A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 10 No. 2 – February 1924
WHAT A FELLOWCRAFT SHOULD KNOW
This article was written in response to a number of requests, most of which, strangely enough, have come during the past few weeks. It appears that in the scope of available Masonic literature the Second Degree has suffered from a certain unfortunate neglect. What follows is not in any sense designed to fill this gap, or to deal exhaustively with a rite deserving of a volume to itself, but a hint and a suggestion written in the hope that other scribes may be inspired to write on the same theme. It would be profitable and delightful to have in these pages several discussions of this noble degree.
IN the old days of English Operative Masonry a man was first made an Entered Apprentice; after being bonded (or indentured) to a Master Mason for a period of some seven years he was then made a Fellow of the Craft. By this is meant that he was instated a member of the lodge in full standing with every right enjoyed by all other Masons, and that he had become a master of his trade, or Master Mason, the two terms thereby meaning the same thing. From that time on he was free to travel where he wished in search of employment, to receive Master's wages (an Apprentice received no wages except his board and keep, and possibly something in the way of "findings," i.e., and apron, gloves, a few tools perhaps), and to become, if good fortune befell, an employer, or Master of workmen, or perhaps to superintend the erection of some building.
It is difficult at this far remove in time to know what manner of ceremony was employed at the entering of an Apprentice, but we may be sure that some kind of ritual was practiced, for the Apprentice was made to listen to a traditional history of the Craft, such as have been preserved in our Old Charges; was made to take an oath (very simple in its form) to keep inviolate all the secrets of the trade and of the household of the master and his dame with whom he would live; and it is also probable that the Master of the lodge would give him certain bits of advice at the time, perhaps in the shape of what we should now call "lectures." Many Masonic historians have believed that no ceremony at all was used when this workman, freed from his bonds, was made a Fellow of the Craft, but it would appear reasonable to suppose that such a step, involving as it did so complete a change of status and having its own secrets, such as grips and words, some kind of ceremony was used. If this was the case then two degrees were employed by the old Operative Masons, the second being the Fellow Craft or Master Mason ceremony.
After the formation of the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Masons in London, 1717, these two degrees (or the original one degree, if one prefers) were so amplified (why and by whom it is impossible to say) that at last they were re-divided into three degrees, a system that has since become so firmly established in the Craft that it will remain as long as Freemasonry endures. Our Second Degree, therefore, in its present form, dates from early in the eighteenth century, but that does not mean that the material built into it came then into the Craft for the first time, for such was not the case, as some of it must have existed before 1717.
So much by way of history. It would be interesting to trace the degree's development from the time it left the hands of Desaguliers and his fellows, through Dunckerley, Hutchinson, Preston, Webb and the others, but that would leave no space for an exposition of the ideas embodied in its symbolism as it now stands, which is the present purpose.
THE DEGREE OF MIDDLE LIFE
From old monitors it is evident that the men who gave its present shape to the degree intended it to cover that part of a man's career which falls between his youth and this old age. The lodge symbolizes the world as a whole; the Apprentice the youth entering it, the Master Mason one about to leave it, the Fellowcraft a man in the heyday of his powers, equipped to carry its burdens and trained to do its work.
This "work of the world"! this great enterprise of organized human life! How is it to be carried forward? Not by ignorance, surely, for it is the essence of ignorance to be helpless; neither can it be done by unskilled hands, for life is complicated and involves an endless amount of technique. No, it rests on the shoulders of those who have knowledge, skill, and experience, and such is the principal idea of the Fellowcraft Degree. It is the drama of education, the philosophy of enlightenment.
As such it deserves far more attention than usually is accorded it if one may judge by lodge practices in general. Frequently there are not half as many brethren present in lodge as when the "first" or the "third" is exemplified, and in too many cases the paraphernalia used, the manner in which the work is "put on," and the general atmosphere of the occasion are such as to suggest that to the lodge the "second" is a kind of a half-way ceremony that doesn't deserve much thought or skill for its exhibition. The irony of such a thing cannot escape notice, because the Fellowcraft rite is dedicated, as even a tyro can see, to enlightenment, which is in itself one of the grand aims of the Order. Of all the degrees in the entire hierarchy of ceremonies, from the first degree until the last of the "Higher Grades," it would appear to be precisely that degree which should receive at the hands of the Craft its most loving care, its most anxious attention. It would not be an exaggeration to say that in itself it should more than repay any man for the effort and cost of his Masonic initiation, it is so wise in its teachings, so profound in its truths, and so useful to have in one's mind. To know and to practice it is to be made wise in the art of life, than which no other art can ever be half so important, or nearly so valuable.
THE PILLARS AND THE PAVEMENT
The great pillars that figure so prominently in its ceremonies are reminiscent of the two mighty columns that stood out in front of King Solomon's temple, not to support its roof but as symbolical reminders of truths and forces in government and in religion. Our earlier monitorialists made much of the names of these pillars, perhaps because they suggested the massive powers which, pillar-like, uphold the universe, the vast scheme of things, with its immeasurable spaces and its multitudinous worlds. Before such a Power as that it is meet that a man bow down in worship, especially in order to have engraved inside his heart the truth that the Almighty Father is Himself a builder and a maker, and that the most godlike man is he whose life is the most constructive.
From another angle of vision the pillars suggest the fact of birth, which has within it more and larger meanings than one will discover at first thought. One does not enter into a well-furnished manhood by chance, like a drunkard blundering through a doorway, but by virtue of labour and preparation: on the one side is the terrestrial globe, with its wisdom concerning the earth, its facts of sense, its physical existence, its manual tasks; and on the other the celestial globe, with its wisdom of the spiritual life, of the intellect, the conscience, and the imagination.
The checkered pavement is most frequently explained as symbolizing the checkered nature of human life, especially in middle life, when the heat is intense, and the way is hard owing to the many burdens to be carried; but one has the feeling that to the early builders it may have had another suggestion. The makers of the cathedrals loved mosaic work, especially in Italy where the Cosmati family became famous for its ability to lay checkered floors, or inlay with colored metals and glass. According to some very old books and pictures (especially one by Holbein) the black and white checkered pavement when laid in a church or cathedral symbolized the eternity of the world, in contrast to which a man, as he walked across the earth, was very humble and very transient. There is more than a merely pious sentiment in this, for it is a part of wisdom to remember "that the sweet days die," that in a very little while the end will come when we must lay down our tools and call the work finished. The trestle board of one's life should be adjusted to that scale, for though the world is eternal, so that its white days and black nights stretch endlessly on, one's own strength soon vanishes, therefore he is well advised who attempts not more than he can do, or who learns not to waste the moments that are so precious out of a boyish delusion that there is always plenty of time ahead.
OPERATIVE AND SPECULATIVE MASONRY
The historical connection between Operative and Speculative Masonry is so familiar, and is explained so well in the lectures, that there is no need here to enlarge on the matter. It is good to remember that we are an Order of Builders. Our forefathers in the Craft wrought at buildings which to this day remain, many of them, in our midst to remind us of the majesty and loveliness of the architectural art. But we are builders of men; of ourselves first, and next of the world of manhood at large, helping each other the while as is meet that brothers do. It is easy to tear down, to criticize, to find fault, to destroy; it is a thing at which many beasts are expert; to construct, to erect, to preserve, that is more difficult, and nobler, requiring art and a mind that loves life with its values and its beautiful purposes.
A true Freemason will not waste his time, or demean himself, by tearing down another's wall. He respects every man's temple, though it be erected to other gods than his own and carries in his heart a reverence for every attempt made by anybody whatsoever to raise toward heaven the palaces of our human dream. One is reminded here of Nehemiah's bugle-like sentence, "So builded we the wall!" Sanballat and his tribesmen were obstructionists, iconoclasts, tearers down, but Nehemiah and his fellow workers, fellows in the builder's craft, let them childishly throw stones and try to pull down the edifice; theirs was to build the wall of the Temple, and they did it.
Freemasons are Builders of the Brotherhood. They are sworn and dedicated to make good will to prevail in all the relations of life, so that in society at large will be felt the same kindliness that makes a family circle so delightful. There is nothing merely sentimental in this; it is not a vague dream floating gossamer-like before our eyes, but an urgent necessity if the human race is ever to win its ways out of the hells in which it now suffers: it is the task of statesmen, the goal at which governments aim, and it is something which if we men do not do it will never be done. There appears to be something implacable in the nature of things, something that will not bend or swerve to suit our human fancy or to enable us to escape the consequences of our acts, but moves majestically onward, so that if we men live in hatred and ill will we must suffer the results. No arm is stretched down out of the sky; no wholesale miracle is performed; we must find a way to live happily together or else continue indefinitely to have within our lives all the agonies due to war, hatred and unkindness. Brotherhood is for the salvation of the race from its misery and pain; is there any task greater than that?
THE WINDING STAIRS
There were no winding stairs in Solomon's Temple, no stairs at all except for the steps that led to the little rooms in the outer walls, therefore the winding stairs in the Fellowcraft Degree are manifestly symbolical. This is made all the more obvious by the fact that the steps are divided into groups of 3, 5 and 7, a thing undoubtedly inherited from the days when these numbers had for men a mystical significance that has perhaps escaped us. Concerning the definitely symbolical meanings of these things there will ever be a deal of debate, but there can be little difference or opinion concerning the general idea involved. Human life, if it is ever to achieve anything, if it ever arrives in the Holy of Holies, is, to quote the beautiful old words of Emerson, "an ascending effort." We can never rest on our oars. Always it is effort, effort, and then more effort, climb after climb, step above step. Something in the depths of our souls seems to demand it; the manner in which the world is built makes it necessary.
These steps do not stand vertical or in a straight incline, but wind. It reminds us of one of the most sparkling books of recent years, a volume by Allen Upward called The New World, in which that learned English barrister works out a theory that all vital activity in this world is spiral in its pattern so that life itself winds about and about in its ascending effort. There is something more than fancy in this, if one may trust his own experiences, for in our development upwards towards more strength, wisdom and grace we now and again seem to return to some point from which we started except that we are above it, and therefore see our old truths in a new light.
THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES
Educators of the Middle Ages divided their curriculum into seven branches, in two groups, one of three and one of four, called respectively the trivium and the quadrivium: the former comprised usually grammar, rhetoric, and logic; the latter arithmetic, music, astronomy and geometry. It is this old-time arrangement of studies that remains in the degree to symbolize an effective schooling. There is no need to analyze this arrangement or to attempt to justify its use in this day and age; the main point is that in Freemasonry the Liberal Arts and Sciences symbolize an education.
There is however this thing to be said about the medieval curriculum: it was a discipline in the humanities, and that is something worth thinking about. The tendency in schools nowadays is to give a student either a scientific course, so as to equip him for one of the technical professions, or else a course in business methods with a view to fitting him for office or factory. This is all well and good but it is not a complete education, and our educators will some day regret their surrender to the utilitarians who have demanded "a schooling that pays." Life is more than a profession, finer than a trade, it has ends and needs above and outside of these, important as they are. One has a religious and also an imaginative relationship with the universe which deserves to be developed and instructed; it is just as important to look upon the stars with the eye of reverence or as things of beauty as to measure their diameter or estimate their distances in space; the fields and hills are to be loved for their own sake, as well as to be converted into tillage and farmyards. There are such things as art, poetry, music, and worship, and these too are to have a place in school. Also it is necessary for a man to understand his own nature, and the nature of the men and women with whom he lives, a need satisfied by literature, painting, and music. Every labourer is a man first, with neighbours and a family, and a life to live; to give him nothing but a training in his craft is to rob him of his most precious birthright. The old ideal of the Liberal Arts, the humanities, is nearer the truth and need of things than any ultra-modern drill in scientific technique. We need to understand nature; yes; but we need quite as much to understand human nature.
GEOMETRY AND THE LETTER G
The first men in the world were childlike in mind to a degree difficult for us to imagine. The natural scheme of things must have puzzled them almost beyond endurance. What a medley it was! what a chaos! the simplest sequences of events, such as the succession of the seasons, was unknown to them so that they were like babes peering helplessly into the dark, unable to make it all out. To men living under such conditions the discovering of order, of number, of geometry must have broken with a surprise like the coming of a new religion. Little wonder that they made so much of numbers, calling them sacred and attributing to them all manner of secret and occult properties, as if the relations among the forces and substances of creation were the immediate operation of an Infinite Mind. If modern philosophy gives a different account of it that does not detract from the value of the old thinking.
The rank and file of men, so it appears, have in the back of their minds a vague notion that matter in itself is a formless thing without character or structure, so that their picture of creation is that some outside Power took charge of the original chaos of brute stuff and impressed upon it shape and order in much the same manner that a clay modeller imposes upon a lump of dirt the likeness of a human face. According to this view there is no such thing as order in the nature of things; order is fugitive and transient, a something from without. But such is not the finding of modern science. There is no such thing as matter by itself, matter as an abstract entity; there are such things as water, air, gasses, wood, stone, metals, soil, etc., etc., and every such substance has a structure unimaginably complicated, so that order is in the nature of things. Geometry is a revelation of that order, a reducing to line and diagram of the everlasting relations among all the substances and properties of the universe. Can anything be more sublime than that?
There is reason to believe that the Letter G stood for this precious science, though in our day and more particularly in American lodges it is a symbol of T.S.G.A.O.T.U. In either event, and in the last analysis, the significance is the same, because the Sacred Letter would have reference to that which is the Origin of the Orderliness of the universe.
The God of Heaven and Earth is the beginning and end of all Masonic mysteries; it is from Him that we have come, it is unto Him that we go, and in all the journey between the canopy of His love is over us. The definitions of His nature, the description of His attributes may be left to the arguments of the theologians and the disquisitions of the metaphysicians; the fact of His existence admits of no argument; it is "sure as the most certain sure," the alpha and the omega of thought.
The grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley in a book recently published argues that in our modern world men of scientific training are finding out a new approach to God; instead of trusting to vague reports from the past or to ancient traditions, they are examining, so he says, into the nature of life and the structure of the universe at first hand. If this be so the scientist will find God as surely as the saint, because He is there.
We human beings are not intruders from another world, temporary pilgrims from some realm outside the universe; we are part and parcel of the universe, as much a part of the natural scheme of things as the blowing clover or the falling rain. There is but one system of reality; this is it; we are a part of it. The soul in us, the immortal spirit, our inmost thoughts and ideals belong as much to this system of reality as clods or boulders, so that in the very structure of the universe there is that out of which spirit can come, self-consciousness, thought, love, prayers, and dreams, so that the scheme of things is not a soulless mechanism, a pile of dirt, a flux of blind forces, but a Something that can bring souls into existence, and sustain them. The Letter G is inscribed on the forehead of creation, it is written on the tiniest atom.
It is a mistake to suppose that education is a mere device to train a man in a handicraft, or a collection of pieces of information of more or less practical use; education leads at last to truth, and God is the truth about the universe. This is the real Holy of Holies, the true Inner Chamber into which, at the last, a Fellowcraft comes; and the vision he has there, the consolation, the strength and the confidence of everlasting life together make up the wages he receives. Such wages are life indeed, to earn which it is worth every man's most manly endeavour, and that at any price.
WHAT A FELLOWCRAFT SHOULD KNOW
This is what a Fellowcraft should know — the need, the nature, and the purpose of education, along with the attendant realization of the disastrousness of ignorance. A human being begins life in utter helplessness; he cannot even lift his head from the pillow. The same human being must at last become a man, full grown and equipped to do his own share of the work of the world, live his own life as a man should, and confront the universe as an intelligent being. The sum total of the influences that bridge this gap between helplessness and maturity is education; books, schools, teachers, and experience are means to that end. It is the conscious shaping of the processes of growth, the purposive direction of experience toward the end of a fully developed manhood that is the grand end and goal of every Mason who must needs be "enflamed with the study of learning, and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men, and worthy patriots, dear to God, famous to all ages."
* * *
A WOMAN OF NAPHTALI
Bro. W. J. Barclay, Canada
Here is a tale of old times in language as beautiful as its theme, and so conceived as to enable us to recover the human scene out of which Hiram went to build Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. Bro. Barclay is a native of Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland, but now a resident of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. During twenty years' experience as a journalist he contributed to many magazines, Masonic and otherwise. He was made a Mason in Glenwood Lodge, Souris, Manitoba; was W.M. of his lodge in 1903 and 1904; is a member of North Vancouver Chapter, Royal Arch. Bro. Barclay contributes regularly to "The Square," a beautiful Masonic monthly published in Vancouver under the editorship of Bro. R. J. Templeton, whose work is winning an ever widening circle of attention.
SHADED from the heat of the sun, an elderly woman reclined upon a couch on the marble verandah of a palace in the ancient city of Tyre, overlooking the entrance to its busy harbour. Near her, a dark-skinned slave girl stirred the air with a large fan of peacock plumes. Her gaze wandered over the comings and goings of the boats of fishermen, and over occasional merchant galleys returning from, or outward bound upon, those wonderful voyages of barter and adventure in far-off lonely seas, that made the mariners of Phenicia renowned throughout the ancient world.
The wistful gaze of Nedoure, widow of Benaiah, centered upon a galley, deeply laden, making its way towards the city. She could faintly hear the crash of cymbals beating time for the double banks of rowers, and memories of the past — seldom, indeed, absent in these latter years — stirred more vividly than usual in her mind.
