A Journal for the Masonic Student

Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society


Vol. 12 No. 5 – May 1926


What Shall We Say?

"WE, the sick Masons of Ft. Bayard Hospital, together with the personnel who are members of the Sojourners' Club, herewith tender to the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association our personal and voluntary contributions, totaling $133.50, for the purpose of helping our brethren who are also afflicted with tuberculosis.

"Although we are unfortunate in that we are sick with the great white plague we count ourselves more fortunate than other victims of this disease, because we are in a hospital receiving the care and treatment necessary to give us a chance for life. Because we can realize more than any healthy Mason can understand that hospital care means hope of cure for us and restoration to our loved ones, we want to help our sick brethren who are trying to get well with little or no help from our Fraternity.

"Our contribution may seem small, but it is an average of $1.30 per capita, and if all American Freemasons would contribute an equal amount, it would mean a speedy beginning to what we, because of our affliction and suffering, realize is the greatest opportunity for Masonic service today.

"Some of us must die, but many of us will recover and resume our family and other responsibilities because we have been cared for in this hospital. We ask our brethren who are enjoying the blessings of health and some measure of material success to join with its in the effort to give Masonic aid and comfort to our fellow-victims of tuberculosis. We raise our hands and make the sign of distress, not for ourselves, but for our brethren in Masonry who are also on)- brethren in sickness and suffering. Who will answer the call for aid?"

The Sick Masons of Fort Bayard.

A HANDFUL of men in a hospital have contributed towards the work of assisting their brethren, sufferers like themselves from the "white plague," but less fortunate in that, ill or dying, they have no place to go where they might have a chance to recover, or at least to spend their last days in something like peace and comfort. It rather gives the rest of us something to think about.

The sum total was only a trifle. Thousands, probably tens of thousands of Masons could throw away the amount and never miss it at the end of the year. But these men are not "well fixed." They are not able to support themselves; had they means of their own, or were their friends able to support them, they would not be where they are. Yet out of their slender resources they have given what they could.

New Mexico, one of the smallest and weakest of our Masonic Jurisdictions — numerically and financially — has raised $10,000 for this work; an average individual contribution of a dollar and a half. If every Mason in good standing in the United States were to give as much, or even only a dollar, the reproach of our past neglect could be removed. With three million dollars and more the necessary hospitals and sanatoria could be built and equipped.

The great majority of Masons in this country are so fortunately situated that one dollar, or two, or five would make no difference whatever to the number of meals they eat, or even the cigars and cigarettes they smoke. For the price of a meal (and not a specially elaborate one as restaurant charges go) the Craft in America could do what is required. The price of a meal! Are there any Masons who would refuse to go without just one to aid a brother in distress?

But the general experience of humanity shows that there are very few individuals who will not give a helping hand where help is obviously and certainly needed. However pressing their business most men would stop to pick up the victim of an automobile accident, or throw a rope to one who was drowning. Masons are at least on as high a level as mankind at large. If in this particular need action has been so slow it is due not to lack of heart or to disregard of their obligations but to two accidental causes, failure to realize the facts and lack of organization. It is hard to realize the conditions in which our sick brethren are dragging out their existence, it is hard to believe. They are a long way off, and it not only needs putting one's hand into one's pocket, but some time and trouble and thought as well.

But now the machinery has been organized. It waits only the accession of the other Grand Lodges. Only the awakening of Masonic public opinion is required, in the constituent lodges, and by their representatives in the Grand Lodges, and the thing will be done. Will readers of THE BUILDER do their part? Will they show that Masonic study has prepared them to take the lead in the application of Masonic principles? What shall we say?

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A Discussion in Three Parts

Bro. Ernest E. Thiemeyer, Missouri



OUR Legend having suffered in its treatment from the same errors that other legends have undergone is now ready for scientific treatment. It can be considered for its manner rather than for its matter and mainly valued for its evidence of the thoughts of former times. It is not to be wondered that such treatment has not been given it before, because "this turning of mythology to account as a means of tracing the history of the laws of the mind, is a branch of science scarcely discovered before the nineteenth century." (8) If an understanding of these laws of mind and their development can be attained a point from which our classification of the Legend as ritual myth can be developed is reached.

It would be desirable from the point of view of this article to trace the development of myth from its simplest stages to the present time. Such a procedure would entail the production of a mass of evidence which would prolong the length of the discussion beyond the limits of an article and it would easily assume the length of a fair sized book. A brief outline with some elaboration of the principal points is all that can be attempted. For most of the ideas expressed the author is indebted to Tylor's Primitive Culture, Frazer's Golden Bough and to the Editor of THE BUILDER. There will be no effort made to attribute a definite idea to any one of these authorities and no other credit than the above will be given except in the case of direct quotations.

The original sources from which the required material comes are numerous. Tylor says that there is "evidence of races both ancient and modern, who so faithfully represent the state of thought to which myth development belongs, as still to keep up both the consciousness of meaning in their old myths, and the unstrained unaffected habit of creating new ones." (9) It is from savage races that a clear idea of the early stages of myth-making can be shown in relation to the products of later civilization. That the technical foundation for our Legend is to be found in these ancient myths is comparatively plain to see. Even a casual reading of Tylor's great work will convince one of that. Herein lies an important question for Masonic discussion. Is our myth a survival or a revival of this ancient culture? Independent of all other considerations, it is undoubtedly true that a satisfactory answer to this question will do much to solve the riddle which attaches itself to the antiquity of Masonry. It may in some way account for the evidences of Masonry which some students believe they see in the Aztecs, Incas, and North American Indian tribes. A discussion of that phase of the question cannot be attempted here, but must of necessity be left for some other development.

By comparing the myths found to exist among savage tribes in various parts of the world it is an easy matter to analyze the mental processes which promote them. It requires no evidence to prove that there can be found even today tribes which are far behind the culture of the recognized ancient civilizations such as Greece, Egypt, Babylon, and Rome. To trace the reasoning of these primitive tribes through transitional stages until they reach the cultural level of the classic, civilizations is a difficult and lengthy process. The connection has been found by long and troublesome research, suffering many setbacks and traveling the path of error that is common to all such investigations. The line of descent is fairly well marked and a sketchy tracing of it will enable us to understand something of the growth of mythical fiction. With this link established we have arrived at a starting point in our disscussion, in fact we have gone farther. Myth is developed from its primitive beginnings to its most complex structure and we can apply these steps in evolution to our own Legend.


Even in primitive peoples we find myths taking on certain characteristics; these apply to the fabrications of one tribe as well as to another and might well be called the indices for classifying a legendary story as myth. In its primary stage myth is comparatively simple. It is connected with nature; it offers the explanation of a natural phenomenon; and expresses the ideas of a social group rather than of an individual. The main root of myth being found in the animation of nature, it follows that the sun and stars, trees and rivers, winds and clouds, become personal animate creatures, leading lives conformed to human or animal analogies, and performing their special functions in the universe with the aid of limbs like beasts or artifical instruments like men. These creatures are not poetic creations, but occupy a place in a broad philosophy of nature, early and crude indeed, but thoughtful, consistent, and quite really and seriously meant. The type of myth arising from such a philosophy is to be found even within recent years among the tribes of New Zealand who believe that the divine Mauri fished up the island with his enchanted hook from the bottom of the sea, and applying the comparative method, the same primitive stage of culture exists with the Indian Vishnu, diving to the depth of the sea in his avatar of the Boar, to bring up the submerged earth on his monstrous tusks. There is, in these illustrations, a fulfillment of the characteristics of primitive myth so plainly marked that there is no need of pointing out their specific application. But evolution is a queer process and in looking a little farther afield another in mythical development appears and those things which were endued with life become endowed with spiritual essences or souls. In other words, the doctrine of Animism arises. Man who is alive by nature has a little man in him who controls his thoughts, words, and actions. Trees have spirits; animals, plants, the earth, heaven, the stars become merely the physical and material representatives of guiding influences. All sorts of magical systems and ceremonies grow out of such a doctrine. Tribes are found who will not cut trees because they fear injuring the tree spirit. Others will not kill certain plants and animals for a like reason. As time passes the people want a reason for such things and another type of myth springs up — stories of how the spirits became locked up in their respective abodes. The process is not yet complete and growing out of such doctrines comes the natural development of a class of spirit beings controlling the forces of nature:

"To the theory of Animism belong those endless tales which all nations tell of the presiding genii of nature, the spirits of cliffs, wells, waterfalls, volcanoes, the elves and wood-nymphs seen at times by human eyes when wandering by moonlight or assembled at their fairy festivals." (10)

Following closely upon the spiritual animation of the elements of nature comes the personification of these spiritually endowed plants, etc., and the guardian spirits of waterfalls rush through the lodge as a raging current. "Or they may be guiding and power-giving spirits of nature, like the spirit Fugamu, whose work is the cataract of the Nguyai, and who still wanders night and day around it, though the negroes who tell of him can no longer see his bodily form." (11) Then comes a further elaboration of the idea of personification, and spiritual beings controlling the forces of nature and natural phenomena are developed. The gods of rain and drought, of day and night, take their places in this category. Night is personified; Day becomes her son and each in a heavenly chariot drives across the sky. Thus the age of classical mythology is more nearly reached. By similar stages of mental development the age of pantheism and the many gods comes to have its place in myth development. The actions of these deities require explanation in much the same way that the presence of the world required some reason in the more primitive minds. Those marvelous fabrics of the ancients come into being, and we have the myths depicting the lives of the gods.


There is sufficient evidence in the above to warrant classifying our Legend as MYTH. It has grown, it is the expression of the ideas of a social group; and while it is almost certain that it belongs to this general group, the classification can be carried a step farther. The ceremonies depicting the lives of the gods, which developed along with their biographical myths, gave rise to another type of fable, and such myths as the one connected with the celebrations of the Thesmophoria arise. At the time that Persephone was carried off by Pluto, the story runs, a swineherd, Eubuleus, chanced to be herding swine near the spot, and his herd was engulfed in the chasm down which Pluto vanished with Persephone. This myth grew out of the traditional driving of pigs into caverns during the celebration of the rites of Demeter and Persephone, and forms an illustration of Ritual Myth. Nature myth is in the background, scarcely traceable if worked backward, but perfectly logical when its descent is shown from the other side. It arose to explain a custom or usage which had become traditional in the practice of religious rites, but whose original meaning had been lost in the haze of time. Myth arises out of or rather together with ritual and not the ritual out of the myth. (12) And so the conclusion is reached, indicated earlier in this article, that the Hiramic Legend is an outgrowth of ritual necessity, in other words, a ritual myth.

This is equally true whether our fable is considered as 18th century invention or a fabrication of earlier times. It fulfills all the necessary characteristics of primitive ritual myth. It arose evidently because it gave reason to something that needed explanation. The one respect in which it may not resemble ancient myth is that it is not, on the surface, a nature myth, though very possibly its foundation is to be found in primitive interpretations of the phenomena of annual death and resurrection of plant life. It has suffered all the faults and mistakes of early students in the same manner in which erroneous lines of thought were applied to older myths. From the above it would follow that ritual preceded, or was contemporary with, the development of this myth. Taking the most impossible view of the matter and classing it as 18th century innovation this would be true unless the myth was invented to support another innovation. That such is the case is beyond belief; it may as well be said at once that the whole fabric of Masonry is the invention of Anderson or Desaguliers.

