– Volume XV – Number 11
Masonic Research Society
By Bro. B.A.
German of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
in THE BUILDER, vol. I, page 20, an article entitled: "Ernst and Falk."
“Translated from the German of G. E. Lessing (1778) by Louis Block,
P.G.M. of Masons
in Iowa." In a prefatory note the editor states that it was during the
"last years that he wrote 'Ernst and Falk: Five Conversations for
– a gem of purest ray and a treasure forever to the Order which he
The translator calls them not "conversations" but "discourses."
They are to be called "dialogs" here, if for no better reason than that
this term is suggestive of the Socratic dialog whose manner was well
Lessing's in "Ernst and Falk."
In how far
these dialogs constitute "a gem of purest ray," especially in the light
of the fourth and fifth dialog, here presented, each reader will have
to judge for
himself. There probably will be differences of opinion. The article on
the Catholic Encyclopedia, as reprinted in THE BUILDER, vol. V, p. 250,
seem to miss the truth so very far in what it says about Lessing's
opinion of Masonry,
and the same would be true of other intellectuals in Germany at the end
of the eighteenth
and the beginning of the nineteenth century. That they did not hold
such a very
high opinion of the Order is not at all surprising in view of the great
different "systems" prevailing then, or their experiences with the
Cagliostros, and like adventurers, or the evident frauds that
everywhere were being
practiced under a pretended Masonic cloak. Lessing's connection with
his Masonic works: Nathan the Wise
and The Education of the Human Race
as well as Ernst and Falk are the fruits of the author's pure humanity.
not only Masonic Classics, they have been cataloged in the classic
the world. Perhaps in some later articles in THE BUILDER some competent
will attempt to discuss the author and his Masonic writings. It is a
for the reaper. Here, the translation of only the fourth and fifth
dialogs is attempted.
Why Brother Block did not continue the translations the writer does not
prefatory note about there being "five conversations" is quite correct.
In THE BUILDER, vol. II, p. 201, appears the third of the five. From
the note accompanying
it we quote: "Herewith we present the Third Discourse, to appreciate
the reader must needs turn back to the first two," and in the present
this should be amended to read "turn back to the first three," the
two appearing in vol. I, and the third in vol. II.
In very brief
summary, the first three dialogs say that Masonry has its foundation in
that are part and parcel of human society. Each man is to live with all
so that the one shall perfect the other. Individuals are hindered in
this by such
things as the diversity of races, of political constitutions,
differences in occupation,
in social rank, and differences in creed. Freemasonry is to do away
with all these
differences and their infamous influence by establishing humanity as
the bond that
unites all human beings. Freemasonry is not instituted, primarily, to
in extreme need, or to bestow benefactions upon others, or for purposes
and entertainment. Its purpose is to exercise the individual in
constantly and to assist others in the attainment of perfection.
This is "the
spark" that "had kindled."
and became a Free-Mason. What he found there forms the Subject of a
fourth and fifth
discourse with which the road divides. (1)
or translating is often a treacherous thing. Even the best translator
to have before him an edition of the original which is faulty, through
editing or other reasons, and the peculiarities of the original idiom
are ever with
him, as will be manifest in the translation herewith presented.
idiom defies translation. Almost at the end of the third dialog Falk
says, in substance,
that the Masons have never made a secret of a certain fundamental
principle of Masonry.
According to this principle they accept every worthy man of proper
regard to his nationality, his religion, his station in the social
order. Then he
Naturally this fundamental
principle takes for
granted the existence of men who have risen above such divisions,
rather than those
who intend to create them.
seems justified according to two of four immediately available
editions, each by
a different publisher. According to the other two, Falk says something
Indeed, this fact [that Masons
men regardless of their nationality, religion, etc.] seems to
presuppose the existence,
even now, of fundamental laws that were established by such men as have
these divisions, rather than that the purpose of this fait should be
of such laws.
as quoted above from THE BUILDER is clearer than this. But is it as
The original German is not so very clear in either of the available
difference between them is merely one letter. The following translation
of the fourth
and fifth dialogs is based upon Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Sämtliche
von Karl Lachman, Dritte, auf's neue durchgesehene und vermehrte
durch Frank Muncker. Vol.
XIII. Leipzig: G. J. Goschen, 1897. This is the most scholarly,
and most authoritative edition of Lessing's Works that has appeared up
to the present
as the author uses some English words and phrases in these dialogs,
into English is an impossibility. Because of that fact and others, the
of the original is lost somewhat in translation.
librarian of the Ducal Library at Wolfenbüttel, Brunswick. The first
were accompanied by a few lines of dedication to the Duke of Brunswick,
who was himself a Mason. They were preceded also by a "Preface by a
Not all editions contain these. Since they did not appear in THE
BUILDER, vol. I,
they are given here. The first three dialogs were published in 1778,
the last two
in 1780, though it is pretty well established now that the fourth and
written, at least in outline, before the others were, and even before
made a Mason.
"Ernst And Falk" Dialogs 1, 2 And 3
To His Most
Serene Highness, Duke Ferdinand. Most Serene Duke:
Even I was
at the fount of Truth and drew from its waters. Only he can judge of
I have drawn, from whom I expect permission to draw even more deeply.
are languishing for water and are perishing. Your highness' Most Humble
IF the following
pages do not contain the true ontology of Freemasonry I would be eager
in which of the innumerable writings that have been the cause of them,
a more definite
idea of its substance may be found.
But if all
Freemasons, regardless of what stamp they may be, will be glad to admit
viewpoint here indicated is the only one from which sound eyes see a
and not one from which a mere phantom shows itself to the dim-visioned
the question still might be asked, why no one has come out in such
much that could be replied to this question. But one will hardly be
able to find
another question that resembles it more than does this one: Why did the
books of instruction in Christianity come into existence so late? Why
been so many and good Christians who were neither able nor willing to
give an intelligible
statement of their faith?
after all, would have occurred too early, in Christendom, inasmuch as
have gained but little, had it occurred. If only the thought had not
come to the
Christians to give a statement of it in a very absurd manner.
individual make his own application.
Preface By A Third Party
AS is known,
the author of the first three dialogs had this continuation in
for printing, when he received a pleading hint, from higher up, not to
to that, however, he had communicated the fourth and fifth dialogs to
Presumably without his permission, these friends had made copies of
them. By a peculiar
accident one of these copies came into the hands of the present
publisher. He regretted
that so many magnificent truths were to be suppressed and, not having
hint, he resolved to have the manuscript printed.
If this liberty
is not abundantly excused by the desire to see light east over such
then nothing more can be said in defense of having taken this liberty,
the publisher is not an initiated Mason.
it will be found, by the way, that for reasons of caution and respect
for a certain
branch of this society he has not, in the publication, mentioned
several names which
were spelled out in full.
Ernst! Back again at last. I have long since finished my mineral spring
because of that you feel quite well? I'm glad of that.
does that mean? Never has a "I'm glad of that" (2) been uttered more
am irritated, and it would lack but little for me to say that you are
the cause of my irritation.
induced me to take a foolish step. Give attention! Give me your hand!
What have you to say? You shrug your shoulders? That caps the climax.
may be, without intending to do so.
yet the blame is mine.
man of God speaks to the people about a country which flows with milk
and honey, and the people should not be longing for it? And are the
people not to grumble over this man of God when, instead of leading
them into this promised land, he leads them into arid deserts?
Well! The damage can't be so very great. Besides, I see that you have
been working at the graves of our forefathers.
were not encompassed with flames, however, but with smoke.
wait until the smoke is dispersed, and the flame will shed light and
smoke will suffocate me before the flame gives me any light. And I will
see that others, who are better able to stand the smoke, will warm
themselves at the flame.
surely are not speaking of people who like to endure the pungent smoke,
if it but be the smoke of another's bountiful kitchen?
you know them, after all?
heard about them.
the more, what is it that could induce you to trick me this way? To
make a false showing to me of things whose groundlessness you knew all
vexation causes you to be very unjust. You claim that I spoke to you of
Freemasonry without having given you to understand, in more ways than
one, how useless it is that every honest man should become a Freemason?
How useless only? Indeed, how harmful.
that may be.
claim that I did not tell you, that one may fulfill the highest
obligations of Masonry without being called a Freemason?
I remember that. However, you well know that, when my fancy has once
spread its pinions, has made one flap with them ‒ can I restrain them?
I reproach you with nothing except that you held before them such a
you soon wearied of the effort to reach it. Why didn't you say a word
to me about your intention?
you have dissuaded me?
certainly. ‒ Who, in the case of an active boy, wound talk him into
getting back into the gocart again because he still falls now and then?
I'm making you no compliments. You had already gone too far to make a
new start from there. No exception could be made in your case. All must
set foot upon that road.
should I rue having set foot upon it, if I could promise myself better
things of the remainder of the road. But, promises, excuses for delays,
and nothing but promises!
it's something if they are already making promises. And what is it they
are giving promises about?
pshaw, you know. It is the Scottish Masonry, the Scottish knight.
yes, quite right; But based upon what promise is the Scottish knight
that somebody knew!
those like you, the other novices in the Order, don't they know
they, they know so much, they expect so much! The one wants to make
gold, the other wants to conjure up spirits, the third wants to
re-establish the … (3). You're smiling, and smiling only?
else can I do?
indignation at such nonsensical fellows!
it were not for one thing that reconciles me with them again.
in all these dreamings I recognize a striving after reality, that from
all these mistaken paths one can nevertheless see whither the true path
from the making of gold, too?
the making of gold, too. Whether gold really can be made or not made is
a matter of indifference to me. But I am very certain that sensible
human beings will be wishing to be able to make it only with regard to
Freemasonry. Also, anyone who comes into possession of the
Philosophers' Stone, becomes a Freemason that very same moment. And it
really is odd, that all reports about actual or supposed goldmakers
that are current in the world, actually confirm this.
those who would conjure up spirits?
the same is true of them. It is impossible that spirits can give ear to
the voice of any human being other than that of a Freemason.
seriously you can say such things!
all that's sacred! Not more seriously than they are.
pshaw! But finally these new …, so it please God?
you see? You know nothing to say about them. For surely, … existed once
upon a time, but goldmakers and spirit conjurers possibly never
existed. And, of course, it is easier to say what is the attitude of
the Freemasons to such creatures of the imagination, than what it is to
real and actual ones.
in this case I can only express myself in a dilemma: Either, or…
good, too. If one at least but knows that, of two statements, one of
them is true. Well then: Either of these "would be (4) " … ‒
Stop before you finish your mockery. On my conscience! There. It is
just they who either are surely on the right road, or they are so far
from it that there remains to them not even the hope of ever getting on
I can't help but listen to all of that. For, to ask you for a more
not? It has been long enough now that they have been using secrecies
from which to make the secret.
do you mean by that?
I have already told you, the secret of Freemasonry is that which the
Freemason cannot reveal even were it possible that he wanted to reveal
it. But secrecies are things which, while they indeed can be revealed,
were concealed at certain times and in certain countries partly because
of envy, were choked back partly because of fear, were kept secret
partly as a matter of prudence.
instance, in the first place, this relationship between … and
Freemasons. It may be, indeed, that once upon a time it was necessary
and well not to let anything of this be noticed by others. But now, now
on the contrary it may become very harmful if they continue to make a
secret of this relationship. Rather ought it to be loudly acknowledged,
and all that ought to be necessary is, to determine the exact period in
which the … were the Freemasons of their time.
I know it, this period?
the history of the … thoughtfully. You must hit upon it. you surely
will hit upon it, and that is the very reason why you should not have
become a Freemason.
that I were sitting among my books this very minute. And if I hit upon
it, will I get your admission that I have done so?
the same time you will find, that you do not need my admission. But, to
get back to my dilemma again.
is this period alone which furnishes the data for its determination. If
all Freemasons who are now pregnant with the … see and feel this real
period, well for them! Well for the world! Blessings upon everything
that they undertake! Blessings upon everything which they forbear from
undertaking! But if they do not see and feel it, this period; if a mere
consonance has misled them; if it was only the Freemason working in the
… (5) who made them think of the …; if they merely fell in love with …
on the … (6); if they merely would like to bestow on themselves and
their friends nice … fat prebends; well, then, may Heaven grant us very
much compassion so that we may refrain from laughing.
You still are able to get warmed up and bitter.
yes! I thank you for your remark, and I'm cold as ice again.
what do you think, which one on the two cases is the one of these
fear it is the latter. Would that I might be mistaken! For if it should
be the former, how could they entertain such a peculiar project? To
re-establish the …! That great period at which the … were Freemasons no
longer occurs. Europe, at least, has long since passed it and, in
matters pertaining to it, no longer has need of any extraordinary
assistance. What is it then that they're after? Do they, too, want to
become a saturated sponge that the higher ups will sometime squeeze
dry? But to whom am I directing this question, and against whom? Did
you ever tell me, could you tell me that other than novices burden
themselves with these vagaries about goldmakers, spirit conjurers, …?
Other than children, than people who have no scruples about abusing
children? But children become men. Just leave them undisturbed! Enough,
as said, that even in the toy I behold the weapons which at some time
the men will wield with a sure hand.
all, my friend, it is not these childish things that put me out of
humor. Without presuming that anything serious might be back of them, I
ignored them. A cask, I thought, thrown overboard for the young whales!
But what vexes me is this: Everywhere I see nothing, everywhere I hear
nothing but these childish things; that no one pretends to know
anything about that concerning which you aroused expectations within
me. I may strike this tone as often as I will and towards whom I will.
Nobody cares to join in; always and everywhere the deepest silence.
equality which you indicated to me as being the fundamental law of the
Order; that equality which filled all my soul with such unexpected
hope: at last to be able to breathe it in fellowship with men who
understand how to do their thinking in a sphere that is above all civil
modifications, without sinning against any one of these equalities to
the detriment of a third party.
still exists? If ever it did exist! Let an enlightened Jew come along
and put in his application. "O" they say, "a Jew? Of course, a
Freemason must at least be a Christian. It is quite a slatter of
indifference as to what kind of a Christian. Without distinction as to
religion, means, only, without distinction as to the three publicly
tolerated religions in The Holy Roman Empire. “Don’t you think so, too?
an honest shoemaker who, at his last, has had leisure for many a good
thought (even though it were a Jacob Bohme and Hans Sachs (8)), let him
come and put in his application! "O" they say, "a shoemaker! Why, of
course, a shoemaker." Let a faithful, experienced, tried servant come
and put in his application. "O" they say, "of course, people of that
kind, who can't themselves select the color of their own coats ‒ we
enjoy such good company among ourselves."
how good is their company?
well! I have nothing in particular to criticize in regard to that,
except that it is exclusively good company, of which one gets so tired
in the world ‒ princes, counts, gentlemen of the nobility, officers,
councilors of all sorts, merchants, artists ‒ all of these, without
distinction as to their social class, have their topsy-turvy fancies in
the lodge, it is true. But as a matter of fact all are of one and the
same class and, alas, this is ‒ (9)
my time things were not exactly like that. And yet! I don't know, I can
but guess. I have been outside of all connection with lodges too long a
time, whatever their form may be. Not to be able to be admitted for a
while into the lodge now and, to be debarred from freemasonry, these,
surely, are two different things.
the relationship between the lodge and Freemasonry is like that between
the church and belief. From the outward prosperity of the church we can
draw no conclusions as to the faith of its members, none whatever.