Seven weary years had passed away since such a ship as this she was watching had toiled into the harbour, bearing homeward in its bosom the poor crushed body of her beloved husband, the victim of an unhappy accident. For more than a year he had been absent on the Island of Cyprus superintending the erection of a temple for the Phenician colony, for Benaiah of Tyre was a master builder who excelled in architectural knowledge and was skilled in the founding of brass and bronze.
The lips of Nedoure moved inaudibly in prayer — not to Baal, or to Moloch, or even to the more beneficent Melcarthe, tutelary deity of Tyre. Her prayer was addressed to the great Jehovah of the Israelitish nation, for she was a woman of the Tribe of Naphtali:
"Out of the abundance of Thy mercy, O God of my fathers, visit not the sins of their mother upon her children. Keep their hearts free from the pollution of idolatrous worship, that they may continue ever to follow in the light of Thy ways, as has been taught by Thy holy prophets."
Until the death of her husband, the life of Nedoure had been a happy one; but never had she forgotten the anathemas hurled by the religious leaders of Israel upon those who married into an alien people, a practice which tended to weaken the tribal bonds of the great family of Jacob, and to forgetfulness of their faith in Jehovah.
The Tyrians were a tolerant people. They were not addicted to any singular or unsocial form of worship. Their widespread commercial dealings led them to mingle with other nations without scruple or reluctance. Benaiah had never sought to change his wife's faith, and he had respected her anxious efforts to instil her own beliefs in the minds of their two children. The constant influence of a loving wife and fond mother had rather its reaction on himself. The creative principle which the Phenicians worshipped under the name of Baal; its antithesis, the destroying principle, which they worshipped as the fire god of Moloch; and the active, protecting, providential agency which regulated human affairs and was worshipped as Melcarthe, were recognized by his cultured mind as the probable agents of the dread Jehovah.
SHE LIVES AMONG ALIENS
Nedoure's happiness had been marred at times of introspection, when memory carried her back to the green hills of Naphtali. She felt she must ever remain on outcast from her own people, for they had not looked with favour upon her marriage. She had continued faithfully to serve the God of Israel, but it was with a certain accommodation to her surroundings. Nor could she regard with satisfaction the future of her children, who were tied more closely to this land of idol worship — the land of their birth. A mist of tears welled into her eyes and a further prayer rose to her lips.
The cheerful voice of her daughter, Elissa, woke the mother from her melancholy reverie:
"Mother, dear, the dew of those far away fields in Naphtali thou hast so often told us about has fallen upon thine eyes."
Then, turning to her brother, who had entered the verandah with her:
"Kiss thou them dry, Hiram."
The bearded face of her stalwart brother bent down to obey the playful command of his sister.
"A mother's happiness is in the strength of her son, and in the beauty of a virtuous daughter." The maternal benediction of a mother of Tyre was the answer of Nedoure to the greeting of the loving mischievous pair who had so softly surprised her. Then, as she recalled the work upon which her son had been engaged that day, she asked:
"Hast thou been successful with the great castings, Hiram?"
"They are according to my highest expectations," he replied.
"And when wilt thou lead thy lions to their new home?" broke in Elissa, in sisterly badinage.
"When their coats shall have been groomed to a sufficient lustre by my artificers," answered Hiram, smilingly. And he added, "I will bargain with Megara that thou, Elissa, shalt be allowed to feed them every time they roar with the pain of hunger."
The allusion was to a pair of colossal bronze lions that Hiram, son of Benaiah, had been commissioned by a wealthy merchant to erect as decorations on each side of the wide staircase that led to his palatial home. The foundry and workshops of Benaiah had continued to prosper under Hiram's management. But the artistry of the son had achieved a special distinction. The call upon his talents was constant for the beautifying of the temples of the gods and the luxurious homes of the merchant princes in that wonder city of commerce.
"Where doth business call thee now, my son?" enquired Nedoure, the solicitude of the mother noting that he was dressed for some important occasion.
"I know not, mother, if it be a matter of business. A messenger from my lord the king, whose name by his favour I bear, hath summoned me to his presence."
"Thy father, as thou knowest, Hiram, was greatly favoured at the court. In his youth he had travelled in many lands and had gathered much knowledge. It was his gift to make live in words that which he had seen. Our lord delighted in his converse, and when thou wast born he bestowed his name upon thee, saying he would give it a double chance to live in the memories of men when the greatness of Tyre might be forgotten."
"My poor sculptures will avail but little to merit such remembrance. Thou rememberest, mother, how my father once told us of the vast monuments that stand by the River of Egypt, a wonder to all beholders, but the names of their builders have been long forgotten."
"The things of the heart, my son, are more enduring than mountains of stone. Fidelity to a trust reposed in us, even unto death, will continue in the hearts and memories of men unto the end of time."
Nedoure rose and took her daughter by the hand.
"When thou returnest, Hiram, thou shalt tell us why the King hath sent for thee. We are curious to learn with what new commission thy skill will be put to the test."
Hiram took his departure, and mother and daughter entered the house. When they reached her apartments, Nedoure turned to her daughter:
"An hour agone I watched a ship pass into the harbour that had a familiar look."
"Oh, mother, has Mazaroth returned?"
"I know not for certain, child. My mind was so full of thoughts of the past that at the time I was not reminded of him. If thy Mazaroth hath returned he will claim my consent to your marriage, and as yet my judgment wavers, for he is not of our faith. Nay, child, do not weep! Listen, and I will tell thee a tale of another young girl who is now grown old and weary." Elissa dried her tears. She sensed the tale she was about to hear would be the love story of her own mother.
"In a fertile valley among the southern foothills of Lebanon," began Nedoure, after a pause to collect her thoughts, "dwelt this maiden with her father and an elder brother. It was a beautiful land that had been apportioned of old to the Tribe of Naphtali. In the distance could be seen the mighty crests of Lebanon cleaving the blue sky, with winter on their heads, spring upon their shoulders, autumn upon their sloping sides, and summer at their feet. For years the Kingdom of Israel had been torn with strife between the houses of Saul and David. At length David prevailed, and when he was crowned king at Hebron the elders of the people from among the twelve tribes were required to attend and render him their submission. Among the elders from Naphtali was the maiden's father, taking gifts to the king of corn, wine, oil and fine linen.
"On the return journey evil befell. In the midst of Israel there was one city left in possession of its first inhabitants because of the covenant our father Abraham made with them when he purchased the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place. This was the city of Jebus. A band of marauders from thence attacked and scattered the little party of elders from the tribe of the north. The maiden's father was grievously wounded and left for dead by the roadside. It was the great highway by which the caravans of Tyre travelled to Egypt and to Elath on the Red Sea. Happily, such a caravan, returning to Tyre, found the wounded man. A young Tyrian builder, who had been to Egypt gathering knowledge of his art, was wondrously kind to him, binding his wounds and causing his servants to carry him on a litter. When their ways diverged, the young man and his servants separated from the caravan and brought the aged man safely to his home in the vale of Lebanon in the land of Naphtali.
"The young Tyrian lingered in that hospitable home for many days. Sown in gratitude, watered with the eloquent language of the eyes, and warmed in the sunshine of a noble presence and pleasing address, the flower of love soon blossomed in the maiden's heart. The young man sought her father's consent to their marriage, but although he had learned to love the young man as a son, consent to the marriage of a daughter of Israel with a worshipper of strange gods was something to which he felt he could not agree. The maiden wept many bitter tears, and the young Tyrian departed with the old man's blessing, promising to return again.
"Nearly a year passed away before he returned. In that time great changes had taken place in the maiden's home. Her aged parent had never recovered from his wounds, and was gathered in love and honour to his fathers. Her elder brother was now head of the household, and the maiden's position was very different from what it had been when her father lived. Disconsolate and full of sorrow, the return of the young Tyrian was most welcome to her in her loneliness. Her brother steadfastly refused his consent to their marriage, and in the end they fled to Tyre and were married according to Tyrian custom.
"As thou wilt have guessed ere now, Elissa, the story is that of thy father and mother. Never lived a nobler man and kinder husband than he. Yet the laws of Israel are the commands of Jehovah. If I have offended Him in this, my tears and prayers have surely inclined Him towards compassion where love and duty did so conflict."
The mother was silent. Elissa put her arms around her mother's neck and kissed her.
"Now I understand, mother dear, thy reluctance to grant the prayer of Mazaroth. Let us hope the Most Holy Lord will show us that the ways of true love and obedience are not always divergent paths."
"Grant it may be so, my daughter, but I have looked, and longed, and hoped for such vision for many years."
HIRAM BRINGS NEWS
Mother and daughter continued to talk for a long time together. They were at length interrupted by the announcement that Hiram had returned. Permission having been granted, he entered. It was evident from his subdued, serious manner, and from the glow in his dark eyes, that he was the bearer of important news. He crossed the room and knelt by his mother's side.
Nedoure's face paled with foreboding that some misfortune had befallen.
"What hath happened to thee, Hiram?" she asked, anxiously.
"Wonderful tidings I bring, mother. Several ancient men of the Hebrew nation were with my lord, the King. They are bearers of a scroll from Solomon, their ruler, asking that a Tyrian architect be sent to erect a great temple to Jehovah at Jerusalem. My lord hath appointed me to undertake the work."
"Thou! my son."
"Even so, mother."
"Thou art to build a temple to Jehovah at Jerusalem?"
"The King hath so ordained."
Nedoure regarded her son in silence as the full import of the announcement grew in her mind. Then returning colour suffused her features with maternal pride beyond the power of utterance. Embracing him as tears of happiness flowed softly down her cheeks, she found at length words with which to express somewhat of the fullness of her heart:
"Blessed be the Name of the Lord! He honoreth the faithful among His servants. He justifieth those who put their trust in Him, for He hath delivered me from the reproach of all my people. Truly, Elissa, I see at last the vision of the two paths as one. Thou, Hiram, hast been reared to reverence and worship Jehovah, and thou hast the wisdom of building which is lacking in Israel. Seest not, my children, how the purposes of God are bong worked out in our lives?"
The mother drew her daughter to her with a gesture of love:
"Thou, too, shalt be happy, Elissa. My path hath been made straight, and mine eyes have been opened to the unfathomable ways of God's Providence in dealing with His children. Let us give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endureth forever."
* * *
TO AN AGED BROTHER
With folded hands you sit so quietly
No inward seethe or outward moil I see;
But facing toward the sunset and the stars,
Serene you are, and helpful, too, to me.
While still before me are the many years
For health, for life, for love and happiness;
Yet I, with fume and fuss, do soil the air
With weak emotions and unquietness.
Ah! teach me, dear old White Haired Friend, to walk,
Ere life is dust, the calm and lowly ways;
Not as a weakling, fretting toward the dark,
But as a gentle servant through my days.
— Gerald Nancarrow
* * *
THE SECRET OF THE OLD OPERATIVE MASONS
Bro. P. A. Fenger, Denmark
What is the "secret" of Freemasonry about which one hears so much? Nowadays we know it to be a secret in the heart, but time was, so Masonic historians believe, when it was a trade secret after the fashion of the secret processes that are today patented, copyrighted or otherwise protected by law. If so, the question remains, What was that trade secret? Learned works have been written in an attempt to answer the question, notable among which was a paper contributed to "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum" by Sidney Klein, to be found in Vol. XXIII, page 107. With these efforts to solve a problem of Masonic history the paper herewith is to be classed. Bro. Fenger is a consulting engineer of Copenhagen, Denmark, who has enjoyed first-hand opportunity to make a study of the matter dealt with. His essay was recommended for publication in these pages by Bro. F. J. W. Crowe, author of a number of important Masonic books, including the revision of Gould's "Concise History."
THE characteristic feature of the four small London lodges which united in 1717 was a peculiarly severe oath of secrecy, so extraordinary and strict that those not initiated might well infer that the Masons were in possession of secrets of corresponding importance. The natural result of the presumed secret knowledge was a rapid increase in membership. However, as the secrets revealed in no way corresponded to the severity of the oath, there began a searching after and invention of mysteries of all kinds.
These lodges had been operative crafts dating from the Gothic period, and the oath was probably formulated when these crafts were at their height. Is it possible that the Masons at that time had a trade secret; or did they only aim at segregating themselves as "a state within a state" in order to be free to keep justice and apportion their incomes without interference from others?
The Constitution of Anderson mentions geometry and architecture as the principal sciences of the Craft. In his paper, read Dec. 27, 1725, at the inauguration of the Grand Lodge of New York, Bro. Drake mentions geometry and architecture; yet in both cases these sciences are treated as open and no hint is made of Masons possessing any knowledge beyond that of well informed persons of their time.
In elementary geometry the pupil is taught to construct a pentagon and, in connection therewith, also to divide a line according to the "golden cut" (sectio aurea). This geometric relation is expressed by the equation
a/b = b/(a+c) which can be written as
b = a(1 + (sqrt(5))/2 = a X 1.618.... = a X q
This relationship exists among any three consecutive members of a series of the form
a/q(^3) ; a/q(^2) ; a/q; a ; a q(^2); a q(^3)
Approximately the same relation is found in the following series of whole numbers in which each member is formed by addition of the two preceding ones
3; 5; 8; 13; 21; 34; 55
It is an acknowledged fact that the proportions of the "golden cut" throughout ancient times were considered to be of special merit, and that Greek sculptors believed themselves to have found them in the ideal human body. Likewise the architects of that age concerned themselves with this proportion.
In the pentagram, a symbol of great importance among the Pythagoreans, this proportion exists among all the component parts.
The "golden cut" was in itself not a secret but it can be maintained that in the ancient times mystic ideas were connected with it, and it should be noted that we possess no information regarding the practical use of the "cut" in architecture. Vitruvius seems purposely to avoid direct mention of its application.
A MODERN INSTANCE
About 1910 a violent dispute arose among the architects of Norway. The cathedral of Drontheim, erected about the year 1200, the most historic monument of the country, and for centuries a ruin, was to be re-erected in its original splendour; but the remains were so sparse and so low, that opinions regarding its original elevation, naturally, differed widely.
There was perturbation when the historian, Macody Lund, asserted that the original design of the church could be re-constructed with certainty and exactness after a systematic geometric procedure. Having overcome the initial unanimous incredulity, this theory gradually gained adherents and its proponent finally succeeded, aided by subvention from his government, in setting forth his ideas and proofs in a voluminous treatise upon the subject. 
The author's principal aim was re-construction of the church in certain vertical proportions, the correctness of which he endeavoured to prove from faint traces in the ruin and by his geometric system, while his method and his opinion of the Gothic system is of common interest.
His deductions are so long and intricate that we can only account for them here briefly. He maintains that Gothic architects based the ground plan of a church upon a system of large squares which, through division by four, were in turn sub-divided into smaller squares, so that in the ground plan all dimensions could be derived from the length of the side of the original square by division by 2.
The Macody Lund system is a geometrical method which can be applied in different ways, so that dissimilar buildings of the same dimensions may be erected according to it. It must be admitted that when the architect has once settled upon the principal dimensions of the ground plan and the elevation, then he is no more entirely free in that the remaining details for the greater part naturally follow according to the rule but this restraint engenders the style.
Not a small number of Danish architects agree with Macody Lund. Some have tried with success to design according to his system. They do not regard this system as merely a possible one, but rather the essential element — the backbone — of Gothic architecture. They ascribe the failure of modern Gothic buildings to the fact that the architects have designed with a free hand, ignoring the support and restraint of this system.
If we agree with be supposition that the Gothic architects used such a geometrical system, then we must also agree with the two following:
- Most of the artisans were initiated in this system. Each artisan was not necessarily acquainted with the chief dimensions of the great cathedral, the erection of which lasted more than a century, but the system was equally applied to details, such as windows, carved chair backs and reliquaries — objects entirely left to the execution of the artisans.
- Both the architects and the artisans have kept the system a secret. There are no written accounts extant  and it is not known that a textbook of dimensions has ever existed. The system has been kept so secret that to this day, its existence could be denied. As witnesses only the buildings remain on whose stones are carved the pentagrams.
WAS THIS THE SECRET OF THE OLD CRAFTS?
The Masonic Craft knew the Gothic system and esteemed it of great importance to keep it secret.
The oath of secrecy which has been preserved is formulated so that it not only forbids members to reveal to the uninitiated what they may learn, but it also forbids them to write about it or to draw it, not even for their own use in the Craft. This is quite to be understood for indeed the system could hardly be revealed to a non-initiated merely through uncautiousness or loquacity. Nothing but a written explanation with drawings and examples of its use and importance — by its mere existence — could be of danger.
About 1500 the building of Gothic churches ceased and other styles of architecture followed, in which the system was not used. The old customs of the Craft, including the oath of secrecy, were conscientiously preserved. Even if the older members might have mentioned the system sometimes, it was of no interest to the younger generation and naturally the system became quite forgotten, when the architects no longer gave instruction in it and the artisans no longer applied it.
In London the period preceding 1717 was one of absolute stagnation with regard to building, and the four lodges united because their membership being so diminished, one lodge was insufficient to celebrate a festival in a befitting manner.
Till now the members had preserved the customs and the oath, but in their minds the latter applied only to the ceremonies. The fact that the Craft, two hundred years ago, had been in possession of a trade secret, at that time of the utmost importance, had entirely disappeared from memory and tradition, because their forefathers — true to their oath — had never confided it to paper.