It has been shown, in brief outline, that ritual is the immediate ancestor of myth, at least in the later stages of development. It would appear from this that the evolutionary process is a contemporaneous development, or that ritual preceded myth, and that they grew from the simplest beginnings. If we are to search for the origin of our MYTH it will be necessary to reduce it to its lowest factors before beginning the hunt. It must be born in mind that both custom and myth are extremely tenacious of life. The action persists through almost countless ages, but the meaning and details are completely changed in many instances. In other words, the incident itself persists, but the motive is entirely changed. There are found eventually celebrations of the same character practiced in many and diverse localities, but the reasons assigned for so doing are different in almost every instance. The Ancient Mysteries provide the most prominent examples of this phenomenon of ritual myth. Under the names of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, and Attis the peoples of Egypt, Western Asia, and the Mediterranean countries represented the yearly decay and revival of life, especially of vegetable life, which they personified as a god who annually died and rose again from the dead. In name and detail these rites varied from place to place; in substance they were the same. Adonis, for example, is usually said to have been killed by a wild boar; Attis was in one account similarly slain, in another he unmanned himself and bled to death; Osiris met his death as the result of a conspiracy and was shut in a coffin and thrown into the Nile. It cannot be definitely said that these gods were one and the same character, but they all represent the god of vegetation and their death and resurrection was in every case annually celebrated as the representation of the annual death and revival of plant life. Here is discovered the value of the comparative method in analyzing the ritualistic background of ancient myths. By cancelling the differences in the various versions the conclusion is reached that the original for all these forms showed no more than that the god died and was reborn in annual recurrence. That there was an original version is one conclusion we are permitted to accept. If there was an early form from which the others developed there is no means of knowing what it was, or where it was originally practiced. It may have been some more primitive myth, but it is not possible to point to a given version and state that it was a source from which the ancient religious mysteries developed. The same retention of detail with widely divergent explanation is found in myths of a later period which can definitely be traced to a common root in one or another of the pagan rituals. What would, in all probability, be a more satisfactory theory is that the same process of mental progress was at work in various parts of the world and the laws of mind which lead to such developments were at practically the same point of development in all of the Mediterranean countries at approximately the same period in the world's history.


The application of the comparative method to the Hiram Myth will bring out much that will enable us to ascertain its original form. It is here that the cancellation process earlier referred to comes into prominence. It would be interesting to see a compilation of all the versions in use today with the points of difference eliminated, thus giving the modern basic plot of the myth. To carry such a method back through the ages eliminating the divergences would bring us to a form of the story probably representative of a period much earlier than any known to us. To restate the idea, if all known versions of the myth are compiled; their points of difference cancelled; the result of this factoring process will present the simplest possible form of the plot. All of the evolutionary innovations will have been eliminated, and the remaining plot will be at least as old as the oldest known point of difference which has been cancelled. It would be only fair in treating with material of a traditional nature, in which dates could not be set for all the divergences to presume that some of the expurgated portions would be earlier than any of known date and the final result would represent a version older, and probably much older, than any cancelled factor.

Before arriving at any conclusions concerning the earliest form of the myth it might be well to point out a few of the more salient differences. It would appear, for example, that the original story knew nothing of the pursuit or punishment of criminals. The motive of the crime is widely different in various versions. Jealousy on the part of K.S. over Baltis, Queen of Sheba, appears in one wild account. In others professional jealousy is the cause. These variations might be carried to untold length before reaching the final result. What is eventually left, however, has been often mentioned; it is an indefinite, simple, but highly significant story: "Someone was killed by someone else, who was assisted by two others; fifteen people had something to do with it; the body was hidden and a green branch was connected with its discovery." (13) The connection between this myth and such stories as the Apprentice Pillar at Rosslyn, the Apprentice Window at Lincoln, and the stories of Continental Europe such as the death of Maître Jacques at the hands of the disciples of Maître Soubise is apparent. Vibert says in this connection:

"Now with regard to the Masters we do seem to find quite early hints of some story of a murder. The French journeymen have a definite narrative of a Founder who came from Palestine, and he was murdered in France. There is in the cycle of stories that centres in Charlemagne and his knights, a story of Renaud who went to Cologne and helped to build the Cathedral, working as a common labourer. But because he did four men's work, owing to his enormous strength, and then refused any wages beyond what was necessary for bare subsistence, the other workmen conspired and killed him with a mason's hammer as he was sleeping at mid-day. This story was well-known in England by the thirteenth century and was one of the first things printed by Caxton, and that was in 1489." (14)


The similarity between our Myth and these mythical narratives of the early journeymen is clear; the myths of "mystery" rituals the world over also come in for their share of resemblance. It is well to bear in mind the fact that such plots are not first public and then, through some lapse of memory enveloped in a veil of secrecy, but that the process works in the opposite direction and such stories as are now public property can generally be shown to have been once secret (except, of course, in the case of deliberate invention such as the "high degrees"). There are several methods by which these secret rites become public and the Legend has been afflicted with one of them at least, I refer to illicit publications. There is no method known by which the opposite takes place. Such a process would be too much like the doctrine of revival in culture to which scientists object. Although it may later be proven, it cannot be felt that culture was once at a very high level and then dropped to nothing, to be built up again by a revival of the type of mind which originally developed it. The evolutionary processes are evidence to the contrary and nowhere in geologic or paleontologic evidence is a single example of plant or animal life having died out to be revived at a later period found. Evidence to prove set-backs which have weakened development temporarily abounds, but never is total elimination followed by a general revival of type. That is definitely what it would be necessary to believe if our Myth is a revival in a secret rite of what was once public. Even better evidence than this, how ever, is the fact that there is nothing, so far as is known, in the public property of this class of material which remotely approaches the content of our Myth. (I speak here, of course, of material that was originally public.) If the induction of the Myth into the Masonic ritual was influenced by the Medieval Miracle and Mystery plays, it would necessarily follow that a plot once existing as public afterwards became private. This in turn suggests other points: If the Legend was once public, when did it become private? Where? When? Why? How? Under what circumstances did it become an integral part of our ritual? What traces of it exist today? In view of the evidence presented, these questions may be answered in short form. The Myth never was public, but always private; it came into our ritual because of some pressing demand; and any traces of it that can be found will of necessity appear in ancient Masonic manuscripts which were probably of a secret character, or in illicit publications. Probably the conditions imposed by lack of knowledge tend to make such a subject as the growth of the Hiramic Legend entrancing, but the same conditions make it exceedingly difficult to arrive at any conclusion as to its development that will be beyond question.

Adopting the view that the Legend of Hiram in its present form is alive and changing, in other words, an object still undergoing the ceaseless change entailed by evolution, a number of important conclusions are reached. Because it is ceaselessly varying, it is the product of group thinking — it is not the child of one man's fancy, but it is the result of the collected thinking of many individuals. As such it is the natural outgrowth of some ritualistic requirement; what particular ceremony gave rise to it is of no importance to our argument. Growing out of these is another, more important than either, namely, the same type of mind evolved our Myth as developed the more primitive stories. Whether in survival or revival is nonessential as the only bearing that phase of the subject would have on this discussion is one of chronology and it is not proposed to enter into any argument concerning antiquity of the Order. The question arises — What bearing has all this on the relation of our Legend to Drama? To answer that question satisfactorily will require more space than can be commanded at this time. A suggestion of an answer will be attempted in the final section of this discussion.



(8) Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 275.

(9) Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 283.

(10) Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 294

(11) DuChaillu, "Ashango-land," p. 106. I am indebted for the reference to Tylor.

(12) Themis, J. E. Harrison, p. 13.

(13) THE BUILDER, Vol. IX, p. 178.

(14) Vibert, op. cit., p. 52.

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Bro. Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico

President, National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association

AT the Annual Communication of the M. W. Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of New Mexico, I was honored by advancement to the high office of Grand Master, since which time there has devolved upon me the duties of President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, which is actively working for the advancement of the movement for hospitalization of consumptive American Freemasons, the Association having been incorporated last fall under authority of our Grand Lodge.

The Presidency of the Association was accepted in deference to the wishes of my predecessor, R.W. P.G.M. Jaffa Miller, and other associates in the Grand Lodge and Sanatoria Association, with the understanding that diligent search should be prosecuted, north, south, east and west, until we found our "Grand Master" for this greatest of all Masonic enterprises. The leadership of this national movement for relief and hospitalization of our consumptive brethren demands the best talent that American Freemasonry has within its ranks today, and I am confident that the Supreme Architect of the Universe will raise up the Man, competent, qualified and willing to supervise the work upon our Temple of Hope and Healing. The magnitude of the task demands executive ability of the highest order and the selection of a permanent leader possessed of such qualifications.

The charter of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association contains the following provision covering its organization on a national scale:

"The business and operations of this corporation, and of the institutions which it may establish and control, shall at all times and for all purposes, in each and every branch, be under the jurisdiction and control of a Board of Governors to be composed of members, one for each state, one from the District of Columbia and from each of the territories of the United States, who may be appointed by the Grand Master of each Grand Jurisdiction elected by the Grand. Lodge of each Grand Jurisdiction, or selected by the Board of Governors, or its Executive Committee; also of members-at-large who may be appointed respectively by the supreme heads of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America; the General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States of America; the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America; the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America; the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America; the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America; and the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, or elected by the governing bodies of such organizations, or such members-at-large may be selected by the Board of Governors, or its Executive Committee."

The urgent invitation extended by my predecessor to all Grand Masters for service upon the Board of Governors of the Association has been reiterated. We require, and earnestly desire, the benefit of the experience, advice and counsel of our brethren from every part of America in planning and developing this institution for service. I hope that we may soon number all of the Grand Masters of the United States among the members of this Board, or have representatives appointed by them to sit with us in council. The maximum success, so devoutly to be wished, can only be attained through nationalization of the movement, which can be achieved only by cooperation and concert of action by all Grand Jurisdictions. Realization of the fact that this effort is primarily for the benefit of sick men who because of tuberculosis, seek the milder climate of Colorado, New Mexico, Western Texas, Arizona and Southern California, or who go to North Carolina or Florida should impel all Masons of every state, promptly to grasp this opportunity for rendering that real, actual service which is so imperatively demanded by these afflicted brethren and their families. The Southwestern states, and doubtless the Southeastern states mentioned, can easily take care of their own, but cannot begin adequately to care for the sick from other Grand Jurisdictions who leave their home states seeking more favorable climatic conditions.


The Masonic Service Association is cooperating with us, and has printed some thousands of pieces of literature for distribution among Masonic bodies and Masons. Sample copies of these have been sent to officers of Masonic bodies, with the request to use same as enclosures in correspondence, and for distribution among their membership. These "Short Messages" should interest and enlist the support of the rank and file.

The National Masonic Research Society has done more than cooperate; it has inspired us to action. For several years past it has kept this project before the Fraternity through the columns of THE BUILDER. With the assurance of its continued support, which support we believed would also be given us by every other Masonic publication if we launched this enterprise, New Mexico took definite action and created the agency needed in which all of American Freemasonry could unite. It gave me great pleasure to read the following in the March editorial columns of THE BUILDER:

"The executives of the National Masonic Research Society have definitely taken up the cause of the Masons suffering from tuberculosis. It is perhaps not properly or specifically a matter for such an organization to deal with, but it needs no apology. The Society is first of all Masonic, and its members are Masons, and their interest in the Order naturally leads to a higher conception of its functions and the obligations it imposes. The membership of the Society averages a high degree of influence in the Craft, THE BUILDER is distributed widely and evenly over the whole United States. We do not pretend that it is our campaign and we do not care whose the credit. We would be delighted to have every Masonic journal in the country take the matter up, but our part is to bring home the need to the members of our own Society."

We have also succeeded in securing the cooperation of the great National Tuberculosis Association, which has directed the campaign against Tuberculosis in the United States during the last twenty years, and has aided in the organization of similar work in other countries. That Association has branch organizations in every state, and in the larger cities and towns of the country, and through its cooperation with us, some hundreds of competent speakers, both physicians and laymen, will be available to address open meetings of Masonic bodies in every state, to throw into thousands of American Masonic homes "more light" upon the subject of the prevention of tuberculosis and the relief and hospitalization of our sick brethren. In pursuance of this effort to organize and carry through a great national campaign of education among American Freemasons, the following letter has been addressed to all Grand Masters in this country:

"This Association has succeeded in securing the cooperation of the National Tuberculosis Association in a plan to carry out a part of the work for which we were chartered by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, viz:

"'To disseminate among the Freemasons of America, and their families and others, scientific knowledge and useful information as to the causes and methods of treatment for the prevention, relief and cure of tuberculosis;'

"The National Tuberculosis Association has for more than twenty years led the organized effort against tuberculosis in the United States and has aided in the organization of similar work in other countries. As a direct result of its work of popular education, of securing public health legislation, and its national campaign for hospitalization of consumptives, the death-rate from tuberculosis in the United States has been reduced more than one-half, representing the saving of more than 100,000 lives, annually. The work of the Association has been financed by the sale of Christmas Seals.

"The National Tuberculosis Association has affiliated state and local societies in every state, and through them can furnish speakers, physicians and laymen, thoroughly competent to present the subject of tuberculosis, its prevention and cure, to popular audiences in an instructive and entertaining manner.