There is rather a certain outward prosperity of it concerning which it
would be a miracle if it could exist along with the true faith. And
furthermore, both have never yet gotten on with each other. On the
contrary, the one has always destroyed the other, as history teaches.
And thus, I fear, I fear …
short, this lodge business, as I hear it is carried on at the present
time, it will not down with me. Having a treasury; to acquire capital;
invest this capital; try to use it to make the best bargain; buy lands;
have kings and princes bestow privileges; to use the prestige and power
of them for the suppression of the brothers who belong to an observance
different from the one which they would so much like to establish as
being the essence of the thing ‒ If this does well in the long run! How
gladly would I be willing to have prophesied falsely!
well! What is it than can happen? The State does not carry on so any
longer now. And besides, among the persons that make its laws, or
administer them, are probably, even now, already too many Freemasons.
well! Then even though they have nothing to fear from the State, what
kind of an influence, do you think, will such a form of government have
on them themselves? Will they not, evidently, get back to that, from
which they wanted to tear themselves away? Will they not cease being
what they claim to be? I don’t know whether you quite understand me?
be sure! Yes indeed nothing endures forever. Possibly this is the very
means selected by Providence to put an end to the whole schema of
of Freemasonry? What is it you call by that term? Schema?
Schema, husk, dress.
still don t know …
surely don't think that Freemasonry always played the part of
what does that mean? That freemasonry did not always play the part of
other words, do you really think that that which is Freemasonry was
always called Freemasonry? But see! It's already past noon! And there
my guests are already coming. You're surely going to stay?
didn't want to, but now I shall probably have to. For a twofold
satiation now awaits me.
at table, please, not a word.
- THE BUILDER,
vol. ii, p. 202.
- These italics.
and all which follow, appear in the original.
- The asterisks
here, and wherever they appear subsequently,
represent the Order of the Knights Templar. Not of course, the American
Order, but in most places the original one, and in others the pretended
Templar Order that was making claims to the leadership of German
Masonry at the
time Lessing wrote.
- Lessing here
used the English words as marked by the
edition of Lessing's works, Berlin, 1875, p.
26, says: "An attentive reader will easily be able to fill out the two
- In the (second)
edition of Ernst and Falk, 1781, the
year of Lessing's death, this passage reads: "the red cross on the
- The punctuation
of the original is here preserved. The
sense is not very clear. Two imprints of the 1780 edition have an
instead of the question mark, The Gosche edition has however a comma
by what authority? However the comma makes for clearer sense, viz., "It
equality) would still exist if ever it did exist! With the question
mark as it is
given the meaning would be: "You say it still exists."
- The noted
mystic and a well known poet of the Reformation
period, both of whom were shoemakers by trade.
edition of 1781 has: "one and the same
class, that class namely, on which time hangs heavily and whom the need
to be occupied
joins into one and the same class."
Bro. Cyrus Field Willard,
WE have spoken
above of certain modifications which may be produced in the egg and we
go further; proceeding from the idea that life is produced by
‒ which is, of course, metaphysical for the experimental sciences show
only a certain
simultaneousness ‒ certain scientists leave tried to reproduce
at least to imitate living tissue by beginning with the mysterious
which is their constituent element.
study of the "Brownian movements" have shown microscopic particles in
a state of incessant agitation, which appear inherent to them, and may
the first stammering of life. But they have also wished to go farther
the secret of the construction and the genesis of the cell.
Benedikt and other scientists have tried to seize the process of the
crystals, but always by proceeding from a "germ crystal," as in the egg
all proceeds from an organic germ. The celebrated experiments of Leduc
crystalline formations imitating vegetation by letting fall a drop of a
of sugared sulphate of copper into a mixture of gelatine, ferrocyanide
and marine salt. These similitudes of plants possess some of the
to living beings, but they are not alive. If they are a daring
the power of the human, they have not given us true living beings. Only
that when man reproduces the putting to work of certain processes of
happens by the same effort to produce coherent forms, and not merely a
magma ‒ is it not still "geometry" which reappears, here artificially,
I would say
as much of the experiments of Benard, or of those of Butschli of
linseed oil, alkaline carbonates and water, or with the yellow of an
Mere one imitates the substances called "colloidal" which are at the
of organisms, and even in certain cases they have been able to form
envelopes, microscopic cells, containing a jelly analogous to that of
This is not the famous "homunculus" dreamed of by certain alchemists,
but it is an interesting demonstration of the steps which nature
in its constructions: ‒ architecture.
order of ideas, it is fitting to observe that the examination of the
different flames permits us to note, by the lines that appear there,
composition of the luminous focus thus analyzed. Behold then, light
its shafts that which are finally seen as geometrical outlines and are
of the body in Combustion. And the number of the lines (arithmetic)
happens to corroborate
their position (geometry).
In the phenomena
of acoustics the Mason will find still another reason for meditation
and study of
the letter G.
We wish to
make allusion to the experiments which have become classic because they
are so old,
although they have been multiplied and perfected in our day. This is
not only the
problem of the proportions of the strings or sonorous pipes, of which
it would be
commonplace to speak; it is not only the direct graphs of the sonorous
of the tuning-fork, which give such curious designs by the combination
of the two
movements, parallel or rectangular; it is the action of the vibration
of a sonorous
environment on flames, with the old experiments of Helmholtz. There are
curious designs formed by the stroke of a violin bow on plates
sprinkled over with
sand, according to the place where they produce a contact, which is
that of the violin bow.
At the same
time we cannot help thinking of the other designs which are luminous
and which the
phenomena of interference produce; the effects of the polarization of
the colored rings which appear in bi-refractory crystals. Let us remark
that all these designs can be expressed in numerical language: sound
form and number.
in passing will salute the calculations of thermodynamics which unite
the calorific vibration and the mechanical effect. But he would not
know that experimental
psychology records sensation with figures, and that the scientist
has noted in this manner, in equations, even the phenomena of life and
Then he would
take cognizance of the results of stereochemistry, or the relations of
in their grouping in the molecule and the conceptions which it inspires
in the observer.
Behold several composite bodies which are formed of the same
elements. Analysis reveals no difference. What is it then which permits
us to establish
their identity and to distinguish one from the other, to explain why
they do not
cause light to deviate in the same way when it is caused to traverse
is that, in their chemical identity, that which distinguishes them one
other, is the molecular arrangement of their elements in space, that is
to say a
geometrical rule. It is scarcely fifty years ago that Van t'Hoff and de
on the work of the great Pasteur, have brought to light this new branch
which since has made considerable progress. It has not only cleared the
it has permitted the synthesis of a certain number of organic products.
It is therefore
no more a reverie than all the other scientific hypotheses, from which
drawn the laws and the results of it remain positively valid.
It is likewise
remarkable that chemistry has had to have recourse to symbolic
notations, and to
formulas which are a veritable algebra, permitting the noting of the
of bodies, the results of their combinations and of their modifications
which one may compare to real equations.
notation employed by modern chemistry based on the admission of the
atom, a notion
conceived by Grecian antiquity, is moreover conformable to those which
although under another aspect, in the Oriental philosophy. But again we
that the systems and their expression are only points of view and the
alone is of consequence for Masonic esotericism, the equivalents and
proportions of the combination of bodies brings to light that which we
call the arithmetic of chemistry, by the side of its geometry.
already admitted experimentally that the atoms are maintained
each other by repulsive forces," necessitating by this the corollary of
forces, like the love and the hate of the atoms, of which the old Greek
again taken up the same conception which is now classic, but it is an
question than that of the constitution of the atom, or what Leibnitz
called the monad, for the ancient atomist admitted the impenetrability
and the indivisibility
of the atoms and saw in force only a manifestation of movement, the
point of view
followed by the materialists of our times.
But the present
scientific knowledge has left very far behind it the atoms of
Democritus, and we
are going to see, by the following, how they are considered today.
and Protean-formed manifestations of the atoms, according to
no longer put us in the presence of a ponderable and irreducible
element but they
make us meet, face to face, a new geometry of which the constitutive
have to be determined and which will lead us to new examinations. We
shall see if
they take us away from or bring us closer to our point of departure.
of the experimentalists, our contemporaries, have demonstrated by
that the theory of the atom, fundamental material unity, has gone out
of date and
they have built a new theory of the atom, which makes of it a
multiplicity, of which
the units have no longer the character of matter in the sense that
attaches to this word, nor even in any acceptation.
M. Langevin has written this:
The conception of the atom of
which the material atoms are formed, furnishes the necessary tie
and the Ether environment, with which it is surrounded. The atom is a
formed of a centre positively electrified, called the nucleus, around
the negative corpuscles or electrons. Ether, meta-ether, energy; what
what they are called?
It is a kind of planetary
system; it seems that
the genial Pascal may have prophesied it when he wrote in his
that he saw in his abridgment of the atom, "an infinity of universes of
each one has its firmament. Its planets its earth."
of each body forms thus a distinct little world. The study of the
of bodies, causing the discovery among other things of the Alpha
permitted us to examine these microscopic universes.
of aluminum contains around its nucleus a group of 13 electrons at
The atom of gold contains 79 electrons gravitating in six orbits around
The nuclei themselves are of an astonishing complexity; that of
14 electrons and 27 protons; that of gold, 118 electrons and 197
protons and that
of mercury 200 protons and 120 electrons. What would Pythagoras say
today of this
arithmetic, and of this geometry, proceeding from nothing in order to
everything? Into what admiration would he be plunged in the examination
of the work
of Curie, of Becquerel and of Perrin?
he think of the algebraic calculations scrutinizing the frame of
and filling up the gaps in it, classifying a new chemical body in the
tables, or making the discovery of an invisible planet in the sidereal
or materialist, the Mason can thus see his system surpassed and
restored to unity
with the contrary system, by the sciences which the symbol of the
letter G conceals,
and which seem everywhere present, in order to realize a synthesis
that of the esoteric tradition.
Do we deserve
to be taxed with being reactionary in spirit because we approve of our
predecessors for having placed in the foreground geometry as the
of the foregoing is "done over" into English in the words and
of the translator, there are many things not covered. In Langmuir's
find a geometrical formation of the atom and in the laboratory of the
Co. at Schenectady there are young ladies who have built up models of
atoms in accordance with the theories of Dr. Isangmuir showing the
an emphasis of the Letter G which is all the more effective because
silent. In many
lodge rooms today in America, we see even when the lodge is not in
session the letter
G in the East back of the Master's chair, and at the same time, when
the lodge is
in session and the Master assumes his jewel, there is a duplication and
as he places his jewel in its proper position.
was a Greek born on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, who settled
in the southern
part of Italy, called Magna Grecia. He required from those who wished
to join his
brotherhood at Krotona, that they should possess a knowledge of
geometry. In fact
Plato, one of his later followers, said "God geometrizes" and today we
know how true this is. The Greeks called the earth, "Gea," and its
was "metron" hence "geometry" was used to measure the earth,
the other planets and for other purposes. The letter G in Greek was
and it was made exactly in the form of the square, the jewel of the
one of the Great Lights.
another of the great lights, was used to circumscribe the circle, or to
spherical form of the earth, "Gea," and this circle with a horizontal
diameter and an upright line crossing in the center, the Mundane Cross,
square, the fourth part of a circle, the Gamma or letter G.
drawn by the compasses represented the atom, as well as the earth or
following the old Hermetic maxim engraved on the Emerald Tablet, " As
so below." Four gammas (Tetragrammaton) or four squares with their ends
at the center of a circle, make the Swastika, the oldest symbol of the
to the Smithsonian Institution.
next see the letter G in the East think of this and "our ancient
who no doubt was the Master of building fraternities in Greece, who
built the surviving
temple of Paestum not far from Krotona, as well all the other temples
"the glory that was Greece." Then remember that our latest scientific
knowledge is taking us back to the knowledge of the ancients and the
of Pythagoras who said, “God is Universal Mind." When we realize the
matter, the atom, is composed of electricity and has the three phases
substance and consciousness, and this consciousness is universal, we
begin to get
an awe-inspiring conception of that Grand Architect of the Universe,
who is always
geometrizing, based on the latest developments of modern science.
We also see
why, as stated in Anderson's Constitutions,
A Mason … if he rightly
understands the art,
will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine.
is symbolized by the letter G.
By Bro. N.W.J.
Haydon, Associate Editor
years ago an alleged discovery was made of an inscription, apparently
significance, near Almonte, a town about forty miles southwest of
Ottawa. It is
necessary to make the statement guardedly, because, as has so often
like cases, no adequate steps were taken at the time to authenticate
the find. In
spite of having followed up every line of inquiry that seemed likely to
further information on the subject, one must confess that the results
very meagre and very unsatisfying.
and most obvious approach was to the local lodge, Mississippi No. 147.
wrote me saying that he had no information on the subject, but would
pass my letter
on to the Master of the lodge, W. Bro. R.A. Jamieson, who as it
happened was also
Town Clerk, and very much interested in the history of the locality.
anything further, after an interval of some months I wrote to him
direct. He replied
that it was the first he had heard of my inquiry. He said that he had
rumors of the discovery of the inscription, but had no definite
information on the
subject whatever. He added that he had no means of prosecuting an
the most natural lines, as the files of the local newspaper had been
July I met him at the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Canada (for
Ontario), and obtained
some further information. The files of the local newspaper, the Almonte
were in the hands of the Hon. Andrew Haydon (no relative of mine, by
the way, so
far as I know) and through him I obtained the first real light on the
was preparing a history of Lanark County, in which Pakenham Township is
and very kindly looked up the original account that appeared in the
I might add that I had previously written to the Department of National
at Ottawa, in the hope that they might have a file of the Gazette
there, but was
informed that if there had ever been one it had been destroyed with
many other documents
in the destruction of the Parliament Buildings by fire some years ago.