- Bro. Macody Lund. Ad Quadratum. A/S Nelge Erickson Forlag, Kristiania 1919. — English translation published by B. T. Batsford. See also: Macody Lund. Alb. Cammermeyers Forlag, Kristiania 1917. ↩
- The only exception is: Beltrami. Annuali della fabbrica del duoms di Milano. 1877. ↩
* * *
THE HOPI SUN SHIELD
The symbolical rites and ceremonies of primitive man are still in use here and there in the world, some of them, as the following will show, at our very doors. The Hopi Indians are an agricultural people of Arizona who maintain their old religious usages, most of which are built up about the planting and reaping of their crops. Permission was granted to publish here an explanation of their principal symbol, The Sun Shield by the Fred Harvey Company of Kansas City. An examination of these paragraphs will show how the unsophisticated mind makes use of symbolism, a subject of never dying interest to Masons.
The Hopi live in seven isolated towns perched on three almost inaccessible mesas in northeastern Arizona — a semidesert region with seemingly endless open spaces, where hardy desert plants do their best to cover the nakedness of the country. Along the creeks there are a few cottonwoods and on the mesas some juniper and pinyon trees, while in the sheltered places some rare and beautiful flowers are found.
The occasional rainfall sinks almost immediately into the sandy wastes, so there are no flowing rivers in Hopi-land, and springs — the most valued of all the Hopi's possessions — are few and far between.
Here in this land of little rain the Hopi have planted their fields, set up their altars, and with fervent supplication to their many gods have wrestled unceasingly with the desert for a living. Out of its rocks they have built their houses, with the fibers of its plants and skins of its animals they have clothed themselves; of its clay they have moulded their pottery and with its grasses woven baskets of wonderful design.
The Hopi are solely an agricultural people; their very existence depends on the plants of the earth. Every spot on the desert where moisture lingers long enough to mature a crop of corn or beans or melons is cultivated and protected from seed time to harvest against the desert's ever-shifting sands — an eternal battle with nature, a never-ceasing prayer for rain!
Such conditions naturally shape the religious beliefs of a primitive people, causing them to deify the elements. So the Hopi have their gods of wind and rain, of thunder and lightning; of sunshine and storm; of famine and plenty.
In their ceremonials these mythical deities are represented by masked dancers, called Katcinas. The symbol representing each deity is painted on the masks and the dancers are thereby supposed to be transformed into the deities themselves, who act as intercessors between the people and their still higher gods.
The Sun-Shield is used in the Soyaluna ceremony, which is celebrated during the month of December. In charge of the Soyal Fraternity, the largest religious organization in Hopi-land, this nine-days' ceremonial is a supplication to the Sun God to pause in his southern flight and return to the pueblos. Many Bahos or prayer-sticks are consecrated in the ceremony, after which they are put in corrals that their stock may increase, tied to fruit trees to produce bountiful crops, and placed in springs to insure an abundant water supply.
The Sun-Shield is the most important symbol in the Soyaluna ceremony, for the Sun God is the All-Powerful deity of Hopi mythology. The colors in the shield have a symbolic meaning: yellow represents the north, green the west, red the south, white the east, and black the heavens. Thus is depicted the entire Hopi universe.
* * *
THE SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK
By Bro. C. C. Hunt, Associate Editor, Iowa
A BROTHER writes as follows:
"Our Grand Chapter insists on the display of the seven-branched candlestick in the M.E. Degree in the Royal Arch. I have read carefully I Kings, II Chronicles and Josephus. I can find nowhere where it is mentioned in the Temple of King Solomon, but in front of the veil before the Holy of Holies the ten golden candlesticks connected by golden chains are mentioned. Josephus in Book VIII, Chapter 4, page 79, tells of Nebuzaradan taking from the temple the golden candlesticks (plural). In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, Vol. XXVI, page 606, is mentioned ten golden candlesticks, properly lampstands. Page 607 of the same volume mentions one golden candlestick near the table for shewbread in the sanctuary. In the Royal Arch Degree a tabernacle is where the Council meets and naturally Zerubbabel would imitate as far as possible the seven-branched candlestick made by Moses by the command of God.
"Now it strikes me that maybe this difference occurs from the fact that Solomon built a temple, whereas Moses and Zerubbabel only worshipped in a tabernacle. Can you enlighten me? Of course, what Grand Chapter orders must be done, but still it may be in error. Sorry to bother you with all this, but I would like to know how I stand. As far as the working of the M.E. Degree is concerned, it cuts very little figure. Mackey in his Encyclopedia says: 'In the tabernacle, the seven-branched candlestick was placed opposite the table of shewbread. What became of it between the time of Moses and that of Solomon is unknown, but it does not appear to have been present in the first Temple. In Masonry it seems to have no symbolic meaning, unless it be the general one of light.'"
The use of the seven-branched candlestick in the Most Excellent Degree is correct according to the General Grand Chapter ritual, and has, I believe, an important symbolical reference in the work of that degree. The Temple plan followed that of the Tabernacle very closely. We are told in our Masonic work that the Tabernacle was the model for King Solomon's Temple. The Temple, of course, permitted greater elaboration than the Tabernacle, but the same general plan was followed.
The directions for the Tabernacle were given to Moses in the mountain. (Exodus, Chapters 25 to 31.) These directions included the form by which the candlestick was to be made, and Moses was enjoined to see that he followed the pattern there given him. (Exodus 25: 40.) The actual work of making the candlestick was entrusted to Bezaleel (Exodus 31:2-8) and the office was duly performed by him. (Exodus 37:17-24.) The candlestick was to be placed on the south side of the table of shewbread (Exodus 26:35) and lighted by night only. (Exodus 30:8. I Samuel 3:3.) Caldecott says: "When the light of day was no longer able to find its way into the Temple, owing to the double doors and the partition, ten such candlesticks were made, of which five were placed on either side of the Holy Place."
Schaff-Herzog's Encyclopedia says:
"In Solomon's temple, instead of one candelabrum there were ten upon golden tables — five on the north and five on the south side of the Holy Place. The larger number fitted the larger space and the greater pomp of the worship (I Kings vii. 49). The Chaldaeans carried them to Babylon (Jer. iii. 9). In the second temple there was only one candlestick (Ecclec. xxvi. 17; 'as the clear light is upon the holy candlestick, so is the beauty of the face in ripe age'). Antiochus Epiphanes removed it (I Macc. i. 21), and Judas Maccabaeus restored it (Macc. iv. 49); and it remained in Herod's temple until the destruction of Jerusalem, when Titus carried it to Rome, and it figured in his triumphal procession and was sculptured upon his arch, although it would seem not altogether accurately (Joseph, War, VII. 5, 5). It was then deposited in the Temple of Peace. According to one account it fell into the Tiber from the Milvian Bridge during the flight of Maxentius from Constantine, Oct. 28, 312; but the usually accredited story is that it was taken to Carthage by Genseric, 455 (Gibbon iii. 291), recovered by Belisarius, transferred to Constantinople, and then respectfully deposited in the Christian Church of Jerusalem 533 (id. iv. 24). Nothing more has been heard of it." (Page 384.)
Such, in brief, is the history of the golden candlestick.
Referring to the letter of inquiry noted above, it would seem to be the opinion of the writer that the ten golden candlesticks of the Temple were different in form from that used in the Tabernacle, but such was not the case. In II Chronicles, 4:7, we find the statement, "He made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form." The revised version translates this "according to the ordinances concerning them." Another translation gives it "according to the form which they were commanded to be made by." The ordinances concerning them are found in Exodus 25:31-40, which gives the form used in the Tabernacle, and therefore the same form must have been followed for the candlesticks used in the Temple. It would also seem that there were ten tables of shewbread (II Chron, 4:8).
In I Chronicles, 28:15, reference is made to the "candlesticks of gold and their lamps of gold." — "Each candlestick and the lamps thereof." Notice the plural "lamps" with each candlestick. Notice also in II Chronicles 28:16, reference to the tables of shewbread. Thus it will be seen that there is no reason why the seven-branched candlestick should not be used in the Most Excellent Degree as well as in the Royal Arch. It is not necessary to duplicate the elaborate furniture of the Temple in our Most Excellent Degree. The single table and candlestick of the Tabernacle and the second Temple has the same symbolism as the ten of the first Temple.
There is no discrepancy in the references from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. The ten golden candlesticks mentioned on page 607 of Vol. XXVI refer to the Temple, whereas the single golden candlestick mentioned on page 607 refers to Zerubbabel's Temple. I might also say that the Jewish Encyclopedia claims that the reference to ten candlesticks in Jeremiah and in Kings is an interpolation. If that is the case it is probable that it is an interpolation in Chronicles, also.
I do not agree with Mackey in stating that the candlestick has no symbolic meaning in Masonry. It is true that no symbolic meaning is attached to it in the ritual, but the very fact that it is used as part of the furniture of the degree indicates that it has the same symbolism there that it had in its place in the Temple, which is, that the seven lights represent the seven planets, which, regarded as the eyes of God, behold everything. The light in the center signifies the sun, the chief of the planets. The other six planets represented by the three lamps on each side of the central light are Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus was first recognized as a planet by Sir William Herschel in 1781 A. D. and the earth was looked upon as receiving light from the planets instead of being considered a planet itself.
The seven-branched candlestick was especially holy, and it was forbidden to make copies of it for general purposes. For other purposes than that of its place in the Temple the branches must be five, six, or eight, etc., instead of seven.
The fourth chapter of Zechariah gives a symbolical meaning to the seven-branched candlestick which is very appropriate to our chapter work. In fact, part of this very chapter is quoted in the work of the degrees. From this chapter, taken in connection with other passages from the Bible, it will be seen that the seven-branched candlestick represents a stone with seven eyes, and the seven lamps are the seven eyes of the Lord. With these eyes He sees the plummet in the hands of Zerubbabel. "They are the eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth." (See also II Chron. 16:9.)
It is not by might nor by power that Zerubbabel is to accomplish his great task of rebuilding the Temple, but by the spirit of the Lord overseeing his work through these eyes. In Revelation, the Lamb of God is likened to the seven-branched candlestick, "having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."
It has been thought by some that the words of Christ, "I am the light of the world," were suggested by the seven-branched candlestick of the Temple, but it is more likely that he was simply referring to the prophecies concerning the Messiah and of which it may be the candlestick was the symbol. How fitting it is that this candlestick, the symbol of the spirit of the Lord and the light of His countenance shining upon us through His eyes, beholding and encouraging us in the noble and glorious work of fitting ourselves as living stones for the spiritual building which is to be our eternal dwelling place, should have a place in the ceremonies of the Most Excellent Master's Degree, the sign which symbolizes the completion of that work and the dedication of the Temple to the service of the only true and living God!
* * *
A STRIKING INCIDENT IN ENGLISH FREEMASONRY
WHEN a few months since it was announced that the Marquess of Zetland had resigned the office of Provincial Grand Master for North and East Yorkshire, which he had held since 1874, much anxiety was experienced by the members of the province, which, since its formation in 1817, has been in the successive charge of the first, second and third Earls of Zetland, the last-named having been created first Marquess. Anxiety gave place to gratitude when it was announced that the Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught, had been pleased to appoint as successor to the Marquess his eldest son the Earl of Ronaldshay, thus preserving a succession unparalleled in the annals of English Masonic history. Although Lord Ronaldshay has succeeded to a position to which he might be considered entitled by heredity and tradition, his appointment has not been determined on these grounds alone. He possesses special qualifications for Masonic rulership. During the five years he was Governor of Bengal he was District Grand Master of an area greater than that of the United Kingdom and had jurisdiction over brethren of varied races and religions. As long since as 1910 he was appointed Senior Grand Warden of England and last May he succeeded Lord Bolton as Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch Masonry in North and East Yorkshire.
The ceremony was carried out by Lord Ampthill, Pro-Grand Master, who brought with him a personal message from the Grand Master who desired him to tell the brethren how warmly and gratefully he appreciated the services rendered by Lord Zetland, who for half a century had been not only a pillar of strength to Freemasonry but also one of the most conspicuous ornaments to their great society. They were fortunate in having had, said Lord Ampthill, such a Provincial Grand Master and, speaking as the representative of Grand Lodge, it was a source of pride that one who is so highly and justly esteemed should have been for so long a time among the principal rulers of the Craft in England. They thanked Lord Zetland for the services he had rendered to Freemasonry, by his earnestness and zeal, by his wisdom and justice, but, above all, by his high example in public and private life. Particularly did they hope that T.G.A.O.T.U. would spare him to see his son carrying on the traditions of his rule and those which his distinguished ancestors had maintained in the Craft for more than a hundred years, bringing those traditions to higher stages of progress, towards the realization of the ideals for which Freemasonry exists, and adding further lustre to the splendid and unequalled services to Freemasonry of the House of Dundas.
— Dudley Wright
* * *
"In its early history Freemasonry everywhere applied the unlimited resources of architectural skill to developing divine ideas through symbolized stone. Operative Masonry erected to God the grandest temples on earth, and filled them with aspiring pilasters and mystic arches. Freemasonry worked out in granite blocks the thoughts and aspirations of the middle ages. Popular imagination found its correct exponent and religion conveyed its most impressive lessons of faith and submission in these works of art. No other means could so accurately evoke that Christian emotional element underlying the rude and rugged character of social life at this period. The single object which presented itself to the Masonic architect was to find suitable expression for the heart yearnings and moral aspirations of the people. This purpose was pursued with a persistent zeal which resulted in art productions of wondrous beauty and uniformity. So long as architects realized the anticipations of the middle ages, so long as Freemasonry, through the erection of superb edifices, furnished an adequate outlet for national ideas, just that long Masonry continued to create extensive temples of worship, and preserved a vigorous existence as an operative science. When, however, popular thought found expression by means of printing presses, church architecture began immediately to retrograde and with it Operative Masonry rapidly declined, and then many of the abstruse and abstract principles of the building art were totally lost.
— Victor Hugo.
* * *
AMONG THE CEDARS OF LEBANON: HOW "THE CEDAR GROVE" WAS ORGANIZED
Bro. Walter Booth Adams, M.A., M.D., Syria
Many of our readers will have in memory the delightful paper by Bro. Dr. Adams, published in this journal, April, 1923, page 108. When asked "to write some more," he responded with the following account of sociable activities among Masons, "their wives and sweethearts" in far away Syria. Members of the "Tall Cedars" will be especially interested to read how "The Cedar Grove" came to be established in sight of the Cedars of Lebanon.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon,
Down with me from Lebanon to sail upon the sea;
The ship is wrought of ivory, the decks of gold, and thereupon
Are sailors singing bridal songs and waiting to cast free.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon
The rowers there are ready and will welcome thee with shouts
The sails are silken and scarlet, cut and sewn in Babylon,
The Scarlet of the painted lips of women thereabouts.
And there for thee is spikenard, calamus and cinnamon,
Pomegranates and frankincense and flagons full of wine
And cabins carved in cedar wood that came from scented Lebanon
And all the ship and singing crew and rowers there are shine.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon
They're hauling up the anchor and but tarrying there for thee;
The boatswain's whistling for a wind, a wind to blow from Lebanon
A wind from scented Lebanon to blow them out to sea.
"THE key of F seems to fit your song; while I am away up in G." I remarked to three custom house officers on the dock just as was embarking the last time to travel East again to my Syrian home. "The badge looks Masonic," I said, "the square and compasses are there on a blue field, but I don't understand that 'F' in place of the 'G'." All three officers opened their wallets and drew out their credentials as I did the same; and they explained that the "F" stood for "Federal." In other words, there were about 500 Masons in the Federal service who were thus united in a club for mutual help and as "a play-ground" for themselves and their families. It was a new one to me. "The Syrian Grotto," whose badge I saw often, interested me for I have spent thirty-three years of my life in Syria; while the Crescent and Sword of "The Shriners" had been familiar to me long before I traveled East, this "play-ground of freezing point," as one called the thirty-two degrees. These associations of Masons I was familiar with, but "The Tall Cedars" I did not know of until a year ago when I was telling Judge Dawkins of Baltimore of our Cedar Grove while home on an excursion, and he remarked, "That is singular. I am a Tall Cedar," and he fished from his pocket a button bearing a cedar tree. And soon after we read of President Harding being received into "The Tall Cedars." Our name was quite independent of the association in America. We knew not of it when we organized.
On my arrival in Syria, where I have taught in the medical school of The America University of Beirut since 1890, I had much amusement in putting certain questions to my Syrian colleagues whom I knew had been members of our Craft many years, whereas I had taken my obligations while on my furlough in the home land. But that is another story. My American friends, members of the Fraternity, were also pleased and surprised, for a little mental arithmetic will show that I am not as young as I used to be; but at any rate, as the women voters say, "I'm over 21."
About ten days after our return we were invited to the summer home in Lebanon of one of the American residents of Beirut to celebrate his birthday. Soon after our arrival several other cars came and discharged their loads of professors, instructors, Near East Relief workers, and business men, with their wives, head nurses in the American hospital and other young ladies who were the daughters or sisters of Masons. We were a jolly party. We all soon found an appetite; for it was so great and delightful a change from the warm sea coast city to the delicious coolness of a Lebanon village 2500 feet above that beautiful blue sea. We followed our guide out into the garden where little tables were scattered about among the profusion of flowers, while overhead were hung strings of gay Japanese lanterns of many hues. Just as we were seated and thanks had been returned to the Great Giver of all, and our host had announced that it was "an automat banquet" and the men would wait on the ladies, the great, golden, full moon rose over a shoulder of one of Lebanon's peaks and shed her beauty on the scene. The ladies in summer dress, the flowers, growing and cut, the great and lesser lights, and the food, and perhaps more than all the comraderie and goodfellowship made it a memorable scene.
