Masonic official who is sincerely devoted to the good of
the lodges), that man when he knows Palestine Lodge will hail her plan
as a new and useful invention, the harbinger of a new era in American
remedy for the worst faults of American Masonry.
The Handclasp of the
-- [A Poem]
Bro. L. B. Mitchell,
never know what life is,
But we know that it is love,
In a world where so much strife is
That alone can merit prove.
There's no moral realm above it,
'Tis the qualifying plane,
Man is glorified to love it
'Tis his limit to attain.
Human Love, "head of the corner"
In the alchemy of man,
Is the real and chief adorner
Of all others in the plan,
Love of virtue, love of beauty,
Love of all things as a whole
In their glorious unity
Makes for quality of Soul.
There is not of earth, a mortal
That behind a creed can hide,
Love alone leads to the portal
There realities abide.
Love, the scandalized for ages
By negation's formal role
Waits to fold their tell-tale pages
In the handclasp of the soul.
in the Army
Bro. G. A. Kenderdine, Iowa
SCHOOL OF FIRE at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, probably
brought together as representative a body of college men among the
officers as has ever been assembled in the United States. Practically
institution was represented, and during the early autumn of 1918 a
College register was established at the desk of the School of Fire
the hope of uniting various college and fraternity men, who were
enlisted in, or
on the staff of, or students in the Artillery Training School. No
effort was made
to canvass the school for registration. A small notice on the officers'
board, and another in the "Y" was all the publicity that was given the
matter. The register lay on the desk under the notice of all who
desired to open
it. From the appearance of its pages and from the comments of those who
fraternity brothers or graduates or students of the same colleges
through its pages,
the register was well worth the little effort in its making.
colleges and universities were represented
by 272 students registered, and 42 fraternities were represented by 296
The apparent discrepancy in the figures is accounted for by the fact
that a number
of the fraternities being professional, permitted duplicate membership.
by no means the largest of national
fraternities numerically, the Acacia had the largest number of men
being 19, with a representation of 14 chapters. This data was largely
the efforts and pains of R. G. Buzzard, 2nd Lieutenant Signal Corps, an
of Chicago Acacia. As soon as Brother Buzzard had noted these names he
of the brothers and called an informal meeting at the Y.W.C.A. Hostess
was largely attended and another meeting was arranged for a few days
later in the
nature of a six o'clock dinner, followed by a theater party, which was
of the men present at the dinner were able
to appear for the group photograph, though one or two, as is usually
the case, were
detained by duty. It is a matter of considerable pride and satisfaction
that so representative a gathering could be assembled, and it speaks
the fraternal is impulses as well as the caliber of Acacia men. Each
one of these
men, with the exception of the writer, was either a commissioned
officer in the
U. S. Army, or a student in the Aviation Corps, who was later to obtain
and had therefore added to their threefold Acacia selection still
another mark of
few days after the picture was taken the demobilization
order scattered these men far and wide, but the memory of the Fort Sill
will not soon fade, and furnishes one of the happiest episodes of these
responsibilities to our wounded are not
yet over. The Red Cross acts as the people's intermediary. Debarkation
in the large cities adjacent to ports are crowded to capacity and base
are continually increasing their facilities to care for the wounded who
with every ship.
of the greatest needs that presents itself
in hastening the recovery of these boys is proper recreation. Deprived
of the natural
physical ability to seek relaxation they are dependent for mental
the pleasures that are brought to them.
Red Cross has planned out a program of social
and physical recreation suited to the needs of these recovering boys,
to encourage that spirit of cheerfulness which is so great a factor in
and sports have been arranged for under
the department of Military Relief, through the Recreational Committees.
are suited to the individual needs of every type of patient. They
include film shows,
high class vaudeville entertainments, concerts, educational lectures
and such games
and sports as may be indulged in by recovering patients. An important
this department is the Bureau of Musical Activities, and many have been
of band instruments, music, and offers of service from music houses,
teachers, who are lending their help in gratifying the desire not only
to hear but
to create good music that lies in the hearts of our boys. One of the
to this service has been in the donation by different teachers of a
of hours each week to provide instruction in the hospitals.
so, to the question" Now that the war
is done is the Red Cross work over?" we answer "No, not only is it not
over but what has been done is but a beginning." With past experiences
on and the future needs so plain to our sight, we point down the long
and say with hope, confidence and the joy of service, "the work of the
Cross goes on."
Catholic Treatise on Masonry
The Catholic Encyclopedia
V – Organization and Statistics
characteristic feature of the organization
of speculative Masonry is the Grand Lodge system founded in 1717. Every
Grand Lodge or Supreme Council in the Scottish, or Grand Orient in the
constitutes a supreme independent body with legislative, judicial, and
powers. It is composed of the lodges or inferior bodies of its
jurisdiction or of
their representatives regularly assembled and the grand officers whom
A duly constituted lodge exercises the same powers but in a more
The indispensable officers of a lodge are the Worshipful Master (French
German Meister vom Stuhl), the Senior and Junior Warden, and the Tiler.
and the wardens are usually aided by two deacons and two stewards for
and convivial work and by a treasurer and a secretary. Many lodges have
for religious ceremonies and addresses. The same officers in large
numbers and with
sounding titles (Most Worshipful Grand Master, Sovereign Grand
exist in the Grand Lodges. As the expenses of the members are heavy,
persons can afford to join the fraternity. The number of candidates is
by prescriptions regarding their moral, intellectual, social, and
and by a regulation which requires unanimity of votes in secret
balloting for their
admission. Thus, contrary to its pretended universality, Freemasonry
be a most exclusive society, the more so as it is a secret society,
closed off from
the profane world of common mortals. "Freemasonry," says the "Keystone"
of Philadelphia (Chr., 1885, I, 259), "has no right to be popular. It
secret society. It is for the few, not the many, for the select, not
for the masses."
Practically, it is true, the prescriptions concerting the intellectual
endowments are not rigorously obeyed. "Numbers are being admitted …
object is to make their membership a means for advancing their
(Chr., 1881, I, 6). "There are a goodly number again, who value
solely for the convivial meetings attached to it." "Again I have heard
men say openly, that they had joined to gain introduction to a certain
individuals as a trading matter and that they were forced to do so
did so. Then there is the great class who join it out of curiosity or
somebody in a position above them is a Mason." "Near akin to this is
class of individuals who wish for congenial society" (Chr., 1884, II,
"In Masonry they find the means of ready access to society, which is
to them by social conventionalities. They have wealth but neither by
birth nor education
are they eligible for polite and fine intercourse." "The shop is never
absent from their words and deeds." "The Masonic body includes a large
number of publicans" (Chr., 1885, I, 259), etc., etc.
the Masonic rule brotherly love, relief,
and truth certainly the two former, especially as understood in the
sense of mutual
assistance in all the emergencies of life, is for most of the
candidates the principal
reason for joining. This mutual assistance, especially symbolized by
the five points
of fellowship and the "grand hailing sign of distress" in the third
is one of the most fundamental characteristics of Freemasonry. By his
oath the Master
Mason is pledged to maintain and uphold the five points of fellowship
in act as
well as in words, i.e., to assist a Master Mason on every occasion
his ability, and particularly when he makes the sign of distress. In
Ritual" (229), the Royal Arch-Mason even swears: "I will assist a
R. A.-Mason, when I see him engaged in any difficulty and will espouse
so as to extricate him from the same whether he be right or wrong." It
fact attested by experienced men of all countries that, wherever
Masonry is influential,
non-Masons have to suffer in their interests from the systematical
Masons give each other in appointment to offices and employment. Even
und Erinnerungen, 1898, I, 302 sq.[Lib*]) complained of the effects of
mutual Masonic assistance, which is detrimental alike to civic equality
and to public
interests. In Masonic books and magazines unlawful and treacherous
in rendering this mutual assistance, are recommended and praised as a
glory of Freemasonry.
"The inexorable laws of war themselves," says the official orator of
Grand Orient de France, Lefebvre d'Aumale (Solstice, 24 June, 1841,
62), "had to bend before Freemasonry, which is perhaps the most
of its power. A sign sufficed to stop the slaughter; the combatants
threw away their
arms, embraced each other fraternally and at once became friends and
their oaths prescribed," and the "Handbuch," 3rd ed., II, 109,
"this sign has had beneficial effect, particularly in times of war,
often disarms the bitterest enemies, so that they listen to the voice
and give each other mutual assistance instead of killing each other"
Freemason, Lond., 1901, 181; Clavel, 288 sqq.; Ragon, "Cours," 164;
191, No. 10; "Handbuch," 2nd ed., II, 451 sqq.). Even the widely spread
suspicion, that justice is sometimes thwarted and Masonic criminals
saved from due
punishment, cannot be deemed groundless. The said practice of mutual
is so reprehensible that Masonic authors themselves (e. g., Krause,
ibid., 2nd ed.,
I, 2, 429; Marbach, "Frei-maurer-Gelübde," 22-35) condemn it severely. "If," says Bro.
(23), "Freemasonry really could be an association and even a secret one
men of the most different ranks of society, assisting and advancing
it would be an iniquitous association, and the police would have no
duty than to exterminate it."
characteristic of Masonic law is that
"treason" and "rebellion" against civil authority are declared
only political crimes, which affect the good standing of a brother no
heresy, and furnish no ground for a Masonic trial (Mackey,
509 [Lib 1872). The
importance which Masonry attaches
to this point is manifest from the fact that it is set forth in the
Article II of
the "Old Charges," which defines the duties of a Freemason with respect
to the State and civil powers. Compared with the corresponding
injunction of the
"Gothic" constitutions of operative masonry, it is no less ambiguous
Article I concerning God and religion. The old Gothic Constitutions
"Also you shall be true liegemen to the King without treason or
that you shall know no treason but you mend it, if you may, or else
warn the King
or his council thereof" (Thorp, Ms., 1629, A. Q. C., XI, 210;
1900, A. Q. C., XI, 22; Hughan, "Old Charges" [Lib 1872). The second article
of modern speculative Freemasonry
(1723) runs: "Of the civil magistrates, supreme and subordinate. A
a peaceable subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works,
and is never
to be concerned in Plots and Conspiracies against the peace and welfare
of the Nation,
nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates; for as
Masonry hath always
been injured by War, Bloodshed and Confusion so ancient Kings and
Princes have been
much disposed to encourage the craftsmen, because of their
Peaceableness and Loyalty,
whereby they practically answer'd the Cavils of their adversaries and
Honour of Fraternity, whoever flourished in Times of Peace. So that if
should be a Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanc'd in
however he may be pitied as an unhappy man; and, if convicted of no
though the loyal Brotherhood must and ought to disown his Rebellion,
and give no
Umbrage or Ground of political Jealousy to the Government for the time
cannot expel him from the Lodge and his Relation to it remains
rebellion by modern speculative Masonry
is only disapproved when plots are directed against the peace and
welfare of the
nation. The brotherhood ought to disown the rebellion, but only in
order to preserve
the fraternity from annoyance by the civil authorities. A brother,
of rebellion cannot be expelled from the lodge; on the contrary, his
are particularly obliged to have pity on his misfortune when he (in
prison or before
the courts) has to suffer from the consequences of his rebellion, and
give him brotherly
assistance as far as they can. Freemasonry itself as a body is very
loyal, but it does not disapprove; on the contrary, it commends those
through love of freedom and the national welfare successfully plot
and other despotic rulers, while as an association of public utility it
and protection through kings, princes, and other high dignitaries for
of its peaceful work. "Loyalty to freedom," says Chr., 1875, I, 81,
all other considerations- The wisdom of this regulation, remarks Mackey
510, note 1), "will be apparent when we consider, that if treason or
were Masonic crimes, almost every Mason in the United Colonies, in
1776, would have
been subject to expulsion and every Lodge to a forfeiture of its
warrant by the
G. LL. of England and Scotland, under whose jurisdiction they were at
misleading adage is "once a Mason always
a Mason." This is often taken to mean that "the Masonic tie is
that there is no absolution from its consequences (Chr-, 1885, I, 161)
(Chris 1889, II, 58), that not even death can sever the connexion of a
Freemasonry (Chr., 1883, II, 331)- But certainly a Mason has the "right
demission (Mackey, "Jurisprudence," 232 sq. [Lib 1872]), and this right,
whatever be the opinion of
Masonic jurisprudences according to the inalienable natural rights of
to a complete withdrawal not only from the lodge but also from the
In the scale of Masonic penalties, expulsion" is the most severe
514 sqq- )- Besides those who have been expelled or have resigned there
"unaffiliated Masons who have ceased to be "active" members of a
lodge, but, according to Masonic law, which, of course, can oblige no
is authorized by the general rules of morality, they remain subject to
within the Jurisdiction of which they reside.
to unity, Masonic authorities unanimously
affirm that Freemasonry throughout the world is one, and that all
in reality but one lodge; that distinct lodges exist only for the sake
and that consequently every regular Mason is entitled to be received in
lodge of the world as a brother, and, if in distress, to be relieved.