As soon as
the date of the discovery was fixed I made a search through the files
of the Canadian
Freemason and the Canadian Craftsman, but found no more than a single
in the former journal. This quoted a dispatch from London, Ontario,
giving any details, scoffed at the "discovery" as a hoax.
I have had some further correspondence with Bro. Jamieson, whose
resulted in very little further information. He, however, did elicit
from a son
of Bro. Forsythe, the first Mason to examine the stone, that he
remembered a man
coming to the farm when he was a boy, to cut out the portion bearing
All those who were mentioned as having examined the stone in the
account in the
gazette, are now dead with the exception of R. Wor. Bro. Dr. McIntosh.
To this brother
I also wrote and was informed by him that, so far as he knew, the
proposal to cut
out the inscribed portion of the stone was carried out, though he had
of what became of it.
wrote to me more recently to say that he was going to have the minutes
of the lodge
searched in order to see if any mention was made of the discovery, or
of the proposal
to cut out the inscription, and if this was one, how the relic was
However, nothing rather has come to hand, and though I have written
twice since, no further word from him has reached me.
of the issue of the Almonte Gazette containing original report was May
This account is here reproduced, with the heading and sub-heading under
and a reproduction of the cut which accompanied it.
relic of 1604 discovered in Pakenham Township ‒ How it was found ‒ What
like ‒ Speculation as to its author
interest has been created in Masonic circles in this district by the
a peculiar inscription on a rock situated on a mound in an
on Mrs. Joseph Dickson's farm in Upper Pakenham. The discovery was
made by Mrs. Dickson's son over a year ago. He told Mr. John Forsythe,
of what he had seen. The latter thought there was nothing of importance
in the affair,
and paid little attention to it until a few weeks ago, when, during a
his cattle, his attention was drawn to a polished rock with Masonic
on its surface. Mr. Forsythe, being an enthusiastic member of the
Craft, made a
careful examination of the stone, and, finding it to possess unusual
members of the fraternity, he communicated the result of his
investigations to his
brethren in Almonte and Pakenham and invited them out to inspect it for
The invitation was accepted, and a short time ago Messrs. R. Pollock,
J. M. Munro,
A. J. McAdam and W. P. McEwen, of Almonte, and Dr. McIntosh, Major
O'Neil and R.
Moore, of Pakenham, enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Forsythe,
the afternoon paid a visit to the spot containing the mysterious
found a rock with a polished surface six or seven feet in length, and a
feet in depth, bearing an inscription that, judged by its appearance,
had been placed
there by an unknown hand at a very early period, as the action of the
the intervening period, clearly demonstrated. The writer, believing
readers would be interested, took an impression of the inscription, of
following is a copy, but greatly reduced in size:
an inscription came to be carved in such a place is a mystery. If it
was cut in
the stone in the year 1604 ‒ nearly three centuries ago ‒ as the
figures would seem
to indicate, it looks as if some follower of Champlain (who passed
section about the year 1603) had done the work; but of course is mere
We understand that Mr. Forsythe intends sawing out the interesting
relic, and it
will form the nucleus of a museum in connection with his lodge ‒
147, A. F. and A. M., G.R.C., Almonte. Some Almonte craftsmen have
of the polished stone to a prominent geologist, with the object of
as to the effects of the elements on it through the lapse of time, and
will be made to unravel the mystery surrounding the affair.
leaves much to be desired. The writer says he "took an impression of
by which is probably to be understood a rubbing. The description of the
"polished" is very vague, and while the dimensions given probably refer
to the stone itself, grammatically they refer to the polished surface.
doubtful whether this surface was natural, or artificial. This makes a
or difference, for inscriptions cut on natural surfaces, unless very
deep and on
a very large scale, very rapidly become indistinct. The photograph of
the Nova Scotia
Stone reproduced in THE BUILDER, vol. x, p. 295, shows such
of the inscription is naturally the date. The square and compass, in
it is true, the hand, the trowel and perhaps even the eye, may probably
as having been quite clear. The design below the trowel looks as if
represent a wall of rubble Masonry, either in course of erection, or
else an unfinished
part of the "inscription." Perhaps both. But the date is naturally very
difficult to accept; and if the cutting was done on a natural surface,
it is well
within possibility that the second figure was 8, of which part had been
cut owing to irregularity of the surface, and had thus been obliterated
The date 1804 might not be too early for a pioneer settlement in the
ostensible date, however, seems to present such grave difficulties as
to be incredible.
history of this "discovery" is a striking instance of the ignorance and
carelessness with which possible evidences of Masonic antiquity are
project of cutting out the stone was unfortunate to say the least.
Better to have
left it to the weather than to have removed and lost it. On the other
who condemned it off hand as a hoax or imposition were equally to
blame; for that
was only to be decided by examination. If only such things could be
and impartially judged at the time of discovery, so that if genuine
they might be
preserved, and if not that the fact might be authentically established!
most of the Craft "care for none of these things," and it is much
to come to a snap decision without information than it is to
investigate. So some
will believe and some will reject, according to their individual
the student can only regret that opportunities for examination were so
neglected and ignored.
difficulties to be solved lie in the fact that the first known white
man to travel the Mississippi River, which is joined by the Indian
River quite near
the Dickson farm, was Etienne Brule in 1610, not 1603 as stated above.
too, the opinion of the Department of Archives at Ottawa, who wrote me
a copy of the photostat of the Inscription, that the form of the
figures and letters
is different from that in use at the date they present.
As to the
suggestion that the figure 6 was really an 8, I find on examining
Robertson's "History of Freemasonry in Canada", that there was no
of any lodge in the vicinity of Almonte during the era of our
Provincial Grand Lodges
of Upper Canada. He gives, however, details of a lodge that met at
Carleton County, under a warrant dated 1821, which place was a village
on the Goodwood
River, some twenty miles southwest of Ottawa, in the Rideau Military
Freemasonry in South Africa
By Bro. William Moister
Moister, to whom
we are indebted for this most interesting account of the Craft in South
is the Editor of the South African Masonic World. He is also, if we
have it correctly,
Grand Organist of the District Grand lodge of the Transvaal.
The situation in South Africa
will seem very
strange to American Masons, and will be very instructive. It is a
that the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is not a
Landmark, as so
many believe it to be, nor is it even a necessary regulation for the
of the Fraternity and the preservation of peace and harmony among the
THIS brief survey of
freemasonry in South Africa
makes no pretense whatever to be a History of the Craft in this
is written, primarily, with the view to correcting some erroneous
prevail in other countries, and also in the hope that the information
may be of
use to such American brethren as may visit these shores, and who would
like to enjoy
fraternal intercourse with their South African brethren.
I have had the pleasure of
meeting a number of
brethren from different American jurisdictions, and most of them have
the impression that there is a Grand Lodge of South Africa. Let me say
at once that
we have no Grand jurisdiction at all in South Africa. The nearest
approach to it
is the case of the Grand East of the Netherlands, which body has a
Master for South Africa in the person of Right Wor. Bro. C. C.
to whom the two Provincial grand Masters are subject, he being the
of the Grand Lodge at the Hague.
Just a word as to the order in
which the four
Constitutions were founded in South Africa. The Netherlands started
with Lodge de
Goede Hoop (Anglice ‒ Good Hope) in 1772 and this Constitution was also
of Freemasonry in the Transvaal. The English, after some military
Lodges which functioned
in the latter part of the eighteenth and early in the 19th century,
British Lodge No. 334 in 1811. Scotland followed (also at Capetown) in
the Southern Cross Lodge 398, but it was not until 1895 that the Irish
Chartered a Lodge in South Africa, this being Abercorn, No. 159.
There are now about three
hundred and fifty Lodges
under all four Constitutions, English, Irish, Scottish and Dutch, in
the Union of
South Africa and Rhodesia. At present Rhodesia has no local government
in the shape
of District or Provincial Grand Lodges, although there is a movement to
a District Grand Lodge under the Scottish Constitution. All Lodges in
work directly under their respective Grand Lodges. This was the case
with many Scottish
Lodges in the Union of South Africa until a few years ago, when the
Lodge of the Eastern Province was established. The same remark applies
to the Irish
lodges at the Cape (Peninsular) which did not come under the regime of
Grand Lodge of South Africa. But a couple of years ago the Provincial
of South Africa, Southern, was established at Capetown, with the Rev.
as Prov. Grand Master.
The territorial divisions in
South Africa, would,
I imagine, appear somewhat chaotic to the American brother who is used
defined geographical distinctions with supreme jurisdiction in each
the boundaries overlap to a confusing extent, and as each Constitution
has its own
ruling with regard to "higher" degrees, the Royal Arch, Mark Masonry,
and so on, it requires some study to grasp the position. Let me say one
in English, Irish, Scottish or Dutch Lodges any brother visiting Lodges
Africa from America will be sure of the same brotherly welcome and
All work together for the common cause and with the utmost harmony, and
districts, have joint Funds of Benevolence, and Education, and the
like, no constitutional
distinction being made either with regard to maintenance or benefits.
The English Constitution.
There are five District Grand
Grand Lodge of South Africa, Western Division, D.G.L. of S.A. Eastern
D.G.L. of S.A., Central Division, D.G.L. of Natal and D.G.L. of
Right Wor. Bros. Thos. N. Cranstoun-Day, J.C. Duff, Joseph Van Praagh,
and G.S. Burt Andrews respectively. The first District Grand Lodges
covers the western
portion of Cape Province (formerly Cape Colony), the second has a very
extending to Matatiele in East Griqualand in the East, and as far as
the Orange Free State. Formerly the Lodge at De Aar came under this
has recently been transferred to the Central Division. The Headquarters
of the Western
Division are at Capetown, of the Eastern at Port Elizabeth and the
Central at Kimberley.
The D.G. Lodge of Natal has its seat at Pietermaritzburg, while that of
is at Freemasons' Hall, Johannesburg. This last, by the way, is the
Grand Lodge which owns its own building, in which most of the English
Johannesburg also hold their meetings. The Central Division takes in
one Lodge in
the Western Free State (at Koffiefontein) while several Lodges in the
of this Province are subject to the D. G. Lodge of Natal. I must here
the term “Province” used Masonically does not necessarily bear any
relation to the
word in a geographical sense. The Central Division is the smallest of
Grand Lodges and governs Lodges in the Diamond Fields area and North as
far as Mafeking.
As I have already remarked, the
Lodges in the
Cape Peninsular come within the scope of the Prov. Grand Lodge of South
Southern, while all the rest of South Africa, including Rhodesia, is
under the charge
of Rt. Wor. Bro. Dr. J. G. Croghan who resides at Johannesburg.
many years later than its Sister Constitutions, the Irish body is
headway. The enthusiasm displayed by the Irish Craft is wonderful and
at the Annual
Stated Communication brethren travel many days' journey from the
of South Africa to attend.
The Scottish Constitution.
There are four District Grand
Province, Eastern Province, Natal and Transvaal. The Transvaal D.G.
the Orange Free State and one Lodge in foreign Territory, Friendship
Lodge at Lourenco
Marques, Portuguese East Africa. These are governed by Rt. Wor. Bros.
Wilson (Capetown), Dr. F. A. Saunders (Eastern Province), Robert R.
and James Thompson (Transvaal). As remarked earlier, there is a
movement afoot to
establish a District Grand Lodge in Rhodesia.
The Dutch Constitution.
The affairs of this Grand Lodge
from Capetown by Rt. Wor. Bro. C. C. Silberbauer. The Provincial Grand
Capetown is Rt. Wor. Bro. Mossir Alexander, K. C., who has the whole of
under his charge, including Rhodesia, while the Prov. Grand Master of
is Rt. Wor. Bro. William B. M. Vogts. This, the oldest Constitution in
is making good headway, although it is small, numerically, compared
with the English
and Scottish Craft. Some old Lodges under this banner are dormant, but
a few have
been revived of late years while new Lodges are being formed in various
As I said above, the fact that
we have these
four Constitutions working together, with some diversity of territorial
will seem confusing to brethren who reside in a country where the
are clearly defined, and where only one Grand body holds sway in each.
is, however, intensified when we come to the "Higher," allied or side
degrees, for each Constitution has its own peculiarities in this
respect. For instance:
In the English system the Royal Arch Degree, while worked in a separate
bearing the number of the Lodge with which it is identified (although
the same name) is regarded as part of "Pure and Antient" Freemasonry,
and a complementary degree to that of Master Mason. The brother who
holds the rank
of District Grand Master is, as a rule, the Grand Superintendent of the
though this is not an invariable rule. At Capetown the District Grand
Rt. Wor. Bro. Cranstoun-Day, while the Office of Grand Superintendent
is held by
the Deputy District Grand Master, M. E. Comp. W. J. Gibbons. In all the
the Grand Supt. is the District Grand Master.
In the Mark Degree the Office
of District Grand
Master is usually held by another distinguished brother. This degree,
has the Duke of Connaught as Grand Master, is not actually recognized
as part of
Craft Freemasonry, under the English Constitution, but with the
Scottish it is different.
Any Craft Lodge may work the Mark degree, and some do; but in the
degree is usually worked in a R. A. Chapter. In the English one may
take the R.
A. without the Mark, but not in the Scottish or Irish. And a Master
Mason may proceed
to the Rose Croix without any intermediate degree under the English
rule, but not
with the Scottish. In the last named Constitution there is a degree,
Master," which comes before the Royal Arch, and an English Companion
retire while this is being worked, though an Irish Companion is only
take a short obligation, as it is considered that the Irish R. A.
the Scottish sufficiently to permit the Companion to remain in the
it is being worked. There are other degrees associated with the Royal
Arch in the
Scottish working, the R. A. Mariner, Knights of the Sword, Knights of
the East and
Knights of the East and West, and the Installed Degrees pertaining
thereto, as well
as the Cryptic degrees. The R.A. does not appear to be worked by the
Constitution, although there are a few Rose Croix Chapters operating in
They have, I believe, some other degrees of which I cannot say
that they are associated with the Rose Croix system.
The Higher Degrees.
The Ancient and Accepted Rite,
and the A. and
A. Scottish Rite have several Chapters Rose Croix (18d). In the case of
there are under the control of two Sovereign Grand Inspectors General,
G. S. Burt Andrews, for Northern South Africa, and Ill. Bro. J. C. Duff
Southern portion, while Ill. Bro. James Thompson is the Sov. Grand
of the Transvaal for the Scottish body. As a rule the members of the
are all brethren who have served the Craft with distinction, and the
be considered an exclusive one. After passing the Chair of Most Wise
a Rose Croix Chapter a brother is usually recommended by the Chapter
for the 30d,
which is as high as most brethren ever get. There are very few
(probably not more
than a score) of 31d and 32d Masons in South Africa, while it is not
until a brother
is appointed to the charge of a territory as Sov. Grand Inspector
General that he
has the honor of the 33d conferred on him. There are other orders such
as the Knights
Templar and the Order of the Secret Monitor working here, but their
limited, and few of the rank and file of the Craft enter them.