As the latest initiate and one just back from the home land I was asked to make a speech. No Masonic banquet, at any rate no American one, would be complete without "a few remarks." So while chewing on the chicken salad and other good things I chewed on an idea that popped into my head while I fletcherized. It was this, and I proceeded to develop the idea when called to my feet: "This is too delightful an occasion not to be perpetuated. We have found ourselves and each other and the finding has been good. Let us 'do the American act' and organize, and so make this a regular thing on St. John's day in June and on the other St. John's day in December. Now since Beirut is included in the Lebanon, famous for its Cedars more than for anything else, and since many of us have enjoyed most delightful periods of refreshment in camping in the various groves of the Cedars of Lebanon, suppose we call our little informal, joyous association 'The Cedar Grove.' Let us have a chairman to summon the conclaves and a secretary-treasurer to manage the arrangements."
The chairman has since been called "The Tall Cedar," and that happens to be now my office, and the secretary-treasurer is "The Little Cedar." And the ladies, bless 'em, we have called them "Cones" as they are borne on the branches of the trees and are the mothers of small cedars yet to be planted! A rising vote and it was made so, and we took some more ice cream all 'round! I can not make you realize the balmy coolness of that air, cool without any chill in it — unless you may live in California.
THE SECOND CONCLAVE
Our second conclave was in the same hospitable home, in the Christmas vacation this time. We made it a basket picnic, but our hostess also provided hot viands and coffee. How good it was to sit in a nearly complete circle before that blazing open fire! What roses they brought back in their cheeks those who in the afternoon had climbed to the top of Aleih rhountain! What appetites we had! How beautiful was the Christmas tree in the great bay window bearing a gift for each one of us! And the songs, the speeches, the stories! And the moon! Shone it ever so brightly as we glided down Lebanon to our homes in flivvers and automobiles over the beautiful Damascus road? That second conclave assured us that "The Cedar Grove" had taken root and was a living thing.
The third conclave was last summer — an afternoon on the shore, a supper and a moonlight swim in the sea at Dubeiyeh, where are the waterworks that pump the supply to the city of Beirut. Mr. von Heidenstam — our half Swedish and half Scotch friend — and his English wife were our hosts in their beautiful garden by the sea. The tables were spread under arching trees with blooming rose bushes all about us and in our ears the flashing fountain mingling its note with the murmuring sea.
Several new saplings were planted in "The Grove" — in other words, we received some new members with a pretty ceremony into the association.
The situation of Dubeiyeh is wonderful. We looked across St. George's Bay, where that chivalrous knight is said to have slain the dragon, to the ancient city of Beirut on a hilly promontory jutting some five miles out into the Mediterranean. "Ancient," I say, and it is. A clay letter from the governor of Beirut to the predecessor of the now world famous Tut Ankhamen was found at Tel el Amarna, Egypt, several years ago, and that letter was written 3500 years ago. How much older this city is than that we do not know. And behind the little town of Dubeiyeh rises the Dog River promontory on which are inscribed tablets with the names and achievements of various conquerors who have gone over that barrier on the coastal road from Nebuchadnezzar, yes, and Kings earlier than he, and Egyptian Pharaohs, and Arab conquerors, down to Lord Allenby in 1918 — his tablet is there, too. But I am dipping into archeology and am on the edge of history. My only excuse is that both are all about us, in the air we breathe in this land, whether we are at our ordinary avocations or at refreshment in "The Cedar Grove."
* * *
FREEMASONRY IN CIVIL WAR TIMES
During the Civil War the Hartford and the little Albatross ran the blockade of Port Hudson, and took up the patrol of the Mississippi River between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, two strongly fortified points on the river. During that patrol the commanding officer of the Albatross, Lieutenant Commander John E. Hart, was killed in action. It was thought impossible to send his body either up or down the river, and his ship — mates did not want to bury his body in the river; so a flag of truce was sent ashore to the little town of Saint Francisville to search for brother Masons and to secure their good offices to give the dead captain a Masonic funeral. Two Masons, brothers named White, looked up the Master of the nearest lodge (S. J. Powell, afterwards Grand Master) who was serving in a cavalry regiment (Confederate) who, with a competent number, buried Captain Hart with Masonic honors. Service was also held in the Episcopal church. The body was buried in the Masonic lot, and the grave marked. Bro. Hart was a member of St. George's Lodge in Schenectady, N. Y. He entered the Naval Academy in 1841 and was graduated in 1845.
— Geo. W. Baird.
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THE INTERLACED TRIANGLES
Bro. Dudley Wright, Associate Editor, England
THE interlaced triangles — one of the emblems of the Holy Royal Arch — is one of the most ancient symbols in the world. It has been found on the Cave of Elephanta, on the great image of Deity; it is the Brahmanic symbol of "The Angel of the Presence"; the Hindus employed it as a means of protection; it was found at Ghunzee, on the wall of the temple; it was in common use among the Jews; it was employed in Gnostic symbolism; the Moslems used it on the coinage of Morocco, date Anno Hegira; it has been found on medallions in Normandy and Brittany; discovered on the breasts of Knights Templar, on their recumbent effigies in their priories; not long since it was found in a Galilean synagogue in Palestine of the Roman period; it is part of the ornamentation of some English cathedrals (notably Lincoln and Lichfield) and churches; and it has been discovered on innumerable monuments of bygone ages among all nations and religions. It is a common symbol in Asia at the present day. Drummond Hay describes it as an ornament in a Moorish harem in the form of a chandelier — a brass frame consisting of two intersecting triangles. He also found it in a synagogue, in front of the recess wherein the Ark was deposited, the lighted lamp being in a gigantic glass tumbler held within a brazen frame, formed to represent the two intersected triangles.
To the Jew it was a symbol of the Sephiroth; to the Moslem, of the Deity; while to the Christian, it represented the Creator in the capacity of Mediator, working out the redemption of humanity under two natures. It appears in every religious system that came under Semitic influence and was used by the Kabbalists to illustrate their doctrine of Perfect Consciousness or Synthesis. Among the Jews also it was used as an amulet, the center being left blank for the inscription of a short prayer; it was essential for its efficacy that the diagram should be graven on parchment and, when completed, worn on the left side. It was said to be efficacious in fathering all business enterprises. It was also used by Jewish women as an amulet for protection in childbirth, in which case the Hebrew letters of the verse "For unto us a child is born" were scattered promiscuously in five of the outer triangles, leaving the top right-hand triangle blank. It also protected the lying-in mother and her child against witchcraft, the evil eye and demons, and explicit directions for its use are given in the Book of Raziel, where its authorship is ascribed to Adam.
Eliphas Levi calls it the "Seal of Solomon," but the Seal of Solomon is the pentalpha, or pentagram — five-pointed star, which tradition says Solomon employed in calling up demons. Levi did not mean this, for he describes the emblem to which he refers as "the interlaced triangles; the erect triangle of flame color, the inversed triangle colored blue. In the center space there may be drawn a Tau cross and three Hebrew yods, or a crux ansata or ankh, or the triple Tau of the Arch Masons. He who with intelligence and will is armed with this emblem has need of no other thing; he should be all-potent, for this is the perfect sign of the Absolute." It also appears as a magical implement in The Magus or Celestial Intelligencer, by Francis Barrett, published in 1801. Bro. Rev. Stewart Stitt in his pamphlet on Maldivian Talismans says that "with the sun in the center of the circle (inscribed in the center) and the other six planets placed in a particular order on the points of the triangles, it was meant to signify the solar system. Each of the seven planets represented not only certain sounds, numbers, colors, mental qualities, and metals, but also the different features of the countenance of the One Ruler of that system, while the signs of the zodiac belonging to each, in their turn, represented the various organs of the body."
THE JEWS CALL IT THE MAGEN DAVID
Among the Jews the emblem is known as the Magen David, or the Shield of David, the word Magen meaning "shield," or protection; and one writer in a recent issue of the Jewish Guardian (London, England) — which has kindly given permission for the reproduction of the following illustration — backing his theory on Isaiah XI, 2, describes it as a heavenly sparkling star, representing the six potent qualities possessed by King Hezekiah.
He says that when the prophecy of Isaiah was distorted by those who interpreted it wrongly, attempts were made to exterminate the sons of Jacob and the Hebrew religion; they were burnt at the stake together with their books containing their traditions. It was then that they were compelled to conceal the significant meaning of this emblem, the Magen David, with its six points, in order that it should survive in times of horror: thus that emblem has remained mysterious. Another writer suggests that it was the signature or seal of King David. It may be mentioned here that it was used as a seal, both to official and personal documents by Sir Robert Moray, the first known initiate into Freemasonry on English soil, which took place in the seventeenth century five years prior to the initiation of Elias Ashmole.
The emblem was frequently engraven upon synagogues and sacred vessels until its use was prohibited by the late Chief Rabbi, Dr. Hermann Adler. It was adopted as a device by the American Jewish Publication Society in 1873; by the first Zionist Congress at Basle and its official organ; by a well-known firm of Palestinian wine merchants; by various Red Cross Societies; and by the Jewish quasi-Masonic Order of the Shield of David.
The Jewish view of God which permitted no images of Him was and is opposed to the acceptance of any emblems or symbols and neither the Bible nor the Talmud recognize their existence. The Magen David is not mentioned in Rabbinical literature, says a writer in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and, therefore, probably did not originate within Rabbinism, which was the official and dominant Judaism for more than two thousand years. Yet a Magen David was discovered on a Jewish tombstone at Tarentum in southern Italy of a probable date of the third century C.E. Its first mention in a Jewish work is in the Eshkol-ka-hofer of Judah Hadassi in the twelfth century, and it there states that the sign called "David's Shield" is placed beside each of the names of the seven angels, Michael, Gabriel, etc.
HEMMING IS QUOTED
Hemming, in his Masonic Lectures, says that "the hexagon is composed of six equilateral triangles, is equal in all its relations, and retains the quality of being infinitely divisible into similar triangles, according to the geometrical projection observed in the divisions of the trilateral figure, and may, therefore, be considered as the most perfect of all multilateral forms. From a general inquiry it will result that the three most perfect of all geometrical diagrams are the equilateral triangle, the square, and the equal hexagon."
La Pluche also says that "the second natural division of the circle is made by this radius, the measure of which, being transferred into the half circumference with the compasses, always cuts it into three, or, if transferred upon the whole circle, divides it absolutely into six equal portions, which is an introduction to a multitude of other no less certain divisions, and innumerable proportions between great and small figures."
The hexad was considered by all nations as a sacred figure because of the creation of the world in six days. The six points of the interlaced triangles among the Pythagoreans denoted health and were described as "the consistence of a form." The two intersecting triangles were also regarded as emblems of creation and redemption, fire and water, prayer and remission, repentance and forgiveness, life and death, resurrection and judgment. It signified perfection of parts, because it is the only number under ten which is whole and equal in its divisions. Pliny and other ancient naturalists endeavoured in vain to assign a reason for nature's preference for a hexad in the crystal. It was an ancient symbol of marriage, because it was formed by the multiplication of three, the male; with two, the female number.
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THE MAGIC WORDS
ONCE upon a time there lived an Oriental Potentate who imagined himself afflicted with a fatal malady. At first the greater, then the lesser, doctors were summoned, each of whom, in succession, upon his failure to cure, was beheaded. Finally the obscure Dr. X was summoned; after an exhaustive examination he pronounced the malady indeed serious and all but incurable, yet there was one remedy that would cure — the Monarch must wear the shirt of a happy man. This seemed indeed simple but in fact proved most difficult; months and even years elapsed and yet no one was found who had not some shadow in his life. The search continued; at last a happy-go-lucky tramp was found — he knew not the meaning of care, sorrow, suffering or want. In triumph he was conducted before the Ruler, who cried, 'I must have your shirt' — then the rogue, with peals of laughter, replied, 'Majesty, I have none."'
A concrete thing is often beyond the reach of the poor. Not so with happiness, which is abstract; there is plenty to go around — the more that prevails the more there seems in reserve. Happiness is blithe and winsome and at every step she throws herself in our path, waiting for us to take her into our embrace. What a lovely creature and how ready is she to be wooed and won! Why then so difficult? Is hot the fault with ourselves?
The miser exults in ecstasy at his hoarded gold; he thinks himself happy. May we not liken the miser's happiness to the coarse daub of the crude artist as compared to the finished work of genius? Is not the fault ours if we cannot win this beauteous bride? A bride in waiting for everyone, only you must know how to woo. You cannot win this prize by direct action; human history is strewn with the wreckage of those who have thus tried to win her.
But there is a royal road; it is broad and straight and the carpet is soft and smooth. I have the wondrous secret; these are the magic words: Morality, Charity and Brotherly Love — look again and you will see they spell "HAPPINESS".
— Jacob Hecht.
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON
ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, better known as Chancellor Livingston, came from an old and famous family. His father was a very well known man, so also was his brother Edward, who was a politician of note and in 1801-02-03 was District Deputy Grand Master of New York. Chancellor Livingston was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York from 1784 until 1800 inclusive, this being the first Grand Mastership of the Grand Lodge of the state of New York strictly so-called, for the former Grand Body was in reality a Provincial Grand Lodge. Robert R. Livingston was but 38 years of age when he first became Grand Master. He had been Worshipful Master of the old Union Lodge under the English constitution in 1771, a lodge which appears to have suspended its labor during the War of the Revolution.
Livingston was born in New York in 1746 and died at Clermont, N.Y., March 26, 1813. The state of New York placed a statue of him in the Capitol at Washington, D.C., as one of the two most representative citizens of the state; the other being George Clinton. He was educated in Kings College, afterwards Columbia College, where he graduated in 1765, and was admitted to the bar in 1773. He formed a partnership with the famous John Jay. For a time he held the office of recorder for New York, but resigned in order to take part in the War of the Revolution. He was elected a member of the State Assembly from Duchess County and later was elected a member of the United States Congress. He was placed on the committee to draw up the Declaration of Independence, the other members being Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and Sherman. In 1777 he was made Chancellor of the state of New York; upon this he resigned his seat in Congress, but was again elected to that body later. Under the United States Confederation he was for three years Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
When Chancellor of the State, it was his good fortune to administer the oath of office to General George Washington, as first President of the new nation, at which time Livingston was Grand Master of Masons in the state of New York. In 1801 he was sent as Commissioner to France, when Napoleon I was first consul; it was one of the most interesting and critical periods in the history of France, but Livingston was an ideal representative of his country and acquitted himself with honor in his difficult position.
At the moment when there was much desire on the part of the French to cultivate friendly relations with the American Republic, Livingston opened the negotiations which resulted in the Louisiana purchase. It was a grand coup! Livingston's negotiations made it possible for our nation to come into possession of that immense territory west of the Mississippi River extending almost to the Sierras, and all this for only fifteen million dollars! This made it unnecessary to build the canal projected by President Washington from the Potomac to the Ohio River, for the Louisiana purchase gave the nation an outlet to the Gulf of Mexico.
Livingston had a vision of the possibilities and future of the United States almost as clear and as far-reaching as that of Washington himself. It was this vision that inspired him to help finance Robert Fulton's steamboat schemes. Fulton first built a boat for experiment on the Seine River in France, but for want of sufficient kelsons the machinery broke through the bottom of the vessel; nevertheless it showed the possibilities of a steamboat and when Fulton tried again on the Hudson River, his experiment was a success.
Livingston introduced merino sheep into this country with great success and was the first to utilize gypsum in the manufacture of fertilizer. He was a founder of the Fine Arts Academy and its first president. His essay on agriculture was received with éclat; his essay on sheep raising became a standard treatise. Because of such services and writings the regents of the University of the State of New York conferred on him the degree of LL.D. Livingston was one of the original members of the Order of the Cincinnati. The beautiful memorial shown in the accompanying illustration, in bronze, of life size, was presented to the Nation's Hall of Fame, in the National Capitol, and stands near that of George Washington. Its inscription describes Livingston as "the first Chancellor of his state, administered the oath of office to the first President of the United States, is the gift of New York." The sculptor was E. D. Palmer and the statue is called "one of the best in the Capitol."
Livingston did a great and lasting work in building up Freemasonry in the state of New York. His Grand Mastership fell upon a critical period, just at the time when New York Masons were getting control of their lodge affairs in their own country, and when there was much misunderstanding, bitterness and strife. It was owing to his magnificent leadership that the Grand Lodge was able to weather many storms. A rather full account of Livingston's Masonic career will be found in History of Freemasonry in the State of New York by Ossian Lang, a very valuable and interesting book.
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TEXAS GRAND CHAPTER REINSTATEDIn December last Bro. William F. Kuhn, General Grand High Priest, issued a Proclamation that will interest every Royal Arch Mason in the United States. It explains itself, and is here reproduced by permission of the General Grand High Priest:
Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 7, 1923. To the Chapters and Grand Chapters under this Obedience:
On April 15, A. D. 1923, I, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America, issued an Edict, severing fraternal relations with the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Texas, on account of invasion of the jurisdiction of the General Grand Chapter, "until the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Texas shall recall the charter issued to the chapter in the City of Mexico, Republic of Mexico."
Whereas, the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Texas, at its annual convocation held on Dec. 3 — 4, 1923, sustained the action of its M. E. Grand High Priest, J. H. Gartland, recalling the charter issued to Attest: Mexico City Chapter, No. 414, and thus complying with the requirements of the Edict, therefore,
I, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter, do hereby take great pleasure in annulling said Edict, and to declare fraternal relations between the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America and the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Texas, restored.