The good understanding
among Masons of different countries is furthered by personal
intercourse and by
correspondence, especially between the grand secretary offices and
congresses (Paris, 1889; Antwerp, 1894; Hague, 1896; Paris, 1900;
Brussels, 1904; Rome, intended for Oct., 1911) which led to the
1903, of a permanent international office at Neuchatel, Switzerland
II, 119). There is no general Grand Lodge or direction of Freemasonry,
attempts have been made in nearly every larger state or country to
Incessant dissensions between Masonic systems and bodies are
characteristic of Freemasonry
in all countries and times. But the federative unity of Freemasonry
prove a true solidarity among Masons and Masonic bodies throughout the
the charge of complicity in the machinations which some of them carry
on. This solidarity
is openly avowed by Masonic authorities. Pike, for instance, writes
1885, VII, 29): "When the journal in London which speaks of the
of the G. L. of England, deprecatingly protested that the English
innocent of the charges preferred by the Papal Bull (Encycl. 1884 [Lib 1884]) against
Freemasonry, when it declared that English
Freemasonry had no opinions political or religious, and that it did not
in the least
degree sympathize with the loose opinions and extravagant utterances of
the Continental Freemasonry, it was very justly and very conclusively
by the Romish Organs with the reply, 'It is idle for you to protest.
You are Freemasons
and you recognize them as Freemasons. You give them countenance,
support and you are jointly responsible with them and cannot shirk that
accurate statistics are not always to be
had and the methods of enumeration differ in different countries, total
can only be approximated. Thus in most of the lodges of the United
States only the
Masters (third degree) are counted, while in other countries the
fellows are added. There are besides many unaffiliated Masons (having
be members of a lodge) who are not included. Their number may be
estimated at two-thirds
of that of the active Masons. In England a Mason may act as member of
Confirming our statement as to the active members of the strictly
which in calendars and year books are registered as such, we may, upon
reliable sources Mackey, "Encyclopedia," 1908, 1007 sq.; "Annual
of Universal Masonry," Berne, 1909; "Mas. Year Book 1909," London;
"Kalender für Freimaurer," Leipzig, 1909), estimate the actual state of
Freemasonry as follows: Grand O's, G. L's, Supr. Couns., and other
Scottish G. bodies,
183; lodges 26500; Masons, about 2,000,000; the number of the Grand
Royal Arch is: in the United States, 2968 subordinate chapters, under
Grand Chapter; England, 46 Grand Chapters with 1015 subordinate
colonies and foreign Masonic centres, 18 Grand Chapters with 150
The census of craft Masonry (1909) is as follows:
| Great Britain and Colonies (exe. Canada)
| United States: White
| Latin Countries (Europe and S. America)
| Other European countries
VI – Inner Work
Core of Freemasonry: Masonic Symbolism and Oaths
first to last," says Pike (I,
340), "Masonry is work." The Masonic "work," properly so-called,
is the inner secret ritualistic work by which Masons are made and
educated for the
outer work, consisting in action for the welfare of mankind according
principles. Masons are made by the three ceremonies of initiation
passing (second degree), and raising (third degree). The symbols
displayed in these
ceremonies and explained according to the Masonic principles and to the
given in the rituals and lectures of the three degrees, are the manual
instruction. The education thus begun is completed by the whole lodge
life, in which
every Mason is advised to take an active part, attending the lodge
profiting, according to his ability, by the means which Masonry affords
perfect himself in conformity with Masonic ideals, and contributing to
of Masonic themes and to a good lodge government, which is represented
as a model
of the government of society at large. The lodge is to be a type of the
1890, I, 99) and Masons are intended to take part in the regeneration
of the human
race (Chr., 1900, II, 3). "The symbolism of Freemasonry," says Pike in
a letter to Gould, 2 December, 1888 (A. Q. G., XVI, 28 [Lib*]), "is the
very soul of Masonry." And Boyd, the Grand Orator of Missouri,
is from the beginning to the end, symbol, symbol, symbol" (Chr., 1902,
principal advantages of this symbolism, which is not peculiar to
refers to the mysteries and doctrines of all ages and of all factors of
are the following: (1) As it is adaptable to all possible opinions,
tastes, it attracts the candidates and fascinates the initiated. (2) It
the unsectarian unity of Freemasonry in spite of profound differences
race, national feeling, and individual tendencies. (3) It sums up the
and practical wisdom of all ages and nations in a universally
(4) It trains the Mason to consider existing institutions, religious,
and social, as passing phases of human evolution and to discover by his
the reforms to be realized in behalf of Masonic progress, and the means
them. (5) It teaches him to see in prevailing doctrines and dogmas
conceptions or changing symbols of a deeper universal truth in the
sense of Masonic
ideals. (6) It allows Freemasonry to conceal its real purposes from the
and even from those among the initiated, who are unable to appreciate
as Masonry intends. "Masonry," says Pike, "jealously conceals its
secrets and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray" (,
"Part of the Symbols are displayed ....to the Initiated, but he is
misled by false interpretations ( , 819). "The initiated are few
many hear the Thyrsus" (, 355). "The meaning of the Symbols is not
unfolded at once. We give you hints only in general. You must study out
and mysterious meaning for yourself" (, 128). "It is for each
Mason to discover the secret of Masonry by reflection on its symbols
and a wise
consideration of what is said and done in the work" ( , 218). "The
universal cry throughout the Masonic world," says Mackey (Inner
311), "is for light; our lodges are henceforth to be schools, our
to be study, our wages are to be learning; the types and symbols, the
allegories of the institution are only beginning to be investigated
to the ultimate meaning and Freemasons now thoroughly understand that
definition, that Masonry is a science of morality veiled in allegory
symbols can be and are interpreted in
different senses. By orthodox Anglican ecclesiastics the whole
symbolism of the
Old and New Testament connected with the symbolism of the Temple of
treated as Masonic symbolism and Masonry as the "handmaid of religion"
(Oliver, Hist. Landmarks, I, 128) which,-"in almost every part of every
refers distinctly and plainly to a crucified Saviour" (Oliver, ibid.,
65; II, 7 sq.). Many Masonic authors in the Latin countries (Clavel,
and some of the principal Anglo-American authors (Pike, Mackey, etc.)
Masonic symbolism in its original and proper meaning refers above all
to the solar
and phallic worship of the ancient mysteries, especially the Egyptian
771 sq.). "It is in the antique symbols and their occult meaning," says
Pike ( , 397), "that the true secrets of Freemasonry consist. These
reveal its nature and true purposes." In conformity with this rule of
the letter G in the symbol of Glory (Blazing Star) or the Greek Gamma
summing up all Masonry is very commonly explained as meaning
the initial letter of the Tetragrammaton and the whole name is
explained as male
or male- female principle (Pike , 698 sq., 751, 849; , IV, 342
"Symbolism," 112 sqq., 186 sqq.; see also Preuss, "American
Freemasonry," [Lib 1908]
175 sqq.). In the same sense according
to the ancient interpretation are explained the two pillars Boaz and
Rosecroix (a cross with a rose in the centre); the point within the
"vesica piscis," the well-known sign for the Saviour; the triple Tau;
Sun and Moon; Hiram and Christ (Osiris); the coffin; the Middle Chamber
the Sancta Sanctorum, as adyta or most holy parts of each temple,
hideous objects of phallic worship (Mackey, "Dictionary," [Lib 1914] s. v. Phallus;
Oliver, "Signs," 206-17;
V. Longo, La Mass. Specul.).
Masons even in their official lectures and
rituals, generally claim an Egyptian origin for Masonic symbolism and a
of "Masonic usages and customs with those of the Ancient Egyptians"
I [first] degree), such interpretations are to be deemed officially
Pike says, moreover, that "almost every one of the ancient Masonic
has "four distinct meanings, one as it were within the other, the
philosophical and spiritual meaning" (Pike , 128). From the
of view Pike with many other Anglo-American Scotch Masons interprets
symbolism in the sense of a systematic struggle against every kind of
and religious "despotism." Hiram, Christ, Molay are regarded only as
of "Humanity" the "Apostles of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
(Pike , 141). The Cross (a double or quadruple square) is "no
symbol," "to all of us it is an emblem of Nature and of Eternal life;
whether of them only let each say for himself" (Pike, ibid., 100 sq.).
Cross X (Christ) was the Sign of the Creative Wisdom or Logos, the Son
of God. Mithraism
signed its soldiers on the forehead with a cross, etc. (, 291 sq.).
I. N. R.
I., the inscription of the Cross is, Masonically read: "Igne Natura
Integra." The regeneration of nature by the influence of the sun
the spiritual regeneration of mankind by the sacred fire (truth and
love) of Masonry,
as a purely naturalistic institution (Pike , III, 81; , 291;
Ragon, 1. c.,
7686). "The first assassin of Hiram is Royalty as the common type of
striking "with its rule of iron at the throat of Hiram and making
speech treason." The second assassin is the Pontificate (Papacy)
the square of steel at the heart of the victim" (, I, 288 sq.).
on Calvary is for Masonry "the greatest among the apostles of Humanity,
Roman despotism and the fanaticism and bigotry of the priesthood"
142 sq.). Under the symbol of the cross "the legions of freedom shall
to victory" (ibid., III, 146).
Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on
the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just
vengeance on these
"high criminals" for the murder of Molay (ibid., IV, 474 sq.), and "as
the apostle of truth and the rights of man" (ibid., IV, 478), to
"from the bondage of Despotism and the thraldom of spiritual Tyranny"
(ibid., IV, 476). "In most rituals of this degree everything breathes
against religious and political "Despotism" (ibid., IV, 547). Thus
symbols are said to be "radiant of ideas, which should penetrate the
every Mason and be clearly reflected in his character and conduct, till
a pillar of strength to the fraternity" ("Masonic Advocate" of
Chr., 1900, I, 296). "There is no iota of Masonic Ritual," adds the
of Chicago, "which is void of significance" (Chr., 1897, II, 83). These
interpretations, it is true, are not officially adopted in
rituals; but they appear fully authorized, though not the only ones
by its system and by the first two articles of the "Old Charge" (1723),
which contains the fundamental law of Freemasonry. As to the
of Masonry and its symbolism, Pike justly remarks: "Masonry propagates
except its own most simple and sublime one taught by Nature and Reason.
never been a false Religion in the world. The permanent one universal
is written in visible Nature and explained by the Reason and is
completed by the
wise analogies of faith. There is but one true religion, one dogma, one
belief" (, I, 271). Consequently, also, the Bible as a Masonic
to be interpreted as a symbol of the Book of Nature or the Code of
and conscience, while Christian and other dogmas have for Freemasonry
but the import
of changing symbols veiling the one permanent truth, of which Masonic
and "Arts" are a "progressive revelation," and application (ibid.,
I, 280; , 516 sq.).
should be noted, that the great majority
of Masons are far from being "initiated" and "are groveling in Egyptian
darkness" (Chr., 1878, II, 28). "The Masonry of the higher degrees,"
says Pike , I, 311), "teaches the great truths of intellectual
but as to these, even as to the rudiments and first principles, Blue
absolutely dumb. Its dramas seem intended to teach the resurrection of
"The pretended possession of mysterious secrets has enabled Blue
number its initiates by tens of thousands. Never were any pretenses to
of mysterious knowledge so baseless and so absurd as those of the Blue
Arch Chapter Degrees" (ibid., IV, 388 sq.). "The aping Christianity of
Blue Masonry made it simply an emasculated and impotent society with
large and sounding
pretenses and slender performances. And yet its multitudes adhere to
initiation is a necessity for the Human Soul; and because it
for a union of the many under the control of a single will, in things
as well as in things temporal, for a Hierarchy and a Monarch" (ibid.,
sq.). "It is for the Adept to understand the meaning of the Symbols"
849); and Oliver declares: "Brethren, high in rank and office, are
with the elementary principles of the science" (Oliver, "Theocratic
355 [Lib 1856]).
Masons "may be fifty years
Masters of the Chair and yet not learn the secret of the Brotherhood.
is, in its own nature, invulnerable; for the Mason, to whom it has
can only have guessed it and certainly not have received it from any
one; he has
discovered it, because he has been in the lodge, marked, learned and
When he arrives at the discovery, he unquestionably keeps it to
himself, not communicating
it even to his most intimate Brother, because, should this person not
to discover it of himself, he would likewise be wanting in the
capability to use
it, if he received it verbally. For this reason it will forever remain
(Oliver, Hist. Landmarks, I, 11, 21 [Lib 1846; Vol
1, Vol 2];
"Freemasons' Quarterly Rev.,"
I, 31 [Lib 1858];
Casanova in Ragon, "Rit.