I have noticed that the "Higher
seem to command a large support in America, and this is, probably,
very large Lodges exist, the brethren naturally seek for other channels
With us the Lodge is a small unit, many Lodges containing perhaps
twenty to thirty
active members. We consider a Lodge of a hundred a large one. Our
for advancement in the Craft proper, therefore, are greater than seems
to be the
case in the United States, five to ten years being long enough in the
for a brother to attain the Chair of King Solomon, while there are the
of advancement in District or Provincial Grand Lodge rank.
The four Constitutions unite in
Charities in most Districts and Provinces. We have only one District
which can boast
of "Bricks and Mortar" in this respect, namely the Transvaal, which has
a fine Masonic Hostel for boys at Boksburg, a few miles from
is every prospect of a similar institution for girls being established
in the near
future, while another scheme which has been mooted from time to time is
of a Hostel for aged brethren and widows. The Boys' Home is under the
the Transvaal Masonic Educational Institution, while the relief of aged
brethren and their widows and dependents is undertaken by the Transvaal
Benevolent Fund. In addition to this, most District and Prov. Grand
their own Benevolent Fund, as has every Private Lodge.
The only District Grand Lodge
which owns a building
is that under the English Constitution for the Transvaal. Freemasons'
Hall in Johannesburg
was acquired some years ago, and the Offices of District Grand Lodge
are in this
fine building. Most of the English Lodges in the city meet there. In
cases a building is owned jointly by two or three Lodges under
Most Lodges in the country, even the smallest towns, have their own
used entirely for Masonic purposes, and sometimes let for
meetings, school accommodation, and so on. There is now no Lodge
meeting on licensed
premises (i.e. in hotels or restaurants). Sometimes a Parish Hall or
Town Hall is
used, or a Church Schoolroom.
In the larger centers, such as
Johannesburg, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg, etc., several Lodges meet in
building which is the property of one or more of the Lodges in these
From time to time talk of a
United Grand Lodge
of South Africa has filled the air, and some abortive attempts have
been made to
bring this about. Personally I much doubt if the present generation
will see this
consummation. Despite the many economic advantages it would offer, the
ties of loyalty
to the Mother Grand Lodges are too strong for severance. In the
meanwhile the utmost
harmony prevails between the four Constitutions, the interchange of
general, while cordial cooperation in Masonic Charity is the rule in
and Districts. There is much diversity of "working" for, besides the
differences between the Constitutions, there is much latitude
in the Scottish Craft, and one may see in Johannesburg, the M. M.
in at least four different ways in as many Lodges. There is a tendency
in the English
Constitution to eliminate a number of "innovations" which have crept in
through association with other Constitutions, and to return to
work, a movement which has the strong support of the District Grand
the Transvaal and the Eastern and Western Divisions of South Africa.
The District and Provincial
Grand Masters do
a tremendous amount of travelling in visiting the Lodges under their
the advent of the motor car and increased railway facilities this is
it was even so late as twenty-five to thirty years ago; but with all
the lot of the Head of a District is a very arduous, even if a happy
There are now no Military
Lodges, in the accepted
sense of the term, in South Africa, the last of these going away with
forces which were stationed at the capital cities of South Africa prior
in 1910. There are, however, two lodges in Johannesburg of which the
is confined to those who have served their King and Country in one or
of His Majesty's forces. The older of these is the Transvaal Volunteer
the Scottish Constitution, where one may see a Private in the Chair of
K. S., and
a Lt. Colonel in one of the subordinate offices. The other was formed
under the English banner, and composed of Commissioned Officers.
In the English, Scottish and
the new Worshipful Master is installed by a Board of Installed Masters
the Installation Ceremony, but the Dutch Constitution has no degree of
Master. In view, however, of the disability this would impose upon a
of a Dutch Lodge visiting other Constitutions, by arrangement with the
Constitutions this degree is worked after the Master Masons and all
have finally retired from the Lodge Room. It is not an essential
feature of his
Mastership, and is only conferred as an act of courtesy for the reason
Army Lodges in
the World War
Proposed Oklahoma Lodge
Bro. Charles Irwin, Associate
to my attention some years ago while reading the various Grand Lodge
of the several Grand Jurisdictions a copy of the Grand Lodge of
In the review of the Correspondence section, p. 66, I came upon the
(under Texas, 1918): Army Lodges were favored by this Grand Lodge and
Master of Oklahoma informed that his Army Lodge might work at Camp
assuming no responsibility for it.
was filed for future study and investigation but the pressure of other
it to lie dormant for quite a season.
A few years
later I had occasion to attend the Christmas Services of Lincoln
Templar, Wilkinsburg, Penn., as their speaker, and there I met Dr. Fred
a member of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, and from him received further
on the subject, and the name and address of Dr. Hugh Scott, who had
in working up the petition for the Field Lodge in 1917.
In the course
of time I corresponded with Brother Scott and from him obtained a few
in the story. At the same time I wrote to Wor. Bro. William M.
Anderson, Grand Secretary
of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma requesting from him copies of the
petition if possible
and additional items concerning the proposed Lodge. Bro. Anderson
failed to supply
me with a copy of the petition but did give me several items of
scattered data I have reconstructed a brief and very unsatisfactory
account of the
proposed Field Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, to be located in
Texas. The account should be incorporated for completeness sake in the
have been publishing in THE BUILDER, and in fact will conclude them.
is a letter from Grand Secretary W. M. Anderson, of the Grand Lodge of
dated July 15, 1929:
been holding response to your latest communication in the hope that we
be able to locate a little additional information concerning the army
was proposed by the Grand Jurisdiction of Oklahoma, but our records
contain no reference
Hugh Scott was to be the first Worshipful Master, but he was
the organization was consummated. There were 18 signers to the
petition, which was
placed in the hands of the then Grand Master, Brother Joseph W. Morris,
a trip down there. Grand Master Morris informed me that he was going to
dispensation, and the dispensation was made out. When the organization
the dispensation nor the petition was returned to this office, and
Morris made no reference to it in his annual address to the Grand Lodge.
Scott was for some time in charge of U. S. Veterans Hospital No. 90, at
Oklahoma, but something like two years ago he was transferred to
in one of the suburbs of Chicago, I believe.
'WM. M. ANDERSON,
contact with Dr. Scott at the U. S. Veterans' Hospital at Maywood,
requested from him a statement as to this proposed lodge. Bro. Scott
made reply, and in his communication informed me as follows:
attempt was made in the Field Hospital Section of the 111th Sanitary
Division, at Camp Bowie, Texas, in the winter of 1917 to organize a
The Field Hospital Section of the 111th Sanitary Train was made up
largely of young
men from Oklahoma. I had organized and trained these four Field
Hospitals, and had
a very deep interest in their welfare. The men were all of a very high
a large number of them were Master Masons. Believing that if a Military
organized and maintained in the Field Hospital Section from Camp Bowie
that it would promote the morale and a deeper interest in the welfare
of the members
of the organization. After considerable correspondence with the
officials of the
Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, who manifested a very marked interest, Brother
arrived at Camp Bowie, to install the officers who had been selected.
installation was delayed pending the arrival of Grand Master Joe Morris
and by the time of the arrival of Brother Anderson and Grand Master
Morris, it was
my misfortune to have been suddenly transferred from the organization
to Camp Colt,
largely because of the fact that I was the Commanding Officer of the
and had initiated the effort, that on amount of my transfer interest
all plans were suspended and finally dropped, as the 36th Division was
To show how
interested Dr. Scott was in Masonry and in its development within the
I am permitted to quote further from his interesting letter:
my arrival at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I continued my
and was the means of having a great number of soldiers petition for the
Rite Degrees at a Consistory, the name of which I have now forgotten,
but some distance
removed from Gettysburg."
to the proposed Military Lodge at Camp Bookie, Texas, Dr. Scott
enlarges upon their
proposed plans by stating:
not now recall all the officers who had been selected, but remember
that the Worshipful
Master to be, was Dr. C. R. McDonald, of Mannford, Oklahoma."
letter from W. Bro. Anderson, dated Dec. 18, 1928, he says:
proposed Worshipful Master of this Army Lodge was Dr. Hugh F. Scott,
then a Colonel,
who had charge of the Ambulance Corps of the 112th Ambulance Train at
in our State. Colonel Scott was transferred to Philadelphia (error for
Pa., just at that time and there was none to take his place as
of the proposed Army Lodge and so it never materialized. The demits
the petition for this dispensation were returned to the brethren who
the petition for such a lodge and thus it ended."
is thus apparent between Bro. Scott's recollection and Bro. Anderson's
the unavoidable military orders that transferred the proposed Master of
Military Lodge Oklahoma was deprived of sending into the Field a fine
group of enthusiastic
Masons under a warrant. Nevertheless this group went across the ocean
and did their
duty to "God, their country, their neighbor and themselves."
brief sketch, which I am inserting in the series in order that the
record may be
as complete as possible for the benefit of later investigators into
during the World War, I am bringing to a close this part of the labor
of the love
that has traced throughout the Union and across several continents
traces of these
officially organized activities of our American Craft. I have been
to make no statements based on hearsay, but have verified every one of
to giving them utterance.
I wish to
take this opportunity to convey to my host of Masonic friends who
official positions in the several grand Lodges, or were identified in
in the several Field Lodges, or who as members of the Field Lodges gave
assistance in the collection of data. The past ten years in which I
have been collecting
this material have widened my own Masonic horizon and have given me an
the philosophy of Masonry that could have come to me in no other manner.
stage of our records will cover the more informal activities of Masons
about the formation of Masonic Clubs. Some of the overseas lodges, it
will be recalled,
took their rise in, or were connected with such clubs, but on the whole
types of organization seem to call for separate treatment. I hope to be
commence the new series early in the coming year.
a closing greeting to my readers I would urge upon them the great
value, as well
as pleasure, to be obtained, in the taking up of some definite line of
and pushing it out further and further until definite results are
achieved. It is
by such endeavor, pursued sometimes it may be through a sort of patient
that the history of the Craft is to be preserved and put upon permanent
Problem for the Order
of the Eastern Star
Bro. Robert C. Wright,
of this present discussion is, first, to supply some facts, historical
second, to put the question squarely before the powers that be in the
O. E. S.;
shall the legend of Jephtha's Daughter be eliminated and something more
and appropriate be substituted in its place?
is a Past Patron and feels justified in pointing the way to something
for the good old order. Therefore let us not "get all fussed up pronto"
and call this a destructive attack, but sympathetically analyze the
it be determined whether or not the O. E. S. shall put its house in
order and cease
teaching the innocent and unthinking ones a harrowing and sordid tale
not for one moment be considered as suitable for any ritual, if
concerned with purported
acts occurring today in real life.
origin was such that he was an insignificant person and, associating
betrayed his tendency to be a fool. (Judges xi, 1-3) He is one of four
in The Scripture who made imprudent vows, and the only one of these who
to have had occasion to deplore his imprudence. Some commentators
dispute the account
and say he only kept his daughter in seclusion. Others regard his acts
for he could have applied to Phineas, the High Priest, to absolve him
from his vow.
But he was an arrogant soldier, and proud; therefore he said, "I, a
Israel, will not humble myself to my inferior." Neither would Phineas
Jephtha. Therefore we are confronted with two premises, either the
account is untrue
and we teach untruth or it is true and we teach a crime.
relates that both Jephtha and Phineas were punished. Jephtha died by an
decay of his body, fragments of flesh falling at intervals from his
bones, to be
buried where they fell, his body being attacked in many places. Phineas
by the Holy Spirit. The rabbis considered Jephtha an ignorant man, for
have known that a vow of that kind was not valid. According to Rabbi
had merely to pay a certain sum to the Temple treasury in order to be
freed of the
vow. According to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish, he was freed even without
According to other authorities, even when Jephtha made the vow the Lord
of his daughter to go into the mountain to bewail her virginity lends
color to the
assertion that he secluded her in the manner that nuns take the vow of
in their chosen life. It was a custom in Israel. (Judges xi, 37-39) Had
animal, which could not be offered as a sacrifice, come out of his
of his daughter, what would Jephtha have done in such a dilemma? His
vow and the
character of the sacrifice would have been in utter conflict, and the
have had to fail. Was it not more important that it should fail for his
than for an unclean animal?
to proceed, his daughter inquired: "Is it written in the Torah that
shall be brought as burnt offerings?" He replied: "My daughter, my vow
was, whatever cometh forth of the doors of my house." She answered:
Jacob too vowed that he would give to Yahweh the tenth part of all that
him. Did he sacrifice his sons?" (Gen. xxviii, 22) Jephtha remained
and the daughter declared that she would go to the Sanhedrim to consult
the vow, and for that purpose asked for a delay of two months. The
right. Nowhere does Jewish law require a human burnt sacrifice. The
kind of sacrifice
is clearly set forth for everyone "that will offer his oblations for
vows, and for all his free-will offerings, which they will offer unto
the Lord for
a burnt offering." The clean animals to be offered are specified (Lev.
18-33), the law requiring the offering to be eaten the same day. If
obeyed the law in that respect he would have been a cannibal and the
degraded to the lowest order of savages. A vow, interpreted under this
law, to include
a human sacrifice is as unlawful as if strained to include an unclean
xvii, 1) Israel was forbidden to follow the abomination of the
idolators in the
land of Canaan. (Deut. xviii, 9-14) Among these abominations was the
of their sons and daughters. This the Lord hateth, and what he
shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it. (Deut. xii, 31-32)
singular vow of Jephtha could have been overcome by payment to the
Temple of a penance
or ransom. (Lev. iv, 2) The account seems in fact to indicate that she
by her father to a virgin life. He had no other to perpetuate his name,
was a real sacrifice, and the custom was such that the daughters of
it every four years. (Judges xi, 37 ‒ 40) A perusal of the law should
out what is above set forth, and convince all fair-minded people.
constructions of the legend are apparent in fulfilling the vow. First,
to a virgin life. Second, release by payment to the Temple. Third,
as a burnt sacrifice. The ritual does not contemplate either of the
first two, as
they do not fit into its purported lesson at all. It has always taught
the horrible tale is literally true, and further that Jephtha knew the
law of consecration
and ransom and that human sacrifice was an abomination and forbidden.
he was thoroughly counselled as to all this during the two months'
delay. The scientific
conclusion is irresistible, that Jephtha, the arrogant soldier, who
could slay forty-two
thousand Ephraimites, in cold blood and did not hesitate
to sacrifice his own daughter, was insane, a paranoiac. The unfortunate
were of Israel, related to him. Human nature has not changed since that
proof exists now. Undoubtedly Jephtha suffered from an insane delusion
he had made the vow to the Lord it must be carried out literally. A
the product of an insane belief, a false conception or idea arising
from a disordered
mind. Argument will convince the sane of error, but nothing will
convince the insane.