"In many states and cities these lectures may be illustrated with stereopticon and motion pictures. In many instances, Masonic physicians, who are active members of tuberculosis societies, will be available as speakers. Printed matter of various kinds, oft the subject may also be distributed to audiences at the conclusion of meetings.

"We ask your cooperation, and the cooperation of your Grand Lodge and constituent lodges, in which we expect will develop into a great national educational campaign among American Freemasons and their families. By bringing 'more light' on the subject of tuberculosis and its prevention into Masonic homes we may be able to save some from contracting this dread disease and we may be able to guide those now afflicted into ways that may lead to recovery. We may also enlist many new recruits in the organized fight against tuberculosis and in turn secure the help of tuberculosis societies and workers for our afflicted brethren.

"We respectfully ask that you communicate with all constituent lodges in your Grand Jurisdiction, requesting them to hold an open meeting for members, families and friends, and to arrange with their state or local tuberculosis society to send a speaker to discuss 'Masonry's Campaign Against Tuberculosis.'

"The National Tuberculosis Association is asking its affiliated state and local Associations to get in touch with you and your constituent lodges. If, for any reason, you should wish to communicate directly with the National Tuberculosis Association, they may be addressed at 370 Seventh Avenue, New York City, New York. They can furnish you with lists of their local Associations in your jurisdiction."


At our request the National Tuberculosis Association has prepared a new estimate of the mortality and morbidity among the 3,250,000 Masons, and the 1,250,000 women members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Tuberculosis is an enemy of the American home. It is no respecter of persons. Accurate estimates are not available as to the number of members of Masonic families lost to us every year from this one cause. The figures quoted below furnish some idea of the aggregate of this great annual toll of death and suffering, and for that reason should be of interest to all who realize the gravity of the situation and the importance of prompt relief measures.

The National Tuberculosis Association prepared an estimate on Tuberculosis Mortality and Morbidity among Freemasons and female members of the Eastern Star in 1921 and again in 1924. At your request, we now submit an estimate for the year 1925, based on a Masonic population of 3,250,000 and upon a membership of 1,250,000 women in the Order of the Eastern Star.

The Death Registration Area (exclusive of the Territory of Hawaii) in 1924 comprised 39 states, the District of Columbia and 18 cities in non-registration states, with a total estimated population on July 1, 1924, of 99,034,494, or 88.4 per cent of the estimated total population of the United States.

The Tuberculosis death rate (all forms) in the Registration Area for 1924 was 90.6. The death rate for males over twenty years of age in 1924 would approximate 132.6 per 100,000 living. Therefore the number of deaths from Tuberculosis among 3,250,000 Freemasons, or any similar number of men would approximate 4,309 during the year 1925.

The Tuberculosis death rate (all forms) in the Registration Area for 1924 was 90.6. The death rate for females over twenty years of age in 1924 would approximate 115.0 per 100,000 living women. Therefore the number of deaths from Tuberculosis among 1,250,000 women members of the Order of the Eastern Star, or any similar number of women, would approximate 1437 during the year 1925.

The Framingham Demonstration showed a probability of 9 active living cases to every death. This means that if 4,309 Freemasons and 1,437 Eastern Stars died during the year 1925 there are approximately 51,714 living active cases, needing treatment in Masonic families in the United States. As there is no way of determining the entire number of members of Masons' families in the country there is no way of estimating the total number of deaths and cases of Tuberculosis among American Freemasons and the members of their families.

While these estimates may appear startling to anyone who has not studied this subject, by comparison with the death rate of twenty years ago and succeeding years they are moderate. In 1904 the death rate for the general population was 200 per 100,000 living, over twice the present death rate. The reduction in the death rate means a saving of 120,000 lives every year, and is the best possible proof that Tuberculosis is a preventable disease.

Hospitalization of consumptive fathers and mothers may save their children from infection which often results in Tuberculosis of the bones, causing "hunch-back" and shortened limbs.

Tuberculosis cuts off two and a half years of life from the complete expectation of every individual under present mortality conditions. If such individual were to add only $100 to the community wealth every year, Tuberculosis would cost the community $250 per person. Among the 3,250,000 Freemasons and the 1,250,000 Eastern Stars in the United States this loss is $1,125,000,000.

It has been estimated that a tuberculous person is under care for an average of two and one-third years. Probably for at least one year he is unable to earn. Considering all occupations, we can place the average annual earnings of a person at $1,000. Among the 51,714 Masonic tuberculous cases, $51,714,000 were thus lost through sickness.


The usual length of stay in a sanatorium is about six months. The cost of such sanatorium care is about $500. While it is not possible, nor perhaps necessary, to give each patient six months' sanatorium treatment, the cost of caring for tuberculous patients must be met, whether in a sanatorium or not. If all of the 51,714 Masonic cases could receive either sanatorium care or other adequate treatment, which would cost at least as much, about $25,857,000 would be the estimated cost of caring for these Masonic tuberculous.

These estimates of the cost of Tuberculosis to the American Masonic Fraternity, namely, $1,125,000,000 due to loss of life from Tuberculosis, $51,714,000 lost in wages, and $25,857,000 for the expense of caring for Masonic sick, total approximately $1,202,571,000.

The saving of lives through sanatorium care is worth yearly many millions of dollars to the country. Dr. Louis I. Dublin has shown that mortality from Tuberculosis is lessened by at least 8,000 deaths annually because 6f cures effected in sanatoria throughout the country. Since the cost of keeping a patient in a sanatorium for six months is estimated at $500, the cost of saving 6,000 lives yearly amounts to $3,000,000.

If, as Irving Fisher says, the economic value of a life cut off by Tuberculosis, including its future capitalized earning power, is $8,000, the country is enriched yearly to the extent of $48,000,000 by this saving of life. This is more than a hundred per cent return on the $45,000,000 spent yearly in the maintenance of sanatoria in the United States. The saving of 4309 Masonic lives each year would be worth $45,968,000 in dollars and cents and no one can estimate the value to America of Masonic fathers, mothers and homes that may be saved by united action for relief and hospitalization of tuberculous Freemasons.


National Tuberculosis Association.

The National Tuberculosis Association has also prepared an "Outline of an Address to American Freemasons, Their Families and Friends," for use in this educational campaign, which will be used and elaborated upon by the speakers of that Association in meetings addressed by them, and in many places the lectures will be illustrated by stereopticon and moving pictures.

To bring home to our brethren the reason why Masons and Masonry should be interested, the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association has prepared the following statement, which will be presented to these open meetings at the conclusion of the address or lecture by the National Tuberculosis Association's speaker:


Masonry's interest in the great national campaign against Tuberculosis lies in the fact that, according to estimates prepared by the National Tuberculosis Association early in 1926, there were approximately 4,309 deaths of Masons from tuberculosis in the United States during the year 1925 and about 1,437 deaths of women members of the Order of the Eastern Star during the same year from the same cause. How many other wives, mothers, sisters and children of Masons also died last year from tuberculosis it is impossible to estimate.

According to estimates prepared by the same authority, the National Tuberculosis Association, there are about nine living cases to every annual death from tuberculosis, in any community or any group of people. Applying this estimate to the Fraternity in the United States, this would mean that there are now living approximately 38,781 American Freemasons suffering from tuberculosis and about 12,933 women members of the Eastern Star afflicted with this dread disease. How many other members of Masonic families are also victims of the Great White Plague it is impossible to estimate.


The National Tuberculosis Association also estimates that the cost of caring for these sick Masons and Eastern Stars, who died last year of tuberculosis, totaled $25,857,000, and that the loss in wages due to sickness and death was not less than $51,714,000. No one can figure the great total loss to Masonic families due to the untimely death of fathers and mothers from tuberculosis. The cost of raising and educating the children must be borne by some one. The difference in the love and care given children by their parents and that given by relatives, friends or institutions can never be figured in dollars and cents.

The foregoing figures will give some idea of the magnitude of the problem confronting American Freemasonry today, in the treatment and care of the men and women who have a claim upon the Fraternity in their misfortune. And greater than this is the necessity for work to prevent this disaster falling upon additional members of the Fraternity and their families.


Blue Lodge Masonry, so-called, is organized by states into Grand Lodges. There is no national Masonic body to govern the Craft. There are 49 Grand Jurisdictions, one for each state and one for the District of Columbia. Therefore it has been difficult in the past to secure unity of action in a common cause for a common friend or against a common foe. If American Freemasonry ever unites upon a national program it will be for some great work of charity and benevolence such as this national Masonic Campaign for the relief and hospitalization of Masonic consumptives and the prevention of tuberculosis in American Masonic homes.

There are some few Grand Jurisdictions in this country, large in numbers and financially strong, which have a high death rate and a large number of living cases of tuberculosis, who might be justified in establishing their own state Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium. But with most Grand Jurisdictions the burden would be too heavy for them to bear. In this work the great and wealthy families of Masonry should join with the smaller state groups for the greater good of Freemasonry as a national entity.


The poison of tuberculosis permeates the whole of our national body, just as in time it affects the whole of the physical body. There is no state or city free from the ravages of the dread destroyer. But as poison, or pus, comes to a head in the physical body making a "sore spot" so is there a "sore spot" in the Southwestern United States where the national problem of tuberculosis comes to a "head" because of the migration to that part of the country of many thousands of consumptives who go there seeking climatic cure or arrest of their disease.

This climatic health belt covers a great triangle, a familiar symbol in Masonry. If you will draw a line on the map from San Antonio, Texas, to Denver, Colorado, 815 miles, thence to Los Angeles, California, 850 miles and back to San Antonio, 1220 miles, you will enclose within this triangle 350,000 square miles of mountains and desert, with some fertile, irrigated and cultivated valleys, small in area as compared with the whole triangle. Within this territory lived 3,000,000 people when the 1920 Census was taken and some ten or more years ago the National Tuberculosis Association estimated that 10 per cent of the population of the Southwest was tuberculous. The United States Public Health Service later declared this estimate to be conservative.


In 1920 and again in 1925 the National Tuberculosis Association made an investigation of the problem resulting from large numbers of sick and indigent migrating to the Southwest and concluded that this migration was increasing in spite of their national campaign of publicity warning the sick against leaving home without adequate funds. Publicity was given to the fact that there were no free hospitals and few charity agencies, and that light work was difficult to find and that the consumptive was far better off in his home town where he had friends or at least a legitimate claim upon public charity.

In six cities alone the National Tuberculosis Association found 7,319 indigent sick who had asked for help and who were accompanied by 9,315 other members of their families of whom 5.437 or 57 per cent were children under 16. These children living in squalid quarters, under-nourished, and in close contact with consumptive parents were all in grave danger of infection. This unhappy group, totaling 16,634 individuals, strangers in a strange land, were in deep distress, as is evidenced by the fact that 16 per cent applied for help within one week after arrival; 33 per cent within one month; and 50 per cent within three months and 90 per cent within a year.

How many additional thousands of men, women and children there are, in the same tragic condition, no one can estimate. The total number of sick for the whole of the United States is probably one million with possibly another million of dependents.

That there are many Masons among these sick is shown by the experience of Masonic Relief Bureaus and Masonic Lodges of Southwestern cities and towns. Records of many pitiful cases have been found. Southwestern Lodges are unable to give adequate financial help to them and few home lodges or even Grand Lodges can spend the thousand or two dollars necessary to carry the sick brother for the year or two of hospital care required to secure arrest of the disease. Consequently many die for lack of that small amount of money and in some cases the Craft spends more for care and education of their orphaned children than it would have cost to save the father.


The Grand Lodges of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico and the Masonic Service Association investigated this problem and the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite and other Masonic bodies gave it consideration. Reports were made and the urgent need for action was pointed out but nothing done until on Nov. 9, 1925, the M. W. Grand Lodge of New Mexico organized and secured a charter from the state for the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, with the following purposes:

"To act as an agency, or trustee, to receive and administer funds contributed, or acquired for the relief of Freemasons, and members of their families, suffering from tuberculosis; to secure hospitalization for the sick; to render service of any kind according to the need and the ability of the corporation; to acquire, erect, establish, maintain and operate Sanatoria, Hospitals and other institutions; to do and perform such other and further acts as may be calculated to aid in the prevention, treatment or cure of tuberculosis among Masons or their families."