3rd Degree," 35).
view of the fact that the secrets of Masonry
are unknown to the bulk of Masons, the oaths of secrecy taken on the
Bible are all
the more startling and unjustifiable. The oath, for instance, of the
is as follows: "I, in the presence of the Great Architect of the
… do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely swear, that I will always
and never reveal any part or parts, any point or points of the secrets
of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry which may
been known by, shall now or may at any future time be communicated to
etc. "These several points I solemnly swear to observe under no less
than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the root and
my body buried
in the sands of the sea," "or the more efficient punishment of being
as a wilfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth." "So help
me God," etc. Similar oaths, but with severer penalties attached, are
in the advanced degrees. The principal contents of the promises are
Pike: eighteenth degree: "I obligate and pledge myself always to
it belongs to Masonry to teach the great unsectarian truths, that do
belong to any religion and acknowledge that I have no right whatever to
others the acceptation of any particular interpretation of Masonic
I may attribute to them by the virtue of my personal belief. I obligate
pledge myself to respect and sustain by all means and under any
of Speech, Liberty of Thought and Liberty of Conscience in religious
matters" (Pike , III, 68). Thirtieth Degree:
A. "I solemnly and freely vow
obedience to all my regular superiors.... I pledge myself to be
devoted, soul and
body, to the protection of innocence, the vindication of right, the
oppression and the punishment of every infraction against the law of
of Man's rights … never, either by interest or by fear, or even to save
to submit to nor suffer any material despotism, that may enslave or
by the usurpation or abuse of power. I vow never to submit to or
tolerate any intellectual
despotism, that may pretend to chain or fetter free thought, etc."
B. "I solemnly vow to consecrate
my life to the ends of the Order of Knights of Kadosh, and to
co-operate most efficaciously
by all means prescribed by the constituted authorities of the order to
I solemnly vow and consecrate, to these ends, my words, my power, my
influence, my intelligence and my life. I vow to consider myself
forever as the Apostle of Truth and of the rights of man."
C. "I vow myself to the utmost
to bring due punishment upon the oppressors, the usurpers and the
wicked; I pledge
myself never to harm a Knight Kadosh, either by word or deed …; I vow
that if I
find him as a foe in the battlefield, I will save his life, when he
makes me the
Sign of Distress, and that I will free him from prison and confinement
or water, even to the risk of my own life or my own liberty. I pledge
vindicate right and truth even by might and violence, if necessary and
by my regular superiors."
D. "I pledge myself to obey without
hesitation any order whatever it may be of my regular Superiors in the
(ibid., IV, 470, 488, 520).
VII – Outer Work of Freemasonry
Achievements Purposes and Methods
outer work of Freemasonry, though uniform
in its fundamental character and its general lines, varies considerably
countries and different Masonic symbols. "Charitable" or
purposes are chiefly pursued by English, German, and American Masonry,
at least, they are neglected by Masons in the Latin countries, who are
by political activity. But even in England, where relatively the
largest sums are
spent for charitable purposes, Masonic philanthropy does not seem to be
by very high ideals of generosity and disinterestedness, at least with
the great mass of the brethren; the principal contributions are made by
a few very
wealthy brethren and the rest by such as are well-to-do. Moreover, in
it is almost exclusively Masons and their families that profit by
Masonic beneficence towards the "profane" world is little more than
consisting in the propagation and application of Masonic principles by
pretend to promote the welfare of mankind; and if Masons, particularly
countries, occasionally devote themselves to charitable works as
their aim is to gain sympathy and thereby further their real purposes.
America, especially in the United States, a characteristic feature of
work is the tendency toward display in the construction of sumptuous
in Masonic processions, at the laying of cornerstones and the
dedication of public
buildings and even of Christian churches. This tendency has frequently
by Masonic writers. "The Masonry of this continent has gone mad after
degreeism and grand titleism. We tell the brethren, that if they do not
attention to the pure, simple, beautiful symbolism of the Lodge and
less to the
tinsel, furbelow, fuss and feathers of Scotch Ritism and Templarism,
the Craft will
yet be shaken to its very foundations!" "Let the tocsin be sounded"
(Chr., 1880, II, 179). "Many Masons have passed through the ceremony
any inspiration; but, in public parades of the Lodges (also in England)
generally be found in the front rank and at the Masonic banquets they
be equalled nor excelled" (ibid., 1892, I, 246). For similar criticism
Chr., 1880, II, 195; 1875, I, 394.
the real object of both inner and outer
work is the propagation and application of the Masonic principles. The
method is, that the lodge is the common ground on which men of
and political opinions, provided they accept the general Masonic
meet; hence, it does not directly and actively interfere with party
excludes political and religious discussions from the meetings, leaving
to apply the principles to problems of the day. But this method is
by contemporaneous Masonry in the Latin countries and by many Supreme
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish system, by the Grand Lodge of
Hungary, the Grand
Orient of Belgium, etc. It was and is practically rejected also by
German and even
by American and English Masonry. Thus American Masonic lodges, at least
Masonic authors openly claim, had a preponderant part in the movement
the lodges of the "Ancients" in general promoting this movement and
of the "Moderns" siding with Great Britain (Gould, "Concise History"
419). According to the "Masonic Review" Freemasonry was instrumental in
forming the American Union (1776), claiming fifty-two (Chr., 1893, I,
147), or even
fifty-five (Chr., 1906, I, 202), out of the fifty-six of the "signers
Declaration of Independence as members of the Order." Other Masonic
however, claim that only six of the signers ("New Age," May, 1910,
and only nine of the presidents of the United States were Freemasons
II, 409). In the French Revolution (1789) and the later revolutionary
in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Central and South America, Masonic
is claimed, took a more or less active part, as is stated by prominent
of the Grand Lodges in the several countries and in many cases by
impartial historians (see Congres Intern. of Paris, 1889, in "Compte
du Grand Orient de France," 1889; Browers, "L'action, etc."; Bruck,
"Geh. Gesellsch, in Spanien"; "Handbuch"; articles on the different
countries, etc.). In Russia also Freemasonry finally turned out to be a
conspiracy" of Masonically organized clubs that covered the land.
with regard to the most recent Turkish
Revolution, it seems certain, that the Young Turkish party, which made
the Revolution, was guided by Masons, and that Masonry, especially the
of Italy and France, had a preponderant role in the Revolution (see
1909, 76 sqq.; 1908, 394; "Acacia," 1908, II, 36; "Bauhütte,"
1909, 143; "La Franc-Maçonnerie demasquée," 1909, 93-96; "Compte
rendu du Convent. du Gr. Or. de France," 21-26 Sept., 1908, 34-38). In
this work Freemasonry propagates principles which, logically developed,
above, are essentially revolutionary and serve as a basis for all kinds
movements. Directing Masons to find out for themselves practical
reforms in conformity
with Masonic ideals and to work for their realization, it fosters in
and through them in society at large the spirit of innovation. As an
harmless and even beneficent association, which in reality is, through
and ambiguous symbolism, subject to the most different influences, it
in critical times a shelter for conspiracy, and even when its lodges
are not transformed into conspiracy clubs, Masons are trained and
found new associations for such purposes or to make use of existing
Thus, Freemasonry in the eighteenth century, as a powerful ally of
the French Revolution. The alliance of Freemasonry with philosophy was
sealed by the solemn initiation of Voltaire, the chief of these
February, 1778, and his reception of the Masonic garb from the famous
Bro. Helvetius (Handbuch, 3rd ed., II, 517). Prior to the Revolution
societies arose in connexion with Freemasonry from which they borrowed
and methods; Illuminati, clubs of Jacobins, etc. A relatively large
number of the
leading revolutionists were members of Masonic lodges, trained by lodge
their political career. Even the programme of the Revolution expressed
in the "rights
of man" was, as shown above, drawn from Masonic principles, and its
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" is the very device of Freemasonry.
Freemasonry, together with the Carbonari, co-operated in the Italian
movement of the nineteenth century. Nearly all the prominent leaders
and among them
Massini and Garibaldi, are extolled by Masonry as its most
In Germany and Austria, Freemasonry during the eighteenth century was a
ally of the so-called party of "Enlightenment" (Aufklärung), and of
in the nineteenth century of the pseudo-Liberal and of the
order to appreciate rightly the activity
of Freemasonry in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and England, and in France
Napoleonic regime, the special relations between Freemasonry and the
must not be overlooked. In Germany two- thirds of the Masons are
members of the
Old Prussian Grand Lodges under the protectorship of a member of the
which implies a severe control of all lodge activity in conformity with
of the Government. Hence German Freemasons are scarcely capable of
But they certainly furthered the movement by which Prussia gradually
leading state of Germany, considered by them as the "representative and
protector of modern evolution" against "Ultramontanism," "bigotry,"
and "Papal usurpations." They also instigated the "Kulturkampf."
The celebrated jurisconsult and Mason, Grandmaster Bluntschli, was one
of the foremost
agitators in this conflict; he also stirred up the Swiss "Kulturkampf."
At his instigation the assembly of the "Federation of the German Grand
in order to increase lodge activity in the sense of the "Kulturkampf,"
declared, 24 May, 1874: "It is a professional duty for the lodges to
it, that the brethren become fully conscious of the relations of
the sphere of ethical life and cultural purposes. Freemasons are
obliged to put
into effect the principles of Freemasonry in practical life and to
defend the ethical
foundations of human society, whensoever these are assailed. The
Federation of the
German Grand Lodges will provide, that every year questions of
actuality be proposed
to all lodges for discussion and uniform action" (Gruber , 6; Ewald,
und Kulturkampf"). German Freemasons put forth untiring efforts to
decisive influence on the whole life of the nation in keeping with
thus maintaining a perpetual silent "Kulturkampf." The principal means
which they employ are popular libraries, conferences, the affiliation
associations and institutions, the creation, where necessary, of new
through which the Masonic spirit permeates the nation (see Herold, No.
37 and 33
sqq.). A similar activity is displayed by the Austrian Freemasons.
The Covering of My Soul -- [A Poem]
Bro. L. B. Mitchell.
cut the covering of my soul from the clear blue sky
And pin it to the milky way for the coming by and by,
And charge the angel of my heart to bring it at my call
I can but trustingly go on to whatever may befall,
For I shall know that it will be myself reflected true
Because 'tis not of human hand or mortal ken review,
And that what'er it may reveal, 'twill all first handed be,-
The Nature covering, God's own, between Himself and me.
human heart is human.
On the Training of a Father
Dr. David Starr Jordan
Leland Stanford Junior University
are quite as hard to train as boys,
and from experience all along the line, I have come to the conclusion
and boys alike will mostly go their own way, in the long run getting
is coming to them."
it is in the power of the father to help
a boy realize his best instead of his worst tendencies and
possibilities. To this
end, a father should be sympathetic and patient, helping the
development of whatever
natural taste or genius a boy may have. Virtue is never negative and a
boy is held
from idleness or vice by giving him something better to work at. If a
boy has a
real love for some study or for some worthy line of work, encourage
that. It marks
the way out from temptation. A boy needs in his development sympathy
financial help. His ideals need strengthening, not his purse. To have
money to burn
will ruin all those who burn it. It is hard to raise a boy who is rich
that whatever he wants is his for the asking. He is likely to be
content with what
money can buy, and it cannot buy very much that is worth having. It can
many things, but a mere aid is not the thing itself.
father can promote the plain virtues of
sobriety, honesty, tolerance, and kindliness. The most effective way of
these virtues is for him to illustrate them in himself to show how
looks when it is lived. Occasionally a father successfully proves his
point by becoming
the awful example. But that is not the best way, and right living can
be most effectively
taught, not by precept but by practice. And remember always that right
a positive thing. It is not secured by inhibitions. "Don't, don't,
never leads to anything worthwhile. Don't say to boys: "Keep off the
Keep out of the dirt. Keep away from the slums." Rather indicate places
is better to go to: "This way to citizenship; this way to science, to
to a worthy profession."
is worthwhile to remember that the boy is
the germ of what the man is to be. You cannot change his nature much,
but you can
develop the best in him till it overshadows the worst. The life of a
man at forty
will be what was in his heart at twenty-one. And a father may say to
his boys something
like this, which in one way or another I have said to thousands of boys
and other countries:
first duty in life is toward your
afterself. So live that your afterself, the man you ought to be, may in
be possible and actual.
away in the years he is waiting his
turn. His body, his brain, his soul, are in your boyish hands. He
cannot help himself.
will you leave for him?
it be a body unspoiled by lust or
dissipation; a mind trained to think and act; a nervous system true as
a dial in
its response to the truth about you? Will you, Boy, let him come as a
men in his time?
will you throw away his inheritance
before he has had the chance to touch it? Will you turn over to him a
a mind diseased; a will untrained to action; a spinal cord grown
through and through
with the devil grass we call wild oats?
you let him come, taking your place,
gaining through your experience, happy in your friendships, hallowed
joys, building on them his own?
will you fling it all away, decreeing,
wanton-like, that the man you might have been shall never be?
is your problem in life the problem
vastly more important to you than any or all others. How will you meet
it, as man
or as a fool? It is your problem today and every day, and the hour of
is the crisis in your history."
The Masonic Relief Association of the United
States and Canada
Bro. John F. Massey, Acting President, Pennsylvania
purpose for which the Masonic Relief Association
of the United States and Canada was organized is two-fold in its
to facilitate the proper and prompt distribution of Masonic Charity to
in distress, and second, to protect the Charity Fund against the
unworthy of all
classes who make claim upon it.
a brief history of the association and its
methods of operation the reader is referred to the September, 1917,
number of THE
BUILDER. A few words here, however, as to the history of Masonic Relief
not be out of place. The origin and the progressive development of this
like that of all other permanent institutions for the betterment of the
has followed the original and continually increasing necessity. Every
in the Masonic obligation was originally incorporated therein because
of a necessity.