1925, at Oroville, Cal., one, Sharlow, offered himself as a sacrifice
to the Holy
Ghost in a cult he had joined. His head and the soles of his feet were
the sign of the cross and from these tortures he died.
1925, a Mr. Bingaman in Pennsylvania, killed two of his children and
aged father to die of excitement witnessing this. Bingaman was a
religious delusions. He told the officers: "I did right. The spirit
to kill them and I did."
of this kind could be multiplied, but sufficient are these. The O. E.
would not use any of them to base lessons upon, because of their
If the acts of Jephtha are equally insane, the O. E. S. is confronted
with the full
force of the ritualistic view it takes, which is indisputably a literal
The author of the ritual surely was hasty and did not give this portion
of the ritual
the careful study he should have given it. He had a choice beyond any
many other women whose lives and characters are noble and elevating.
question proposed in the beginning of this article is timely. It is not
It should be solved calmly and without prejudice, for the real good of
and its thousands of loyal members. Historical matter and references
been carefully sought out. The record is submitted for a decision.
comes until error is pointed out. When that occurs, reformation should
There should be no clinging to anything because of some fancied notion
use and familiarity with it have clothed it with imaginary beauty or
lesson of duty.
No falsehood, no hideous thing should be retained and worshipped in
as the savage of Africa worships his fetish. The writer hopefully
awaits the day
when something finer and grander shall replace this portion of the
Old Masonic Apron
Bro. George R. Raub,
the fall of 1928, Bro. R. J. Meekren, Editor of THE Builder, saw a
an old Masonic apron in the Masonic Home Journal. This notice was a
of one which appeared in the daily press of Detroit, Michigan, during
Templar Conclave held there from July 14th to 18th 1928, and which
dealt with an
apron in the possession of Mr. John Eldredge of Detroit and purporting
to have been
made in London in the year 1727. The article has been reprinted many
times in Masonic
journals and I am pleased to furnish an account of the investigation
made to prove
or disprove the authenticity of the statements made therein.
as published contained a description of the material and colors of the
stated that it was of Scottish Rite design. The balance of the account
of the Masonic connections of the present owner and his father,
together with some
historical data of the period in which the apron was presumed to have
and a chronological list of the members of the family through whose
hands it had
realized that if the claims made for the apron were true, that Mackey
authorities were wrong. Mackey says: ‒
Silk or satin aprons,
bespangled, painted and
embroidered, which have been gradually creeping into our lodges, have
no sort of
connection with Antient Craft Masonry. They are an innovation of our
who are never pleased with simplicity …
A Mason who
understands and appreciates the true symbolic meaning of his apron
would no more
tolerate a painted or embroidered satin one than an artist would a
to the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London Masons
leather aprons in 1727.
addressed a letter to Mr. Eldredge and asked for proof of the age of
He was not satisfied with the reply and addressed a second
communication to Mr.
Eldredge who failed to reply.
It was then
that Bro. Meekren turned to the Service Commission of the Grand Lodge
whose head-quarters are in Detroit, and asked if some local Mason would
to investigate the story of the apron and if possible determine whether
made for it were correct.
of the Service Commission delegated the task to me.
I felt that
the apron would in itself constitute proof of its age. I have always
the efficacy of the scientists in changing man's cosmological
conception of the
universe. Nature alters, but does not eradicate; all things are
homogenetic to the
period in which they are created; accordingly I looked to science to
give the required
information about the apron. At my request Adele C. Weibel, Curator of
of the Detroit Institute of Arts, agreed to make a technical
examination of the
apron, providing I could bring the apron to the Art Institute for
object in view I called Mr. Eldredge and made an appointment to see
him. I did not
know why he had dropped the correspondence with Bro. Meekren and
thought I might
experience some difficulty in persuading him to submit the apron to an
examination. I was pleased to find that my fears were unnecessary. Mr.
is a frank, open-minded, lovable gentleman, who has seen sixty-eight
years of life;
he has been sober and industrious and he has no feeling against mankind
of the fact that at his advanced age he is still dependent upon his
daily wage in
a Detroit automobile factory for subsistence.
forefathers for six generations have been Masons. Mr. Eldredge said
he held the Fraternity in high esteem he had never petitioned for
a Masonic lodge His father had been honored with the 33rd Degree and
his whole life to its interests. As a boy he seldom saw his father, who
from home working for the lodge. That his character had been molded by
is doubtless true. He had always been interested in his home and when
he found the whole world in the companionship of his wife His
reminiscences of week-ends
spent camping and fishing with his wife are interesting, but they are
connected with the investigation.
I was told
that he had stopped writing "to the man in St. Louis," because he had
told everything he knew about the apron and was at a loss to say
He had no documentary evidence with which to prove the age of the
apron. There had
been such documents but they were destroyed in a flood in the Allegheny
the 70's. However, he had an account written by his Aunt Delia, who was
1807, from her memory of the originals.
was made by Katherine Fink and given to John Dredge in 1727 as a
present and then
handed to his son Horace E. Eldredge in 1752, and Horace E. Eldredge
handed it to
his son Haskins Eldredge in 1786. Haskins handed it to his son Alanzo
1807, and Alanzo Eldredge to his son Hezakiah Eldredge in 1831, and
it to his son Hykins in 1847, and Hykins handed it to his son, Frank,
owner, in 1883.
of the apron is a light red. This was not the original border, I was
told. The original
was so badly rotted that in 1883 he and his mother, under his father's
had sewed on the new one. They put it on as nearly to the original as
He made the folds and his mother did the sewing. The original border,
was a sort of peach color; it was badly faded.
the Editor of the Cincinnati Inquirer had tried to buy the apron, but
he had always
refused to sell it. He hadn't thought about selling it until last
summer. His housekeeper
had explained that inasmuch as he had no one to leave the apron to he
would be justified
in selling it and that at his age the money that might be derived from
would do him far more good than would the apron.
Knight Templar Conclave was held they called a newspaper and gave them
of the apron, thinking that the attention of some Mason who wanted such
might be attracted.
gladly to submit the apron to the Curator of the Art Institute whenever
be convenient for me to take it there.
On the afternoon
of the 21st of May, 1929, accompanied by Mr. Eldredge's housekeeper, I
apron to the Art Institute and Mrs. Weibel examined it. Her opinion was
was impossible for the apron to have been made in 1727. The cloth was
woven on a
power loom and they did not exist at that time. The kind of a loom on
cloth was woven did not come into existence until the last quarter of
the 18th century.
She thought the cloth was several years old at the time the designs
were put on
it, as the style of costume as shown on the two cherubims was created
On the back of the apron is found the date 1727. The ink is the color
juice. Mrs. Weibel said that from the style of figures used that must
written about 1830.
Librarian of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, was kind enough to search the
records for the name of Eldredge, but to no avail. This, of course,
because the records are only fragmentary.
that the present owner of the apron has been honest and sincere from
I am positive that somewhere a gross discrepancy has crept into the
The "1727" that appears on the back of the apron might mean that the
Eldredge was made a Mason in 1727; or that the first Eldredge made a
Mason was born
in 1727. Someone has made the mistake of believing that the date
signified the age
of the apron.
I am inclined
to think that there is a Masonic connection between the Eldredge family
date 1727; but I am positive that the apron itself has nothing to do
with that connection.
I am willing to accept the report of Mrs. Weibel as that of a competent
and base my further conclusions upon her statements.
Canadian Masonic Manual
Bro. A. J. B. Milborne,
came into my possession a copy of the very rare Mason's Manual issued
by the Provincial
Grand Lodge of Lower Canada in the year 1818. The book is leather
5 1/4 by 8 3/4 inches, find contains 114 pages with an Index. It was
'The New Printing Office," by T. Cary, Junr. & Co., No. 21
Preface we learn that "the design of this little work was suggested by
Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Brother Snelling," and that it was
… intended to supersede the
all the subordinate lodges, and particularly those in remote
situations, have hitherto
suffered so much by, and to prevent the regularities they have fallen
frequently from a want of acquaintance with the regulations as laid
down in the
BOOK OF NEW CONSTITUTIONS," unanimously accepted by the United Grand
of England, at the memorable epoch when the Interests of ANCIENT and
were cemented forever in one Grand Plan of perpetual Union, under the
name of UNITED
ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND" and subsequently recognized and acted
the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada.
is dedicated to H.R.H., the Duke of Kent, Past Grand Master of Masons
in Lower Canada,
a wood cut portrait of whom forms the frontispiece.
At the Quarterly
Communication of the Grand Lodge Lower Canada held on the 2nd day of
was resolved unanimously that "all the Rules laid down in said Code
The Mason's Manual) shall be the sole and only Laws for the Government
of the Craft,
hereby repealing all those promulgated by this Grand Lodge, that are
contained." It was also resolved "That every person initiated into
in this Province shall have a Copy of the MASON'S MANUAL delivered to
him by the
Secretary of the Lodge, who shall account for the same to the Grand
to the Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Craft, the Grand
Private Lodges, there is an Appendix containing the Installation and
various Charges and Prayers, and
… it being very essential, in
order to preserve
due decorum when the Craft are at refreshment, and on other occasions,
that no songs,
but such as are truly Masonic, or such as are moral and chaste, should
the compilers of this little work have inserted a few that are Strictly
they beg to recommend to the Brethren. One of these songs was written
by Bro. Thomas
Bennett, P. G. S. of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
Charge to a new admitted Mason" is practically the same as that printed
the Irish Pocket Companion of 1734 (See THE BUILDER, Vol. XI, page
that the phrase "the greatest monarchs in all ages," etc., has been
to read "the greatest monarchs, governors and rulers in all ages, as
ASIA, AFRICA and EUROPE as of AMERICA, have been encouragers of the
a number of Christian references in the Prayers and Charges. The Manual
a set of "Rules recommended to the serious attention of every Christian
as well as "A Christian Masonic Hymn on the Nativity of our Blessed
written by the Rev. Bro. Doty of Three Rivers, Lower Canada.
Many of the
Regulations are of more than ordinary interest, particularly those
appointment of the Provincial Grand Master. Prior to the Union of 1813
Grand Lodge of Lower Canada had apparently assumed powers it did not
had come to consider itself as a sovereign body. The Charters which it
were carried on the Provincial Grand Registry only, and few, if any,
made to the Grand Lodge of England. This assumption of sovereign power
was not deliberate,
but appears to have grown up as a result of the difficulties incident
to those days
when the means of communication with the Mother Country were irregular
and at a time when, happily for the Craft, the spirit of Masonry was
the letter of its constitutional structure. Following the retirement of
H. R. H.,
the Duke of Kent, from the office of Provincial Grand Master of Lower
which he had been appointed in 1792 by Warrant issued under the
authority of John,
fourth Duke of Athole, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, "
" the Provincial Grand Lodge met on the 27th December, 1811, and
the Hon. Claude Denechau to succeed him. The irregularity of this
now apparent from a reading of the regulations contained in the Manual,
is stated that the appointment of the Provincial Grand Master is a
the Grand Master of England. It is known that Denechau applied to
England for a
Patent, so that it may be presumed that the "election" was a temporary
expedient to meet the peculiar situation that had arisen. That a Patent
to the holding of the office is also clear, for the Regulation goes on
that the Provincial Grand Master was to be installed on the 27th
“provided his Patent has been obtained this phrase being in italics. W.
Smith of St. Paul’s Lodge, E.R. Montreal, has drawn my attention to the
nowhere in the Manual is any reference made to the Hon. Claude
Denechau, the Manual
itself being issued by the "Committee," and under the sanction of the
R.W. Bro. William Handfield Snelling, the Deputy Provincial Grand
he writes, "shows a proper Masonic modesty and sense of discipline on
part." In spite of the absence of the Patent, Denechau, however,
the functions of his office, even to the granting of Warrants, but he
these Warrants after his Patent had been received in 1820 by ratifying
claim is made in Regulation 9;
The Provincial Grand Lodge has
also the inherent
power … Of suspending those (Lodges) of other registers.
It is to
be hoped that no attempt was ever made to exercise this power.
provided that all the Grand Lodge Officers were to be appointed by the
Grand Master; the appointment of the Grand Treasurer, however, was to
be made from
three Brethren nominated by the Grand Lodge. Lodge representation in
the Grand Lodge
was limited to the Master, Wardens and one Past Master from every
In the rules
for the regulation of Private Lodges, it is provided that no person
shall be initiated
or admitted if three black balls appear against him; that
… no other Lodge shall initiate
any non-commissioned officer belonging to a Regiment or Battalion, to
which a military
Lodge is attached, nor shall any Lodge initiate any military person
below the rank
of Corporal, except as a serving brother, or by dispensation …
no Lodge shall make a Mason for
a less sum than
Three Pounds, exclusive of the registering fee.
his History of Freemasonry in the Province of Quebec, written in 1892,
the rarity of the Mason's Manual, and although I have found references
to it in
the Minutes of some of the older Quebec Lodges, the only other copy
that I know
of is in the possession of Golden Rule Lodge, No. 5, at Stanstead,
happens to be the mother lodge of the Editor of THE BUILDER.
slow and haphazard communications of a hundred years ago it is not at
that with the best will in the world to abide by Masonic law, the
brethren in Canada
were forced into many irregularities. Even the home authorities added
to these by
their discrepant and sometimes contradictory actions. And in addition
were the complications
following on the existence of two Grand lodges in England, both
in the new world.
of Kent was inconsistently enough recognized by both bodies, though
to neither, for he was initiated in Switzerland. But it would appear
and "Moderns" in Canada were on fairly good terms with each other. At
least when the Duke was about to leave Quebec for the West Indies in
1794, a joint
address from the representatives of the two systems was presented to
a hope that his "conciliating influence" might lead to a reunion. A
which was well founded, for he with his brother, the Duke of Sussex,
the amalgamation of the two rival bodies into the United Grand Lodge of
brethren had requested that he should be appointed Provincial Grand
Master for the
whole of Canada, and he to appoint Deputy Provincial Grand Masters for
Lower Canada, respectively, and this the Grand Lodge evidently wished
to do, only Rt. Wor. Bro. Jarvis had already been selected when this
Meekren, Editor in
IN his "Farewell"
and apologia pro labore suo as Research Editor of THE BUILDER, Bro.
quite neglected to give any indication of his reasons for relinquishing
The explanation is very simple. Some time ago he got married, and he
now finds it
necessary to find some more remunerative employment than Masonic
Research. His salary
has only been a nominal one, and it was only because he had other
sources of income
that he was in a position to undertake the tasks he has so ably and
since his appointment some three years ago. No one but the Editor can
begin to appreciate
how much Bro. Thiemeyer has done, or the value of his assistance in the
on the work of the Society. The Editor may confess to having had some
Bro. Thiemeyer might be his successor, and thus provide for continuity
in the work.