Grand High Priests of Grand Chapters and High Priests of Subordinate Chapters will govern themselves accordingly.
I desire to express my sincere appreciation to the thirty — seven Grand Chapters which, through their Grand High Priests or through the action of the Grand Chapter direct, so promptly sustained the General Grand High Priest in the enforcement of the Edict, and thus maintaining the unity and authority of the General Grand Chapter, and converting the apparent rope of sand which has bound the Grand Chapters together, into a chain of steel whose links are mutual helpfulness, sympathy, willing assistance, and Capitular power and zeal.
Given under my hand and seal this seventh day of December, A.D. 1923, A.I. 2453.
William F. Kuhn,
General Grand High Priest.
Chas. A. Conover,
General Grand Secretary.
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WHAT MASONRY IS
Masonry is not a toy to be played with, nor a pastime merely to be enjoyed, nor yet a society of like minded spirits organized that the idle moments of the day may be spent in pleasurable conversation or in the exchange of witticisms. Masonry is an attractive force which brings together in one body men of different occupation and attainments, from the different avenues of life, and unites them into a moving, active, creative, aggressive body, where as one they become a dynamic power for the intellectual, political, moral and spiritual elevation of the human race The Master Mason is not narrow in his vision, nor prejudiced in his view, nor small in his conception of his duty to God and his fellow man. He can see the virtues of others, the vices in his own heart, the transcendent beauty of a life of service and he can forget himself in the luxury of giving the best there is in him for the common welfare of his kind. And thank God we have Master Masons in the jurisdiction of Delaware.
— Geo. C. Williams, P.G.M., Delaware.
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THE STUDY CLUB
Chapters of Masonic History
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
A pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be furnished free to those asking for it in any quantities up to fifty or one hundred. For further information address the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. The Society answers questions, lends books, clippings, etc., free of charge to clubs. Text books recommended are "Symbolical Masonry" and "Great Teachings of Masonry," both by H. L. Haywood, the former of which should be used in beginning.
PART X. HOW OPERATIVE MASONRY CHANGED TO SPECULATIVE MASONRY: THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION
If my short study of Operative Masonry published last month I adverted briefly and in passing to the fact that in the days when Masonic lodges were most completely "Operative," or devoted to actual building activities, there was a certain element of non-Operatives in the membership, a thing made necessary by the conditions under which ecclesiastical buildings were erected. Oftentimes the work was under the general superintendency of a bishop or other church authority who, in the nature of things, would have to have the freedom of the lodge; at the same time there were employed educated clerks to take care of the books, and possibly also learned men to assist in working out some of the more technical problems. Where a cathedral was erected by a local corporation it was necessary that its representatives be given access to records and otherwise be permitted to have a share in directing the activities; also, it may be, men of high station entirely outside the Craft were occasionally, and for various reasons political or social, admitted to some kind of footing within the brotherhood. An example is furnished in the Cooke MS., of date about 1450, wherein it is said of "Prince Edwin" that "of speculative he was a master"; the meaning of this may be either that this dignitary was friendly for the Craft, or else that he knew something of the "geometry" which lay at the basis of all building design. In any event men were admitted to some kind of lodge membership who made no pretence of practising the art, a fact that need cause no surprise for it was quite in keeping with the principles and practices of the guilds. The acceptance of these non-Operatives may possibly have had some effect on lodge ceremonies. In the nature of the case such a brother could not take oath to keep the trade secrets about which he was to learn nothing; neither could he be required to produce a master's piece, as regular apprentices were, because he would not possess the skill. So little is known about this matter that one can only indulge his faculty for speculation, nevertheless it is of some consequence in one's effort to recover a picture of lodge usages in the olden days. The main point just here is that from earliest times it was not deemed unlawful or irregular for Operative lodges to accept on some kind of footing of membership non-Operative men; with this in mind it will be easier to understand how in later years non-Operatives became accepted in such numbers as at last to out-top Operatives altogether.
OPERATIVE MASONRY DECLINED
In the fifteenth century Operative Masonry began to decline; in the following century it almost went out of existence, and that chiefly owing to the Protestant Reformation in England. All gilds were suppressed by Henry VIII (see Statutes of 37 Henry VIII, c. 4, and I Edward VI, c. 14) and monastery corporations were dissolved, their funds being confiscated by the Crown. Cathedrals were no longer erected; in the eyes of the Puritans, who rapidly came to the front, they were monuments of the Papist religion and therefore deemed dangerous, so that many of them were defaced or partly demolished; the same bitterness was directed against all other structures of a similar kind, so that the old lodges of Operative Masons, called originally into existence to erect such, found themselves without occupation. Some of them, so it is believed, turned their attention to the palatial homes for the rich country gentry, but most of them perished or else maintained a languid existence.
Other influences operated to the same end. The civil wars left the country exhausted. New cities sprang up with new traditions, and some of the old centers of gild life passed into the background. At the same time, and owing to a dearth of labourers, foreign workmen were imported from France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, and these had other customs and traditions. In the world of thought other revolutions, silent but powerful, took place, one of them giving rise to the foundation of the famous Royal Society, of which eminent members of the first Grand Lodge were members, some of them quite active. In other words the whole life of England underwent a profound change, so that such an organization as the Craft of Freemasonry had to change with it, and found itself in a set of circumstances quite different to those that had obtained in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
It is a fact of some significance that the number of non-Operatives accepted in membership appears to have increased as the Craft as a whole waned away; most of our writers have seen in this the connections of cause and effect, and there is no reason to suppose them in error. The oldest lodge minutes still extant in England date from the early eighteenth century; but in Scotland the records are much older, the minutes of Mother Kilwinning dating from 1642, Aberdeen from 1670. From those minutes, and from other old records, we learn that not only were non-Operatives early taken into membership by Scotch lodges but that they (the non-Operatives) took an active part in lodge affairs. Bro. Murray Lyon, whose History of the Lodge of Edinburgh has so long been a standard work, says that the first authentic record of a non-Operative being made a member of a lodge is of date June 8, 1600, when John Boswell, Laird of Auchinleck, is named among the brethren. Two years prior to that time, however, still another non-Operative must have been on the rolls because we know that in 1598 William Schaw, whom Lyon believes to have been an honorary member, signed and promulgated two sets of statutes, or codes of laws, one for use by the Craft in general, the other for use by the lodge of Kilwinning. Schaw signed himself as "Master of the Work, Warden of the Masons." In July, 1634, Lord Alexander, Viscount Canada, Sir Anthony Alexander and Sir Alexander Strachan were admitted to the lodge of Edinburgh. As historian of the Scottish Craft par excellence, Lyon's words of comment in this connection are worth quoting:
"It is worthy of remark that with singularly few exceptions, the non-Operatives who were admitted to Masonic fellowship in the lodges of Edinburgh and Kilwininng during the seventeenth century were persons of quality, the most distinguished of whom, as the natural result of its metropolitan position, being made in the former lodge. Their admission to fellowship in an institution composed of Operative Masons associated together for purposes of their Craft would, in all probability, originate in a desire to elevate its position and increase its influence, and once adopted the system would further recommend itself to the Fraternity by the opportunities which it presented for cultivating the friendship and enjoying the society of gentlemen, to whom, in ordinary circumstances, there was little chance of their ever being personally known.
"On the other hand, non-professionals connecting themselves with the lodge by the ties of membership would, we believe, be activated partly by a disposition to reciprocate the feelings which had prompted the bestowal of the fellowship, partly by curiosity to penetrate the arcana of the Craft and partly by the novelty of the situation as members of a secret society and participants in its ceremonies and festivities."
OLD SCOTCH LODGE RECORDS
Hughan has given expression to the surprise felt by most of our scholars at the fact that lodge records should go so much farther back in Scotland than in England; he writes, "Why so many minute books are still preserved in Scotland, dating long before the institution of the Grand Lodge, even some from the seventeenth century, and yet scarcely any are found in England, seems inexplicable." Alnwick Lodge records go back to 1703. It appears that a non-Operative lodge existed at York, to judge by the records, as early as 1705. The extinct Haughfoot Lodge had a non-Operative majority with a ritual and ceremony as early as 1702. These entries show that non-Operative practices were in vogue years before the founding of the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Masonry in London, 1717.
The earliest extant record of a man having been made a non-Operative Mason on English soil is that of Robert Moray who was "made" at Newcastle, by members of the lodge of Edinburgh with the Scottish army, May 20, 1641. But the most famous of all the earliest non-Operative Masons by far was Elias Ashmole, made a Mason at Warrington Oct. 16, 1646. Ashmole was born at Lichfield in 1617, was educated for the bar, became a captain during the Great Rebellion, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, had conferred on him the degree of M.D., was made Windsor Herald, and in addition to all these interests and activities denoted much time to a study of occultism, astrology, botany, history and various other subjects. His third wife was the daughter of his friend, Sir William Dugdale. An industrious collector of curios and objects of antiquarian value, he presented his collection to Oxford University, where it is still known as the Ashmolean Museum. He was author of a History of the Garter. His diary was first published in 1717, and then a second time, as a kind of appendix to Lilly's History of His Life and Times, in 1774. The diary contains two items concerning Freemasonry, as follows, spelling and punctuation as in the original:
(Ashmole MS. 1136)
1646. [folio 19, verso]
Oct. 16th. — 4:30 P.M. I was made a Free Mason at Warrington in Lancashire, with Coll: Henry Mainwaring of Kanincham in Cheshire. The names of those that were there of the Lodge; Mr. Rich Penket Warden, Jr. James Collier, Mr. Rich Sankey, Henry Tattler, John Ellam, Rich: Ellam and Hugh Brewer.
After thirty-six years appears another extract that contains mention of the Mason's Company of London. It is here given in full:
March 1682. [folio 69. verso]
10th. — About 5 P.M. I recd. a Sumons to appe. at a Lodge to be held the next day, at Masons Hall London.
11th. — Accordingly I went, and about Noone were admitted into the Fellowship of Free Masons.
Sr. William Wilson Knight, Capt. Rich: Borthwick, Mr. Will: Woodman, Mr. Wm. Grey, Mr. Samuell Taylour, and Mr. William Wise.
I was the Senior Fellow among them (it being 35 years since I was admitted). There were present besides my selfe the Fellowes after named.
Mr. Tho: Wise Mr of the Masons Company this present yeare. Mr Thomas Shorthose, Mr. Thomas Shadbolt, Waindsford Esqr., Mr. Nich: Young, Mr. John Shorthose, Mr. William Hamon, Mr. John Thompson, and Mr. Will: Stanton.
Wee all dyned at the halfe Moone Taverne in Cheapside, at a Noble Dinner, prepaired at the charge of the New-accepted Masons.
THE MASON'S COMPANY
The Mason's Company doubtlessly referred to in the quotation just above is the subject of an invaluable book by Edward Conder bearing the title Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons. This body of Masons was incorporated in 1410-1411 and received a grant of arms in the twelfth year of Edward IV (1472-1473) from William Hawkeslowe, Clarenceaux King of Arms. The city records of London show that this body must have been functioning as early as 1356 because rules for its guidance were formed in that year. In 1530 the name was changed to the "Company of Freemasons." Conder thinks there is good reason to believe that this Company began somewhere early in the thirteenth century.
The interesting point here, in the light of our present purpose, is the fact that associated with this Mason's Company was another, and perhaps subsidiary organization, styled "The Accepcon" (Acception). It met in the same hall and was somehow connected, as one may learn from Conder:
"Unfortunately no books connected with this Acception — i.e., the Lodge — have been preserved. We can, therefore, only form our ideas of its working from a few entries scattered through the accounts. From these it is found that members of the Company paid 20s. for coming on the Acception, and strangers 40s. Whether they paid a lodge quarteridge to the Company's funds it is impossible, in the absence of the old Quarteridge Book, to state. One matter, however, is quite certain from the old book of accounts commencing in 1619, that the payments made by newly accepted Masons were paid into the funds of the Company, that some or all of this was spent on a banquet and the attendant expenses, and that any further sum required was paid out of the ordinary funds of the Company, proving that the Company had entire control of the Lodge and its funds."
It looks as if members of the Acception were not Operative Masons; if that was the case it is plain that non-Operative Masons were admitted on some footing as early as 1619, and probably long before that. If this supposition be sound it follows that some kind of non-Operative, or Speculative Masonry, was in existence in the metropolis more than a century before the founding of the first Grand Lodge. Also it would appear that Ashmole was in attendance on the "Acception" at the time referred to in his second entry quoted above. On the strength of this fact some writers, Bro. A. E. Waite for example, have suggested that the seed from which our modern symbolical Masonry had its origin may have been planted there by such men as Ashmole, who were interested in symbolism, ritual, occultism and all such matters.
That something was known of a society of Freemasons during the latter half of the century is proved by reference to such in a few books of the time. Randle Holme (the third of that name), in his Acadamie of Amorie, published in 1688, refers to the Freemasons in this wise:
"I cannot but Honour the Fellowship of Masons because of its Antiquity; and the more, as being a member of that Society, called Free-Masons."
Two years before the appearance of the Holme volume Dr. Robert Plot published the Natural History of Staffordshire, in which he referred to Freemasons in a vein somewhat satirical:
"To these add the Customs relating to the County, whereof they have one, of admitting Men into the Society of Free-Masons, that in the moorelands of this County seems to be of greater request, than anywhere else, though I find the Custom spread more or less all over the Nation; for here I found persons of the most eminent quality, that did not disdain to be of this Fellowship. Nor indeed need they, were it of that Antiquity and honour, that is pretended in a large parchment volume they have amongst them, containing the History and Rules of the craft of masonry.
"Into which Society when they are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodg as they term it in some places), which must consist at lest of 5 or 6 of the Ancients of the Order, when the candidats present with gloves, and so likewise to their wives, and entertain with a collation according to the Custom of the place: This ended, they proceed to the admission of them, which chiefly consists in the communication of certain secret signes, whereby they are known to one another all over the Nation, by which means they have maintenance whither ever they travel: for if any man appear though altogether known that can shew any of these signes to a Fellow of the Society, whom they otherwise call an accepted mason, he is obliged presently to come to him, from what company or place soever he be in, nay, tho' from the top of a Steeple (what hazard or inconvenience soever he run) to know his pleasure and assist him; viz., if he want work he is bound to find him some; or if he cannot doe that, to give him mony, or otherwise support him till work can be had; which is one of their Articles."
John Aubrey, a friend of Dr. Plot's and also an antiquarian, wrote the Natural History of Wiltshire at about the same time, on one pen copy of which he inscribed a memorandum that reads:
"Memorandum. This day, May the 18th, being Monday, 1691, after Rogation Sunday is a great convention at St. Paul's Church of the Fraternity of adopted masons, where Sir Christopher Wren is to be adopted a brother, and Sir Henry Goodric of the Tower, and divers others. There have been kings that have been of this sodality."
WAS WREN A MASON?
This reference to Wren raises a question about which there has been a long continued debate. Was the famous architect, the builder of St. Paul's, and of London after the great fire, a Mason? Of course, he was an architect and therefore a member of the Craft in a general sense, but was he a member of a lodge? Gould devotes fifty-four of his most heavily shotted pages to prove that he was not, and that any statement to that effect is fable pure and simple. Bro. F. De P. Castells wrote a trenchant criticism of these pages in a splendid essay published in Transactions of the Authors Lodge, Vol. II, page 302. "We all admire Gould's erudition," he remarks; "his History is a monumental work. But in this matter he has shown himself more learned than wise, for he has placed himself in a false light, in which we see him as a carping critic, cavilling, parrying with facts, and casting doubt upon everything suggesting the thought of Wren being a Mason." Some will believe, perhaps, that Bro. Castells has a little overstated the matter, but that is neither here nor there; he rests his own case on four pieces of evidence; first, the Constitutions of 1738; secondly, an excerpt from the Postboy, a London paper which, in its announcement of Wren's death, refers to him as "that worthy Freemason"; thirdly, the Aubrey notation quoted above, and fourthly, Preston's statement to the effect that "Wren presided over the old Lodge of St. Pauls during the building of the cathedral." But what would appear to be the clincher in Bro. Castell's argument is given in his postscript, in which there is so much matter of interest that it may well be quoted in its entirety:
"What precedes was delivered as a Lecture. Since then, however, having seen the records of the Lodge of Antiquity which Bro. Rylands has brought to light, I feel that the question is absolutely settled. The Lodge had once records that went back to 1663. But when an Inventory was made in 1778, everything anterior to 1721 had disappeared. This is referred to in a Memorandum as 'the outrage,' because it was a case of misappropriation. Still, the few records now extant are ample to satisfy any one. Thus, the Minutes of a Meeting held on June 3, 1723, give the substance of what the Brethren had decided: 'The set of Mahogany Candlesticks presented to this Lodge by its worthy old Master, Sir Christopher Wren, ordered to be carefully deposited in a wooden case lin'd with cloth to be Immediately purchased for the purpose.' The reason for this was that as 'the worthy old Master' of the Lodge had died, they were anxious to preserve the candlesticks as precious mementos of his connection with the Lodge. There is also a Memorandum about a 'General Assembly of a greate Number of Free Masons Held on the 24th of June, 1721,' which is remarkable for including among those present 'Christopher Wren, Esq.,' the only son of the architect, whose name reappears in a similar way eight years later. Obviously the son was one of those who helped to bring the premier Grand Lodge into existence; thus we can understand that the father should have appointed him as his deputy when the Fraternity celebrated the Capestone in 1710. And yet Gould, when he wrote his History, did not know that anyone had ever claimed the son as a member of our Order! The question has been raised whether the original Lodge of Antiquity was one of Speculative Freemasons. The three Candlesticks afford good ground for presumption, but let the Members of the Lodge speak for themselves. In the Minutes of a Meeting on November 3, 1722, we read: 'The Master reported the proceedings of the Grand Lodge and Bro. Anderson's appointment to revise the old Constitutions. It was the Opinion of the Lodge that the Master and his Wardens do attend every Committee during the revisal of the Constitutions that no variation may be made in the Antient Establishment.' This zeal to maintain the old order enables us to affirm positively that the Grand Lodge of 1717 did not create Freemasonry, but simply re-organized the Fraternity."