Every Master Mason for centuries past has been obligated to assist a
and his family in distress, because they had the worthy poor and
them. The obligation is qualified and limited to the worthy applicants
too, had to deal with imposters and the unworthy.
Masonic Relief work we meet with two general
classes of importers; namely, profanes, who, never having been admitted
to the order,
yet endeavor to pass themselves for regular Freemasons; and Masons,
been expelled or suspended from the order, conceal the fact and still
privileges of members in good standing. The first are easily detected;
having once been invested with proper instructions can stand the test
of an examination
and their true position must be discovered only by information derived
lodges which have suspended or expelled them. The Tiler's Oath is
intended to meet
each of these cases but perjury added to imposture will easily escape
it is the duty of one Mason to assist another,
it naturally follows that every Mason has the right to claim that
his brother. It is this duty that the obligations of Masonry are
to enforce, and this right that they are intended to sustain. The
misuse and abuse
of these privileges in all ages have made it necessary to use not only
but co- operative organization against it.
read in the early history of Masonry that
the Masters thus charged their brethren: "You are cautiously to examine
brother in such a method as prudence shall direct you that you may not
upon by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to reject with
contempt and derision;
and beware of giving him any hints of knowledge." We learn also in
days that the impositions upon the Charity of the order necessitated
of Relief Boards in the larger cities. They consisted of
representatives from all
the lodges. The members of the Board by frequent meetings and
better enabled to distinguish the worthy from the unworthy, and to
at imposition. Similar organizations under different names were
established by the
Grand Lodge of England for the distribution of the Fund of Benevolence.
of Benevolence was composed of all of the present and past Grand
officers, all acting
Masters of lodges and twelve Past Masters. There were many formalities
to be complied
with before the petition of an applicant for assistance could be
presented at their
have in this, our present organization, a
summing up of many years of experience which have developed into the
and ready methods of extending Masonic Charities. Through the
instruments at hand
the unworthy can easily be detected and the worthy distressed quickly
is a human institution and its successes
and failures have grown out of the conduct of its members. It was
the noble purpose of developing in mankind the God-given blessing of a
the mysterious unknown that love and aspiration which tends to lift him
out of a
state of mental depravity and ignorance to higher ground, and purer
living and thinking. To attain unto these heights demands the
employment of all
the leading Masonic virtues. The individual member who possesses these
made manifest in his life, is reckoned as a contributing factor in its
The member whose life does not show forth such an inheritance and is
by unwholesome living, is reckoned as contributing to the failures of
The majority of those who have brought discredit upon our institution
were not Masons
at heart when received into the order. It is this class which has
unworthy and have made the organization of a Masonic Relief Association
a very early period in his initiation, a
candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry is informed that the Great
the order are brotherly love, relief, and truth. These virtues are
their practice recommended to him at every step in his progress; and
though continually varied in its mode, is so constantly repeated as
impress upon his mind their absolute necessity in the constitution of a
Every Mason is acquainted with the Five Points of Fellowship. He knows
meaning. They are beautifully summed by Oliver: "Assisting a brother in
distress, supporting him in his virtuous undertakings, praying for his
keeping inviolate his secrets, and vindicating his reputation as well
in his absence
as in his presence." He can never forget the interesting incidents
their explanation; and while he has this knowledge and retains his
he can be at no loss to understand what are his duties and what must be
in relation to the principles of Brotherly Love and Charity.
impressive lessons in the early training
of the young initiate are most lasting and render him an easy victim to
but unworthy importers.
as applied to Masonry is different from
the usual accepted meaning. All true Masons meet upon the same level
of wealth or station. In giving assistance we strive to avoid the too
of considering Charity only as that sentiment of commiseration which
leads us to
assist the poor and unfortunate with pecuniary donations. Its Masonic
is more noble and more extensive. We are taught not only to relieve a
material wants, the cry of hunger, etc., but to fellowship with him
upon our own
level, stripped of worldly titles and honors. When we thus appeal to
spiritual advice, lifting him up morally and spiritually with no sense
to him, we set him free from his passion and wants. To such charity
there is a reciprocity
rich in Brotherly Love and sincere appreciation.
in this association are forty-six
Grand Lodges in the United States and Canada and many Boards of Relief
Grand Jurisdictions. The organization, however, will not be complete,
form nor in the work it seeks to accomplish, until every organization
Freemasonry, the world over, is in active co-operation.
recent sore trials and sufferings, common
in a certain degree to all, the League of Nations, and a Universal
develop a stronger Fraternal spirit among the Nations, and strengthen a
this great world disturbance in which
many have been separated from their families and permanent occupations,
be for some time to come considerable unrest and a possible increase in
of applicants for assistance. No doubt a large percentage of this
be due to the unworthiness of some who were hurriedly received into the
of the emergency. Let us, therefore, be cautious but at the same time
the boast of pride in our institution "That a Mason, destitute and
may find in every clime a brother, and in every land a home.”
The Eleusinian Mysteries And Rites
Bro. Dudley Wright, Assistant Editor "The Freemason."
III – The Eleusinian Mysteries ‒ Their Mystical Significance
as we know it, was looked upon by the
ancient philosophers as death. Plato considered the body as the
sepulcher of the
soul and in the "Cratylus" acquiesces in the doctrine of Orpheus that
the soul is punished through its union with the body. Empedocles,
connection with this corporeal world, pathetically exclaimed:
For this I weep,
for this indulge my woe,
That ever my Oh such novel realms should know.
also calls this material abode, or the realms
of generation, a joyless region,
rage, and countless ills reside.
the celebrated Pythagorean, wrote:
ancient theologists and priests testify
that the soul is united with the body for the sake of suffering
punishment and that
it is buried in the body as in a sepulcher while Pythagoras himself
Whatever we see when
awake is death, and when asleep a dream.
is the truth intended to be expressed in
the Mysteries. Pindar, speaking of the Eleusinian Mysteries, says:
Blessed is he who
on seeing those common concerns under the earth knows both the end of
life and the
given end of Jupiter.
is said to have fallen asleep in Hades
through rashly attempting to behold corporeal beauty and the truth
intended to be
taught by the Lesser Mysteries was that prudent men who earnestly
in divine concerns were, above all others, in a vigilant state and that
men who pursued objects of a different nature were asleep and only
engaged in the
delusions of dreams and if they happened to die in this sleep before
they were aroused
they would be afflicted with similar, but still sharper, visions in a
was regarded by the Egyptians as a certain
mire or mud. They called matter the dregs or sediment of the first
the first purification the candidate for initiation into the Eleusinian
was smeared with clay or mire, which it was the object of the
purification to wash
away. While the soul is in a state of servitude to the body it lives
it were in bonds through the dominion of this Titanic life. The Lesser
were intended to symbolize the condition of the soul while subservient
to the body
and a liberation from this servitude, through purgative virtues, was
what the wisdom
of the Ancients intended to signify by the descent into Hades and the
from those dark abodes. They were held to contain perfective rites and
and the tradition of the sacred doctrines necessary to the perfection
of the most splendid visions. The perfective part, said Proclus,
as initiation precedes inspection.
instruction was not included in the
Mysteries: the doctrine of the immortality of the soul traces its
origin to sources
anterior to the rise of the Mysteries. At Eleusis the way was shown how
for the soul after death the best possible fate. The miracle of
than the eternity of being was taught.
in the seventh book of the Republic says:
He who is not able
by the exercise of his reason to define the idea of the good,
separating it from
all other objects and piercing as in a battle through every kind of
to confute, not according to opinion hut according to evidence, and
all these dialectical exercises with an unshaken reason he who cannot
this, would you not say that he neither knows the good itself, nor
is properly demonstrated good? And would you not assert that such a one
apprehended it rather through the medium of opinion than of science,
that in the
present life he is sunk in sleep and conversant with delusions and
dreams; and that
before he is roused to a vigilant state he will descend to Hades, and
with sleep perfectly profound?
in this MS Commentary on the Gorgias
of Plato says of the Elysian fields:
It is necessary to
know that the fortunate islands are said to be raised above the sea....
is reported to have accomplished his last labor in the Hesperian
by this that having vanquished an obscure and terrestrial life, he
in open day, that is, in truth and resplendent light. So that he who in
state vanquishes as much as possible a corporeal life, through the
exercise of the
cathartic virtues, passes in reality into the fortunate islands at the
lives surrounded with the bright splendors of truth and wisdom
proceeding from the
sun of good.
esoteric teaching was not, of course, grasped
by all initiates: the majority merely recognized or grasped the
of a future state of rewards and punishments. Virgil, in his
description of the
Mysteries in the Aeneid, confines himself to the exoteric teaching.
passed over the Stygian lake meets with the three-headed Celberus. By
be understood the discriminative part of the soul, of which a dog, on
its sagacity, is an emblem. The three heads signify the intellective,
and doxastic powers. "He dragg'd the three mouth'd dog to upper day,"
i.e., by temperance, continence, and other virtues he drew upwards the
of the soul.
fable of Persephone, as belonging to the
Mysteries, was properly of a mixed nature, composed of all four species
theological, physical, animistic, and material. According to the arcana
theology, the Coric order, i.e., that belonging to Persephone, is
part supermundane and the other mundane.
According to the
rumor of theologists, who delivered to us the most holy Eleusinian
abides on high, in those dwellings of her mother which she prepared for
her in inaccessible
places, exempt from the sensible world. But she likewise dwells with
terrestrial concerns, governing the recesses of the earth and imparting
beings which are of themselves inanimate and dead.
to Nosselt the following may be taken
as the meaning of the myth of Demeter and her lost daughter:
Persephone, the daughter
of the all-productive earth (Demeter) is the seed. The earth rejoices
at the sight
of the plants and flowers, but they fade and wither, and the seed
from the face of the earth when it is strewn on the ground. The dreaded
of the underworld has taken possession of it. In vain the mother
Searches for her
child, the whole face of nature mourns her loss, and everything sorrows
with her. But, secretly and unseen, the seed develops itself in the lap
of the earth,
and at length it starts forth: what was dead is now alive; the earth,
with fresh green, rejoices at the recovery of her long-lost daughter
shares in the joy.
was worshipped in a two-fold sense by
the Greeks as the foundress of agriculture and as goddess of law and
used to celebrate yearly in her honor the Thesmophoria, or Festival of
to Taylor, the Platonist, Demeter
in the legend represents the evolution of that self-inspective part of
which we properly determine intellect, and Persephone that vital,
animate part which we call soul. Pluto signifies the whole of a
and, according to Pythagoras, the empire of this god commences downward
Galaxy or Milky Way. Sallust says that among the mundane divinities
Ceres is the
deity of the planet Saturn. The cavern signifies the entrance into
accomplished by the union of the soul with this terrestrial body.
Demeter, who was
afraid lest some violence be offered to Persephone on account of her
beauty, conveyed her privately to Sicily and concealed her in a house
built on purpose
by the Cyclops while she herself directs her course to the temple of
mother of the gods. Here we see the first cause of the soul's descent,
desertion of a life wholly according to intellect, occultly signified
by the separation
of Persephone and Demeter. Afterwards Jupiter instructed Venus to go
Persephone from her retirement that Pluto might be enabled to carry her
to prevent any suspicion in the virgin's mind, he commanded Diana and
bear her company. The three goddesses on arrival found Persephone at
work on a scarf
for her mother, on which she had embroidered the primitive chaos and
of the world. Venus is significant of desire, which, even in the
(for such is the residence of Persephone until she is ravished by
silently and fraudulently to creep into the recesses of the soul.
Minerva is symbolical
of the rational power of the soul; and Diana represents nature, or the
and vegetable part of our composition, both ensnared through the
Ovid we have Narcissus, the metamorphosis
of a youth who fell a victim to love of his own corporeal form. The
rape of Persephone,
according to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, was the immediate consequence
of her gathering
this wonderful flower. By Narcissus falling in love with his shadow in
stream we behold a beautiful representation of a soul, which, by
on the flowing condition of a material body, becomes enamored of a
and changed into a life consisting wholly of the mere energies of
forcing his passage through the earth, seizes on Persephone and carries
despite the resistance of Minerva and Diana, who are forbidden by
Jupiter to attempt
her deliverance. This signifies that the lapse of the soul into a
is contrary to the genuine wish and proper condition. Pluto, having
into the infernal regions, marriage next succeeds. That is to say, the
sunk into the profoundities of a material nature, there is the union
with the dark
tenement of the body. Night is with great beauty and propriety
by the nuptial couch and confirming the oblivious league. That is to
say, the soul,
by union with a material body, becomes familiar with darkness and
subject to the
empire of night, in consequence of which she dwells wholly with
and till she breaks her fetters is deprived of the perception of that
which is real
nine days of the Festival are significant
of the descent of the soul. The soul, in falling Mom her original,
in the heavens, passes through eight spheres, viz., the inerratic
sphere and the
seven planets, assuming a different body and employing different
energies in each,
and finally becomes connected with the sublunary world and a terrene
body on the
and the art of tillage signifies the
descent of intellect into the realms of generation and becomes the
and ornament which a material nature is capable of receiving: without
of intellect in the lower regions of matter nothing but an irrational
soul and a
brutal life would subsist.
teaching of the Mysteries was that virtue
only could entitle men to happiness and that rites, ceremonies,
sacrifices would not supply the want. Virgil declares that the secret
of the Mysteries
was the unity of the Godhead. The Mysteries declared that the afterlife
necessarily or for all men the shadowy, weary existence which it had
supposed to be, but that there were rites of purification and
sacrifices of a sacramental
kind which gave man a better hope for the future. Thus the Eleusinian
became the chief agent in the conversion of the Greek world from the
of Hades to a more hopeful belief as to man's state after death.
says, referring to the Mysteries:
Happy is he who has
seen these things before leaving this world: he realizes the beginning
and the end
of life, as ordained by Zeus.