But he knew all the time that such an outcome was hardly probable. The
Society, the Craft in general, cannot expect young men of outstanding
devote their lives to such work as this, without paying something more
for it than
the day wages of a carpenter or bricklayer.
But we do
not expect to lose Bro. Thiemeyer entirely He will take a place on the
Associate Editors, and we shall continue to have the benefit of his
advice and suggestions.
We wish him success in his new undertakings, and with his gifts and
is little doubt that he will attain it.
* * *
Responsibility of Masonic
IN the August
number of the Masonic Digest, Bro. Reynold E. Blight, himself the
himself upon this subject. We gather that the pronouncement was not
made in vacuo,
that is, it was not merely the exposition of a theme, but that it had
to some local differences of opinion among the brethren in California,
or at least
in Los Angeles. This was made more apparent by the publication in the
issue of letters from a number of brethren of prominence, warmly
praising this editorial
much in agreement with most of what was said, there were certain
we could only accept with some reserve. Bro. Blight said that an
not altogether a free individual," which is so true that it is almost a
The only editor who is free is one who owns the periodical he directs,
and who is
rich enough to pay all its expenses out of his own pocket. Even then
is limited by various laws of the state. Few, however, are in this
happy state of
liberty, and the great majority of editors have to conform themselves
to some extent,
greater or less, to what their readers want, or at any rate to what
they will stand.
It was also
stated that "no individual, no magazine, can claim to represent
There is only one body authorized to speak for the Craft and that is
Naturally, for it represents the Craft, in any given Jurisdiction. But
who are at a distance, and who do not know the circumstances that
inspired the utterance,
may wonder why anything so obvious should have to be said, and what is
what it might be taken to imply.
In a succeeding
paragraph it is said that the same rules that govern him in the lodge
a Masonic editor in the conduct of his publication. So far as these
tolerance and courtesy" and "the ideals of the fraternity" we
agree. A Masonic editor is a Mason, and a Mason is bound to act
Masonically in all
his dealings with his fellowmen, and especially with his brethren. But
here is where
we feel it necessary to make certain reservations. Whatever appears in
of a Masonic journal should be distinguished by courtesy and restraint,
is said editorially should be just and tolerant, but it is not clear
that this is
all that is intended, and this doubt is increased by the letter of M.
Will H. Fischer, in which he says:
To my way of thinking, the
editor of a Masonic
magazine should be sensitive and responsive to, and limited by the
principles, purposes and commitments of Masonry and the policies laid
down by Grand
Lodge.... If there is a difference of opinion as to principles,
policies or procedure,
or a desire to enter new fields of action, policy or discussion, the
first be discussed and settled in Grand Lodge, or with the Grand
Master, in an orderly
particular questions at issue which it would appear are being dealt
with under these
general statements it would be an impertinence for us to say anything,
even if we
knew anything about them and had formed an opinion. But on the question
of the freedom
of the Masonic press we have a very decided opinion and we cannot admit
editor has to follow the same rules in regard to his journal that the
a lodge has to enforce, in regard to the subjects raised for
discussion. The two
things are on different levels. There are matters that can be discussed
that could not possibly be published, and conversely there are subjects
be brought up in lodge that may very properly be treated in a Masonic
precisely because its pages are open to all the world. The logical
result of Bro.
Fischer's understanding of Bro. Blight's article would lead to a
and make every editor its partisan and propagandist. Exactly the same
in American Masonry, in its present day development, for a free press,
in the civil state. Democratic governing machines are clumsy and very
slow to act
‒ they need the free and mobile criticism of a free press both as a
curb and as
a spur, according to circumstances. Grand Lodges are no more perfect
than any other
and functions of the Masonic press is another subject that might well
by research, and we would welcome any further discussion of the subject.
* * *
been some discussion recently as to the fitness and propriety of
articles published in Masonic periodicals by copyright. Several of our
have expressed the opinion that there should be no restriction whatever
on the use
and promulgation of material prepared for the information and
instruction of the
Craft, and this is a consideration that undoubtedly carries much weight.
It has to
be admitted that there has been a very low standard of professional
ethics in the
American Masonic Press taken as a whole. This is not the place to
attempt to account
for the fact, it is there and has to be regretted. The recently
Press Association has set very high requirements for its members, and
we have no
doubt that in time its influence will have great and far-reaching
effect. It insists
on the observance of the regular established usages of publication,
elementary and primary rule that permission be obtained to reprint
elsewhere, and full credit given to the publication in which they first
As the procedure
of protecting a publication legally is a very simple one, it is fair to
the editor and publishers of any periodical not copyrighted tacitly
gives a general
permission to reprint articles from its pages without further
even in such cases courtesy at least would demand that it should be
for and received.
has been protected by copyright from the beginning, for reasons that we
are fairly obvious. The articles and essays that have appeared in it
are all original,
with very few exceptions, and for the most part have been the work of
the National Masonic Research Society. The general copyright is
intended to protect
their interests. It is for the author to say what use may be made of
is therefore quite simple. Contributed articles appearing under the
names of their
authors should not be reprinted without permission. In most cases, we
permission will be gladly given by the contributor, unless there is
reason for not doing so, such as an intention to republish in another
so far as other material is concerned we are very glad to offer it for
on the condition that full credit is given to THE Builder. And here we
that when such material has been reprinted in another journal, it is
to ascribe the credit to the latter ‒ though we have known this to be
been in the past, and still is, unfortunately, an altogether improper
view taken by members of the Craft at large toward authors and
The laborer in general is admittedly worthy of his hire, even the ox is
not to be
muzzled as he treads out the corn, but the Masonic writer is expected
to work for
nothing, and the publisher is expected to give his periodical away, or
make concessions as to payment. And if either objects then they are
held to be "commercializing" Masonry. Really it is those who expect
favors who are exploiting Masonry, for they are demanding something for
on account of the fraternal tie. We believe that if consideration is
given to this
the misconception will be removed. It takes as much time and effort to
write a Masonic
article as any other, and it costs as much money to publish a Masonic
any other, and those who seek undue favors are themselves the
* * *
months past THE BUILDER has contained brief notices of the charitable
of the Grand Lodge of England. There are three of these festivals held
which are of major importance. Each one is devoted to raising funds for
one of the
homes operated by the Grand Lodge of England. The Royal Masonic
for Girls, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution for Boys, and the
Benevolent Institution which is for old folks and indigent Masons are
of the funds subscribed at these major festivals.
It is customary
in England to sell jewels for subscriptions of certain sums of money to
to these institutions. Stewardships are also for sale. The word "sale"
is perhaps harsh, but in an uncharitable attitude is correct. Either
lodges or individuals
may purchase jewels or qualify as stewards. If recollection serves
aright, the fee
for a lodge stewardship is considerably larger than that for an
has commented favorably upon the amount of money raised at these
made comparisons which were none too favorable with the charity of
Lodges. The recent festivals held in England produced considerably over
dollars for charitable purposes. This is well over an average of $4.00
for the jurisdiction. With a system of contribution as outlined above,
it is evident
that these funds are in excess of any deduction from the annual dues of
to their respective lodges, or a per capita tax by the Grand Lodge. And
a country where government taxes approximate 35% of the income of the
It is immediately apparent that our English brethren take their Masonic
with a great deal of seriousness.
We are informed
by a correspondent that a very large percentage of the funds received
forth by social pressure exercised by lodge officers upon those who do
to be inclined to contribute as liberally as they should. The
impression given in
the letter to which reference is made, was that this practice is to be
rather than praised. The present writer cannot concur in that opinion,
the following views are expressed editorially, it must be said at the
they are personal, although the writer feels that the majority of the
of the National Masonic Research Society will concur.
Let us admit
that it would be much better to secure funds for charity without
coercion if possible.
Of course, the desirable thing is to have the members of the Masonic
take their obligations of charity so seriously that there would be no
need to force
them by social pressure or otherwise to contribute ample funds for the
of charitable enterprises.
much to be said on the other side of the question. In the first place,
petitioning for Masonic degrees has some sort of an idea that Masonry
is a charitable
institution. It must be self-evident that the funds for maintenance
must come from
the members. It is the general practice in America to secure these
funds by a per
capita tax levied by the Grand Lodge. The amount of this levy is small,
but in theory
the coercion exercised is just as strong, perhaps even stronger than
pressure brought to bear by lodge officers in England. Regardless of
to the contrary, the fact cannot be denied that American Masons are
to contribute to their Masonic homes just as strongly as English
Masons. The difference
is only in methods.
reason for preferring the English practice is that the charitable
brought home more forcibly under that plan than under the American
scheme. In this
country a certain portion of dues is automatically set aside for
The member pays his lodge dues and assumes that he has no further
his Masonic brethren. That is altogether the wrong attitude. The
Mason will contribute to all sorts of secular charity, but will not add
to his dues for Masonic charity. That is perfectly all right, but it
does not enable
the fraternity to practice to the full the charity which it claims lies
at its foundation.
It does not
take a keen observer to realize that there are many ways in which money
spent by the Masons of this country to help unfortunate members of the
should not be included in this group any unworthy cause. To cite a few
however, we might spend money for the education of children of Masons
not otherwise receive proper training. The Shrine hospitals for
which devote their attention not only to the children of Masons, but
others as well,
cannot cover the entire field. More funds could be used in this way. We
homes for contagious cases and Masonic insane, who are not provided for
at the present
time. The caring for indigent tubercular patients in the Southwest has
so many times that it must be known to everyone today. If American
Masons were compelled
by social pressure to dig in their pocket to the extent of $4.00 per
would have twelve million dollars a year to devote to such worthy
following such a practice, we would be helping others who would be
willing to help
us, if their obligations meant anything to them, instead of helping
people in whom
we have no interest whatever, except that interest of pity which any
being has toward one less fortunate. In other words, there is money
devoted to general
charity today which would do just as much good, and perhaps more, if it
to Masonic charity. That these outside charitable organizations would
miss the Masonic
contributions is doubtful. The Masonic Fraternity would relieve them of
to make up whatever depletion in funds they might suffer and Masonry be
with adequately caring for its own. In other words, what is being
is nothing more than the old adage that “Charity begins at home."
plan does not provide sufficient funds for these purposes, as has been
the English plan also fails. However, it is certain that by bringing
bear, every member of the Masonic Fraternity in England is forced to
he is abiding by his obligations, and that is as it should be. If men
will not live
up to oaths of honor willingly, they should be made to do so forcibly.
doubtless be well if the forty-nine American Grand Lodges would adopt
plan in regard to contributions for charitable enterprises. We would
have more money
for charity, and American Masons would be made to realize that the
was an active organization, and not one whose emblem was a means of
business, or simply a form of odd age insurance.
of Masonry the World Over
of Plural Membership
down of the prejudice in the American Craft against a brother belonging
than one lodge at the same time seems well under way. Not only is
considering the matter, but it has been definitely proposed in Idaho
and New Jersey.
In the former Grand Lodge two resolutions were introduced, according to
Freeman, but "on account of the importance of the subject and the press
other business the matter was withdrawn from consideration for the
In New Jersey
the Grand Master recommended it and proposed regulations to govern it.
on the Address reported it to the Grand Lodge, but on a technical
objection it was
laid over for action at the next Annual Communication.
Lodge of Oregon has also taken it up, and has a committee studying the
An article by R. W. Bro. L. W. Matthews, a member of this committee,
the October number of the Masonic Analyst, from which we gather that
committee will not only report favorably, but will offer weighty
arguments for relaxing
the unnecessary restrictions that have become traditional in this
* * *
Ruling On Dimits
our contemporaries have been recently discussing a ruling of the Grand
Louisiana which appeared in the Proceedings of that Grand Lodge in
1928. This was
to the effect that a lodge is justified before granting a dimit in
only a payment of all dues but also a pro rata share of all the lawful
of the lodge.
As the decision
was not commented on by the committee on the Grand Master's Address, it
is to be
presumed that it was accepted as in accordance with Louisiana Masonic
Law. It has
not, however, met with approval elsewhere. The Idaho Freemason points
out that if
this be granted, in justice the demitted brother should receive a pro
of the assets of a lodge also. The logic is unimpeachable. The Masonic
says that in Illinois a lodge cannot levy any assessment on its
members, and the
Tyler-Keystone commenting on this states that the same is true of
be specific eases where such a demand might be fairly made, but stated
as a general
rule it is dangerous, and could possibly work the gravest injustice on
* * *
Solicitation of Candidates
paragraph appeared in the August issue of the Illinois Freemason:
A good many
old Masons hold up their hands in horror if anybody suggests that
might, with propriety, make a modest solicitation for members. If
Masonry is a good
thing why should we not be permitted to tell our friends about it and
them that it would be to their advantage to become members of the
society. The facts
are that four-fifths of all petitions received in lodges today result
having presented the value of Masonry to a friend.
holding up our hands in horror, or any other emotion, we certainly
believe the suggestion
is a mistaken one. There is a sound practical and psychological basis
for the rule
that no one should ever be solicited to become a Mason, it is not
merely a tradition.
It does not follow that a "good thing" for some men is a good thing for
all; and Freemasonry is a peculiar institution, its nature is such that
who are attracted to it of their own motion are at all likely to prove
It is not true that every good man can be a good Mason. In addition to
upright and honorable, he must have that peculiar predisposition that
ritual and symbolism and the ideal of fraternity. There are many
excellent and admirable
men in whom this is entirely lacking.
* * *
Emblems on Auto
this subject was brought up in the Grand Lodge of New York. No definite
was enacted, but the brethren of that Jurisdiction have been requested
from following the practice ‒ those of them who had adopted it.
hardly have thought this matter of sufficient importance to mention,
were it not
for the fact that it seems to have aroused a great deal of interest
A large number of our contemporaries have given publicity to it, and
some have commented
upon it editorially. The news has even crossed the Atlantic, where it
has been received
with half incredulous wonder. Not wonder at the mild action taken in
but wonder that a Mason should, or could, want so to advertise himself.