The plan of organization provides for one member of the governing Board from each Grand Jurisdiction and for membership on the Board of Representatives of the National Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies and for the Mystic Shrine and Eastern Star. Thus the Association is national in scope and not sectional or local.


The Masonic Service Association at its 1925 meeting in Chicago, endorsed the Sanatoria Association and its purposes and pledged active aid and financial support. Similar pledges have been made by other Masonic bodies.


The National Masonic Research Society has rendered splendid service during the past few years in giving publicity and editorial support to this movement through the columns of THE BUILDER, the official publication of the Society. The Masonic press throughout the country are supporting this movement and placing the facts as to the need and the effort to meet it before the rank and file of Freemasonry.


The Grand Lodge of New Mexico has levied an annual per capita tax of $1.00 upon New Mexico Freemasonry, and it is hoped that this example will be followed by all American Grand Jurisdictions. This would in the course of time provide a fund sufficient to build one or more hospitals and maintain them. While these institutions will be primarily for Masons, no doubt provision will also have to be made for the wives and children, when sufficient funds are available for this additional relief work.


The location of the hospital, or hospitals, will be determined by the National Board of Governors of the Masonic Sanatoria Association, and these institutions will undoubtedly be placed where the need is greatest and where they can render the greatest service to the brethren of the country as a whole. In time, perhaps, there may be a chain of such institutions, similar to the Shrine Hospitals for Crippled Children, so located as to be easily available from any and all parts of the country.


An average contribution of $1 a year will, in a sense, insure a Freemason and his family against tuberculosis and provide hospital care for them if they are so unfortunate as to contract this disease. If they never need such help it will be a great source of pride and gratification to them as members of the great Masonic family to know that they are helping to care for Masonic brethren who through no fault of their own are "down and out." They will have a part in restoring these brethren to wives and children and will also help to save the Fraternity the cost of providing for the families of the sick, who have in the past often remained a charge upon Masonic charity for years.


And finally, brethren, by placing Consumptive fathers and mothers in hospitals, you will save the children from infection with tuberculosis. In children this disease often attacks the bones, causing the awful deformity, commonly known as "hunchback", or it shortens the leg, making the sufferer a cripple for life. The pain and suffering extends over a period of years and in many cases is only ended when these little ones die of tuberculosis of the lungs. We can save them by caring for their parents and also reduce the number of consumptives who will die in the next generation. Tuberculosis claims an endless chain of victims and when you hospitalize one you save an indefinite number of people from infection.


Will Freemasonry heed this call for service to God, to country and to humanity? You can answer for yourself and for your lodge. If you and your lodge will do its part the rest of the Masonic family can be trusted to share their part of the burden. Every lodge if it so desires can vote an annual per capita tax of $1 or more upon its membership and the total sum for the whole country will mean life and hope for thousands of sick brethren who are now holding up their hands in a last despairing appeal to you for aid.

If only the members of the Masonic Order, so strong .in point of numbers, so potentially wealthy, can be made to realize what these facts really mean there will 'be no question as to the result. The machinery is ready, the emergency urgent, shall we ask in vain?


Further information about the work and purposes of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association may be secured by addressing Francis E. Lester, P.G.M., Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Contributions for the work of the Association may be sent to Alpheus A. Keen (Grand Secretary of the M. W. Grand Lodge of New Mexico), Secretary of the Sanatoria Association, Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

* * *


The "Moderns," 1717, and the "Antients," 1751

Bro. Arthur Heiron, England

AS most readers of The Builder are aware, Bro. Heiron is the author of Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge, No. 18 [1722-1920], a most interesting account of lodge life two hundred years ago. They will also recall his articles in The Builder for 1923 under the title "Was Dr. Johnson a Mason?"

The present paper was read before the Manchester Association for Masonic Research in May, 1924, and in view of the very valuable information collected therein The Builder has obtained Bro. Heiron's permission to reproduce it for the benefit of American students.

IT is common knowledge that prior to 1813 the Craft had for many years been divided into two great sections — the Moderns and the Antients — and for the benefit of those brethren who have had no opportunity to study the matter on their own account, the following rough epitome by way of general information is given.

In 1716 four old Lodges in London — the author of Multa Paucis (an anonymous work of about 1764) gives the number as six — "finding themselves neglected by Sir Christopher Wren" — with the assistance "of some old Brothers" — met together at the Apple-Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden, and "constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore in Due Form"; and on "St. John Baptist's Day, A.D. 1717, the Assembly and Feast of the Free and Accepted Masons was held at the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's Church-Yard."

In this humble fashion — without show or pretense — in a room at a Tavern about 22 feet long by 16 feet wide — the First Grand Lodge of the world was — according to the account given by Dr. Anderson in his "New Book of Constitutions" [1738] — thus formally "Constituted." Whilst it is now recognized that Dr. Anderson's 'Story of the Craft' — based on mythical tales and legendary traditions — is quite untrustworthy, yet his version of the actual origin of Grand Lodge deserves some credence, for — after all — it is the only one available for our consideration.

Anderson was a Doctor of Divinity, a Presbyterian minister, a "dissenting teacher," a man of good standing and character. In 1738 he assures us that having — in 1721 — been ordered [by Grand Lodge] to digest the old Gothic Constitutions in a new and better method, "Montagu, Grand Master, at the desire of the Lodge, appointed fourteen learned Brothers to examine Brother Anderson's Manuscript and to make report," which "said Committee of 14" reported [in 1722] that they had perused same "and after some Amendments had approv'd of it: Upon which the Lodge desir'd the Grand Master to order it to be printed." The above refers to his First Book of Constitutions of 1723. — The following extracts from the actual minutes of Grand Lodge relate to his 1738 edition.

1735, Feb. 24. Dr. Anderson reported to Grand Lodge "that he had spent some Thoughts upon some Alterations and Additions" to his First Edition of 1723 — then "all sold off" — and G.L. "appointed a Committee to revise and compare the same &c."

1738, Jan. 25. "Bro. Anderson informed the [Grand] Lodge that he had sometime since Prepared a New Edition of the Book of Constitutions with several Additions and Amendmts which having been perused & (after some alterations made therein) Approved off by several Grand Officers was now ready for the Press and he therefore desired the Grand Master's Commands & the approbation of this Lodge for printing the same, which request was granted him."

His work having been thus checked and revised by his colleagues and contemporaries and approved by Grand Lodge, each student must now therefore form his own conclusions as to the credibility or otherwise that should be given to Dr. Anderson's statements relating to the above mentioned meetings of "the four old Lodges" in 1716 and 1717.

The members of this Grand Lodge of 1717 before long — for reasons hereinafter mentioned — became known as the 'Moderns,' whilst their subsequent rivals — who described themselves as the 'Antients' did not constitute their Grand Lodge before 1753 (although they first assembled as a Grand Committee in 1751); thus in point of time the 'Moderns' were as a body, thirty-four years older than the 'Antients,' it is therefore quite clear that both these titles are — colloquially speaking — misnomers. It is not very easy to explain in detail the exact reasons for the founding of this opposition Grand Lodge but some of the contributory causes appear to be as follows:


Prior to the formation of Grand Lodge in 1717, most of the Lodges were of humble rank, having as members many men of the working classes — including of course real 'Operative' Masons, although there were also some 'Speculatives' in their midst — for in those early days a Lodge almost invariably met at a Tavern or Inn, and was very much like a benefit society, members who were ill or in distress coming 'On the Box' for small payments in cash — pecuniary 'Relief' to brethren in need being then a constant feature. It was also quite usual for members not only to attend at the funeral of a deceased brother, but also to pay for the cost of interment when need required. This presence of the 'Operatives' in Lodges is made manifest from the fact that Grand Lodge in 1722 selected as their Grand Wardens, two working men, viz. 'Mr. Joshua Timson,' a Blacksmith, and 'Mr. William Hawkins,' a 'Mason,' whilst the following mechanics were also appointed Grand Wardens, viz.: 'Jacob Lamball,' a 'Carpenter' in 1717; 'John Cordwell,' a 'City Carpenter' and 'Thomas Morrice," a 'Stone Cutter' in 1718; and 'Thomas Hobby,' also a 'Stone Cutter' in 1720.

The first Grand Master who was installed in 1717 — one Anthony Sayer — was also apparently a man of limited means, for later in life he became Tyler to at least four lodges, and on two occasions applied to Grand Lodge for relief, in 1730 when 15 pounds were voted to him also £2 2s.0d. in 1741 from the 'General Charity,' whilst he also received assistance from various private Lodges. Bro. J. Walter Hobbs, L.R., in an exhaustive and valued paper read in 1924 before the Quatuor Coronati Lodge (entitled "Mr. Anthony Sayer") attempts to prove that Sayer was not only a "Gentleman" but also a person of some social standing — who might later on have lost his fortune in the "South Sea Bubble"; he however frankly admits that the evidence is not conclusive.


Before long however a higher status was ruling amongst the so-called 'Moderns,' for Dr. Anderson in his Constitutions of the Freemasons [1723] tells us that "several Noblemen and Gentlemen of the best Rank with Clergymen and learned Scholars of most Professions and Denominations ... frankly joined and submitted to take the Charges, and to wear the Badges of a Free and Accepted Mason, under our present worthy Grand Master, the most noble Prince, John, Duke of Montagu."

In 1738 Anderson expatiates further by stating "Now Masonry flourished in Harmony, Reputation, and Numbers, many Noblemen and Gentlemen of the first Rank desir'd to be admitted to the Fraternity, besides other Learned Men, Merchants, Clergymen and Tradesmen who found a Lodge to be a safe and pleasant Relaxation from Intense Study or the Hurry of Business, without Politicks or Party."


Human nature in 1724 was very like what we find it today and it is not only possible but quite probable that many of the "Operatives" and humbler members of a Lodge felt rather jealous of these richer men and their influence and desire for new methods of working. So growing out of harmony with this changed condition of affairs they gradually left their Mother Lodges to form others more congenial to themselves. Some would also join Unattached or Independent Lodges which went by the name of St. John's Masons — St. John being the Patron Saint of the Craft — for we find that many visitors to the old Lodges often signed the attendance book or were entered by the Secretary as St. John's Men — they paying generally an extra visiting fee.


Now from (a) these groups of poor Masons — discontented with the advent into the Craft of these so called "Noblemen and Gentlemen," also (b) from those brethren who objected to any alteration being made in their ancient Ritual, but more especially (c) from a band of Irish Freemasons who had settled in London — mostly in poor circumstances — came into being a new organization that in 1751 first worked by means of a Grand Committee, and in 1753 blossomed out into a new Grand Lodge whose members soon described themselves as Antient Masons holding out that they alone deserved that title because they practiced Masonry according to the 'Old Constitutions.' The late Bro. Henry Sadler, Librarian to Grand Lodge in his Masonic Facts and Fictions [1887] confirms the statement that the early members of the Lodges of the 'Antients' consisted mostly of Irish Masons, who were chiefly of the working class type. It is therefore obvious that speaking generally — the personnel of the Modern Lodges was on a higher grade than that of the Antients. Quite apart, however, from the different social status of these brethren there were other important reasons which helped to cause a division of the Craft into two bodies.


The Old Charges make it clear that prior to 1717 the Craft had definitely accepted the Christian Faith as its first and abiding Land Mark; the constant and repeated 'Invocations to the Trinity' prove this to a certainty. Perhaps in order to make 'Masonry Universal' — thereby allowing Jews to enter the Order — Anderson's 'First Charge' in his Constitutions of 1723 stated that a Mason, was "now" only required to be of that religion "in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is to be good Men and true, etc." [This subject has been most ably elucidated and explained by Bro. J. E. Shum Tuckett in a paper read before this Society in 1922.] This serious alteration in our creed [as Bro. Vibert tells us in his excellent Story of the Craft] virtually de-Christianized the tenets of Freemasonry, thereby making the Craft eligible to a professor of any faith — provided always that the candidate recognized the existence of a Supreme Being. It is clear that this startling innovation became a serious stumbling block to many of the old-fashioned Operatives who had been accustomed to hear read in open Lodge the 'Old Charges,' constantly reminding them that the first and chief duty of a Mason was to be a True Man to God and the Holy Church. These men had also lived in the days when a regular and punctual attendance at their parish church was not only a duty, but an absentee — without valid excuse — became liable to fines or other penalties. In 1552 it was enacted by 5 & 6 Edward 6, c. 1., that if anyone without lawful or reasonable excuse absented himself from public worship (i.e., at the Parish Church) he became liable "on pain of punishment by the censures of the Church." This Act — though now obsolete — is still on the Statute Book, but was repealed — about 1846 — as regards 'Dissenters.'