Oh, thrice blessed
the mortals, who, having contemplated these Mysteries, have descended
for those only will there be a future life of happiness the others
there will find
nothing but suffering.
in his Panegyrics, says:
Demeter, who came
to our country, bestowed on us two priceless gifts, the cultivation of
of the earth, which compelled us to leave our savage state; and the
brings to the initiated the sweetest consolation at death and the hope
be continued )
Symbols -- [A Poem]
By Bro. Lewis Alexander
is taught, or thought expressed
Without comparison is made
In mental channels which invest
Each subject to the mind displayed
With similarity to things
Already measured by the mind,
And such comparison then brings
A fitting symbol thus outlined.
Acquaintance with the things we see,
By which much knowledge is secured,
Can only come in fair degree
By use of light to us assured;
Then vision's functions aptly serve
When light exists within its sphere;
A symbol then we thus observe
In moral light with knowledge clear.
We speak of light on subjects which
No tangible appearance hold
By thoughts or actions that enrich
Our minds as nature's truths unfold;
So light a symbol thus becomes
For truth and wisdom's lessons gained,
While by its glow, appear the sums
Of life's experience explained.
In vain the toiling builders strive
Before their plans with care are drawn,
And though the mind can well contrive
The structure to be labored on,
The keen activities of mind
Can scarce be held within the view
Without the use of plans designed
To form a perfect record true.
Then each drawn line displays a thought,
Each figure typifies desire
To imitate the object wrought
In the same form its lines require.
An object lesson to the mind,
A symbol true of mental plan
To which the builder's wish inclined;
The careful work of thoughtful man.
The trestle board of nature shows
A vast array of symbols rare,
While all her elements disclose
Unchanging truths designed with care,
Impressed more deeply in the heart
When craftsmen diligently strive
To gather from symbolic art
The truths that through its power survive.
By Bro. George Frazer, President, Board of Stewards
E. Atchison, Iowa.
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia.
Joseph Barnett, California.
H. P. Burke, Colorado.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia.
R. M. C. Condon, Michigan.
John A. Davilla, Louisiana.
Jos; W. Eggleston, Virginia.
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
H. D. Funk, Minnesota.
Asahall W. Gage. Florida.
Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
H. L. Haywood, Iowa.
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts.
P. E. Kellett, Manitoba.
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Dr. G. Alfred Lawrence, New York.
Julius H. McCollum. Connecticut.
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin.
John Pickard, Missouri.
C. M. Sehenek, Colorado.
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
S. W. Williams. Tennessee.
Contributions to this Monthly Department
of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed
one or more
articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being
the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of polities, religious
personal prejudices are avoided the purpose of the Department being to
vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic
students- The contributing
editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own
Comment from our Members on the Subjects discussed here will be
welcomed on the
question Box Department.
Question No. 13
is the real secret of Freemasonry?
what extent is it possible to tell it to
a profane? Brother Joseph Fort Newton says that the only thing secret
is its method of teaching. Do you agree with him? How far may the
go in public interpretation of the meaning of our symbolism, etc.?"
Secret at All.
"secret" of Freemasonry is not
secret at all. It is simply the moral and spiritual ideals of the
we endeavor to teach and to help each other to practice. There was a
time when such
ideas and ideals as Masonry cherishes had to be secret. They were under
ban of the
law, to say nothing of any mystic speculations which may from time to
been associated with Freemasonry or indulged in under its cover.
is not many centuries since any man convicted
of holding ideas which are common among Masons today concerning God and
to Him would have been liable to be sent to the stake.
are also embalmed in Freemasonry, like
flies in amber, certain relics of the primitive mode of thought whereby
rules and formulas were held to have compelling power over spirits both
evil and even over the gods. There is nothing more common among
than this idea of a secret word with vast and wonderful power. All that
is of the past.
"secrets" of Freemasonry are the
methods of recognition and identification.
"secret" is not the exclusive
property of Freemasonry, is not in its fulness the property of any
Mason, and, I
am sorry to say, is not to any great extent that of some Masons whom I
possibility of telling it to the profane
depends entirely upon the mental and spiritual capacity of the man who
to tell it and the man to whom he is trying to tell it. It is of course
to communicate "secrets" of Freemasonry to the profane, but I need
remark that it is entirely improper to do so.
say, "Brother Joseph Fort Newton says
that the only thing secret about Freemasonry is its method of teaching.
Do you agree
do not know whether I agree with him because
I do not know what he means. If he means; as I suspect he does, that
thing about Freemasonry is its ritual I agree with him, but it is
to define a method of teaching as a secret. As I have just said the
ritual is the
means of identification. Teaching by ritual is in itself a very common
is neither "secret" nor exclusively Masonic.
my judgment, the Masonic press would do well
to let the matter of public interpretation of Masonic symbolism
I fancy, however, that this is a counsel of perfection. So much has
written on the subject that more or less in addition will probably do
than harm for the reason that it will increase confusion. The subject
involved endless discussion and more would make it just a little bit
for the profane to make anything out of it. If we could have a Masonic
was sacred to Masonic eyes, nothing could be more desirable than a
our symbolism. Nothing is more desirable than a discussion of that
Masonic audiences. Unfortunately, however, the Masonic press is to all
purposes as open to the public eye as any other publication. One real
the propriety of the discussion of Masonic symbols in the Masonic press
after so much has already been written, a purely academic one.
W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary, Mass.
Secrets of Ancient Origin.
1) My belief is that the "real
secret" of Freemasonry was made public in the first editions of works
and of the holy Bible: this has been amplified by recent translations
of the more
ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt.
2) You ask "to what extent is
it possible to tell it to a profane?" Assuming you mean to what extent
proper to tell it to a profane I would say it were better not to
discuss any of
it with a profane.
3) I have not discovered that the method
in common use in teaching Masonry differs from other methods. Masonry
is not an
occult science: not a science at all: it is a system of morals: its
I believe, "to unite men of every nation, sect and opinion," so it is
not at liberty to assume the role of any particular sect.
4) I cannot see that any harm may come
from the Masonic Press publishing all of our symbolism, but I would not
see it made common by appearing in the daily Press.
W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia.
Wide Opportunities for Students.
1. Freemasonry nowhere states that
it has a particular secret. What transpires inside the guarded door is
not necessarily a secret. Where the word is used in the singular form
it is always
as an adjective. The noun is always in the plural. The symbol for it is
in the Third
degree; and the Symbolism is always kept before the members in opening
the business meetings.
2. A great mass of information concerning
Freemasonry can be found in any large Encyclopedia. The only
itself should give to the profane is that Freemasonry does not solicit
and that it promises them absolutely nothing except the opportunity to
and so be of greater service in the world of men.
3. I do not agree with brother Newton
that our method of teaching is "the only thing secret about
Our method of teaching is a universal method, practiced by every
teacher of whom
there is any record; and, being such, it naturally commends itself.
keeps its ritual secret.
4. The interpretation of our symbolism
in the Masonic Press seems desirable, in so far as it does not explain
to the profane. Everything that will enlighten anyone in moral,
spiritual knowledge is always good, even though the uninitiated does
from it so much as the initiate does.
Out In The Open.
has aptly been said by some that the real
secret of Freemasonry is that it has no secret. In my opinion this is
true so far
as the philosophy and mission of the fraternity is concerned. Its only
its method of teaching. The lessons taught in Masonic ritual and
hoary with age centuries before Freemasonry, as we know it, was born.
all of them, either in whole or in part, are taught by every existing
we have that labors for the uplift and betterment of the individual and
has always seemed to me that one of the weaknesses
of freemasonry in the past has been that it has enveloped itself too
much in a veil
of secrecy. Why should not profane as well as Mason know what our aim
is? There can be no secret about it if the same thing is taught by so
institutions. t seems to me that if it were more widely known what we
it would result in attracting a larger percentage of the "thinkers" and
the "doers" than we at present receive application from.
my mind we have stood long enough in seclusion
and the day is coming (and it will be more imperative as the years go
by) when institutions
as well as men, will have to stand out in the open, and stand for
declare what they stand for.
E. Kellett, P. G. M., Manitoba.
Less Advertising the Better.
to 1717 Masonry was a secret society.
It put nothing of its doings on paper. Its ritual, including methods of
in dark or light were transmitted, as was profane history and tradition
from mouth to ear. The Scottish bards were illustrations of the general
we are indebted to Sir Walter Scott for a knowledge of that fact. One
or two lodges
in Scotland seem to have been an exception to the extreme secrecy of
the seventeenth century in that they kept records. Today our obligatory
seems to be confined to our ritual including words of recognition. All
behind a tiled door should be secret and sacred but, unfortunately, it
is not. To
me the real secret of Masonry cannot be expressed in words. It is the
influence it has upon the relation of brother to brother and man to his
never feel it and are therefore never Masons even if they become Grand
thereafter wear the "customary" jewel. It could not be told to a
because words cannot describe or account for it. It is not merely "its
of teaching." That is only an assertion of its existence.
to "how far the Masonic press may go
in public interpretation of the meaning of our symbolism, etc.” I think
far the better. We are not a mutual benefit society as the public
term. We should not seek public favor, and should smile at profane
attack or even
criticism. Our every effort should be to return to the good old way. To
brotherly love and use our secrecy to keep ourselves "unspotted from
Monitors containing a part of our symbolism are a mistake, and printed
or even cipher
rituals, are a crime. Parades in regalia are foolish vanity. The less
our institution save by living as its precepts teach us to do, the more
will do, and the more the profane world will revere our organization,
the latter be of any consequence whatever.
W. Eggleston, P. G. M., Virginia.
Duty Is To Teach.
to be happy," is the real secret
of Freemasonry-so simple and yet so profound!
can only ask, what is the great object of
it not Truth? And is it not Truth that makes
men Free? And who can be happy but Free men?
a knowledge of Truth is the secret or another
way of expressing it.
what is Truth? The answer involves the study
of a science we call Freemasonry or Geometry or Morality or a number of
in order to comprehend it. To comprehend is to be an apprehender or
But to gain a knowledge of Truth necessitates personal effort, work.
Which is to
say that such knowledge can only be achieved by "living the life" of a
Mason, or as we say, becoming a Fellow Craft. To use this knowledge
rightly is to
be a Master in a literal sense. And mastership means happiness.
in Masonry this mastership is one of self
and perfect mastership is a knowledge of self-resulting from perfect
so that "self-control is another way of expressing the "secret of
what extent is it possible to tell
it to the profane?" One may tell it all and be thought a fool or a wise
according to his hearer. But if by this question is meant to what
extent is it possible
to reveal or make plain this secret to the profane, I must answer that
and observation convinces me, only so far is it possible, as the
capacity of the
profane will permit. One may explain the mysteries of integral calculus
to a fool
and be thought a fool in turn.
do not agree with Brother Joseph Fort Newton
that the only thing secret about Freemasonry is its method of teaching,
if by this
he means what he literally says. But I think he means something
different. I think
he means that as an organization or school of self-selected and
of humanity, we have made it a law that certain arts, parts and points
of this organized
system of teaching, peculiar to our selves, be not communicated to
arts, parts and points pertain solely to the methods of recognition,
and other mouth to ear communications, that would not be comprehensible
not initiated, or which would enable impostors to gain admittance to
and thereby cause disharmony. The reason for this is plain when we
humanity is not all worthy and well-qualified, duly and truly prepared
and understand our symbolic and allegorical short cuts to teaching the
the science itself can be taught openly
by all Masons in such language as adapted to the understanding of those
Indeed every Freemason is obligated to teach if he understands
in my opinion, the Masonic Press not
only may but in duty bound is obligated to go just as far as its
editors' and owners'
knowledge permits, in publicly interpreting "the meaning of our
etc." How else are we to carry out the great educational work for
we have undertaken?
plain truth is that too often Masonic officers
are as ignorant of such things as new born babes. Hence they cannot
others either within or without the lodge! Who is to enlighten the
the writers of books and the press? What members are thus taught the
know if the public can comprehend.
W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Plea for Constructive Censorship.
real secret of Masonry is contained in a
single word, which may mean all that a man may conceive as being
to his own individual, spiritual, mental and physical case, defining
the duties he owes to country, God, his neighbor and himself. When such
a word has
been in truth found by an individual to entirely, adequately and
express for him and to him, this sublime secret, which has the innate
power to make
him a real man and Mason, then this individual should become very
secret, if it be discovered in a state
of sufficient positive inherence, to dignify it as a sort of
or ever present guide, is the real secret of Masonry! Masonry has been
be the secret of civilization" the guide ever-present as a unit of and
Masonry is the author of the process of assimilation of diverging
a final conclusion or result of much addition and much more subtraction
on by countless philosophers, who have in turn preceded and followed
all other humanized "perfections," man has touched in his gropings
the Light. If we could so demean ourselves, as to be able to speak by
deed and act,
as well as word, the "science" of Masonry could be confidently taught
from the "house tops"!