From these quotations and from the considerations of early Operative practices adverted to in the opening paragraphs of this paper it is evident that the element of non-Operative membership and principles was in the Craft from early times; and that a conservative interpretation of Masonic history would suggest that this element came in time, and that owing to changes without and within the Craft, to over-balance the Operative influence, resulting at last in a complete re-organization of the Fraternity. But according to a more radical view, which also needs to be considered, this non-Operative element could not, of itself and without extraneous assistance, have ever proved powerful enough to work the many changes that took place in the "revival" of 1717. Other influence must have been at work, as this view holds, and that from outside the Craft, to cause such revolutionary changes as undoubtedly took place. Some of the arguments put forward by those holding this position deserve consideration.
Very little is really known about the formation of the first Grand Lodge, but it appears certain that much friction was engendered among the "old members" and the independent old lodges by the radical changes that were made by the first Grand Lodge. This fact might mean that innovations in ritual and regulations were made and that this aroused the enmity of the "old brethren" who dreaded innovations; if so, it would show that new material was introduced from the outside, else there would not otherwise have been any dissatisfaction with the new order of things.
THE TEMPLE SYMBOLISM
It might be possible to offer the elaborate system of symbolism built up about King Solomon's Temple as a case in point just here. The oldest Masonic MS. does not trace Masonry back to King Solomon but far beyond him to Nimrod and to Euclid. In the Dowland MS., dated at about 1550, Hiram Abif is mentioned, but merely as one name among many. In 1611 the King James version of the Bible made its appearance in England and aroused an almost universal interest, particularly in the Old Testament accounts of Solomon and his Temple. Late in the same century and early in the following, this interest was so general that many models of the Temple were constructed and exhibited in populous centers, and handbooks describing them received general circulation, a thing that must have been peculiarly interesting to the old Masons, who had probably long cherished traditions concerning that historic edifice. When Anderson prepared the first edition of his Constitutions he incorporated in a foot-note a learned explanation of the name "Hiram Abif," a thing he would not have done had not his readers been already interested. The inference from these facts, thus briefly sketched, is that there had long existed in the Craft a germ of interest in Solomon's Temple; that this germ found itself in an environment favourable for development when interest in the matter became popular; and that this development found a place in the Ritual early in the eighteenth century in a form now thrice familiar. If this reading of the matter is well founded it follows that the Temple symbolism is a case of development inside the Craft due to external conditions.
Those holding the view that the "revival" in 1717 was due largely to influence from outside sources point to Kabbalism, Knight Templarism, Rosicrucianism, Hermetism, etc., a consideration of all of which would require too much space; but even so, one other "outside" influence may be referred to now, for it has not received as much attention as it appears to deserve. I refer to the English club, which was so potent a social influence in the English life of the eighteenth century. Almost every man, rich or poor, belonged to one; there were drinking clubs, musical clubs, literary clubs, fat men's clubs, Odd Fellows' clubs, Chinese clubs, clubs for men with large noses, and for small, and every other imaginable form of organization for purposes of sociability. In a day when daily newspapers were nonexistent and books were scarce, these clubs were centers of gossip and general information as well as societies for the propagation of various "causes," all of which is embalmed forever in the essays of Addison, Steele, Goldsmith and the other immortals of the time. Did the early lodges of Speculative Masons come into existence in response to this need for clubs? The question needs a more thorough ventilation than it has yet received, because there is something to be said for it. Gould, it will be recalled, attributed Desaguliers' membership in the Craft to his desire for club life, and Bro. Arthur Heiron has shown how powerful was the club influence in eighteenth century Freemasonry in his excellent book Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge. For my own part I do not believe in the "club theory" of the origin of Speculative Masonry, but the matter is offered here as an example of those theories which look toward outside influences as explaining the transformation of Operative Freemasonry into Speculative, and as a suggestion to students that they investigate a fascinating field.
By way of conclusion it may be said that until more is known concerning the Transition Period it will be necessary for every Masonic reader to feel his way through the dark as well as he can, keeping his judgment on many matters in suspense, for as yet little is really known, and that is often enough conflicting; nevertheless and notwithstanding it would appear to some of us that what we do know shows an unbroken continuity between the old Operative Masonic lodges and the Institution which replaced them in 1717, and that in a large way the practices and principles of the medieval Masons were continued into Speculative Freemasonry; we still have Apprentices, Fellows and Masters; we still meet in lodges as of old, under the government of Masters and Wardens; we observe close secrecy, and make use of ceremonies of initiation divided into grades or degrees; holding it together, like a solid framework, is the emblematic and symbolical use of builders' tools and practices, and at the center of it all stands the most famous building in history and the most famous builder under such circumstances of drama and mystery as helps every Freemason the better to understand himself, and the world, and God, and the secrets of the life that is life indeed.
MACKEY'S ENCYCLOPEDIA (Revised Edition)
Accepted, 10; Anderson, 57; Antiquity of Freemasonry, 66; Apprentice, Entered, 70; Ashmole, 81; Constitutions, 175; Cromwell, 186; Degrees, 203; Desaguliers, 207; Dunckerley, 223; Edwin, 230; Fellow Craft, 261; Free and Accepted, 281; Freemason, 282; Freemasonry, Early British, 283; Geometry, 295; Gilds, 296; Hermetic Art, 323; Innovations, 353; Kabbala, 375; Kilwinning, 381; Legend, 433; Lodge, 449; Mason, 471; Master Mason 474; Operative Art, 532; Points of Fellowship, 572; Progressive Masonry, 591; Scotland, 671; Speculative Masonry, 704; Stone-Masons, 718; Symbolic Degrees, 752; Wren, 859; York 866.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Author's Lodge Transactions, I, II, III. Constitutions of the Freemasons, Anderson. A Short Masonic History, Armitage. Natural History of Wiltshire, Aubrey. Grand Lodge of England, Calvert. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Clegg. Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons, Conder. Evolution of Freemasonry, Darrah. Ahiman Rezon, Dermott. Club Makers and Club Members, Escott. History of Masonry, Findel. Concise History of Freemasonry, Gould. History of Freemasonry, Gould. Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge, Heiron. Acadamie Armory, Holme. Masonic Sketches and Reprints, Hughan. Spirit of Masonry, Hutchinson. Medieval Architecture, Kingsley. History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, Lyon. Guild Masonry in the Making, Merz. History of Lodge Aberdeen, Miller. The Builders, Newton. Essay on the Usages and Customs of Symbolical Masonry in the 18th Century, Oliver. Preston's Masonry, Oliver. Tradition, Origin and Early History of Freemasonry, Pierson. Natural History of Staffordshire, Plot. Illustrations of Masonry, Preston. Freemasonry Before Existence of Grand Lodges, Vibert. Story of the Craft, Vibert. New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Waite. Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, Ward.
* * *
TRADE GILDS IN THE EAST
Here is a note that may possibly add to the value of the Study Club article on Gilds, THE BUILDER, November 1923.
"The workmen are united in gilds, which have existed since the Persian dominion, and are still regulated by Persian laws. These gilds, however, are not so exclusive as those in Georgia. The admission to the rank of Master is accompanied with the same kind of ceremonies. On occasion of certain solemnities and public processions, each trade is called on to act in its corporate capacity. Each has likewise to bear its share of the public burdens; thus, for instance, the Gild of Shoemakers has to provide the beds for the public hospital, the Gild of Tailors the seats, and so forth. The Armenian and Tartar artisans constitute separate gilds; A Tartar shoemaker told me that his trade was presided over by any old Master, who was elected, exercised jurisdiction, discharged the journeymen, and initiated them into the rank of Mastership, an honour which they received kneeling."
The above is from a work entitled Transcaucasis, by Baron von Haxthausen, published in 1854. The author had special opportunities for studying the conditions of the region about Tiflis, inhabited by Armenians, Georgians, Persians, Tartars, etc. The theory, which is held by many, that the origin of Masonry was connected with trade gilds, gives some importance to the paragraph. There is evidence here that trade gilds are not exclusively European; they are found in the East, and pretty far East too, probably derived from Persia, for they date from the time when Persia ruled, and these gilds are governed by "Persian laws." These bodies are presided over by a head or "Master," and initiatory ceremonies are known and practised.
— N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
I thank God that I belong to this great fraternity and can take upon myself the proud title of Master Mason.
— Warren G. Harding.
"Every honest occupation to which a man sets his hand would raise him into a philosopher, if he mastered all the knowledge that belonged to his craft.
— James Anthony Froude.
* * *
ANTI-MASONRY WITHIN THE CRAFT
A BROTHER has written to remind us that the Masonic Fraternity is rapidly approaching the centenary of the Anti-Masonic Crusade, and to suggest that the first quarter of the present century might be brought to a glorious conclusion in a crusade by Masonry against its own enemies, and thus make the twentieth century redress the wrong done by the nineteenth. The suggestion made by this lover of poetic justice is somewhat belated; the Fraternity, like the country, is already full of crusades; they roar past us to left and right like the charge of the Light Brigade, and the spectacle, if we may parody the famous words about that charge, is war, but it is not splendid. At any rate, it is not splendid in the eyes of the governors and rulers of our Craft, who, in volume after volume of Grand Lodge Proceedings, are laboring to warn their brethren against the menace to Masonry in the growing carnival of propaganda, north, south, east and west, wherein brethren are trying their best to harness up the influence of Masonry to some movement that properly has nothing to do with it, or else are trying to lead Masonry itself into activities for which it never was intended.
The worst part of it is that some of the best Masons in the country, believing that Masonry has a war on its hands, are falling a victim to the horrible fallacy that therefore all things are fair. You must fight the devil with fire, they say; it is a question of main strength and awkwardness, so one must not be too squeamish about methods; let us catch our foes by hook or crook, then knock their heads in by anything we can grab!
If it were in order to start cracking heads these very brethren are the ones to deserve it. For all their zeal they are enemies of the Craft. Like Samson they pull down the temple upon their own heads in their efforts to destroy their foes. The work of Masonry cannot be carried forward by un-Masonic methods. The habit of catching at every rumor that puts a foe in a bad light, of giving currency to unexamined gossip, of spreading baseless tales, is singularly unbecoming among men solemnly sworn to seek and to uphold the truth above all things. The mean trick of backbiting at brethren who hold different opinions about Masonic policies is not in accord with the vows of Masonic brotherhood. The propaganda that fans into flame the passions of race hatred is the absolute denial of the principles of a Craft that has written into its constitution the means "whereby Masonry becomes the center of union and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must have remained at perpetual distance." The men who seek once again to exaggerate the odious lusts of religious prejudice have forgotten that it is the very genius of Freemasonry to uphold "that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of honor and honesty, by whatever denominations or persuasions they may be distinguished." Those who may countenance mobs, lynchings, riotings and tar and feathers should remember that "a Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies." Freemasonry can never compound with the spirits of passion, prejudice, race hatred, or religious intolerance, and it is reassuring to find so many Grand Masters determined to see to it that individuals are made to understand this fact.
The great majority of brethren who are persuaded to support any such activities act not out of a deliberate indifference to the principles of the Craft, but are misled, or else do not sufficiently understand Masonry; therefore the remedy always is, aside from the obvious duty of our officials to see that our laws are enforced, a larger measure of Masonic education, not in Masonic history or philosophy, but in the practice of the Masonic life. The Masonic ideal is one of the noblest in the world, and one of the truest; it is rooted in the everlasting realities. Wherever it is made to live in a man's soul it will of its own charm and strength keep him safe from disfiguring lusts and dividing passions. It possesses the expulsive power of all ideals to drive out those things which are its opposite. The one crusade for putting to rout all anti-Masonry is the combined effort of us everyone to make Masonry first of all prevail within our own hearts.
* * *
A little while ago the Philadelphia North American published an extensive editorial to commend the work of the fraternal secret societies of the United States. It is not anything unusual in the editorial itself that attracts attention, but the fact of the publication of any editorial at all on such a theme. Usually the daily press passes over any such discussions, except to record local lodge happenings, and in its general survey of social and political conditions ignores the influence of lodges altogether. The reasons are obvious. Everyone of these organizations stands for some cause sometimes very much feared or hated by other sections of the population, therefore as a matter of policy the dailies find any discussion of their aims, activities or influence a dangerous experiment, more so in that the members of some orders are so irritable whenever themselves or their enemies are discussed that a newspaper invites their censure if it finds fault with them and praises anything in the opposing camp.
While such reasons may possibly excuse the privately owned dailies from discussion of the work of fraternities, it is difficult to understand why writers of histories, who have no axe to grind or jealousies to fear, should so seldomly pay attention to the work and influence of secret societies. But such is the case. The historians of Rome, the Gibbons', the Mommsen's, the Fererro's and the like, almost never refer to the Roman collegia or to the mystery cults, which is as if a future historian of the United States would overlook our churches and public schools. Similarly, historians of the Middle Ages calmly pass by the swarms of secret societies which flourished everywhere, honeycombing society beneath the surface like the catacombs; the Manicheans, Gnostics, Patari, Cathari, Albigensians, Troubadours, Culdees, Druids and all the other more or less secret brotherhoods do not figure in the standard works on the period which ignore everything that didn't occur in plain view or was left out of public documents. Even the gild system, which was a kind of government within the government, is frequently dropped into a foot — note or left out altogether in order to make space for the royal families, their amours and their wars. And as for the profane historians of architecture, they become so engrossed with the buildings that they quite forget to say anything about the builders. Historians of America have the same blind spot in their eyes; they devote pages to the details of a battle and nothing to the work of the scores of orders, most of them patriotic, which worked like a ferment in our early national life. By the same token we can expect that in the future, historians of the World War will be guilty of the same oversight; they will tell their readers nothing about the activities of American fraternities in lending aid and support to the government, nor will they explain why a few fraternities, our own among them, had so much influence at Washington in 1918. Nothing is more certain than that much history, some of it of the first consequence, has gone on underground, unrecorded in state papers or formal chronicles, and unreported in the public news.
* * *
THE BOK PEACE PLAN
In an editorial published in THE BUILDER, December, 1923, page 377, members of the National Masonic Research Society were requested to express their opinion of the plan that might be adopted by The American Peace Award, for which Edward Bok offered prizes aggregating $100,000. A resume of the peace plan selected by the judges is summarized herewith, and a ballot form is added to be used by those who care to vote on the plan one way or another. This ballot may be clipped or copied and mailed direct to The American Peace Award.
THE PLAN IN BRIEFProposes
- That the United States shall immediately enter the Permanent Court of International Justice, under the conditions stated by Secretary Hughes and President Harding in February, 1923
- That without becoming a member of the League of Nations as at present constituted, the United States shall offer to extend its present co — operation with the League and participate in the work of the League as a body of mutual counsel under conditions which
- Substitute moral force and public opinion for the military and economic force originally implied in Articles X and XVI.
- Safeguard the Monroe Doctrine.
- Accept the fact that the United States will assume no obligations under the Treaty of Versailles except by Act of Congress.
- Propose that membership in the League should be opened to all nations.
- Provide for the continuing development of international law.
1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
Do you approve the winning plan in substance?
(Put an X inside the proper box)
City ___________________ State _____________
Are you a voter? ________________
Mail promptly to
THE AMERICAN PEACE AWARD
342 Madison Avenue, New York City
If you wish to express a fuller opinion also please write to The American Peace Award.
* * *
TRY A LECTURE BEE
One of the fine old customs of the Order that has gone by the board but deserves to be revived is the "working of the lectures". Nowadays when we have no candidate we have no work, but the time was in our land when the working of the lectures was of more interest and importance than the initiating of candidates. This rehearsal of the lectures usually took place as the lodge was seated round a table. The Master put the questions; each brother in turn arose and gave the answer — if he could.
Are you the Master of a lodge? Why not set aside a night every month or every two months for this practice? It should be a certain method for increasing the interest of the brethren, and for giving them all an opportunity to take some part. What a fine way for "brushing up" on the lectures! After a few evenings spent as just described a lodge could make use of some such method as employed in the old "spelling bees"; divide up to see which side might be able to answer the most questions correctly. The Master or some other brother could put the questions.
We talk much about innovations in the work, and dread the danger of such things, usually on the assumption that an innovation is something added to the work as already practiced; but isn't it just as much an "innovation" to leave something out? In ignoring the "working of the lectures" we have been guilty of a real innovation.
— A. L. Kress
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MOONLIGHT vs. MOONSHINE
MOONLIGHT SCHOOLS, by Mrs. Cora Wilson Stewart published by E. P. Dutton & Co.; may be purchased through National Masonic Research Society. Blue Cloth, 194 pages, illustrated. Price, $2.00.