It is also obvious that the authority of the Grand Lodge of 1717 was not recognized universally. Certain old Lodges retained a position of independence and refused to accept what they considered was a new Constitution — keeping to certain ancient customs peculiar to themselves — and certain societies also arose professing to be Masons, but often merely using the name of the Craft as a cloak for political or even less worthy purposes. Enemies were also at work, various exposures of the Ritual being printed, purporting to tell the outside world the real secrets of the Craft — the most important being Masonry Dissected, written by one Samuel Prichard, described as "late member of a Constituted Lodge," which first appeared in 1730.

At length in the same year [viz., 1730], in order to meet these various difficulties and with a laudable desire to prevent 'cowans' and 'impostors' being 'Made Masons,' the Grand Lodge of 1717 allowed — or perhaps even advised — the Lodges under its jurisdiction to make certain variations in the Ritual. The following extracts from the Grand Lodge minutes of 1730 and 1739 refer to this matter: —

1730, Aug. 28. Dr. Desaguliers "recommended several things to the consideration of the Grand Lodge" ... "for preventing any false Brethren being admitted into regular Lodges and such as call themselves Honorary Masons." "The D.G.M. Nathaniel Blakerby proposed several Rules to the Grand Lodge to be observed in their respective Lodges for their Security against all open and Secret Enemies to the Craft."

1730, Dec. 15. In order "to prevent the Lodges being imposed upon by false Brethren or Impostors," a member had to vouch for a visiting Brother "and the Member's name had to be entered against the Visitor's name in the Lodge Book."

1739, June 30. "The Complaint referred to by the last Committee of Charity concerning the irregular making of Masons was taken into Consideration."

1739, Dec. 12. "Ordered that the Laws be strictly put in Execution against all such Brethren as shall for the future countenance, connive or assist at any such irregular Makings."

It is generally believed that the principal changes effected by the Moderns were that they: —

  1. Transposed the Words in the first and second Degrees.
  2. Gave up the use of Deacons, or at any rate did not appoint them.
  3. Omitted the Ceremony of Installation; (and later on)
  4. Did not officially perform or even recognise the rite of Holy Royal Arch — said to be the completion or perfection of the Third Degree.
  5. Possibly also changed the steps, and generally curtailed the Ceremonies, relying chiefly on teaching the tenets of the Craft by means of Masonic Lectures, at least in certain old Modern Lodges the latter were always the chief and most essential feature of the work.

Unfortunately hostility soon arose between the Moderns and the Antients and increased as time went on, and for about seventy years they opposed each other bitterly. The dissenting and dissatisfied Lodges — which according to Sadler gradually became known as Irish Lodges — insisted on retaining the established Ritual in all its details and soon began openly to state that those who had thus varied the ancient forms and ceremonies were scarcely worthy to be regarded as Masons, and so they dubbed them Modern Masons and claimed for themselves the title of Antient Masons, meaning thereby that they — and they alone — practiced Masonry according to the proper rites.


To such an extent did this spirit prevail that if a Modern desired to visit an Antient Lodge, he had first to be Re-Made so as to become an Antient; similarly the Moderns were quite as strict on their part and would not allow an Antient to visit their Lodge unless he were first Re-Made so as to become a Modern.

Now, although the motive of the Moderns in thus varying the Ritual was perfectly honest and sincere — their desire merely being to prevent irregular Masons being made — yet in time they saw the error of their ways and practically admitted that their rivals — the Antients — had acted more wisely in retaining the Ritual in its fuller and original form.


This is made clear from the fact that in 1809 the Grand Lodge of the Moderns officially passed the following resolution, viz.:

"That the Grand Lodge do agree in opinion with the Committee of Charity that it is not necessary any longer to continue in force those Measures which were resorted to in or about the year 1739 respecting Irregular Masons, and therefore enjoin the Several Lodges to Revert to the Ancient Land Marks of the Society." [1]

This clear and important admission on the part of the Moderns that they had omitted to practice certain of the 'Land Marks' was the first serious step taken towards reconciliation. The next naturally was to try and discover what the true 'Land Marks' were and for this purpose a Lodge was formed for the express purpose of "Ascertaining and Promulgating the Ancient Land Marks of the Society," which became known a "The Lodge of Promulgation" [1809-11]. The result of their labors proving quite satisfactory, the Lodge of Reconciliation was then formed in 1813 which definitely agreed in 1816 upon a Ritual satisfactory to both sides.


All difficulties being now removed, after much discussion and certain mutual concessions — of which it is only fair to state that the most important were made by the Moderns — a "Glorious Union" of these two sections of the Craft was effected, and on the 27th December, 1813, both Moderns and Antients ceased to exit and there arose instead The United Grand Lodge of Antient Freemasons of England, the Duke of Sussex being elected and enthroned as the first Grand Master. [2]

After this somewhat rambling — and admitted quite incomplete — version of the origin of the Modern and Antients, let us turn our attention to the real purpose of this paper, viz.: to discuss and inquire into the reasons why the Antients so persistently and continuously — from 1764 to say 1809 — vilified an ridiculed the ceremonies and ritual of the Craft a practised by their opponents.


In the 2nd Edition (published in 1764) of Ahiman Rezon — which was the official text book of the Antient for half a century, — Bro. Laurence Dermott, the Grand Secretary of that section of the Craft, indulged in some rather severe criticisms when discussing certain items of the Ritual as practiced by the Moderns, and by way of an awful example (to prove some of his stories) actually singled out and especially referred to — though not by name — my own Mother Lodge, the Dundee Lodge, No. 9, at Wapping, London, E., now known as the Old Dundee Lodge, No. 18. It perhaps, therefore is not very unreasonable that the present writer — who has for over thirty years been a member of that Lodge, and is now its second oldest Past Master — should endeavor in a very humble way to investigate such allegations and put in some sort of defense to Dermott's charges, although as these were made 160 years ago, he fully realizes that the case is quite statute barred and the matter now but ancient history. This article is, however, written in the hope that other members of the Craft may derive some useful information on these interesting subjects that were evidently often discussed in the Society of the Antients. We shall commence by first making a few enquiries as to the author of these stories.


Dermott was an Irishman, born in 1720; he was made a Mason in Ireland in 1740 and working his way through the various offices was installed as W.M. of Lodge No. 26, in Dublin on 24th June, 1746. Leaving Ireland he came to London about 1747 and for some time was a comparatively poor man, for he told his own Grand Lodge on the 13th July, 1753, that "he was obliged to work 12 hours in the day for the Master Painter who employed him," and that therefore he would have no leisure time for the future in which to deliver the Summonses which up to that date had been his practice. His occupation of a Journeyman Painter betokens a very moderate income, but later on we learn that he improved in social status and carried on the business of a Wine Merchant at King Street, Tower Hill, London, E. He was a man of fairly good education, and his firm and distinctive signature reveals to some extent the bold and determined character which he undoubtedly possessed. He informs us that originally he joined a Modern Lodge in London [in 1748 — unfortunately up to now its identity is unknown — but he soon threw in his lot (heart and soul) with the Antients and became their chief protagonist and sponsor for over thirty years. In 1752 he was appointed Grand Secretary of that body and retained that exalted position until his resignation in 1770. In the next year [1771] he was elevated to the rank of Deputy Grand Master, acting in that capacity until 1787 when increasing ill health caused his retirement; a few years later, viz., in June, 1791, he passed to the Grand Lodge above, having devoted forty-seven years of a very active life to the services of the Craft for which he always had a great affection and regard.

His life in London was almost entirely spent in the Eastern portion of the great metropolis, for he resided for some years in King Street, Tower Hill, E., and his will dated 5th June, 1770, commences thus "In the name of God, Amen. I, Laurence Dermott of the Parish of Saint Botolph, Aldgate in the County of Middlesex, Wine Merchant, etc., etc."; he later on removed to Mile End with his wife where he remained until his death in 1791. [3]


Dermott's residence in the East End of London would make him very familiar with the locality of Wapping — then the busy and active Port of London — where the Dundee Lodge had met from 1739.

This Lodge — one of the oldest Modern Lodges in the world, having been Constituted 1722-23 — was allotted in 1753, the Number 9 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of England, which number it held right up to the Union in 1813, when in compliance with the compromise then arrived at with the Antients it had to surrender its old number and from 1814 became No. 18 which distinction it still holds in 1924.

(To be continued)


  1. The Committee of Charity fulfilled in those days the duties of the present Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England.
  2. This present article is written from the point of view of the Moderns, but it is only right to at once make the fullest admission as to the great debt the Moderns owe to the Antients for preserving intact — against great opposition — much of the old (and perhaps original) working of the Masonic degree which otherwise might have been entirely lost.
  3. This information has been chiefly derived from an excellent pamphlet entitled Notes on Laurence Dermott, G.S., and His Work, written in 1884 by the late Bro. W. M. Bywater, who with Bro. Henry Sadler are the chief exponents of Bro. Dermott's Masonic career.

* * *

Do you ask what building this
That can show both pain and bliss,
That can be both dark and fair?
Lo, its name is character.

* * *


Bro. William M. Stuart

THE most noted of Washington's "Masonic Generals" was Nathaniel Greene, rated by Lord Cornwallis as dangerous as His Excellency. As the historian, C. T. Brady, observes:

"Indeed, we have come down to the Civil War to find his equal and even then the search must be made with some care. General Scott, for instance, who gained a much greater reputation in the war of 1812 and in the Mexican War, is not to be mentioned in the same breath with the Rhode Island blacksmith, either for ability or achievement; he does not compare with the plain man who so highly educated himself by his own unaided efforts, that, for relaxation in the midst of desperate campaigns, he read the Latin poets in the original by the light of the campfire, and annotated, for the use of the army, Vattel's famous treatise called 'Droit des Gens'!"

Here, surely, is a mark for the poor but ambitious youth to shoot at.

Washington and Greene were the only general officers who served continuously throughout the war from the siege of Boston to the end.

Although it is an undisputed fact that Greene was a Freemason, it has not been determined just when and where he was raised. Says R.W.Bro. S. Penrose Williams, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, in a letter dated Oct. 21, 1925:

"In answer to your letter of the 19th instant, I beg to state that there is no record in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, so far as I have been able to learn, to show that General Nathaniel Greene was a member of any Lodge in Rhode Island.

"We have cards showing the membership of all our Lodges from 1749 to the present time, but General Greene's name is not among them. He was undoubtedly a Mason somewhere.

"The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island has a medal which it is claimed was the property of General Greene, given him by General Lafayette."

It is extremely probable that General Greene was made a Mason in one of the ten military lodges of the Continental Army. In fact, some Masonic writers have definitely claimed this. That he was a Mason there can be little doubt.

Nathaniel Greene was born of Quaker parents at Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1746, and was trained to follow the vocation of his father, a blacksmith. His schooling was very limited, but, possessing a thirst for knowledge, he started to collect a library, and while yet a mere child learned the Latin language. After all, education is more a frame of mind than anything else. The youthful Greene had the will to acquire knowledge and nothing could keep him from it. Military history was his forte; he studied the campaigns of all great captains, from Alexander to Frederick, the Prussian genius.

Shortly after becoming of age he was elected to the Legislature of his native colony. When the news of Lexington came he promptly resolved to take up arms. Shortly he was appointed to the command of a Rhode Island brigade. His scandalized church promptly kicked him out. However, at the instance of Washington, who had quickly perceived his worth, he was promoted by Congress to the command of a division in the Continental Army.

When Howe's force threatened New York Greene was placed in charge of the American troops on Long Island. Illness soon incapacitated him for a time and Bro. Israel Putnam succeeded to the command. The disastrous battle of Long Island followed. Had Greene been able to continue in command it is probable that the story of that conflict would have been far different. Although Putnam was a great partisan, he was no strategist. Greene was.