* * *
Interest in Count
who belong to the Roman Church have re-discovered that noble soldier of
and partisan of liberty, Count Casimir Pulaski, who fell at the siege
in the War of Independence. From different parts of the country we hear
suggestions for honoring his memory. In Wisconsin a public park has had
changed from Lindbergh Park to Pulaski Park; in New Jersey a monument
In St. Louis there was a celebration and memorial service. Naturally
those of our
citizens of Polish descent are interested, and as these nearly all
belong to the
Roman Church, the attempt to add him to the Romanist Pantheon of
is logical enough. Whether Pulaski was a member of the Roman Church
himself we do
not know, he may have belonged to the Moravian Church; but however this
he was certainly a Freemason. We need not grudge the new honors being
paid to him,
but the situation is rather amusing.
* * *
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey for 1929 we learn that one
of the decisions
made by the Grand Master, M. W. Bro. W. T. Vanderlipp, was that charges
against a brother might be withdrawn by consent of all parties when
they did not
involve criminal acts in the eyes of the law. And he went on to express
that where the complaint concerns money matters charges should not be
the lodge unless fraud is alleged in the transaction.
This is a
very important matter. Originally lodges took cognizance of any quarrel
between individual members, and there were no formal regulations
eases. To obviate abuses that appeared from time to time a procedure
that of courts of law has been provided in all jurisdictions. But this
is not at all adapted to deal with disputes and misunderstandings, and
is that these are now almost everywhere ignored by our lodges, with
very evil results
not be possible to devise some less formal and serious method for
appeasing differences between brethren? It might go far to reviving
and fellowship in the American Craft.
* * *
Find of Masonic
It is reported
that an old manuscript dealing with Masonry has been found among some
at a farmhouse in Wisconsin. The discovery was made by Dr. B. C.
Meacher of Portage,
Wis. The manuscript is stated to be several hundred years old, but on
this estimate was made does not appear.
guess, if the report has any foundation, that this would prove to be
of the Old Charges; but the locality seems a very unpromising one for
this. It is
possible it is a modern copy of one of the published versions, made by
for his own use. We hope that some of the Wisconsin brethren will try
to find out
more about it. One of the brethren of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, or perhaps
of the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research seem to come within
Such claims as this should be examined at once, for as time passes the
of establishing the truth rapidly increase.
* * *
Iowa Grand Lodge Bulletin
the N.M.R.S. are naturally interested in the Iowa Craft, seeing that it
through the efforts of Iowa Masons, chartered under the Iowa law
making corporations, and for the first eight years of its existence had
within its borders.
Lodge of Iowa has a world-wide reputation. It would not be too much to
it stands in the very forefront of the English speaking Masonic world
to its achievements from the intellectual and educational point of'
view. The Iowa
Masonic Library, though it may have one or two equals, has no superior.
have been put freely at the disposal of Masonic students the world
over, and there
is no reading Mason anywhere who does not know of its fame.
with the educational work of the library a Bulletin has been issued for
with the object of bringing the library and its resources, and its
to the knowledge of the brethren in the Jurisdiction. The expense was
met by the
Grand Lodge, and it was always considered as port of the Library work.
It was sent
to all Iowa Masons, and to any Masonic student elsewhere who asked to
It became one of the few Masonic periodicals published in the English
was of general interest. It is no wonder that the name of Iowa stood so
the Masonic world.
this was due, as everything worthwhile always is, to the efforts of a
notably the two Parvins, father and son. It is to be feared that the
Iowa Masons neither know nor care about such things. They do not
realize they have
a world reputation, perhaps they would not value it if they did. At
were signs at the last communication of the Grand Lodge that the
character of the
Bulletin is to be changed. The Board of trustees suggested that "more
should be placed on the Craft in Iowa." There was some flowery verbiage
the "worthwhile achievements of the several lodges," and how recording
them "would bring renewed enthusiasm and fresh courage" to all. But the
meaning seemed to be that Iowa would recede from its prominent position
turn its attention to its internal and private affairs, and that the
become more and more a local news sheet.
of us, of course, have nothing to say. We can only be grateful for what
done, and, if this tendency should be continued, we can only regret the
Iowa leadership. It will come to many as a shock that even the
existence of the
great Library is dependent from year to year on a bare majority in the
and we can only hope that this regressive tendency will go no further,
we may have to mourn the fall of one of the principal pillars of
on its intellectual side.
* * *
in North Carolina
issue (Sept. 16) of the Orphans Portend and Masonic Journal, which is
of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, has an article by Bro. R. R.
is Educational Secretary of Reidsville Lodge, No. 384. In this article
recounts his experience. He apparently had to start with very little
and very little knowledge of what has been done elsewhere. He
on the failure of the Grand Lodge to "provide some system of study
all the phases of Masonic thought for the guidance of the secretaries."
else who has had to do with educational work he has come to the
outside speakers, no matter how eloquent or well informed, can never
take the place
of individual work by the members of the lodge, or study club,
themselves. He states
his conclusions thus:
of, and experience in, this phase of Masonic work has been limited and,
a pilot to guide me it has been more or less of a pioneering nature To
I laid down certain rules about which to build my programmed, rules
to the standard of common sense as far as I was able to apply it.
They must be brief, they must
be interesting, they must be instructive.
That the work must not be
overdone by having too many meetings. I arranged
my meetings of four each, one in the Spring and one in the Fall,
skipping the hot
That the work must be done
systematically and progressively.
no different from any other science or philosophy and I assumed that it
be treated any differently for practical results.
It is possible
that the Syllabus published by the N.M.R.S. might serve him as a guide.
It has been
used in similar eases with the most gratifying results.
* * *
Education in Idaho
In the Communication
of the Grand Lodge of Idaho, held in September, Bro. Curtis F. Pike,
on the feet in his report that within a generation conditions had
Once the lodge meeting was a welcome break in the daily monotony of
life, now it
has to compete with a thousand distractions and forms of entertainment.
Masonry must develop some new appeal, and the question of Masonic
more and more importance.
has compiled and published a list of Masonic books to assist lodges in
up libraries, and this has apparently had some result. No definite
scheme or course
of study has been arranged as yet, though some lodges have formed Study
committee looks forward to being able to accomplish still more in the
granted the committee last year seems a very small one, only $500.00.
seem to show that the real importance of this work has not yet been so
by the Grand Lodge as it has been by the committee.
* * *
Masonic Relief Association
Missouri Freemason we learn of the recent biennial meeting of the
Association of the United States and Canada, which was held in St.
Louis last month.
This is undoubtedly the most efficient of the various organizations
to harmonize and co-ordinate inter-Jurisdictional efforts. And being
the most efficient,
is the least known and the least talked about. Twenty-six Boards were
directly by their own delegates, and many of these were proxies, so
that some fifty
Boards were represented in all.
called for discussion of the following questions, and we are informed
that it was
carried out in its entirety:
- Does the Masonic fraternity
really relieve distress among its members, their
widows and orphans?
- What should be done to a lodge
that fails to make provision for distress
among its own members or their dependents?
- What can you tell us of the
lodge that makes Masons and then turns them out
for other lodges to relieve when they are in distress?
- What Grand Lodge requires each
lodge to collect sufficient dues to maintain
a relief fund to meet emergencies?
- Does the Masonic fraternity
countenance and conceal the identity of persons
claiming to be members in good standing who are guilty of fraudulent
or does it expose them? Which should it do?
- How can a Mason guard against a
fraud or impostor if not warned and warned
in an effective manner?
- Is it not a fact that too much
time is given to ritual and not enough to
the study and acquirement of a knowledge of its meaning and application?
- Is not the Masonic fraternity
getting away from its original plan of relieving
the distress of worthy members and their dependents?
- Is it not a fact that many
lodges undertake to tie the hands of their officers
and actually prevent them from relieving distress?
- Is this consistent with the
original plan as taught in its lectures and ritual?
nine papers in all, these being by Bros. John A. Davilla, Joseph L
L. Kraw, J. B. Nixon, Phil. A. Roth, E. E. Axtell, Stewart Gamble,
Walter L. Stockwell
and Lewis E. Smith.
of the eighth and ninth papers election of officers was held and
again in the temple dining hall. Those chosen to serve for the next two
Stewart Gamble, Baltimore, President; Dr. John D. Henderson, Knoxville,
Vice-President; J. B. Nixon, Toronto, Second Vice-President; Lou B.
Rapids, Mich., reselected Treasurer; Andrew J. O'Reilly, St. Louis,
Lewis E. Smith, Omaha, Chairman Executive Board, and these members of
Ira Weingrun, New Orleans; D. R. Cheney, Portland, Ore.; E. Earl
and George D. Riley, Jackson, Miss.
* * *
Elimination of the Chapter
In the Introduction
of the Report of the Committee on Review in the Proceedings of the
of Knights Templar of Illinois, the following passage appears under the
"The general impression which
has gained from reviewing the proceedings of the Grand Commanderies of
States is that something must be done in order to bring the Order of
back to its own.
measures have been suggested, and in some quarters one of the
outstanding has been
the elimination of the Royal Arch Chapter as a prerequisite to
membership in the
Commandery. We are living in an age of the survival of the fittest.
There is no
reason in the world why the Order of' Knights Templar should be called
upon to propagate
the chapter at its own expense. Someone has declared that if the
chapter is eliminated,
in the course of five years the membership of the Knights Templar will
This may be an extravagant claim, but the fact remains just the same,
that the Royal
Arch Chapter is a mill stone about the neck of the Order of Knights
this new age in which we are living when many Masonic organizations are
for existence, there must be a readjustment, and it should be along
If the Royal Arch Chapter cannot stand upon its own merits, then the
sooner it goes
out of business the better.
subject of chapter elimination is receiving the attention of Knights
many quarters, and it is believed that it is but a short time until the
will be called upon to consider the advisability of dropping the
chapter, and opening
admission to the Order to all Master Masons in good standing who can
pass the test."
This we expect
will prove a very startling suggestion to most Masons. It is another
of the distance the American Masonic Institution has traveled in the
years or so. The basic idea of the so-called higher degrees and
was selection. The membership of the lodge was a selected group of men;
the chapter was selected from them; that of the Commandery selected yet
They were the elite, the very cream of the Fraternity, three times
and examined, and thrice approved.
been in other periods and in different countries unseemly struggles
systems and Rites, but it was for power or control. The present
seem to be a mere struggle for existence, a sordid competition for
It is only
one symptom ‒ there are plenty of others for those with their eyes
open. But what
the remedy is no one seems to know. It does, however, seem unfortunate
organizations connected with Masonry which make so large a showing in
eye, and which attract so many of the unthinking because of their showy
are nearly all at the end of the succession of grades. It might be
better to break
this artificial connection, it might be better even to make them open
Apprentices; playgrounds and parades would seem more suitable for the
may be the right course to take in the present situation it is going to
and sober thinking to find it, and the policy of shutting our eyes and
that all is well in the best of possible institutions will have to be
for that way lies disaster.
* * *
of Recognition by
the Grand Lodge of England
At the Quarterly
Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England the following "Basic
for Grand Lodge Recognition" were adopted:
Regularity of' origin; i.e.,
each Grand Lodge shall have been established
lawfully by a duly recognized Grand Lodge or by three or more regularly
That a belief in the G.A.O.T.U.
and His revealed will shall be an essential
qualification for membership.
That all Initiates shall take
their Obligation on or in full view of the
open Volume of the Sacred Law, by which is meant the revelation from
is binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being
That the membership of the
Grand Lodge and individual lodges shall be composed
exclusively of men; and that each Grand Lodge shall have no Masonic
of any kind with mixed lodges or bodies which admit women to membership.
That the Grand Lodge shall have
sovereign jurisdiction over the lodges under
its control; i.e., that it shall be a responsible, independent,
with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft or Symbolic Degrees
Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) within its Jurisdiction; and shall not
in any way
be subject to or divide such authority with a Supreme Council or other
any control or supervision over those degrees.
That the three Great Lights of
Freemasonry (namely, the Volume of the Sacred
Law, the Square, and the Compasses) shall always be exhibited when the
or its subordinate lodges are at work, the chief of these being the
Volume of the
That the discussion of religion
and polities within the lodge shall be strictly
That the principles of the
Ancient Landmarks, customs, and usages of the
Craft shall be strictly observed.
are very much what anyone might have expected, even to the uncertainty
that envelopes such terms as "religion" and "politics," and
the indefinite content of "Landmarks, customs and usages," while a
might not find it difficult to show inconsistencies latent in the
with the "revelation" of the Divine will. Nevertheless we may hope that
these attempts at defining requirements, and stating essentials, which
are now appearing
in different parts of the Masonic world will lead to the removal of
and perhaps eventually to the realization of the almost despaired of
ideal of universality.
* * *
Congress of this league the official title of which is "Universala
Ligo" was held last month at Amsterdam. The only report of the
that has so far come to hand is that in the London Masonic News of
From this we learn that the organization was started by a number of
Masons who were
in attendance at the Esperantist Congress held at Boulogne in 1906, and
was at first
most concerned in advancing the cause of that universal language. It
took its present
form in 1913.
of the League is Dr. Fritz Uhlmann of Basle, who is master of a lodge
Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland.
it may be remarked that Bro. Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of the Grand
New York, was expected to attend, but was detained by illness in
Vienna. The authorities
of the Grand Lodge of England gave the meetings a guarded recognition,
Masons who intended to be present that they represented only
themselves. As the
League strongly emphasis the fact it is an organization of individual
this warning was perhaps not really necessary.
* * *
Actual Situation in
to come through various channels that, if anything, the situation of
is worse than ever. A brother who has recently been in Italy informs us
spite of the persecution and the spies some of the lodges continue to
organization and to hold occasional meetings. Naturally those brethren
who are most
prominent suffer most. Guiseppe Meoni, Grand Master of the Grand
Orient, has recently
been "deported," and even Past Grand Master Ettore Ferrari, now over
years of age, was threatened with the same fate. Some remaining sense
however, seems to have halted this, but he is held practically a
prisoner in his
own house, unable to communicate with friends, or to go out except by
* * *
asks this question concerning the Italian situation in the October
number of the
Masonic World. He points out the difficulties in the way of any
protest on the part of American Freemasonry; the very same conditions,
it must be
said, that faced it at the outbreak of the war. He also observes that
would have made any practical difference, an opinion THE BUILDER has
But he believes that indignation is widely felt among American Masons,
or at least
among those who know anything about the matter, and he thus concludes:
A few deprecatory
allusions to the Italian situation can be credited to Grand Masters and
authority, but so far no real voice of official protest has been heard.