IT is not often that Ye Booke Reviewer finds it possible with a clear conscience to give a volume such an unqualified hearty fervent send-off as this volume now in hand. A man who can read it without laughter and tears is made of cast-iron, boiler-plate or some other of the base metals, and bad cess to him if such there be, which there probably isn't! It is a true tale made up of actual experiences in one of the most moving and dramatic movements since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And the best part of it is that its author was herself the guide, philosopher and friend of the whole enterprise.
Mrs. Cora Wilson Stewart was Superintendent of Schools of Rowan County, Ky., in 1911. One day an incident occurred in her office, which she describes after this wise:
"A few days later a middle-aged man came into the office, a man stalwart, intelligent and prepossessing in appearance. While he waited for me to dispatch the business in hand, I handed him two books. He turned the leaves hurriedly, like a child handling its first books, turned them over and looked at the backs and laid them down with a sigh. Knowing the scarcity of interesting books in this locality, I proffered him the loan of them. He shook his head.
"'I can't read or write,' he said. Then the tears came into the eyes of that stalwart man and he added in a tone of longing, 'I would give twenty years of my life if I could.'" (Pages 11-12)
After two other such incidents occurred it came to her mind, "Why not open our schools at night for these illiterate adults?" But roads were bad, often impassable, and the country was full of feuds, so that being abroad on a dark night was perilous business. Then it was she had the happy inspiration, "Why not open schools on moonlight nights?" That solved the problem. On Labor Day, 1911, all the teachers in the county made a house-to-house canvass with a pressing invitation to every grown man and woman to enroll.
"On Sept. 5, the brightest moonlight night, it seemed to me, that the world had ever known, the moonlight schools opened for their first session. We had estimated the number that would attend, and an average of three to each school, one hundred and fifty in the entire county, was the maximum set.
"We waited with anxious hearts. The teachers had volunteered, the schools had been opened, the people had been invited but would they come? They had all the excuses that any toilworn people ever had. They had rugged roads to travel, streams without bridges to cross, high hills to climb, children to lead and babes to carry, weariness from the hard day's toil; but they were not seeking excuses, they were seeking knowledge, and so they came. They came singly or hurrying in groups, they came walking for miles, they came carrying babes in arms, they came bent with age and leaning on canes, they came twelve hundred strong!" (Pages 15-16)
"Many of them learned to write their names the first evening and such rejoicing as there was over this event! One old man on the shady side of fifty shouted for joy when he learned to write his name. 'Glory to God!' he shouted, 'I'll never have to make my mark any more!'
"Some were so intoxicated with joy that they wrote their names in frenzied delight on trees, fences, barns, barrel staves and every available scrap of paper; and those who possessed even meager savings, drew the money out of its hiding place and deposited it in the bank, wrote their checks and signed their names with pride. Soon letters began to go from hands that had never written before to loved ones in other countries and in far distant states, and usually the first letter of each student came to the County School Superintendent. In a movement full of romance and heroism, there is no incident more romantic or more delightful to record than the fact that the first three letters that ever came out of the moonlight schools came in this order: the first, from a mother who had children absent in the West; the second, from the man who 'would give twenty years of his life if he could read and write', and the third from the boy who would forget his ballads 'before anybody come along to set 'em down.' This answered the anxious question in our hearts as to whether the moonlight schools had met the need of those who had made the appeal." (Pages 19-20)
Before the second year was opened a teachers' institute was held for the purpose of developing team play among the teachers inspired to try their hand in Moonlight Schools as a result of the first experiment conducted by Mrs. Stewart. The kind of stuff in those women is revealed by one report.
"'I went to the school-house the first evening,' she said, 'and nobody came. I went the second and there was nobody there. I went the third, fourth and fifth and still no pupils. I said "I'm going to be like Bruce and the Spider, I'm going to try seven times," and on the seventh night when I got to the schoolhouse I was greeted by three pupils. Before the term closed I had enrolled sixty — five in my moonlight school and taught twenty-three illiterates to read and write.'" (Page 34)
As a means to inspire the grown-up students with a zeal for further progress the custom was adopted of giving prizes, on which occasion everybody gathered at the log school for a gala time.
LEMONADE AND BIBLES
"The newly learned gave an exhibition of their recently acquired knowledge. They read and wrote, quoted history and ciphered proudly in the presence of their world. They did it with more pride than ever high school, college or university graduates displayed on their commencement day.
"They were next presented with Bibles, and as they came up one by one, some young and stalwart, some bent and gray, to receive their Bibles with gracious words of thanks, it was an impressive scene — and when the Jezebel of the community came forward and accepted her Bible and pledged herself to lead a new life forevermore, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.
"Lemonade was a thing rarely seen in those parts, a treat indeed, so it was served as the final reward, not from a punch bowl, as it is served in most places, but from the most available thing to be found on Tabor Hill — a lard can. As they passed in line around the receptacle to be served, an old man rose in the back part of the house and said in a loud voice, 'Things certainly have changed in this district. It used to be that you couldn't hold meeting or Sunday-school in the house without the boys shooting through the windows. It used to be moonshine and bullets, but now it's lemonade and Bibles.'" (Pages 52-53)
The noble women responsible for this war on ignorance next turned their attention to the whole state. "We even enlisted the politicians and put them to some use." After a time Governor James B. McCreary (may his tribe increase) issued a proclamation giving the new movement his own high sanction and calling on all citizens to lend their support.
Text books suitable for moonlight school purposes were difficult to find, therefore a little newspaper was at first devised; this was followed by a reader, with such lessons as carried a punch. Witness the following:
"In Clay County, another of the mountain counties, a large crowd of men and women gathered for a contest. Among them was a tall, lank, under-nourished man, who rose and with a look at his wife that carried indictment read this lesson with peculiar emphasis:
'God made man.
Woman makes bread.
It takes the bread
That woman makes
To sustain the man
That God made.
But the bread
That some women make
Would not sustain any man
That God ever made.'" (Page 76)
Along came the great war in 1917. Thirty thousand young Kentuckians filled registration cards who were unable to sign their own names. How teach them to read and write? War is more dangerous to an illiterate than to others because he cannot even read orders or take advantage of any other form of general intelligence. The story of how this situation was met is as thrilling as a chapter from Thuycidides, and it is a matter of regret that it cannot be reproduced here.
The moonlight school movement spread from state to state like the contagion of a new religion, until at last the National Education Association established an Illiteracy Commission, of which Mrs. Stewart was appropriately made chairman.
ILLITERACY IS A SHAME AND A CRIME
"In all the decades," she writes, "prior to the one ushered in by 1910, there was not a state, county, city or school district which had as its purpose the absolute removal of illiteracy. When the startling announcement was made by the census-takers at the beginning of the new decade that five and a half million men and women in the Nation had confessed that they could not read or write, there was nowhere an expression of shame or pity or even of surprise. It was accepted as a thing inevitable — the waste product of an inefficient school system. Even the press, usually alert and looking for unusual conditions to exploit, found nothing worth featuring in these tragic figures." (Page 145)
Among the governors, Henry J. Allen, of Kansas, became one of the most enthusiastic. On page 156 of Moonlight Schools he is quoted thus:
"Two men met on a mountain pathway, and began to talk about how soon their county would be 'Cleared up.' They were not referring to weeds or underbrush or timber, to insects, reptiles or malarial fever. They were referring to elimination of illiteracy. Nothing just like it has found expression in any educational system, in any age; the sureness of faith of those who teach, the simplicity of their efforts, the general response. I have seen three generations studying the same books in one moonlight school. 'There are 2,442 illiterates in the county,' said a man to me in one of the counties in the Cumberland Mountains. 'It will take two years to wipe out illiteracy.' Think of the calm faith of it! I believe that the story of the moonlight schools is the most exalted and sacrificial that has been told in the educational effort of America." (Page 156)
Illiteracy is not merely an inability to read and write; it is an inability to live happily, and that because, in our modern world, we depend so much on print for the management of our lives.
"Life itself is more or less dependent upon the ability to read and write. In no place is disease so prevalent or life so menaced as in illiterate sections. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, doctors and nurses found themselves helpless in communities where illiteracy prevailed. The death — rate is high where illiteracy exists and infant mortality mounts to the topmost round. Here the precautions of sanitation are little known and practised, and innocent children pay the penalty with their lives. 'You say you have six children,' said an illiterate mother to an educated one, 'that nothing. I've buried twelve."' (Page 169)
From the very beginning of it the inspiration behind this whole movement, now of national importance, has been Mrs. Stewart herself, a woman of great soul, clear intelligence, in whom the divine fire burns with a singular selfishness. If ever a woman deserved a monument she does.
* * *
A GEORGIA MANUAL OF LECTURES
MANUAL OF MASONIC LECTURES, by D. R. Brock. Bremen, Ga. Paper, 60 pages, thirty-five cents postpaid; per dozen, $3.60; per hundred, $2.00. May be ordered from author.
THE aim of the author was to put into cheap and handy form such lectures as are usually given in the monitorial portions of the work, along with appropriate poems, and other materials of a like character. Besides the pages of his own composition he selected out of the best lectures employed in his Grand Jurisdiction such as in his judgment were the best. It is therefore more or less representative of the monitorial work in Georgia. The author has prepared editions in other states by amending items here and there to suit local needs.
* * *
BEN FRANKLIN IN FICTION
IN THE DAYS OF POOR RICHARD, by Irving Bacheller Published by Bobbs-Merill, Indianapolis. Cloth; 414 pages; price $2.00.
Four three greatest Americans — Franklin, Washington, Lincoln — two are prominent in this book, and both of them were active Masons. The heart of Mr. Bacheller's tale is the Revolutionary period itself and it suffers, therefore, as a novel, by having its characters pushed away from the center, but they are living beings for all that, and a reader can rely on the truthfulness of the setting. Many famous personages move in and out as the story progresses from one excitement to another, of which Franklin is chief, then Washington, Howe, Benedict Arnold, Putnam, Hancock, Hamilton, Jefferson and a large choir besides of fighting men whose names, emblazoned so large across the red first page of our history as a nation, have come to be almost legendary, like the great names "in the tale of Troy divine." Mr. Bacheller is always aware of the moment and spaciousness of the period and never forgets, or permits his readers to forget, that they were heroes. Franklin himself was as heroic as any of them, and not at all the shopkeeper preaching a village morality as he is often depicted. Brethren who never grow weary of reading or hearing of Bro. Benjamin Franklin may safely add this historical novel to their Frankliniana.
* * *The issue of THE BUILDER for October last is completely used up; will such brethren as have no further use for their copies send them to headquarters. They can be put to good use.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
BOOKS ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Could you find room for a list of good books about the public school? I think that many Masons would find it of value.
It is difficult to select a representative list out of the hundreds of titles available; the following are chosen as being typical of all the various types of educational theory along with a few written from an antagonistic point of view. One of the most useful of all volumes to a Mason is a paper-bound book of 96 pages published for free distribution by the North Dakota Society for the Advancement of Education, by the Scottish Rite Bodies of that state under the authority of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, it is entitled The School Bell. A number of copies have been sent to THE BUILDER to be given to such brethren as wish to use them. Send your name and address if you need one. The other titles given herewith will be found, most of them, in any average public library. The Schools of Medieval England, A. F. Leach. History of Education, E. P. Cubberley. Readings in the History of Education, E. P. Cubberley. Secularization of American Education, S. W. Brown. Development of the Free Schools in the United States, A. R. Mead. Religious Freedom in American Education, published by the American Unitarian Association. "Separation of the Church from the Public School", W. T. Harris in Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1903 p. 351. Sectarianism in National Education, H. W. Crosskey. Bible and the Public Schools, W. H. Smythe. Progress of Education in the Century, Hughes and Klumm. Education and Social Movements, A. E. Dobbs. Cyclopaedia of Education edited by Paul Monroe. Text Book of the History of Education, Paul Monroe. Our Colonial Curriculum, 1607-1776, Colyer, Meiweather. Catholic School System in the United States, Its Principles, Origin and Establishment, J. A. Burns. Growth and Development of the Catholic School System, J. A. Burns. Religious Education and Democracy, B. S. Winchester. A Social Theory of Religious Education, George A. Coe. Abelard, and the Origin and Early History of Universities, Gabriel Compayre.
* * *
FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AN ACTIVE MASON
I am sending you today a January 1923 number of THE BUILDER. I spent last winter in southern California and instructed my folks not to forward to me papers or magazines coming to my address here but to hold them for my return. I do not need two copies of this number and return one thinking that you may have a call for it in the future.
Three years ago when I wished to have a volume of THE BUILDER bound by a bindery here I could not get a number that I had loaned to a brother and you could not furnish it, because your supply was exhausted. Thinking that this might happen again to some brother, I return this. I have eight bound volumes of THE BUILDER, less one number in one volume, and prize them highly. I am now in my eightieth year and may not be here to enjoy them much longer but I will leave what I have to my only son living in Chicago, Ill., who is a 32° man. Have been a member 54 years in Jay Lodge, No. 87, Portland. Ind., where I was made a Mason.
Levi L. Gilpin, Indiana.
The above letter is here printed not as offering new information on things Masonic but as an expression of the beauty of the Masonic spirit, which when it abides in a man's heart bears fruit in thoughtfulness, appreciation, and courtesy. Bro. Gilpin was one of the Masonic grandsires who came into this Society in its beginning.
* * *
TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX TIMES A TREASURER
One of the finest records of sustained heartfelt loyalty to Freemasonry is that of Brother John T. W. Ham, the venerable treasurer of his lodge in Dover, New Hampshire, where he was born July 1, 1838. He was prevailed upon by Brother Isaac P. Collins, Olean, New York, to tell his own Masonic history, which he does after this manner:
"In 1863 I was made a Mason and the night I took my third degree I was elected treasurer, and am still holding that office. Later I was made a chapter and council member and was elected treasurer in each body; and yet still later was made a member of the commandery, and also its treasurer. I still hold that office in all bodies. In 1902 I was elected and received the 33° of which I am very proud. If I am not mistaken in my count I have been elected treasurer 266 different times."
John T. W. Ham.
The 33° is also proud of Brother Ham, and should be. A brother who remains at his post for sixty consecutive years in one town deserves that and all the other honors of the Craft. If all the high honors went to the brethren who actually do the work of Freemasonry there might be fewer to receive them, but there would be a great deal more work.
* * *
FREEMASONRY'S GREATEST DANGER
In the Ye Editor's Corner of the October BUILDER this appears: "A brother has submitted this question: 'What is the greatest danger now facing Freemasonry? What would be your reply?'"
The question as stated leaves the reader in some doubt as to
"Whether the beast that made the track
Was going out or coming back."
But presuming he means what danger does Freemasonry face, I would say, None!
But there are those calling themselves Masons who, in the opinion of some more Masonically diligent, fact the twin dangers of apathy and ignorance. The place, we have been told, to seek for anything lost is at or near the point where the loss occurred. A certain symbolic loss occurred in the hall where the inquiring brother was raised. Let him persistently frequent that spot and his efforts to recover that which was lost will not go unrewarded, and apathy and ignorance being vanquished, we may safely hang
"The sword in the hall
The spear on the wall"
and devote the eight hours apportioned to the service of God and man in seeing that our light (life) so shines that all men seeing our good works will be pleased to give to the great fraternity that commendation it so richly merits.
J. H. Jones, Iowa.
* * *
FREEMASONRY AS DEFINED BY THE G. L. OF ILLINOIS
Attached to each petition used in the Grand Jurisdiction of Illinois is a statement concerning the nature and purposes of Freemasonry so adequate in its scope and so well phrased that permission was secured from Bro. Owen Scott, Grand Secretary, to reprint it here:
To the Subscriber of the Attached Petition for the Degrees in Freemasonry
As the exact nature of the institution of Freemasonry is unknown to you, it is deemed advisable that before signing the attached petition you should be informed on certain features and phases of that institution which may effect your decision to apply for membership therein.
Freemasonry has in all ages required that men should come to its door entirely of their own free will, not as the result of importunity nor from feelings of curiosity, but from a favorable opinion of the institution, a desire for knowledge, and a sincere wish to be serviceable to their fellow creatures.
Masonry is a system of morality based on the belief in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the brotherhood of men; therefore no atheist can be made a Mason. It strives to teach a man the duty he owes to God, to his country to his family, to his neighbor, and to himself. It inculcates the practice of every virtue and makes an extensive use of symbolism in its teachings. It interferes with neither religion nor polities, but strives only after light and truth, endeavoring always to bring out the highest and noblest qualities of men.
It should be clearly borne in mind that Freemasonry is not to be entered in the hope of personal gain or advancement. Admission must not be sought from mercenary or unworthy motives. Anyone so actuated will be bitterly disappointed. The aim of the true Freemason is to cultivate a brotherly feeling among men, and to help the distressed and Deleted extent of his ability.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that Freemasonry is not a benefit society, although the practice of charity is a fundamental virtue taught in Freemasonry. We do not pay so much a year to entitle us to draw sick pay, or other benefits, or to make provision for those we leave behind. There are other excellent societies founded for this purpose.
Loyalty to one's country is an essential qualification in Freemasonry, and those only are acceptable who cheerfully conform to every lawful authority. Disloyalty in any form is abhorrent to the teachings of Freemasonry and is regarded as a serious Masonic offense. Freemasonry is not contrary to the beliefs of any man of upright heart and mind and has in it nothing inconsistent with his civil, moral or religious duties.
* * *
THE OLDEST MASONIC TWINS?