General Greene was one of the "Masonic Forlorn Hope" that led the march to Trenton on Christmas night, 1776. He participated in the battle of Princeton. At Brandywine, after the brigade of Bro. John Sullivan had been crushed at Birmingham Meeting-House, Greene brought his division on a run from a point four miles in the rear, covering the distance in the incredible time of forty minutes. Stationing his veterans in a narrow pass, he planted his artillery and repulsed charge after charge made by the enemy, holding the position until darkness fell, and effectually covering the retreat of the army. He was active in the battle of Germantown, and at Monrnouth rendered good service. He was president of the military court that tried Major Andre.

On Dec. 3, 1780, following the fiasco of Gates at Camden, General Greene was appointed to the command of the Army of the South. Among his prominent officers were Colonel Henry Lee (Light Horse Harry), Daniel Morgan, Colonel William Washington, Colonel Otho Williams — all brother Masons.

The first great success won by the army under the command of Greene at this time was compassed by General Morgan at Cowpens, where a vastly superior pursuing force under Tarleton was practically annihilated.

Then followed the famous retreat across North Carolina with the pursuing army of Lord Cornwallis often in sight, but never quite near enough to attack. Swamps, muddy roads, swollen rivers, tangled forests, made difficult the retreat, but also retarded pursuit. Greene's barefoot men often marched thirty-five miles in a single day.

So far Greene had not felt himself strong enough to warrant risking a general engagement. But at length, while encamped on Troublesome Creek, near Guilford, North Carolina, he was reinforced by three brigades of militia from Virginia and North Carolina, together with 400 newly-recruited regulars. These reinforcements raised his army to a total of 4,404, horse and foot. He had temporarily shaken off the pursuit of Cornwallis, but he was now emboldened to throw down the gage of battle and wait for his Lordship to take it up. He accordingly advanced to Guilford Court House and, on March 15, 1781, formed his army in three lines, as was his custom when forced to depend largely on militia. The militia of the Revolution constituted a very uncertain proposition at best, and at the worst incipient disaster.

Lord Cornwallis had but 2,400 troops. They were, however, veterans to a man, and comprised some of the best regiments in the British service: Guards, Grenadiers, Highlanders, Hessians. Of Greene's total force, 2,753 were raw militia. He had 1,490 regular infantry and 161 regular cavalry; the latter being commanded by two most excellent officers — Colonels Harry Lee and William Washington. There were four pieces of artillery. Two-thirds of the regulars were recruits, too recently brought under discipline to be thoroughly dependable. Other than the First Maryland regiment, the dragoons, and the infantry of Lee's Legion, possibly 600 men in all, the Continentals were far from being veteran troops. It will therefore be seen that the advantage in personnel was with Lord Cornwallis.

Greene had the choosing of position; a fact of which he took full advantage. The North Carolina militia, posted at the edge of a forest, constituted the first line, which extended both sides of the Salisbury Road. In the road were two pieces of artillery under Captain Singleton. The second line, composed of Virginia militia, was also located in the oak woods; while the third line — regulars — was near the courthouse in the open. Two guns were stationed at this point. Lee's Legion supported the first line. To make the attack the British must necessarily cross open fields in front of the North Carolina militia. So far the advantage was with Greene. If only the militia would stand and fight, the prospects were good for a victory. At any rate Greene had tired of retreating and purposed to do it no more, at least for the present. Cornwallis was equally desirous of battle. Up to this time it is doubtful whether either leader had properly estimated the ability of his opponent.

It was about noon when the army of Cornwallis was observed approaching along the Salisbury Road, but as yet nearly a mile distant. The air was cool and invigorating; not a cloud was in the sky. The scarlet uniforms and burnished arms of the British regulars, glittering in the rays of the sun, afforded a sharp contrast with the dead appearance of the landscape. Not yet had the buds and grass started; the trees, devoid of foliage, stood silhouetted like somber skeletons against a background of lifeless turf.

In the van of the approaching force trotted the dragoons of the redoubtable Tarleton. The latter only that morning had been roughly handled in skirmish with Light Horse Harry's men; but ever ready for battle, he now led the way to renew the contest.

Crouching behind a fence running along the southern margin of the woods, the raw North Carolina militia nervously handled their flint-locks and noted with ill-concealed anxiety the steady approach of the foe. From their position in the road the two six-pounder guns of Captain Singleton leaped, vomited flame and smoke and rolled back a pace. Down where the British were defiling into the open fields some confusion ensued. Then came a swirl of plunging horses, flaying lashes and gesticulating drivers. Two of the enemy's gun were unlimbered and opened a return fire.

The British army deployed in three heavy columns and advanced straight toward the first line of Greene's force. In perfect time moved the bare legs of the fierce Highlanders; stolidly marched the Hessians; smartly came the picked men of the Guard. There was no cheering; but steadily, apparently as irresistible as the march of doom, they came.

A gruff command. The line halted. Heavy muskets came up in an ominous row. There came a dancing blaze, a burst of smoke, rolling away on the breeze a stunning roar. Then inflamed faces, behind a hedge of glittering bayonets, burst out of the battle haze.

It was too much for the raw North Carolina militia. From their line ripped out one scattering volley, then they fled, all unharmed, fled like rabbits before the baying of the hunter's dog. Through the forest they crashed, flinging from them in wild panic musket knapsack, canteen — anything and everything to lessen their burden and increase their speed. Greene's first line of defense had vanished like dew before the morning's sun.

But now Lee's Legion, fighters to a man, strove valiantly shouting, the exultant foe pressed Lee's men back upon the second line. Here the militia from Virginia stood firm and a desperate contest resulted. Red coats spotted thickly the drab turf. Among the scattered oak trees the acrid powder spoke hung sluggishly near the ground. But eventually the right of the second line was crushed. The militiamen fell back on their left, finally to take refuge behind the regulars.

Colonel Webster with the 23rd and 33rd regiments now attacked the right of the shortened wing, while Leslie and Bose, leading the Highlanders and Hessians, rushed toward the left. O'Hara with the Grenadiers and the second battalion of the crack Guards supported the British left. Before this assault the remainder of Greene's second line gave way. Only the Continental regulars stood between the foe and disaster.

The battle now took on a character of the utmost ferocity. Webster pressed forward and attacked the famous First Maryland regiment, than which no better troops walked the earth. Greene rode behind this line and encouraged the men. The hardy veterans did not need it. Webster's men drew near, but now, before the steady and rapid volleys of the Marylanders, the advance was stopped. For a few fateful moment alternate volleys ripped and blazed from the opposing lines. Then Webster, after suffering terrible loss, fell back across a little ravine and upon an elevation sought to rally his shattered brigade.

Lieutenant-colonel Stuart led the first battalion of the Guards in an assault upon the Second Maryland regiment, unlike the first, mostly raw recruits. It did not bide the onset, but fled at once in panic, abandoning two field-pieces. Stuart pursued furiously, and once more a crisis in the battle was precipitated.

Colonel Gunby of the First Maryland, temporarily relieved from pressure by Webster's retreat, now called to his men and ordered a charge against Stuart's flank. This regiment had often tasted victory; it was highly disciplined, even though the uniforms of buff and blue were in tatters. In bayonet practice it had no peer on the continent. With a loud shout it sprang forward, delivered a heavy volley, and under cover of the smoke of the discharge, struck Colonel Stuart's battalion with a crash heard all over the field. And at the same moment Lieutenant-colonel Washington spurred into the ruck with his Continental dragoons.

The dead grass of the sloping field was trampled into the soil, now made soft by the blood of men. Through the eddying smoke flashed bayonet and saber. Cheers, groans and screams mingled with the harsh grating of steel meeting steel. The co-ordination of the Maryland infantry and Washington's horsemen was perfect. The abandoned cannon were recovered. Stuart was slain, the Guards routed, great slaughter resulted. It is recorded that at this time one of Washington's troopers cut down in succession eleven of the fleeing enemy.

Pell-mell the Guards fled, discipline forgotten for the time. And ever at the heels of the demoralized Britons raced the lean infantry of Maryland and hacked the dragoons of Washington. The star of victory had suddenly shifted.

Cornwallis looked upon the rout of his men and realized that all was lost unless he adopted extreme measures. Extreme measures were what he did adopt, and those most promptly. So extreme were they that the recital makes one shudder. He drew up his artillery and ordered it to sweep with grapeshot his own retreating column and the pursuing Americans!

And so, while the ground fairly rocked under the rapid discharges of the British cannon, grapeshot whistled and whined among the struggling men, exacting impartially its toll from friend and foe. Right into the blaze of their own guns rushed the panic-stricken Guards in an effort to escape from their vengeful pursuers. The Americans fell back.

Greene had yet one regiment of Continental infantry which had been but slightly engaged. However, the defection of the militia and his own heavy loss had so weakened his army that he felt it unwise to abide the renewed attack that Cornwallis was now about to make. Hence, ordering Colonel Greene to cover the retreat with his Virginia regiment, the American commander abandoned the field to his foe and fell back to Troublesome Creek, ten miles in the rear. The retrograde movement was made in good order and Cornwallis did not think it prudent to pursue. Indeed, he could not, for he had lost about a quarter of his entire force.

In this fierce two-hour action the British lost over 600 men, killed and wounded, including many of the best officers. Greene's casualties were 400, besides nearly 900 militia missing. Considering the speed with which these men left the field, it seems likely that a majority of them had attained the sanctuary of their own firesides before the echo of the final volley had died away. Such was the battle of Guilford Court House, a fight so fell that men still speak of it when tales of valor are toward. Says the popular American historian, Brady:

"We have to look along the pages of history for a hundred years to find such fighting as the whole British army did on one side, and as the famous First Maryland did on the other, on that day, and we do not find it until we come to the old Thomas at Chicamauga."

Cornwallis claimed the victory because he spent the night on the field, amid the thousand bodies in scarlet and blue that marked the place of strife. The British army was so shattered that Greene was relieved of the danger of further pursuit. Cornwallis gave up the campaign and retired to the coast within four days after the battle. Greene pursued for a time, then turned and marched to South Carolina, where in due season he recovered that state for the patriot cause.

News of the battle of Guilford produced a sensation in the British Parliament. Fox declared that "Another such victory will ruin the British army." In fact it did remove Cornwallis as a factor in the campaign for the recovery of the Carolinas. Although bloody battles were to be fought, such as Hobkirk's Hill and Eutaw, Greene was never again called upon to hazard what he did at Guilford. By alternately fighting and maneuvering he worsted Lord Rawdon and Colonel Stuart and shut the British army in Charleston. Before the end came he had won back all that Gates lost at Camden — that and more. And he achieved for himself a name that will live as long as the story of the Republic.

* * *


Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, Associate Editor, Iowa

CONSIDERABLE interest has been aroused by an article making the rounds of the Masonic press regarding a very rare Masonic book offered for sale in England for 1,650 pounds, or $7600 — the equivalent of the English figures at the time the story originated. The volume is The Old Constitution Belonging to the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons; credit is given to the Iowa Masonic Library for having the only other copy heretofore available.

As is generally known to Masonic students, the premier Book of Constitutions authorized by the Grand Lodge of England was the one brought out by the Rev. James Anderson, D.D., in 1723. Bro. Lionel Vibert of England, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London, has written an introduction to the 1923 Quaritch reprint of the 1723 volume which is the most scholarly treatment of the subject in print. Bro. Vibert also wrote a shorter article on the same theme which appeared in THE BUILDER, August, 1923.

The Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England begin with the entry of June 24, 1723; we are therefore dependent upon The New Book of Constitutions for the historical account of what transpired in Grand Lodge between 1717 and 1723. We read therein, as of Sept. 28, 1721, that

His Grace's Worship and the Lodge finding fault with all the Copies of the Old Gothic Constitutions, order'd Brother James Anderson, A.M. to digest the same in a new and better method.

On Dec. 27, 1721, Montagu, Grand Master, appointed a committee of fourteen to examine Bro. Anderson's manuscript, who reported on March 25 following that they had approved of it, after some amendments. According to Anderson's account in the 1738 volume of the Constitutions, the book was in print Jan. 17, 1723. So far as I know, there is no record anywhere indicating that the Roberts Constitutions of 1722 was authorized by the Grand Lodge of England. As its title page indicates (see illustration) it is "Taken from a Manuscript wrote about Five Hundred Years since," and doubtless the printer or the transcriber had access to one of the old manuscript charges of which ninety have been found up to the present time. [1] This document, now lost to the Craft, apparently escaped destruction in 1720, when

This Year, at some private Lodges, several very valuable Manuscripts (for they had nothing yet in Print) concerning the Fraternity, their Lodges, Regulations, Charges, Secrets, and Usages (particularly one writ by Mr. Nicholas Stone the Warden of Inigo Jones) were too hastily burnt by some scrupulous Brothers, that those Papers might not fall into strange Hands.

Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. 22, contains an able article by Sir Alfred Robbins, P.G.W., United Grand Lodge of England, on "The Earliest Years of English Organized Freemasonry," and in a subsequent reference to the same subject, entitled "A Newly Discovered Print of the 'Roberts MS.'," he points out that The Post Man and the Historical Account, etc., for July 31 - Aug. 2, 1722 (No. 60015), contains a letter alluding to an old Masonic document, in which is reprinted the text of the Roberts Constitutions, practically verbatim, as we know it from the pamphlet version so extremely rare. R. W. Bro. Robbins states:

I am of the opinion that Roberts did not make his copy from the Post Man but that both prints were copies direct from the original MS., as in a few instances blanks in the newspaper are filled up in the pamphlet. It is very remarkable that all other copies of the Post Man, as well as of the Roberts' print should have so completely disappeared.

It has not been determined which of the two printed versions of 1722 had priority; one can only guess at the circumstances in connection with it. Anderson makes no mention of it; and venturing an opinion upon the indignation which Anderson expressed in 1735, when one Smith of London "pyrated" the 1723 Anderson work, it may be that Anderson willfully ignored the Roberts pamphlet of 1722, and did not leave us any record of Grand Lodge mention, if there were any, of the Roberts work in 1722 and 1723. On the other hand — and it is a more charitable and fraternal supposition — it must be remembered that the Roberts pamphlet does not include the General Regulations first compiled by Grand Master George Payne in 1720, and approved by Grand Lodge on St. John the Baptist's Day, 1721, and for this reason it is rather unlikely that the pamphlet by Roberts was an official or authorized publication. The manuscript, as a whole, in fact, is in no way comparable to the compilation by Anderson, and would be as unsatisfactory for the regulation of a Grand Lodge as were all the other manuscript ("Gothic") constitutions then known. Why the Roberts pamphlet was printed at all is something difficult to conjecture; but I incline to the opinion that the original Post Man article, in which the Craft was maligned (together with other probable attacks of the day against Freemasonry), was responsible for the printed version of this old manuscript. This is borne out, I believe, in the following paragraph, appearing as a part of the introduction:

Nor is their Value lessen'd or abated at all by the Dust and Scandal rais'd by any men against them, or by the Freedom they have taken to banter and rally them. The Dirt thrown at them flyes back at those that cast it, and the Honour of the Society of Free-Masons remains entire. So that none of the Persons of Honour who have lately grac'd the Society with their Presence, have yet seem any reason to be asham'd of them, or to withdraw their Protection from them.

[Since the foregoing was written, Bro. N.W.J. Haydon of Toronto has called my attention to the Inaugural Address of W. Bro. Edward Conder, Jr., Worshipful Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No 2076, for the year 1901. He says in part:

... We know that for the first few years after the foundation of Grand Lodge, there was absolutely nothing in print beyond slight notices of the existence of the Fraternity.

As the number of Lodges became augmented by the foundation of new ones, so did the increase of copies of the Old Constitutions become a necessity, consequently it is not surprising to find this demand supplied by printed copies. In 1722 a London printer issued an authorised edition with the following title page. (Here follows the text.)

This printed copy of the MS. Constitutions was quickly followed by the Constitutions of the Free-masons, &c., for the use of Lodges, drawn up by Dr. James Anderson, and published with the authority of Grand Lodge in 1723. [2]

Bro. Conder, in a footnote, says: "This first edition is extremely scarce, only one copy is known to exist, it is a faulty copy of Haileian MS., 1942." I gladly defer to such an eminent authority as Bro. Conder, but nevertheless will let my opinion stand regarding the publication of the Roberts Constitution as having been probably brought out in connection with the attacks the Fraternity.] [3]

The increasing popularity of the Craft, and its appearance in the public eye, would warrant a printer in believing that a pamphlet on the subject was readily salable. However, this may not have been true, for one is justified in believing that more than two copies would have otherwise survived the years. It may also be that the pamphlet came out so late in 1722 that it was overshadowed by the more useful Anderson compilation, available by Jan. 17, 1723.

No serious attention was paid, so far as I can discover, to the Roberts pamphlet until 1871, when the work of William James Hughan on the Old Charges revived an interest in the early documents of the Craft. The researches instituted at the time warranted a reproduction of some of the early issued of the Book of Constitutions. Richard Spencer, a noted Mason of his day and a publisher of Masonic books, brought out a volume entitled The Constitutions of the Freemasons, 1722, 1723, 1726, 1730, London, 1871, in which the Roberts item of 1722 has leading place.

Bro. Spencer states in the preface to his book that the 1722 Constitutions came into his possession "about a quarter of a century ago" (about 1845), bound up in the end of a 1723 Constitutions. "The Freemasons' Magazine and Masonic Mirror," September, 1857, page 721, contains this statement:

Brother Spencer has called at our office and shown us a specimen of Brother Harris's skill in a facsimile executed for him a few years back, in restoring a portion of the O.B. printed in black letter to copy of the Book of Constitutions printed in 1722, now in his possession, and supposed to be unique; and which Brother Spencer will be most happy to show to any member of the Craft.

Lionel Vibert, mentioned above, is also the editor of "Miscellanea Latomorum," a valuable periodical of Notes and Queries on matters relating to the Craft. In the October, 1923, issue, he comments upon the discovery of the second copy of the Roberts pamphlet, now in the collection of Bro. W. J. Williams, of England, and, and says:

A comparison of the new copy of the Roberts print with the Iowa copy shows that the alignment of the Obligation in black letter is quite different on p. 23 (really 25) and that in the Iowa copy the word here occurs in the first line, and is not in the original. Furthermore the signature letter D occurs in the new copy (as it should for this is really page 25, and C occurs on p. 17), but it is absent from the Iowa copy. The word here appears in the Obligation on p. 18, which is from this point word for word identical with that on pp. 23 and 24. The Obligation is half at the bottom of p. 23, and the rest on the upper portion of p. 24. On p. 24 the finial is an ornament of a basket with fruit and flowers carried by a cherub. The identical ornament occurs again on p. 19. In the new copy the ornament is there in full; in the Iowa copy there is only the basket and its contents; the supporter and all ornaments below the actual basket are absent. A careful examination of the photograph reveals on both sides of the leaf indications of a junction in the paper which would mean that if at any time the portion below the line were missing the whole of the Obligation text on the first page, 23, will have been absent, and all the ornament except just the top on p. 24....

There is no other Book of Constitutions printed in 1722, so there can be no doubt, I fear, that the Iowa pamphlet is the work, the last page of which was restored by Harris. Accordingly the position now is that the only perfect copy of the Roberts print is in this country, for I understand that the copy recently discovered is complete. It may be observed that the error in the pagination, by which the two last pages are numbered 23 and 24 instead of 25 and 26, is a feature of the original; as already stated, the only details in which the Iowa copy does not exactly reproduce the original are that it adds the word here in the first line of the Obligation and omits part of the finial ornament, that the signature letter is omitted, and that the obligation is not printed line for line as the original on p. 23. Naturally at the time of the sale of the library the fact that this restoration had been carried out was lost sight of; it had been done for Brother Spencer more than twenty years previously.

One of the outstanding book sales in the Craft was that of Richard Spencer's private library in London, July, 1875. It came to the attention of Bro. Robert Farmer Bower, of Keokuk, Iowa, a merchant whose success in business enabled him to indulge his hobby of Masonic book collecting rather freely. He promptly cabled Richard Spencer an offer to buy the entire collection; but this was declined. Bro. Bower then communicated with Bro. Hughan, who consented to act for him at the sale, and among the treasures secured for America was the Roberts Constitutions, which was sold for eight pounds ten shillings, or about forty dollars. Much to Bro. Spencer's disappointment, the entire sale yielded considerably less than what Bro. Bower had offered for the collection intact.

Bro. Bower died May 19, 1882. Theodore Sutton Parvin, ever watchful of opportunities to enrich the library which he had founded, took steps to secure the Bower Library, which was bought for four thousand dollars in the same year. This collection, more than any other single purchase, has made the Iowa Masonic Library what it is today, and the plaudits of the Iowa Craft, and the Craft as a whole in America, are due Bro. Parvin for his foresight, skill and assiduity in securing rare books whenever obtainable. The Roberts Constitutions is now carefully protected in a steel vault with other rare books, and is only displayed to the serious students of the Craft.

The Research Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa consented to the reprinting of the Roberts Constitutions by the Masonic Research Society in 1915. An edition of two thousand was printed from copper halftone plates, photographed direct from the original volume. Copies of the reprint are still available, I believe, through the National Masonic Research Society.


  1. The Old Charges. Rev. Herbert Poole, London, 1924. The table prepared by Bro. Lionel Libert and published in THE BUILDER, Vol. IX (1923), page 368, gives a classification of these old documents.
  2. A.Q.C., Vol. XIII, page 180.
  3. It has also been suggested that this printed version of the Old Charges was put out on behalf of a conservative element who were opposed to the determination of the majority to recast the Constitutions, with the intention of detracting from the effect of the official work. Such an opposition might explain the rarity of the work, as it may have been suppressed as A Defense of Free-Masonry is supposed to have been at a later date. [Ed.]

* * *


Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia


KNOWN to Massachusetts as Governor, to the rest of the Union he was General Banks. Statesman, soldier, executive, editor, lawyer and machinist, his career is typical of America, the land of opportunity. He was born at the town of Waltham in the beginning of the year 1816. His parents were, if not poor, at least of very limited means; his education was gained at the common school, and at an early age he went to work in a cotton mill. Whether on his own motion, or that of his parents, he was later apprenticed to the trade of machinist, which then as now was of great importance in the industrial world. A studious young man with great ambitions, Nathaniel Banks attended the local political caucuses and took part in the debates at every opportunity, and thus became a fluent and forceful speaker. He lectured before the Lyceum, political clubs and Temperance Societies — not prohibition, by the way, which was then undreamed of, and it was at this time that he became a member of the Masonic Order.

President Polk gave him an appointment in the Boston Custom House, and during the incumbency of this office he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1869 he was chosen as Speaker of the House and was one of the chief advocates of the coalition between the Democrats and the "Free-soilers" by which the time-honored rule of the Whigs was over-thrown in his state. In 1853 he was elected to Congress and in the summer of that year was chosen as president of the Convention called to revise the State Constitution. During his first term in Congress he withdrew from the Democratic Party on the issue of slavery, and in 1854 was re-elected by the aid of the "American Party" (originally called the Know-nothings), which was organized when President Pierce was making wholesale appointments to federal offices of members of the Roman Church. After a long contest the House of Representatives chose him as its Speaker in 1855. There were a hundred and thirty-three ballots taken before a decision was reached.

Banks served that Congress two years and was re-elected at the next, the thirty-fifth, but resigned in December, 1857, to become Governor of the State of Massachusetts. This office he held until 1861, when he became President of the Illinois Central Railroad.

When the Civil War broke out he was given the commission of a Major General, having been an active member of the State Militia as a young man. Notwithstanding this very limited military experience the President had great confidence in him. He was at the first battle of Winchester, in which he did surprisingly well; and next morning crossed the Shenandoah near Fort Royal, thus foiling an attempt on the part of Stonewall Jackson to capture the force under his command. During Banks' operations in the Valley of Virginia, Jackson not only blocked Banks' movements, but captured many of his supply trains, which was the cause of much adverse criticism in the newspapers. But no notice was taken of the fact that every inhabitant of that region was a spy for Jackson and an enemy of the "Yanks." It is not too much to say that Jackson was perhaps the greatest leader that the Civil War produced, but while showing marked ability in military affairs, he was not a success at anything else.

General Banks relieved General Butler at New Orleans early in 1863, and made a successful march through the Teche country, reaching Alexandria with very little loss, and thus ended the receipt of supplies by the Confederates through that channel. Rear Admiral Farragut with two vessels had patrolled the river from Port Hudson to Vicksburg to prevent the passage of material across the river. It was a plan, ably conceived and well executed and made the work of General Grant much easier.