On the other
hand, there have been attempts to explain the silence by asserting that
Masonry is political, altogether unlike our own. The inference is that,
heretical, American Masonic sympathy would be misplaced. One might be
in asking whether our Masonry, having been long dumb on every question
and living a peaceful and protected life, has not grown cowardly. An
manfully phrased, protesting against the persecution of Italian Masons,
least have defined our position, and would have proved to the sufferers
was with them the moral support of the largest section of the universal
Whether the reason for silence be indifference or cowardice, it is not
to the credit
of the American Craft.
* * *
like a contradiction in terms, but the latest number of Alpina, the
organ of the
Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland quotes from Italia, a journal
published in Paris
(on behalf of the Italian exiles we presume) an article under the
Freemasonry of Fascist Adventurers." In this it is asserted that
has a pressing need of a ghost or shadow of Masonry (for reasons that
be imagined) and that a certain Edouard Frosini has been created Grand
man "without either political or moral influence." It is also stated
reports have been received from both Vienna and Copenhagen to the
… this suspicious personage,
who naturally acts
in accord with the Fascist party, has demanded recognition. At the very
the Italian police are deporting the real Free Masons, he is able to
lodges openly, and to send diplomas and patents abroad. It is obvious
that he is
nothing but an instrument of the police for purposes of espionage and
account for sundry letters now being sent to various newspapers in
England and elsewhere,
purporting to be from Italian Masons, claiming that there is no Masonic
in Italy, and implying that all those who were deported or imprisoned
and scoundrels, and deserved all and more than they have received in
the way of
* * *
and State in Malta
dispatches it appears that the parish cures of Malta, at a meeting
"secret," passed resolutions to the effect that they would collectively
express their adhesion with the Archbishop in his controversy with the
that they would exert every effort to enlist the support of all clubs,
and other organizations in thus cause; and generally to open a campaign
a strong public opinion against the government in regard to the matter
also that the Papal Secretary of' State, Cardinal Gasparri, wrote to
of Malta stating that the Maltese Government was violating the
of the island, and that he has sent an official note to Mr. Chilton,
Envoy to the Vatican, to inform him that Lord Strickland, the Governor,
non grata to the Holy See.
in reply has stated that he was a descendant of a Roman Catholic family
through generations had suffered loss of life and property, and who had
loss of civil status and exclusion from public life on account of their
but who stood to the pledge made at the time of the Emancipation Bill,
Roman Catholics "would take their religion from Rome and their politics
themselves," adding that only on these conditions could they continue
as ministers of the English crown.
in dispute, it will be remembered, arose about a high handed attempt on
of the ecclesiastical authorities of Malta to deport a priest, against
to Sicily in defiance of his rights as a British subject. This attempt
as Governor, very properly vetoed ‒ "hence all these tears."
* * *
Grand Lodges of Germany
to a correspondent the Illinois Freemason says:
Lodge of Illinois has never extended recognition to any Grand Lodge in
Masonic conditions in Germany are rather chaotic, and while attempts
have been made
in times past to secure recognition, yet the same has not been extended
reason that such Grand Lodges as have existed have not been able to
measure up to
those fundamentals which Illinois requires.
Lodge of Illinois was organized in 1823. The Grand Lodge of the Three
Berlin was founded in 1744, the National Grand Lodge in 1770, the Grand
of the Eclectic Union in 1783, the Prussian Grand Lodge of Friendship
in 1798, the
Grand Lodge of Hamburg, the Grand; Lodge of the Sun at Bayreuth, and
the Grand Lodge
of Saxony were all formed in 1811. In origin no one has ever dreamed of
any of them irregular, in regard to the beliefs required of their
Great Lights, and the conduct of discussion in their lodges, there has
a suspicion of their orthodoxy from the strictest Anglo-Saxon
viewpoint. The only
thing that could possibly be questioned is that they have never adopted
doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction, being content to dwell
in amity within the same boundaries. German lodges have always been
and their membership is of the very highest character.
It is true
that the German Masonry severed relations with the Grand Lodges of
during the war, and with some neutral Grand Lodges also. It is true
since the war it has stood aloof from the rest of the Masonic world, a
the sympathetic observer will have no difficulty in understanding, but
not in the least impeach its regularity, its orthodoxy, or its claims
on the fraternal
consideration of the rest of the Masonic world.
* * *
We have learned
with deep regret of the death of Bro. "Gus" Hankins, for many years the
editor of the Virginia Masonic Journal. An enthusiastic Mason, he gave
a great deal
of time and work to the Institution. He was Grand Recorder of the Grand
Grand Secretary of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, and at one time
Secretary of the
Scottish Rite Bodies in Richmond, and at the time of his death he was a
of the Masonic Press Association.
He was educated
at Hampden-Sydney College. Later he studied law, and eventually became
in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, which position he
several administrations. He finally gave this up to devote all his time
He had been
in ill-health for a number of years, but it was about a year ago that
he was stricken
with the complaint that caused his death, in his sixty-second year. We
his surviving relatives and friends our most sincere sympathy.
Problems of the Craft
of Our Ancient Fraternity And resent
the adoption of a program of Popular Masonic education ‒ that is a
particularly to appeal to the interests of the rank and file of
‒ as a solution for many of the present day problems of our Order, a
good many challenging
questions have been put up to me in person and by letters from
brethren. Some of
these questions, which I now propose to face, even though I may not be
able to give
adequate answers to all of them, doubtless, are the questions arising
in the minds
of many of our members when they confront the problems that must be
solved and the
tasks that must be undertaken if Freemasonry is to meet the challenge
of the changing
conditions in our day and age.
Since Membership in the Order
is Increasing Every
Year, Why Do You Insist That Anything is Wrong?
I do not
base my opinion that Freemasonry has shifted to a wrong direction,
the rate of increase in membership has declined every year for at least
I am quite willing to concede that our growth at one period may have
been too rapid
for the health of the Order. Frankly, I am far more concerned about the
than the quantitative extension of Freemasonry. It is the decline in
of membership and, particularly, the cheapening of the quality of
that seems to me apparent everywhere that caused the protest I have
Is Not the Real Spirit of
More in the Lives of Its Members Than in Their Attendance at Meetings?
yet this admission does not alter the criticism of a Lodge for its
failure to provide
a program that will attract more than five or ten per cent of its
members. No one
can deny that many good men and Masons seldom attend their Lodge. I
claim that the
Lodge is at fault if it does not provide programs which appeal to every
Isn't Masonry Losing Ground for
the Same Reason
That the Church is?
If this question
means to imply that folks are no longer interested in the cultural or
values of life, my own observation of the widespread interest in
various other cultural
activities appears to give a negative answer. But, if the purport of
is that many churches as well as many Lodges have failed to adjust
to keep in tune with the new cultural key ‒ note of our times, I think
it must be
admitted that this surely is one cause of the decline of both
Isn't Our Present Masonic
Problem Due Chiefly
to the Fact That During the Period When the Order Grew so Rapidly Too
of Low Grade Intelligence Were Admitted?
This is the
classic criticism of the high-brow. The question implies that Masonry
is, or should
be, an aristocratic instead of a democratic institution. This is a
intellectual snobbery, which seems to me false to every ideal and
contrary to every
precept of our Order. The appeal of our ancient fraternity always has
I trust, ever will be to the common citizen, the average man.
Don't You Think the Big Trouble
With Our Lodges
Comes From Too Many Square Clubs and Other Auxiliary Organizations?
No, I do
not think this is necessarily so. Doubtless some "joiners" simply use
the Lodge as an entrance to some of the modern auxiliaries of
if our lodges were fulfilling their true mission and providing a
program that could not be obtained elsewhere, every society and
with the fundamental organization would help rather than hinder its
growth and influence.
Don't You Think That the
Opposition of Certain
Religious Denominations Has Been Detrimental to Freemasonry?
contrary. In my opinion, the greatest achievement of Freemasonry has
been its firm
stand against the twin evils of bigotry and intolerance. I am firmly
this has drawn more into the Order than the forces of bigotry have kept
out of it.
Is there anyone in these days who cannot read in the signs of the times
of bigotry and the ultimate triumph of the truth and light which our
has so long upheld?
Haven't You Found That the
Major Fault of Masonry
is Too Much Masonic Polities?
Well, I agree
with Brother Cyrus Field Williard, who pointed out in THE BUILDER last
the sacerdotal class in all ages, and in all bodies, even Grand Lodges,
sought to keep the multitude in ignorance that their own schemes might
So, I must admit quite frankly that some of the political activities of
guns" have not helped much to raise the ideals or advance the interests
the Craft. But, I also agree most emphatically with Brother Willard,
that in our
fraternal democracy, the rank and file are the real rulers, so if we
make a genuine
demand for our ancient "birthright" all good Masonic politicians will
be quick to aid us in procuring all the educational advantages we may
Don't You Realize That the
Worst Evil in Our
Lodges is the Continuous Money Raising Campaigns, So That One Can Not
Attend a Meeting
Without Being Tackled for a Contribution or a Subscription, Which Makes
Such a Steady
Drain Upon the Pocketbook That Some Star Away From Lodge in Order to
I do not
deny that there is some excuse for this complaint because, frankly, it
me that some of our fund-raising drives would require a considerable
the imagination to be classed as charity. But, I do not think
ever will complain about or dodge the appeals of true Masonic charity.
I believe, lies in the failure of our present programs to fully impress
of our fraternity and to inculcate the true Masonic spirit in all
to our fellowship.
Getting Right Down to Brass
Tacks, Hasn't Masonry
Slumped for the Same Reason That All Cultural Activities Are Going
Since I am
unable to agree with the assumption that all cultural activities in
are going backwards, of course, I cannot admit that this ‒ whatever it
may be ‒
is a cause of the slacking of the progress of our fraternity. In the
sale of thoughtful books, such as Dr. Durant's Story of Philosophy for
in the eager interest that so many people manifest in many new cultural
such as The Humanistic Society and in the tribute that the whole world
to its men of genius, before they die; as in the recent celebrations in
Thomas A. Edison and Dr. John Dewey; all these and other present day
seem to me to be definite indications of a genuine revival of cultural
Why Waste Energies in Chasing
the Delusion That
It Is Possible to Interest the Rank and File of Our Craft in Anything
of an Educational
Character? Why Not Be Content to Concentrate Your Educational Efforts
of the Small Minority of Really Intelligent Members?
As I have
already tried to answer this question several times, perhaps it will
remind readers of what he Great Teacher said when He was rebuked for
with and His interest in the "low-brows" of his day. "The Son of
Man came not to call the righteous but sinners unto repentance." The
and scholars of our Craft do not need more Masonic education.
If Masonic Education Is Such a
Good Thing, Why
Is There so Much Difficulty in Putting it Across?
One way of
treating this would be to label it Foolish question No. 9,733,562.
method of answering it is to ask ‒ Can you name anything really
did not require great pains and effort to establish?
Why Do You Talk as Though
Masonic Education Were
a Newly Discovered Remedy for Our Ills, when Others Have Been Preaching
of This Panacea for Years?
to this simply is that I have never advocated the virtues of Masonic
as a panacea or a novelty. Always I have tried to convey my belief that
of our emphasis, so as to devote more attention to the educational and
features of our Masonic program, instead of an innovation or a novelty
be getting back to the principle on which our great Institution was
One of Our Well Informed
Brothers Recently Gave
Us an Address on Masonic Education Which Put Most of Our Members
Asleep. Why Do
You Insist on Inflicting More of This Sort of Thing Upon Us?
answer to this is that old-time classic, "You can't drive a nail with a
no matter how hard you may soak it."
We Started a Study Club Which
Petered Out After
a Few Meetings. Why should we Try it Again?
I am not
convinced that it is the best way to begin a Masonic educational
program by starting
a Study Club. Certainly there are many other things that may be done to
more educational features into Lodge programs. The chief secret of
success in conducting
a Study Club is having an enthusiastic and tactful leader. This type of
can make a success of any group activity. But it is not always easy to
or develop such leadership in Lodge work. Yet it can be done.
Our Lodge of Three Hundred
Members Is Finding
Difficulty in Discovering Good Men to Fill Our Chairs. Can You Help us?
What a confession
of weakness this is of the present practice in a modern Lodge! If it
were an exceptional
situation it would not seem so pitiful; but my observation convinces me
is a frequent problem of many Lodges. It seems to me that the cause of
shortcoming can be due only to one condition. The Lodge program has
been so lacking
in many of the fundamental educational teachings of the fraternity that
it has failed
to inspire and train even a paltry percentage of its own membership
with any of
the true ideals and interests of our Order which should make men eager
for an opportunity
to serve, and at the same time become duly informed in Masonic
principles and inspired
with the high ideals of the spirit of Freemasonry so as to assure their
in filling any chair of their Lodge.
Since Our Fraternity Is Already
the Burden of Too Many Side-Line Societies, Why Do You Propose Another
to Carry on Your Particular Plan of Masonic Education?
that those of us who are mutually interested in this proposition of
to devise and develop a program that will appeal to ordinary Masons and
them in some sort of educational or cultural activities in our Order,
such a title as "The Loyal Order of Builders," I had no notion of
a new society, but merely a method of co-operation in the development
of our program.
We do not need another organization, but we do need some sort of a
under which we may formulate our plans and exchange experiences in
carrying on the
work we are undertaking. It seems to me that The Loyal Order of
Builders is a proper
and significant title for us to adopt as kind of a working slogan, so I
glad to hear from everyone interested in the aims we have been
describing and the
program we are trying to develop. Bear in mind that our great purpose
is not to
start something new, but rather a plan to get back to first principles
in our Masonic
programs, yet adopting modern ideas and instrumentalities in furthering
letters of comment, criticism, inquiry or enlistment in this effort to
The Loyal Order of Builders, Scarsdale, N. Y.
Les79 / auth. Lessing Gotthold E / trans. Taylor William of Norwich. -
1779. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 195. - Formatted and Indexed from Project
Gutenberg File by rhm - 0.7 MB.
The Education of the Human Race
Les80 / auth. Lessing Gotthold E. - London : Smith, Elder, and Co.,
1780. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 96. - 1.8 MB.
Thoughts of Blaise Pascal
Pas46 / auth. Pascal Blaise. - Andover : Allen, Morill, and Wordwell,
1846. - p. 373. - 12.4 MB.