Christian Science had its birth in Masonry,
so it seems to be going hand in hand with us down "the line." Sometimes
there are extravagant claims made for it, but one can always count on a
product of man-fed enthusiasm, in connection with most anything that
works." All of this should be good for a "profane." I am not exposing
anything. I agree with Brother Newton, as far as the gist of the above
is concerned, but if taken in connection with ritualism, symbolism,
I believe the Masonic Press ought to be curbed generally. I believe
to be also within "gun-shot." If writers can see nothing in it; all but
a repetition of the supposed and acknowledged secret work, they should
write about "what they know about Masonry." Put a curb on explanations
of "fancied formulas," gifted "sooth-sayings," and indeed all
the "speculation" indulged in, by men who know as little about these
as far as they relate to our Masonry, as should be permissible in
so-called "Doctor" Pottinger from
Kansas or some other "Sun-flower" State, published a "Sign"
book a short time ago. I heard him lecture on something he called "An
of all the Masonic Signs and Symbols." Ye gods! or in French "pour
de Dieu" ‒ let us be divorced forever from such a "barnacle upon our
as it were. Let us keep the secret work, as we call it, entirely
secret. It should
be easy to so keep it. Public discussion in the Press, in books and by
poorly censored lectures, does Masonry more harm than otherwise. From
I would suggest that it cheapens "what you have to sell." What we
for the secrets of our Masonry, is a commensurate return in golden
character. We do so want to sell our Masonry for as much of "that" as
we can get. If the time should come, when open forums would be the
when no lodge expense need be incurred, when much more of the "divine"
should take the place of our "humanly ordered" affairs, then come on
your exposes, with your auctions of "ancient landmarks," with your
of fortifications to the wolves, that are always howling about our
for an opportunity to tear our flesh into sacrificial "bits," that the
"Saints of the centuries" may be fed.
Masonry needs is a unification of objects
and aims, a universal ritualism, a centralized control and a consequent
of Masonic education. We need a Supreme Ruler or Rulers here on earth.
of councils presided over by one of their number for the sake of
who shall prescribe the bounds of propriety Masonic, and fix the
penalty for injudicious
advertising. I believe the remedy suggested to be a part of the answer
I have made
to the questions propounded.
S. Wagstaff, P. M., Calif.
"Masonic Press" is "Profane."
real Secret of Freemasonry is truth and
light, or which the candidate in each and all of the degrees, in all
the rites of
Freemasonry, pursues his investigations while passing through our
profane already knows this much, but the
ceremonies by which he is led from one degree to another, the passing
signs, and the various methods of sound, sight and touch by which he is
to unlock the doors of the many storehouses of Masonic information, or
known to the Brotherhood, are ours to give him if he proves himself
his to keep with an inviolable secrecy if we repose this confidence in
from the earliest days has sought the truth,
as one series of mysteries after another proves to us, always under the
secrecy, because to vulgarize the object of the search would naturally
intensive struggle of the earnest seeker.
profane has a right to know that the search
for truth is the object of Freemasonry. He knows where and when we
meet, we publish
the names of the officers and members of our lodges and a lot more
we have done all this he has no right to demand more unless he is
prepared to bind
himself to us as we are to one another.
my mind there is a mass of information given
the profane that were better recorded only in our minutes, the
publication of the
proceedings of our tyled communications in the profane press should not
at the same time a judicious and persistent advertising of our public
is good and useful propaganda.
all the "Masonic Press" is the
"Profane Press," there is nothing printed that is not the property of
the "wide, wide world" sooner or later, and we should govern ourselves
to our symbolism, it has been the symbolism
of all Mysteries, all religions, and all peoples for all time ‒ its
is open to all mankind.
L. Carson, Virginia.
Discussion of Esoteric Subjects."
real secrets of Freemasonry are truths which
are vital to the development of man's higher nature. In Freemasonry
are taught by a system peculiar to the Fraternity, and even this method
esoteric. The method of teaching, however, does not reveal to the
student the truths
which are vital he must apply the method and study the meaning of the
ceremonies with the idea ever before him that "Masonry consists of a
of ancient hieroglyphical and moral instructions, taught according to
by types, emblems and allegorical figures."
the student, who applies himself with freedom
fervency and zeal, secrets of the most vital import are revealed; not
by a better
informed brother, but through the study of the symbolical teaching
which is the
peculiar characteristic of freemasonry.
has been written upon the subject of Masonic
symbolism, and there is much that will serve as a guide to the student;
but he must
progress of his own tree will and interpret the symbolic teaching
himself A Masonic
sage said, "I should in fact only follow the instructions of the
if I should say but part and leave the rest unuttered, that each might
it for himself. It was the old custom of Masonry, like the nature
to lift only a corner of her veil; and she may boast; like Isis, that
for no man
has she wholly raised the veil."
studying the symbolism of Freemasonry to
discover the valuable secrets it contains, may we not set as our guide
that every symbol and allegory of Masonry which has been handed down
from the remote
past, illustrates some moral or spiritual truth?
ritual is the key to all the secrets of
Masonry, but in itself is not a vital secret, although it is partly
man might know every form and ceremony of the ritual and be in utter
the secrets of Masonry. High ideals and pure motives are essential to
of the vital secrets of Freemasonry.
is impossible to tell the profane the secrets
of Masonry, but it is possible and advisable to inform the inquiring
prospective candidate that Masonry is a system of morality which uses
are esoteric to furnish worthy men with the key to profound and vital
that it will be useless for him to become a member of the Fraternity
unless he expects
to diligently study the symbolical teachings and improve himself
do not agree with Joseph Fort Newton when
he maintains that the only thing secret about Freemasonry is its method
In reading the antimasonic literature we are forcibly impressed with
deductions which a superficial knowledge gives.
caution should be used in the discussion
of the interpretation of the meaning of Masonic symbolism by the
While it is doubtful if anyone not prepared with honest motives and who
welfare of his fellowman at heart may ever discover the secrets of
it is not advisable to open the way for adverse criticism by the
of esoteric subjects.
H. Shepherd, Chairman
Masonic Research Committee, Wisconsin.
give proper expression of my thought upon
these questions and the avowment of our Brother Newton it is necessary
the precise meaning of his statement which, fortunately, is concise,
the method of teaching esoteric Masonry
by oral transmission, illustrated by symbols, constitutes our secrets."
cannot agree that the method of teaching either
esoteric or exoteric Masonry is a secret. I do not understand that the
intended to be a secret. But I think the thing, or things, thus orally
the secrets the method is to preserve them such.
Landmarks, (whatever they may be), our system
of morality, our objective of character building, our social and
our Masonic equality, our charity of thought and deed, our liberty of
and our necessary belief in the existence of Deity and all similar
tenets and intentions
are widely known, and knowledge of them can be readily obtained by
printed works on Masonry.
then, comprises the secrets that are taught
only by word of mouth? To my mind they are the modes of recognition.
ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue and the mysteries of
are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts."
survey of these mysteries discovers that each
and every one is a method of recognition. This is true even of the
lessons of the
legend, and of the legend itself, and is also true of the obligations.
the greater part and most important of these "modes" carry the germ of
our system of "making men better," because they inculcate, in a
way, our "Great Landmark," as it seems to me, "The Fatherhood of
God and the Brotherhood of Man."
the knowledge of "One self-existing
God" was ever the secret of any cult, and if Masonry is in any way
from such a society, that secret was disclosed by God himself at Sinai,
afterwards published the knowledge to all the world by erecting a
not only for the Jews, but for all peoples, for the worship of the One
God. Our belief in the immortality of the soul is not a secret, but the
which it is Masonically taught, being a mode of recognition, is secret.
answer to question two, "To what extent
is it possible to tell our secrets to a profane?" I should answer that
modes of recognition whether simple grips or words, ceremonies or
the customs of Freemasonry, the peculiarities of lodge organization and
that are means of recognition should be orally communicated only to
to know the same.
the last question I should answer that the
Masonic press or any other press can properly dilate upon, or explain,
and our purposes, except as above restricted.
ethics of publishing Masonic matter is not
now as strict as formerly was thought incumbent, and, no doubt, the
of former times was the means of destruction to many valuable documents
is a real danger at present in the publication of Masonic subjects of a
latitude being assumed as permissible. To my mind a recent article in
was of this character.
speculate" originally meant to
meditate upon, or to investigate, the properties of sacred things.
is most appropriate that we work in speculative Masonry and I take this
to express my belief that original Masonry was of that type and during
when we were merged within the body of operative Masonry my opinion is
mysteries were an inheritance to them.
system of morality when rightly worked results
in the upbuilding of character under all conditions of peoples.
is eminently proper to publish dissertations
upon this or analogous subjects and among these there are so few modes
that practically the whole system can be published. The fact that we do
membership is a proper matter for publication as well as to discuss its
or disadvantages. But the reason why our would-be votaries must make
application for our mysteries trenches upon a mode of recognition and
be spoken of between Masons. By maintaining secret every mode of
great principles of our Institution are subserved and if no other end
except the charm through them of recognizing a brother in public or
by casual or pointed advertance to Masonic subjects, it would be
for their preservation as our secrets.
F. Bowe, Georgia.
Tell What The Uninitiated Can Understand.
real secret of Freemasonry, if there be
one single dominating secret, is made up of a combination of other
speaking these are the methods of recognition, the obligations and
methods of administering
them, the mode of conferring degrees, the legend of the Third degree.
include the catechisms of the various lectures, words, grips, signs,
etc. can we
weld these into one and if so what is it? Let us analyze Brother
that it is the method of teaching. To begin with we realize that our
may be widely different from his. To us the method of teaching consists
of the impressing
upon the mind wise and serious truths by the employment of beautiful
and lectures. The ceremonies are such that the candidate or neophyte is
be one of the principal characters and takes a prominent part and as
develops receives a deep impression that teaches him a lesson, his very
of the course the action is to take making the lesson vivid and
lasting. While we
agree that our particular ceremony or ceremonies are secret yet from
gained from reliable sources we find that other organizations use the
in principle. In discussing these subjects we must take the view-point
of a man
who has taken the three degrees and no more. Some of us have gone a
some the whole way, and it is often hard to eliminate from one's mind
learned later. Taking this view-point I cannot find anything to call
the one dominating
secret that includes and covers all the secrets that are unfolded to
the Blue Lodge
us now turn to the profane. We must here
remember that many things spoken or written are so clear to the
initiated that it
seems as though they shouted secrets. The initiated subconsciously and
place the words in a different setting, read over and under, before and
which are not there nor can the profane imagine them. The hidden
meaning in such
passages is as clear as crystal to the initiated, as clear as mud to
There is much we can tell the profane without breaking any oath to
limit being the secrets as outlined above, but I can conceive of no
in telling him what he cannot understand nor appreciate, not having the
link. I do not approve of even approaching the boundary in such things
is absolutely nothing to be gained and such remarks in the mouths of
initiated might do harm.
publications, on the other hand, are
issued for the initiated; nearly if not quite all who write are well
to be trusted to be skilful in their interpretation of symbolism and in
of words. The writer does not have to say baldly that this refers to
section of the nth degree or that to the first section of some other.
He can say
enough so that the initiate knows to what he refers without mentioning
in the ritual. As a test we must put ourselves in the place of the
profane by divesting
our minds of all those things which we know from initiation and then
our words by themselves will reveal anything necessarily secret.
H. McCollum, Connecticut.
Openly Propagate Principles.
is as difficult to answer this question as
it would be to explain what is the secret of friendship, or love, or
or religion. Freemasonry has its secrets but they are so elusive, so
it is quite impossible to catch them in a net of words. Moreover, it
has many different
kinds of secrets, symbolic, ceremonial, experiential, mystical, etc.,
it is quite difficult to select out of these what would be considered
as the secret,
the real secret of the Craft.
the matter by-and-large I believe
that Dr. Newton's definition is very near the truth. Almost every one
of our symbols
has been, or is, known to others: much in our ritual was borrowed by
fathers from other secret societies: many of our usages are being
employed by other
fraternities at the present day: therefore it would seem that Masonry
from these others by the manner in which it has assembled these
elements, and by
the way in which it brings its truths home to the candidate: in other
Dr. Newton says, by its methods of teaching. Masonry's method is all
its own. The
second and fourth articles in your question may be answered together.
Mason nor the Masonic press can be suffered to tell anything that will
is done or said in initiation else they both violate the plain letter
of the obligations:
but the truths and principles embodied in the ritual, or illustrated by
parts, may be expounded ad lib, and so also with the symbols, and with
philosophy." THE BUILDER is expounding the ritual from month to month.
Pike, and countless other Masonic writers, have interpreted our symbols
of books and essays: Brother Roscoe Pound has given us a book on
no sane Mason, so far as I know, has yet taken offense at any of these.
So far as
I am personally concerned I should be pleased to see the Craft more
its principles and its spirit: that could be done without the slightest
of the obligations.