I am sending you herewith a photograph of Amasa and Anson Hungerford, twins belonging to the Masonic Order. If they live until May 25, 1924, they will become eighty years of age. Their home is at Belleville, N.Y. Are they not the oldest twins in the Order?
J. Brodie Smith.
* * *
AN EGYPTIAN CIRCUMAMBULATION
Referring back to the subject of Circumambulation already discussed two or three times in THE BUILDER (September 1923, January 1924) I have to add an item that will show how the rite is practiced in Egypt. The paragraph is quoted from Moslim Saints in Modern Egypt, by Winifred S. Blackman:
"Having removed his or her shoes before entering the building, the visitor then walks from left to right round the catafalque erected beneath the dome, three, five, or seven times reciting meanwhile special passages from the Kuran. These perambulations accomplished, the servant of the sheikh takes a broom, kept for this special purpose, and carefully brushes out all the footprints in the interior of the building."
Wm. Harvey McNairn, Canada.
* * *
"THE ORIENTAL ORDER OF MASONRY"
Having encountered some references to a new "side degree" called "The Oriental Order of Masonry" organized by Rev. H. R. Coleman, of Kentucky, Ye Editor wrote to Bro. W. H. McDonald, editor of the Masonic Home Journal, Louisville, Ky. official organ of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, for information on the subject. Bro. McDonald very graciously replied in a letter that readers of THE BUILDER will care to see:
Bro. Coleman is now about eighty-five years of age. He was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky for about thirty years. He traveled in the old country, visited many lodges and added many degrees to his knowledge of Masonry and received the degrees of Palm and Shell which can only be conferred by the Sheik in Egypt. He was commissioned by the Sheik under the seal of Egyptian country as a Master for the Western Hemisphere. The signature and seal of the Sheik, I presume, are genuine. He also brought back with him many coins and tokens, a vast supply of shells already engraved, together with the signet ring made from soft iron with the star and crescent stamped thereon.
Bro. Coleman is now a paralytic and is at the Old Masons' Home at Shelbyville, Ky., unable to get about. Just after the stroke came to him, he came to Louisville and with the assistance of some others conferred the degree upon the Grand Master, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Treasurer and some three or four of the Past Grand Masters and upon myself. To me he delivered all of his paraphernalia, regalia and placed upon my shoulders the mantle of the Order in North America or anywhere in the entire Western Hemisphere. I also have a commission as the Grand Master of North and South America, as well as Central America, but have not the time to devote to its propaganda. One thing I lack in the conference of these degrees is the knowledge of the Egyptian language. Bro. Coleman can, I presume, get it off pretty well. The degree should be given on a class of not less than five, as it takes that many to confer the degree. It is a very, very beautiful degree and if one travels in the Orient or in fact anywhere, it would come in awfully nice in the way of getting recognition from those of the Eastern Hemisphere.
W. H. McDonald.
* * *
FREEMASONRY AND ADVERTISING
What is the Masonic law about using the name "Masonry" in advertising? Is it un-Masonic? Is it illegal? I raise the question because a brother connected with a certain lodge nearby uses the square and compasses on his business cards; some of us believe it is forbidden.
You will find this subject dealt with in detail in your own Grand Lodge Proceedings for 1921 by Grand Master H. P. Burke. His statement is worthy of being printed in full: "By Section 296 of the Book of Constitutions, we have forbidden the use of Masonic emblems for advertising purposes, and the letter of the law is generally obeyed. There is, however, a general violation of its spirit by the indiscriminate use of the word Masonic in the same connection. Commercial concerns are using it, not only to attract attention to their business, but in a manner and with the purpose of conveying the impression that their enterprises are connected with, or approved by, the fraternity. Insurance and accident companies are the most notorious violators thereof. If the use of the square and compass, which at most can but imply an association, be forbidden, then certainly the use of the term Masonic, which asserts that association, should be banned. This section, by interpretation or amendment, should be made effective in all these eases, or be repealed.
"In this connection, I call your attention to an instance in which a so-called Sanitarium Association, operating in this jurisdiction, was soliciting funds throughout the United States. I directed the Grand Secretary to advise other Grand Jurisdictions, through their Grand Secretaries, that this Association had no connection with organized Masonry in Colorado, and was operating without our approval....
"In many quarters there is to be observed an unjustifiable appetite for Masonic publicity. Newspaper advertisements of Masonic activities are lamentably frequent. What seems to me a particularly flagrant instance of this evil, in a locality where solicitation has been charged, is called to your attention by the submission of numerous newspaper clippings. These things are to be discountenanced, and ought to be discontinued. They constitute merely an indirect method of solicitation. All their effects are evil and all their tendencies destructive. No attempt should be made save 'by the regularity of our own behavior' to popularize the Craft. We want no members who do not come of their 'own free will and accord,' 'uninfluenced by mercenary motives or the improper solicitation of friends.' The greatest danger which today threatens the fraternity is the danger against which its sages and leaders have warned it in Colorado and elsewhere from time immemorial — too much popularity. Our more active lodges should investigate petitions more carefully and select their material more judiciously. Their growth is too rapid to be always healthy. We should cease to worry about the enemy without. Now, as always, he is absolutely impotent to injure us. Freemasonry can only be torn down from within.
"In view of what has been hereinbefore stated, and considering the apparent confusion in the Masonic world, the time seems ripe for the re-statement by this Grand Lodge of the following fundamental principles:
"1 — The government of the Grand Lodge is neither a monarchy, an oligarchy, nor a 'pure democracy.' It is a representative, constitutional republic. Every attempt to graft upon it any of the distinguishing characteristics of the first three forms named is forbidden by the injunction against 'innovations upon the body of Masonry.'
"2 — The Grand Lodge, which is but the entire body of the Craft in the Jurisdiction, acting through its duly chosen representatives, and restricted only by the landmarks, has the sole power and authority to determine what is and what is not 'Masonic,' and to fix the conditions under which a petitioner may enter Freemasonry, or, having entered, remain. Its only guide is its best judgment as to what is required by the good of the Craft, and from its decision there is no appeal.
"3 — The only title to Masonic office is the best judgment of the brethren voting or the officer appointing, uninfluenced by improper solicitation and exercised with no consideration in mind but the highest good of the Craft.
"4 — This fraternity, its activities, titles, ceremonies, symbols, and emblems, are not to be used for political or commercial purposes. It repudiates all solicitation for its degrees, all advertisement, all unseemly publicity. It tolerates no foreign meddling in its affairs. It interferes with no man's religion and will not concern itself with matters of political or legislative policy."
The use of Freemasonry for advertising purposes in any way, shape or form is strictly un — Masonic and everywhere condemned inside the fraternity. Whether or not it is illegal depends on the laws of the state, and states differ much among themselves on such matters.
* * *
ANOTHER VERSION OF "THE GREAT JOURNEY"
Always with the greatest interest I read the different articles of THE BUILDER and even if it may happen that I do not agree with the contents of one, as a former judge I acknowledge the rightness of the old rule "audiatur et altera pars"; but once in a while it looks to me that an article is so fundamentally wrong that almost involuntarily I feel inclined to protest or, if it should so prove, to learn if it is I who am wrong.
This was the case when in the September issue of THE BUILDER I had read an article called "The Great Journey."
The author calls a certain journey which the candidate has to make: "the most impressive moment of the initiatory ceremony;" according to my view he could have taken a step further and called it: "the basis of our Masonic life." But I agree with him that very few Masons, even Master Masons, have paid much attention to this ceremony and that generally they are quite ignorant as to the meaning of it.
The author remarks "that the interpretation of this rite is usually given as a symbolical representation of the great journey of life"; and further, "that there is nothing in this interpretation in itself, that flies against fact." But he adds "that we may be sure that there is far more to it than this" and this "more" later on he explains as "the harmonious adjustment of one to one's world." To prove the rightness of his theory the author draws attention to the fact that "circumambulation is very old and well nigh universal." He tells us that the Egyptians, the Jews and other people used circumambulation at solemn occasions and he tells of the marching habits of the North and South American Indians as part of their religious rites and he sums up by the theory that circumambulation is an imitating of the wandering of the sun over the sky from East to West.
I believe that the author is wrong herein. What the author calls "circumambulation" was not a mere wandering, a solemn march, it was a dance. In his book, The Dance of Life, Havelock Ellis asserts: "Dancing and building are the two primary and essential arts — and dancing came first — dancing is the primitive expression of religion from the earliest human times we know of."
Of course it is not easy for us, who have in mind the dance of the present time, to apprehend a walk or a march as a dance, but if we agree with Havelock Ellis in — what personally I do — that: "the significance of dancing lies in the fact that it is simply an intimate concrete appeal of a general rhythm, that general rhythm, which marks not life only but the Universe," then we can understand that the rhythmic marching around of the Faro Islanders to the singing of the ancient Northern ballads and that the stepping and jumping of the quaint German religious sect in the little town of Westphalia — to mention examples of the present days — are dances, though in a primitive crude form.
According to my belief all of the different examples of circumambulation to which the author refers in the said article of THE BUILDER are religious dances and there is no connection between them and the circumambulation — or as I prefer to call it "the travel" — of the Masonic candidate at his initiation as Mason and for this reason I think that we had better look away from them.
WE MUST KEEP OUR EYES OPEN
Further, when the author remarks that the circumambulation — the travel — of the candidate is to be interpreted as "a symbolical representation of the great journey of life" I believe that the author is again mistaken and I rest my opinion on the fact that the candidate has to make the circumambulation — the travel — blindfolded. We do not walk blindfolded through life. On the contrary, from our boyhood we are taught to keep our eyes open — both practically and theoretically — in our wandering through life. The Masonic rites, even if often they are hard to understand and still harder to interpret, never allow an interpretation that does not agree with reality.
Just the fact that the candidate is blindfolded during his circumambulation — his travel — shows that the travel is not a symbol of his travel through the outside, or profane world, but that it is a symbol of and an appeal to the candidate to make a travel through another world, almost more unknown to him than the darkest continent — to make the travel through his own interior self. Our forefathers who formed the Masonic rites knew that, however strange it sounds, we know ourselves less than we know our neighbor. We see the mote in our neighbor's eye but not the beam in our own. In blindfolding the candidate the lodge tries to force him to look into his own interior, to force him to learn to know himself. It is a fact that our ability of thinking is developed when we close our eyes to shut out impression from the outer world.
Over the entrance to one of the Greek temples was cut "gnoti seauton," as a serious advice to the worshiper to examine himself to find out what and how he was before entering the temple to worship; and in the same way the lodge tries to teach us at the beginning of our Masonic life that the first thing we have to do is to examine ourselves to find out what in reality we are, as the knowledge thereof is necessary for and the foundation of our Masonic life.
When we study to interpret the Masonic rites it looks to me that we must bear in mind the fact that the Masonic Order, as at present it is, had for original foundation real artisan guilds — whether we consider the Roman collegian, the fratres Comacini, the cathedral builders, or the German bauhutten as the basis — which little after little changed character through the admittance of non — artisans, the accepted Masons, and that consequently in our interpretations we must first look to and examine the customs and the rites of those bodies.
In several countries in Europe after the candidate has entered the lodge room the W.M. gives the order: "Let the candidate travel as a Mason." And then the S.W. takes him three times around the lodge room from W through N and E and S to W. and after the travel the S.W. gives the candidate a short lecture explaining the general idea of Masonry. Over here the W.M. does not expressly give such an order, but even if the candidate is not ordered to travel as Mason, in fact, does. Quite naturally the question rises, Does this Masonic ceremony spring from the rites of the operative Masons' guilds? Are the Masons travelling in a peculiar way?
Yes, they do, or rather undoubtedly they did so in the olden time. I admit that I do not know whether the apprentice had to make any travel at his initiation, but I do not think so, according to what I have been told of the ceremonies; but what I have in mind are the travels of the apprentice, as soon as he had been promoted to fellowcraft — "Svend, Gesell." As soon as they had reached this rung of the professional ladder they started travelling from town to town looking for a job. Even if they got one in a town, usually they did not stay very long on it; almost always they were on the travel. Over here in this country where outside the larger cities brick buildings are not usual and where, as far as I know, the artisans' guilds never did exist, of course you never saw the travelling Mason; but in the old countries — in Scandinavia and Germany — especially before the times of the railroad in my boyhood very often I saw the travelling Mason "Gesell" on the road. Usually he had on his special working suit — the garb of his profession — the white moleskin pants, the short white cotton blouse covering his coat, and the white cap.
WHY DO MASONS WEAR WHITE DRESS?
By the way, it looks strange that the Masons should make use of a white suit for working dress, a suit that is so little practical for working purposes, as it gets dirty very fast. But do we not here have one of the old customs that is upheld, although the source from which it sprang long ago is forgotten? From the oldest time known, building was worshiping the highest being and it is a fact that from time immemorial the worshiper, or at least that the person who was leading the religious ceremonies, the officiant, was dressed in white. Of course there is no rule without exception, but the exceptions can be explained. For instance the Mohammedan imam and Protestant minister do not make use of a white dress when they are officiating. The Mohammedan dons his most plain dress when he is going to worship, but this is not due to tradition but to an expressly pronounced order given by the founder of his faith. The Protestant. minister's black cassock I consider a protest against the white surplice of the Catholic Church. It looks to me to be possible that the Mason's white working dress, which still is in use in the old countries, had its origin from the primary viewpoint, that building is worshiping.
Then the travelling Mason always had with him in a bag the different tools belonging to his profession — the trowel, the level, "waterpass," and so on. Contrary to most of the other artisans the Masons themselves owned their tools. The young Masons got them as soon as they were made fellowcrafts, "Gesell."
In my boyhood I associated very much with the young Masons, who told me about the customs of their profession and I was told that the custom of travelling in the aforesaid way had been in use for centuries in the Scandinavian and German countries and especially in Germany, where the Mason gilds were blossoming to a far greater extent than in Scandinavia. And yet many of the expressions of the Masons' profession in Scandinavia are pure German. I have had no opportunity to examine the travelling customs of the English Masons, but I suppose that they were just the same as above told, as it looks that the customs as previously mentioned were international.
Now to sum up. My viewpoint is that the Masonic rites are built up from and founded on the practices and customs of the actual working Masons, as these offered the opportunity of a deeper understanding and interpretation it was possible to underlay the different tools and the use of them a moral content and a moral teaching could be applied to the special travelling custom of the working Mason.
For this reason I believe that the travel. which the candidate has to make, is to be interpreted in this way, that thereby the lodge will teach him to travel through his own interior being, that he may know himself; and to do this travel he is dressed in white as a worshiper of the highest being; and to have with him during the travel his tools — the trowel and so on — that he may be able to repair and to correct the faults and wants that he may find in himself.
Although it is an old saying, "qui s'excuse s'accuse," I can not help asking your pardon, that I have bothered you with this long letter which meanwhile is due to my interest in your paper. I need not draw. your attention to the fact that I am a foreigner, as my mistakes in the use of the English language show this, but I hope that you will make to yours the saying: "ut desint vires tamen est laudanda voluntas."
C. B. Olivarius, Michigan.
To have a word from Judge Olivarius is a pleasure always, he is so deeply learned in Freemasonry and in the world and a man who, in spite of contact with crime and shame so many years on the bench, has retained a human outlook on life. A Dane by birth, he graduated from the University of Copenhagen and then took up law, which he practiced continuously until 1918. He was made a Mason in St. John's Lodge, Dagmar, under the Swedish Rite. He received his Apprentice Degree in 1891, and his Master's in about two years thereafter, which is in keeping with the policy of the Swedish Rite in setting long periods of time between the degrees; and in 1905 received his eighth, or Templar Degree. Freemasonry has interested him so much that at every opportunity he has visited lodges in all parts of Scandinavia, in France, Belgium, Germany, etc. Knowing how it would interest readers of THE BUILDER we are now trying to persuade him to lay aside his modesty long enough to give us his observations and reminiscences of the Craft as it works in those foreign parts.
One cannot find fault with his interpretation of the "Great Journey" except possibly on this one point, that in England where Speculative Freemasonry arose, and where our Ritual took shape, it was never the custom for a Mason out of his apprentice indentures to spend one or two years as a journeyman, travelling about in search of work, as was the case in Continental lands; the custom was discouraged from a very early date, and in the fourteenth century was expressly prohibited.
* * *
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Some queer things turn up in the mail. One brother asked us to help him buy a Greek restaurant, why Greek he did not say; another importuned our assistance in raising a mortgage from his farm, which request we deemed the most complimentary ever received; one swain asked our assistance in meeting some attractive damsel; but the most richly treasured of all is a contribution from a budding poet. The verses have the W. K. King Solomon allusion and otherwise show earmarks of having come from an initiated:
"The ladies dress like everything
And make their charms so coyly peep
That Solomon, when he was king
Was dressed, I'm sure, about twice as cheap."
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An old-time reader, who has long sat at our fireside, has asked, "Who is your favorite novelist of the present day?" Joseph Conrad for this scribe! Who is yours? If ever there was a greater yarn than "Heart of Darkness" (in the volume called Youth) one would like to see it.
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Bro. Hynes has supplied us with a few more copies of the little booklet Story of the Monad. First come, first served.
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The North Dakota Society for the Advancement of Learning, sponsored by the Scottish Rite of that state, have published a well printed and illustrated book called The School Bell for use by Masonic lodges, edited and compiled by Bro. Alfred G. Arvold. It is filled with solid information about public education in the United States. A package of copies was sent to us for distribution gratis to such brethren as have need for them. Send name and address. One copy at a time.