L. Haywood, Iowa.
to the Mason as Well.
Real Secret of Freemasonry, as I understand
it, is a "secret" only in that it is something discovered only with
only to be found by patient study and interpreting of the symbolism of
It is a knowledge of that type of true religion applicable to the
of each individual searcher. In the nature of the case, it cannot be
told to the
profane or to the Mason. Each must find it for himself; it is not
of being told. Though a Masonic philosopher tell his interpretation of
he cannot tell the secret. For, as the student gathers the ideas of his
the student accepts them only with reservations and variations, fitting
his own particular life-problem. And lo! the secret that the
philosopher tried to
tell has not been told: instead a new real secret of Freemasonry has
in the brain of the student, never to pass beyond it except as it is
in good works and a true Masonic life.
then, I do not agree with Brother
Newton that the only thing secret in Masonry is the method of teaching.
Masonic press may and should "go to
the limit" in public interpretation of Masonic symbolism. What harm can
do? And it can do a vast amount of good.
A. Kingsbury, Massachusetts
heartily agree with Brother Joseph Fort Newton.
‒ Wm. F. Kuhn, P. G. M., Missouri.
believe the real secret of Freemasonry is
a key to life eternal. As I view it humanity ranges in an infinite
number of degrees
from the human brute up to the conscious sons of God. Thousands of
years ago the
sons potentiality is inherent in each of us developed a series of
between the lower and the higher life which they expressed in
mathematical and geometrical. These symbols formed the basis of the
and were explained to those who were lawfully entitled to receive them.
remember that even the founder of the Christian religion did not openly
truths concerning the kingdom. He taught the multitudes in parables and
explained their meanings to his disciples. A little thought and
show the reason for this. In our everyday life we are very careful
the truths of adult life to a child so in the life of the spirit the
found it not only unwise but unsafe to teach heavenly truths to earthy
same holds true today.
do not agree with Brother Newton in his statement
that the only secret about Freemasonry is its method of teaching. The
of Masonic knowledge is a secret most heavily veiled from the profane
as well as
from the initiate and it is only he who lives the life who shall
Masonic press should have considerable latitude
in the public interpretation of our symbolism. It will be a benefit to
can grasp it and it will not be understood by those who are not yet
G. Keplinger, Illinois.
Secret Personal to the Individual.
real secret of Masonry? You would not believe
me if I told you. We might agree upon many points but Masonry whispers
secret to each individual. It is the same that we read in the great
book of Nature
and revelation that our monitors speak of.
know not if James Allen be a member of the
Masonic fraternity but his writings proclaim him a Mason in his heart.
books "As a Man Thinketh," "Out from the Heart" and "Through
the Gate of Good" set forth the experience of one who has traveled from
to East and returning, is pointing the way to light and life, to
am thoroughly in accord with Brother Newton
that Masonry has no secret because its teachings are all about us, upon
We see them daily exemplified by Mason and non-Mason and, sad to
underfoot, cast aside and made of no account by those who have pledged
to observe them. No danger of Masonry's secret being "discovered" or
when so many Masons perceive them (those teachings) not. Tell them out.
them in the streets of Gath and Askalon and in the highways and byways
so that he
who seeks a sensational revelation in his initiation may say, "If that
secret, I'll none of it"; and so those duly and truly prepared may
seek more light and swell the membership. Grips and passwords and
important as they are, do not make Masons.
several articles I have contributed to THE
BUILDER on "What an Entered Apprentice Ought to Know," "What a Fellow
Craft Ought to Know," and "What a Master Mason Ought to Know," as
far as they go, lay bare what to my mind is the essence of the
teachings of Masonry
and all they conceal is the methods by which those teachings are
presented to the
System of Theology?
my mind the real secret of Freemasonry is
its doctrines of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul.
To the Masonic
philosopher the universe is a symbol or material expression of a divine
Will transcending human comprehension, which we call the Grand
Architect of the
Universe. We are rays from that Great Light, individuated. Partaking of
life we are immortal; the grave is only an incident in our career. But
say, all this is known to the profane, consequently it is not a secret.
there was a time when it was the grandest of secrets. In the Mysteries,
of Masonry, the doctrine of the unity of duty was taught to initiates
worth and intelligence. It was the esoteric instruction of the
the world outside the sanctum sanctorum was steeped in polytheism,
crass ignorance. Today the above doctrines are secrets to materialists
living on the sense plane only. To the casually minded the things of
are foolishness. If the materialistic philosophy advances, Freemasonry
will be the
grand depository of doctrines that are esoteric in every sense of the
knowledge that is hidden from a man, because of the fact that his
such is atrophied, is secret knowledge.
says Brother Frank
C. Higgins (The Beginning of Masonry [Lib 1916],
New York, 1916) "… is fundamentally and structurally a system of
proving the existence and attributes of the onetime God to the
satisfaction of the
intellect, and so supplying a bulwark to faith unattainable by any
The nature of this proof … is founded on precisely the same assumption
as the natural
theology of a Paley or a Brougham of our own era that evidence of
design or intention
proves the presence of Mind, the wisdom, power, and beauty of which may
from the result." In the Fellow Craft degree, with its emphasis upon
is contained this revelation drawn from the Book of Nature, man's first
the Master's degree is set forth the grand dogma of the Mysteries the
of the soul. Those Continental systems of so-called Masonry which have
repudiated this philosophy of Deity have no real secrets.
the old days of operative Masonry the days
of the medieval cathedral builders the real secret of the Craft was in
the forming of the pointed arch by means of the Euclidean geometry; the
of the perfect triangle from the interlaced circles (visica pisces),
which the churchman
of the period used as a symbol of the birth of the logos, or Divine
Word, the creative
word that brought the universe into being. When Masonry became
architectural and building secrets of the ancient gilds were relegated
to the background,
and philosophical speculations into the nature and attributes of Deity
sine qua non of the Craft.
means by which Masons know each other are
secret so far as the profane are concerned, but they do not constitute
secret, the real secret. Brother J. Fort Newton declares that the only
about Freemasonry is its method of teaching. He is correct so far as he
he does not go far enough.
far as the public interpretation of the meaning
of our symbolism is concerned, I think the Masonic press should have
all the liberty
it desires, so long as it does not reveal the methods by which one
another brother in the dark as well as the light the esoteric part of
I am of the opinion that many of our symbols and doctrines are borrowed
and Cabalistic sciences, especially the latter. Any light that can be
this subject is of value.
R. Evans. District of Columbia.
The Trestle Board Design -- [A Poem]
Bro. L. B. Mitchell,
the design, my brother, pray,
Upon the Trestle Board today?
Your Temple building has begun
And each day's work from sun to sun
Should show in its design the plan
That means the building of a man, ‒
The building that interprets fine
The ideal Trestle Board design.
The Temple building you essay
Should grow in beauty by the way
E'en though it be a rugged road
And yours to bear a heavy load.
But wheresoe'er the way may lead
Or whatsoe'er may be your need,
The heart must everything refine
That's in the Trestle Board design.
And while there's none can build for you
It compensatingly is true
That none can your soul work destroy
Or take from it its keener joy.
And if its plan be bold and clear
As in the light it may appear,
Yet others may the soul divine
That's in your Trestle Board design.
And in the Temple building plan
That Masonry unfolds to man
The TRUTH, as it is understood, ‒
Real SERVICE and true Brotherhood, ‒
With CHARACTER is what supplies
The best that is beneath the skies.
And this will serve you to refine
The better Trestle Board design.
And there is in the mystic Art
So much that centers in the heart, ‒
So much that leads your loves away
To social cheer and rest and play
And yet, that traces in its plan
The larger way to build a man
That helps you so much to refine
Your special Trestle Board design.
And now my brother, tell me, pray
What are your thoughts of Masonry
As helping you to find the best
And leaving to your heart the rest
While ever pleading that you be
From every moral blemish free?
O, what can hold more that’s sublime
Than this, YOUR Trestle Board design?
And the New War
does the future hold for Freemasonry? It
is perhaps better that we do not know. The trial of our mettle is a
test of our
real strength. We cannot deny the fact that never in the history of
were the threatening clouds of rancor and distrust thicker upon the
now. Never before were we more truly in a storm-tossed world. Whether
we will or
no, we are in the very center of a very maelstrom of uncertainty and
If our duty in the world has not been plain in the past, and it has
not, then certainly
it is worth careful study and meditation now. We must come to
understand it. We
must realize it. In this we dare not fail. The conditions before us
cannot be laughed
out of court. They must be faced.
Great War, which we hope has now won for
the world a long era of peace, has marked the final death of feudalism.
which we had fondly believed to be dead, has shown a surprising vigor.
As we have
since realized, it was the frenzied strength of insanity. Yet it has
youth of the world, and very nearly made of civilization a
charnel-house. That it
did not succeed in its dream of autocratic and despotic domination is
due to the
dimly realized but gradually awakening sense of justice in mankind.
Though it had
power to hypnotize the central European powers, it could not put to
sleep the democratic
ideals of the Anglo-Saxon. The future covenant of nations will be
written in the
English tongue, and for us, as Americans, there can be but one real
peace. It will be the peace which the Anglo-Saxon shall guarantee to
against all challengers whatsoever.
real question as to the peace of the new
world, then, is whether the Anglo-Saxons of all nations will agree upon
and responsibilities which each of the countries in which they live
shall have in
its preservation. That problem is still to be worked out. Let us pray
that it will
be done. Let us be willing to sacrifice something of self-interest,
that it may
is another war at hand, the war of class
hatred. It has overthrown the good, as well as the bad, in Russia. It
upon the prime maxim of anarchy that the individual has the right to
live for self
alone. What he wants must be his. Applied to property it means
communism ‒ common
ownership. Even women are property, and as such, subject to the bestial
one man ‒ or of all. Intellectual leadership is scorned, and the
cut off. Primitive man again emerges from the caves and bowels of the
civilization, announcing that by force of his brute strength brawn is
again to supplant
necessity and duty will give Masonry a
call to arms in this new and awful conflict. Masonry claims to be an
for intellectual advancement. Its ancient ceremonies reveal a time when
in ritual the great truths of human knowledge. Its very objects are to
"wiser, better, and consequently happier." Such an institution as ours
finds no place in any Bolshevist program. Yet never was there a greater
common with every other nation and society,
we must come to learn that the ideals and the progress for which
mankind has fought
its way upward, step by step, are as much at stake in this new war as
when the Kaiser challenged the whole world to defeat his ambition. No
form of government
except a democratic form of government can hope to defeat this class
growing in every land. Every democratic form of government will have to
its very existence. Shall Masonry support democracy through to the end
of the conflict?
In a word, is Masonry prepared to become a virile exponent and defender
of true Americanism? As I see it this is the issue which confronts us
at this very
hour, an issue which demands a firm application of our ancient
principle of human
freedom governed, tempered, guided, and controlled by order, system,
we are to build a truer Americanism in the
United States it means that we as a people must accustom ourselves to a
of fairness, of equality, and of brotherhood. "Hymns of hate" must be
replaced by songs of love. The solving of the problems which our
faces must be done in this new spirit of brotherhood. The League of
be furthered by limitations of armaments and the right of
peoples, but if a real peace shall endure, it must be builded upon a
league of brothers
which must be formed, free from all taint of selfishness.
for us, this atmosphere of true brotherhood
is no new atmosphere to the Masonic fraternity. The old charges define
a living exemplification of the men of the world dwelling together in
unity as brethren.
We must now find our place in this new world with the lessons of old
our ears. The value which we place upon our heritage of principles will
by the way in which we call upon our Masonic leaders to join the
vanguard of the
upholders of true freedom for mankind. Our definition of that freedom
must be unmistakably
an American definition. Those landmarks which are real will be a guide
way, and will not restrict us. Our ritual, too, will guide us. Our
system is so closely akin to true democracy that our task will be
largely one of
wise and sympathetic interpretation.
we but will, this wonderful Masonic system
of ours may be made a real melting pot of freedom. If we remain true to
it will be no crude, undirected process of cohesion. Masonry has a
formula for brotherhood.
It rests upon the identical principles which were written large into
of the United States. It is a process by which men come to realize
those vital duties
which must ever go hand in hand with all true equality and freedom. It
is a process
of education. It is unique. It is sane. It is trustworthy. It has a
to the world, especially in these times of great stress. But the use of
means work. It means finding leadership of the right kind. It means a
inspired by the steadfastness, faith, and zeal of Zerubbabel of old.
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and
fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own
name, and is
responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is
a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not
champion any one
school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all
alike a medium
for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its
The Question Box and Correspondence Column
are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any
Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly
with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of
Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail
publication in this department.
Knows The Name Of This Book Or Author?
you inform me of the name of a book (and
the writer) describing the voyage, search, and finding of the gold for
Temple? It follows the ships through the Mediterranean Sea, around
through the Atlantic
to South America, etc.
We are unable to locate such a book. If any
reader of THE BUlLDER can help us in the matter, please do so.
Council Degrees Conferred In Royal Arch Chapters in Virginia
degrees were conferred in Royal Arch Chapters
in the State of Virginia during the years 1898 to 1900, inclusive?
the degrees of Royal and Select Master and
the Super-Excellent Master degree under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Virginia, and are they conferred in Royal Arch Chapters in that State?
what order are the Chapter and Council degrees
worked in Virginia?
The degrees conferred in Royal Arch Chapters
in Virginia during the years of 1898 to 1900, inclusive, were the Mark
Master, Royal Master, Select Master, Most Excellent Master and the
Royal Arch. These
degrees are still conferred in the order named.
The degree of Super-Excellent Master is not
worked in Virginia.
Masonry in Chili
there any Masonic lodges in Chili besides
those chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts? When was
introduced in that country?
Freemasonry was introduced into Chili in
1841 by the Grand Orient of France. The Grand Lodges of Massachusetts
organized lodges in that country in 1860 and 1851, but at the present
time we find
no Chili lodges on the California register. There are three under the
of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, located at Conception, Santiago
The Grand Lodge of Chili, organized on May
24th, 1862, had at the last report (1917) 27 lodges on its roll
comprising a total
of 3,618 members. The Grand Lodge is recognized by the Grand Lodges of
Canada, District of Columbia Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri and
Wanted Concerning the Acacia
you will appreciate knowing that I
possess a live specimen of Acacia vera, or Tournefort, which I procured
Mouderiel, Egypt. I have been for four years trying to secure this
received it about three weeks ago.
the same length of time I have been endeavoring
to compile a history of this tree but find it quite difficult. Have you
concerning it other than that published in the November, 1918, number
of THE BUILDER?
is one thing which I beg to inquire if
you can set me straight on ‒ I find from different sources that the
wood was the Acacia vera and another authority says it was the Acacia
you know which is correct?
Upon investigation we also find authority
for both “vera” and "seyal." Possibly some member of the Society who
made a similar study may be able to throw some light on the subject.
National Masonic Organization Needs
have been greatly interested in the movement
started in the right direction for a National Masonic organization.
After our service
in France, all Masons in the Army are in a position to appreciate our
and the crying need for such an organization.
this Regiment, the 316th Field Artillery,
we organized a Masonic Club after the declaration of the armistice, and
have a healthy
organization of eighty-six members representing thirty-five
in command of the 315th Artillery at Camp
Lee, Virginia, we organized a similar Club under a charter granted by
Lodge of Virginia, but our present Club is without such a charter.
Master Masons have felt, in the vast majority
of cases, that they were neglected; they saw nothing being done for
them in a tangible
way. When men are giving up all they have ‒ their lives ‒ the buying of
Bonds, savings stamps, or subscriptions to welfare societies which were
does not fill the want. The men felt that the great Masonic Fraternity
them in words only, while they saw other societies actually doing
their comfort and welfare. The sick were not looked after by the
in isolated cases, where Clubs had been formed, nor were the dead cared
for as they
would have been had a general Masonic organization existed.
men do not understand the Masonic understandings
between jurisdictions, they do not understand why all American Masons
do not affiliate
with all French Masons. These differences are hard to explain to all
and are unfortunate.
They are surely not in keeping with the Brotherhood of Man doctrine, or
even a League
French Masons have made great sacrifices
in this war and in every case that has come to our knowledge have been
meet us more than half way, and do not understand the position some of
Grand Lodges have taken, a most unfortunate condition.
believe that a National organization is absolutely
essential; we cannot stand alone as an unorganized body of many Grand
and we trust that the failures of this war will soon be corrected and
that a permanent
National organization will be perfected and put on a real working basis.
R. P. Reeder, Chairman
316th Field Artillery Masonic Club,
Oisseau le Petit, France.
number of brethren were dining together in
this city not long ago when one brother said: "The Korean revolution is
of the introduction of Christianity. The Koreans take the bible too
This immediately called forth the reply: "What would have been the
Freemasonry operated there instead of Christianity?" The suggestiveness
the query produced a hush, and the matter dropped, but the incident set
me to thinking.
a body are not we Freemasons still largely
only a collection of potentialities? It seems to be almost inevitable
that the constant
pressure of attention to detail should crush out the spirit of study
This is the reason I hail the National Masonic Research Society, and
more than we are accomplishing must be done if the ritual is to be kept
to independent thought. I have always flattered myself that I was a
only a few days ago I was horrified to find, on looking over my files
of THE BUILDER,
that I had become so absorbed in making Masons that the Journal had
for four months.
as we are radical, wholesale reform
must come down to the bottom from the top. I therefore write you to
directly or indirectly, as circumstances make it seem best, that our
should ensure by regulation, by allocution or by other means that every
Master should, before taking his seat in the East, give proof of a
acquaintance with the history, the philosophy and the significance of
he works. This might be accomplished by making every candidate for the
chair pass a stated examination in a prescribed course in Freemasonry,
or by granting
diplomas to any brother who takes the course, and only allowing
to approach the East.
simpler course of study for which certificates
could be issued might be required from every newly-raised candidate as
of good standing.
such a proposal is not impossible, but
it is possible only if the Grand Lodges will take it up.
Spurgeon Medhurst, China.
(Were THE BUILDER to advocate the passing
of such legislation as our brother in China proposes we fear that we
should be considered
presumptuous and our motives in the matter might be questioned.
However, the fact
that hundreds of study clubs have been organized, not only in the
and Canada but in other countries, during the past few years and that a
organized Masonic study has been inaugurated in a surprisingly large
number of lodges,
which number is being constantly added to, leads us to believe that the
has become established on a firm foundation and that the majority of
will be better qualified in many respects to dispense information among
than many of their predecessors. That education and enlightenment on
is gradually becoming an important factor in Masonry of the present day
by the great increase in the membership of the Research Society and the
in the field of Masonic literature of many new publications that are
as well as the improvement of many Masonic periodicals that have been
for some years.
A Washington Brother's Endorsement of the
Masonic Service Association
Lawler, Member Executive Commission M.S.A.,
through the kindness of Brother Schoonover,
whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Spokane a few years ago, I was
sent a copy
of the Proceedings of the Cedar Rapids Masonic Conference shortly after
This conference was, in my opinion, the first practical meeting of its
entire subject is so replete with possibilities, yet so simple in its
that one wonders why it was not thought of long ago.
is not my intention to discuss the establishment
of a Masonic Service Association in the light of any alleged violation
landmarks," or from the puerile standpoint of "what was good enough for
my father is good enough for me." In spite of his recantation, it has
demonstrated that Galileo's statement to the effect that the earth
moves is correct;
and in a similar manner it has been proven that Masonry is a
in spite of the attempts of earnest, but misguided individuals, to hold
it to the
channels in which it flowed when the present form of Masonic government
We only have to hearken back to the years following 1717 to realize
that the brethren
of those days looked upon Grand Lodges as distinct innovations; yet, in
the opposition advanced, Grand Lodges have been established wherever
and it is only the student of Masonry who knows that there was a time
now established form of Masonic government was an innovation. To such
has this doctrine been fostered upon the craft that even our rituals
conform to the new standard, and conspire to deceive the newly admitted
to our mysteries. Glaring inaccuracies, not to use a stronger term, are
our degree work, and these have even been strengthened by Masonic
zeal outstripped their reverence for that trait which should solely
is a progressive science."
I would like to see this phrase emblazoned upon the walls of every
temple, as an
ever present reminder to consider its meaning. There would be no
violation of "ancient
landmarks" if the first phrase were thoroughly understood. Only such
are ancient landmarks which alone preserve their integrity as the
changes. Masonry is not dependent upon any particular form of
government and administration
for its perpetuation, as this is only the physical vehicle through
which the soul
of the institution expresses itself; but the physical form must change
needs of the spirit, or the spirit will depart, leaving behind only an
eighteenth century; together with the greater
part of the nineteenth, was an era of analysis. The present century,
with its introduction
of the last decades of the nineteenth, is the forerunner of a synthetic
of striving to ascertain wherein we differ, we are striving today to
we agree, and to leave the non-essentials out of the discussion. The
union of labor
into organizations for mutual protection and benefit, the combination
into syndicates for greater economic development, the amalgamation of
churches into larger bodies with common principles, the proposed
states and nations into a league for mutual benefit, all of these prove
that this is a synthetic and a constructive age. Those of us who are
not drunk at
the feast with the perfumes and vapors of mutual admiration, the
adoration of sycophants,
and the honeyed and sickening expressions of the secretly envious, can
Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” upon the wall, and know that the Belshazzars of
are on the road to speedy destruction.
the votaries at the shrine of a pagan god,
created out of inert matter by the worshippers themselves our
benumbed with the perfume exhaled from the sensuous vapors eddying
forth from before
the idol. Until we develop a Moses in our own midst to lead us forth
to the Promised Land, we must depend upon rank outsiders to burst open
It is distasteful, but nevertheless true, that Mr. Fosdick's charge of
of co-ordination" is well grounded when considered from the standpoint
service. True we do work in harmony in a national crisis, but it takes
than a calamity, such as a flood or an earthquake, to produce results.
If we can
organize upon a basis wherein no attention will be paid to petty
as the right of a lodge in one state to bury a brother in another
state, or the
question of perpetual jurisdiction of one state over a former applicant
elsewhere, and can concentrate upon the larger questions of the day,
then we shall
make progress in the right direction.
having attended previous Grand Masters'
conferences, or having had an opportunity of reading their minutes, I
am not in
a position to criticize or praise the discussions at such conferences.
As an observer,
however, it would seem that nothing of great benefit has resulted.
differences were adjusted in so far as they affected the fraternity,
nothing came out of the meetings which was of a distinct humanitarian
the other hand, the Masonic Service Association which has grown out of
Rapids conference has potentialities which we do not realize at the
but which Association is the meeting ground for united Masonic effort
in the future.
is immaterial to the average member of the
Craft ‒ and I consider myself an average member ‒ how Masonry
accomplishes its results.
I care not one whit if it is done by a Central Grand Lodge or by a
and the recipients of the benefits accruing from such organization care
as little. If we can unite upon a plan of action which will make
Masonry a virile
force in this world, one that exemplifies its work in actual beneficial
than in moral precepts, Masonry will be perpetuated for future
if we fail ‒ as we have failed in the war, and are failing now ‒ the
degenerate into a mere social appendage to our community life, and will
a precarious existence by appealing to the curious only.
I said in my address to the Grand Lodge last
June, if we were to ask a representative Mason just what Masonry had
done for the
world, he would be hard pressed for an answer. Masonry today is living
past traditions, and as the light of Truth is brought to bear upon
and traditions, we find many of them unsubstantiated.
time has come for the Craft to take new
measure of itself. The inventory shows a list of two million names, the
of whom are clean cut, intelligent and capable men. What defects of a
there may be are offset by the sterling worth and integrity of over 99
of the membership. We represent today 49 jurisdictions with as many
have our efficiency reduced in the same proportion. While we are only
two per cent
of the entire population, the regard and esteem in which Masonry and
are held by the uninitiated, gives us a far greater influence, and a
by the Masonic institution will carry with it a support far in excess
of our own
two per cent. With the influence of our own membership, and with the
those who will follow our leadership, let us not betray the confidence
us. Let us take such action as will insure Masonry's participation in
problems looming upon the horizon, so that we shall be unafraid,
prepared and ready
to throw ourselves in the struggle for equality and righteousness now
opportunity for the Grand Lodge of Washington
to bring the Masonic Service Association into permanent existence by
the first fifteen to cast an affirmative vote is past. Let us not fail,
to add to the total which is now accumulating and to at least be among
names shall be written upon the Magna Charta of Masonic service. The
of Washington can honor the Craft and itself by supporting the Masonic
and if I am present at the next communication, I shall do all in my
power to influence
an affirmative vote.
Jacob Hugo Tatsch, Washington.
(Since the foregoing letter was written,
the Grand Lodge of Washington has ratified the Constitution of The
Association and become a signatory member of that organization.
Author of the Poem "Not Understood"
the May number of THE BUILDER you publish
five verses of a very striking poem with which I am familiar, "Not
which for many years has been a prime favorite for public recitation
Australasia, the author being Thomas Bracken, a well-known poet of New
This poem is contained in a volume of his verses published by Gordon
Wellington, N.Z. He also wrote the New Zealand National Hymn. As you
unknown," it occurs to me that you may be interested to learn of his
P. Caton, Virginia.
Jefferson's Poem "Immortality" ‒ A Correction
the June issue of THE BUILDER you published
Joseph Jefferson's beautiful poem, "Immortality," the last lines of
"And so this
emblem shall forever be
A sign of humility."
desire to call attention to the substitution
of the word "humility" for "immortality." Many years ago I put
this poem in my scrap book, and the last two lines are:
"And so this
emblem shall forever be
A sign of immortality."
W Peace Tennessee
is less sincere than our mode of asking
and giving advice. He who asks seems to have deference for the opinion
of his friend,
while he only aims to get approval of his own and make his friend
his action. And he who gives repays the confidence supposed to be
placed in him
by a seemingly disinterested zeal, while he seldom means anything by
but his own interest or reputation.
be worth anything, character must be capable
of standing firm upon its feet in the world of daily work, temptation
and able to bear the wear and tear of actual life. Cloistered virtues
do not count
good intention clothes itself with sudden
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Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 03
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Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 04
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Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 06
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Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 08
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