After the war, Banks was again elected to Congress as a Republican, and later was also re-elected in succession to the fortieth, forty-first and forty-second Congresses. He then dropped out but was once more re-elected as a Liberal Republican to the forty-third Congress.

In 1879 he was appointed United States Marshal, an office he held until 1888. He was then elected to the fifty-first Congress on the Republican ticket. He was later, in 1891, voted an annual pension of $1,200. He died at Waltham, Mass., Sept. 1, 1894.

Only one Masonic action of General Banks has been discovered by the writer. There were a number of Military Lodges in the Confederate Armies, and they were admitting some improper material. These lodges were so numerous that they even talked of forming a Grand Lodge. A number of Past Masters asked permission from Banks to pass through the lines to attend the meeting of the Grand Lodge at New Orleans, and he gave them an escort composed of Masons. Through their influence the Grand Lodge of Louisiana was preserved.

The monument to his memory shown in the accompanying illustration is of bronze, and is erected in the State House grounds at Boston. The sculptor who did the work was Mr. Henry H. Kitson. It was unveiled in September, 1908.

* * *


Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren

The title of our article published in the January number of THE BUILDER was perhaps rather misleading in that there was very little said in it about the Comacines. Confession is good for the soul, even the soul of a literary partnership, and it is possible that the alliterative jingle had more weight than it should have had. Bro. Ravenscroft in the kindly and fraternal rejoinder that appeared in THE BUILDER for April took up the defense of the theory of which he is perhaps the most widely known exponent. He says, and we can fully sympathize with his feelings, that a "bit of flat denial" would be welcome "as something tangible with which to deal." The difficulty is, and we are glad to make the admission, that one cannot definitely deny that there was a continuity of organization bridging the gap between Roman and Medieval times localized especially in the district about Lake Como. In fact, we go further than admission, and will say that we believe that the evidence goes to show that there was a real continuity in culture, in the arts and crafts and in social organization, both in the North of Italy and the South of France; and that if such a general continuity be supposed, the special continuity of architecture as an art, and of the organization of the Mason's craft, must also be granted, unless there were special reasons to the contrary, and no such reasons appear. It would seem then that what we hold does not contradict the supposition of continuity between collegium and gild at Como, but rather includes it. Bro. Ravenscroft has further elucidated his position in a recent letter. He says:

I make no claim for the Comacine Gild to be the only link between Roman and Medieval times, or even the chief one. On the contrary, I cannot but think the Byzantine influence was in its district as great, and after what Rivorra claims for the Ravenna School it is impossible to ignore its influence. What I do claim is that the Comacines were the link between Roman times and Western Europe — especially Britain, and indeed I know of no other influence so well defined as theirs in the pre-Norman remains of this country.

But we do not want to discuss Bro. Ravenscroft's article in detail as our original purpose was not especially concerned with the Comacine Theory as such, in spite of the heading of the article, our object was rather to make a positive suggestion (which we hope may be discussed by Masonic scholars) as to the real nature of the link — if one there was — through which a chain of continuity in the organization of the Mason's craft might have subsisted. It would have been possible to set the hypothesis out in greater detail, but that may be more usefully done if it first have the benefit of the criticism of others. It would seem that if the lodge were normally, in Medieval times, a distinct type of organization — forming, dissolving and reforming, here semi-permanent, there quite ephemeral but always sufficient for its purpose — its work (1) — which was the making of masons — or rather builders, then many of the difficulties which beset the student in seeking to connect Speculative, post-Grand Lodge Masonry with the Operative Masonic Gilds will vanish, for if this be the case the connection of the gilds with the system from which ours is descended was always an accidental one. The immobile, local, exclusive organization of the gild, frequently exercising semi public and municipal functions was connected with the mysterious and (in the literal sense of the word) occult or hidden organization behind it solely through the fact that the members of the one were largely, or wholly as the case might have been, also members of the other. And if this hypothesis be accepted as solving the problems raised by the remaining records left to us of Medieval gilds and pre-Grand Lodge Masonry it would then appear to be possible to argue that the lodge, like the traditions of craftsmanship, of handiwork and technical manipulation, was not originated in the Middle Ages but also existed behind and under cover of such of the Roman Collegia as were connected with building. We would suggest, as others also have thought, that this organization was not exclusively confined to skilled stone cutters, sculptors and architects, but was common to all building crafts who used square and compass. And as Gould remarked in a different connection, there would seem to be no limit set to its possible antiquity. It could have come from Etruria and Magna Graecia to Rome, from Greece to Italy, from the Mycenaean and Minoan Cultures to Classical Greece — or from Egypt, Asia Minor or Babylon. There is no limit, and equally no facts — it is rather like looking out into empty space. But between the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages in Europe we have got something to go upon. We know that the latter culture was evolved out of the former, rested on it as a foundation, used it for material. We know that over large areas and in many special localities there was continuity, and one of these centres certainly appears to have been about Lake Como, and its island city. It also seems, once one is freed of the idea that the Masonic organization which existed in England in the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th century must have been derived from broken-down gilds, that the ceremonies and mysteries that Modern Freemasonry inherited (and expanded and "moralized" and "illustrated") were traditions of just the same kind as those that were passed down from generation to generation practically everywhere in Europe in the form of annual ritual observances, mumming dances and plays, fertility rites, collective sun and weather magic and the rest of what has in late years been so diligently collected and set forth by anthropologists and folklorists. It was passed down in the same kind of way, though in a close and secret fraternity, which included not only the architect, capable of designing and superintending the erection of a cathedral and accustomed to the society of great and rich men, but also of the village carpenter and stone mason who never built anything more important than a cottage or a barn-and the strength and continuity of the tradition probably lay much more with the latter than with the former.


(1) When the lodge first emerges into the light of history it certainly seems to have been very largely a convivial organization. The actual records confirm contemporary outside opinion on this point. On this account the statement in the text may be too sweeping. The position may be made clearer by reference to the traditional May Day, Midsummer and Harvest observances. These all partook of a markedly festive character, and doubtless this character kept them alive long after any real belief in their efficacy as promoting the prosperity of the community had disappeared, beyond perhaps a vague feeling that it would be "unlucky" to omit them. Nevertheless it would be proper to say that their purpose was to promote magically the fertility of the fields and the increase of flocks and herds; and in the same way the lodge meeting may have been the welcome occasion of a simple feast and much drinking of ale or wine, while yet it would be accurate to say, as in the text of the article, that its work was the making of Masons.

* * *


THE selection of officers is a matter of primary importance to the prosperity of a lodge. Merit should always be the passport to your support, and it is generally modest and unobtrusive. Wherever you find intrigue, depend upon it, there is more or less a lack of real worth. When management is resorted to for the purpose of elevation, the office thus attained will generally be held more for the sake of the honor it confers than from any disposition to fill it usefully to the Craft. Stations, in our noble Institution, should follow good works and be regarded as the fitting reward of zeal and devotion to its principles, and not for the sake of distinction. I do not mean by this to condemn that ambition which is part of our common nature, and which when well directed is an honor to us; but I do mean to condemn the elevation to high positions of such as are neither attentive to, nor competent for, the due discharge of their duties.

Be sure, before you open the South door to a brother, that he is, or in due time will be, qualified to preside in the East; for after you have once put him in the road to promotion, you are disinclined, even when his unfitness becomes apparent, to check his further elevation from a feeling of kindness and forbearance. Brethren who aspire to the high stations should take them with a consciousness of capacity and a fixed determination to be, in fact as well as in name, officers of the lodge. Without an efficient head no institution can hope to prosper. The mere possession of ability is nothing, it must be properly and vigorously exerted to be useful, and culpable indeed is that brother who, with the responsibility of station upon him, and with a mind fitted for the profitable discharge of duty, thinks not of the one, and refuses the benefits of the other, to the Craft who have confided in and promoted him.

The obligations are deep and responsible so far as the Master is concerned, and not the less grave and imposing upon the Wardens. These hold, as it were, the destinies of the lodge in their hands; and it will prosper or languish as they are faithful or negligent. No brother, therefore, will feel hurt — unless he prefers the gratification of his own pride to the good of the Order — if one younger than himself, in years or in Masonry, is promoted because of his greater fitness. No lodge can hope to prosper if indifference prevails in respect to the selection of its officers.

* * *



Editor-in-Chief — R. J. Meekren

Associate Editors

Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littklefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Joseph Fort Newton, New York
Arthur C. Parker, New York
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada

* * *


"FOR which of you," said the Man of Nazareth, "intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost?"

It is just the common sense of every-day life. But there is a calculation that precedes counting the cost of building, that precedes the intention to build, and that is whether it will pay not to build. No one who is not acting on mere impulse, does begin any fresh undertaking without more or less carefully considering whether he can carry it through. It may need no more than a passing thought, it may require prolonged consideration, but in any case it is a comparatively simple and straightforward task. The would-be builder counts the cost of the tower — a tower in those days was an obvious and fairly efficient means of insurance of life and property — and sees "whether he have sufficient to finish it!" there are two elements only to estimate and to compare. But when the cost of not building is taken in hand the problem becomes more complex, sometimes so complex that we are afraid to tackle it, put it off, find we are too busy, or simply ignore it, forgetting that we are thus practically making a negative decision without counting the possible price we may have to pay. To illustrate, it would have been absurd for a peasant in Palestine two thousand years ago to dream of building a tower, absurd as for a day laborer now to take out a five hundred thousand dollar life insurance policy. On the other hand a millionaire does not need to consider long whether he can buy another automobile. The earlier calculation of the two needs at least an approximate solution of the later as one of its factors. It is no use to give thought to a project obviously out of our power.

It is a feature of Occidental civilization, especially in America, that there should be a tendency to estimate all values in terms of cash. Economically money is no more than a convenient counter for the purpose of the exchange of commodities of real value — its own value is fictitious and depends entirely on a general agreement that it will be taken in return for goods or labor. The question is confused by the fact that this fictitious value is based upon the commodity value of a rare metal whose chief use aside from this lies in its adaptability to ornament, an ironic comment by the way, on the Gradgrind philosophy of life, which is, we fear, by no means extinct. It thus happens that money, like fire, from a good servant has become a bad master. It is necessary in the market place, but we have allowed it to go far beyond its proper and limited function, till it has become a veil, a hoodwink, to blind us to the real value of things. These real values are relative and personal. A crust of bread is a Godsend beyond price to the starving man, an elaborate dinner causes only disgust to the sufferer from sea sickness. We cannot properly compare kilometers and fluid ounces, they are obviously incommensurable as they stand, nor even can we put a thousand feet of lumber against a square yard of canvas painted by a master hand. Who will set money against the lives of those he loves? It may cost a thousand or ten thousand dollars to restore health to his sick wife or child — is that therefore the price he sets on them? If he can beg, borrow or steal it, it will be forthcoming, but the money does not express a market value. Yet somehow it has come about that it is only in terms of dollars and cents that we can convey to others the value of a thing to us. "I would not take a million dollars for it," says one of some trifle of value to him. It is probably not true, but all he is trying to do is to convey through an alien language the satisfaction it gives him The "cash nexus," to use Carlyle's phrase, is foreign to such values, and the incompatibility is shown by hyperbolical exaggeration.

The building of a tower of defense is an appropriate allegory for Masons; the Craft in America is faced with a problem, a duty, as urgent as that which emerged during the war. Then, though the greatest and most powerful in point of wealth and numbers of any fraternal society in the country, it found itself impotent through lack of any organization fitted to cope with the emergency. In this case the machinery is in existence, ready to be set to work. We are called on to build a house of refuge for our smitten brethren against an insidious and deadly foe. They are our brothers who need this aid, this protection. By our own act, of our own free will and accord, we assumed obligations toward them, and these obligations come next after those elemental ones that a man owes to himself and his own family. The Grand Master of New Mexico, in his article earlier in these pages, once more sets forth the need, and the way in which it can be met. We hope that no one will skip the facts and figures therein quoted and collected, they are necessary to counting the cost. It is true that the value of a brother's life to himself, to his family or to his brethren is not to be expressed in any figures representing money. Of course, the abstract value of the additional wealth in the country that may be created if the lives of a group of men be prolonged a given time can be calculated on the basis of statistical averages, but in and by itself the calculation will leave us cold. That is not the use of friendship and brotherly love, or the obligation of the fraternal tie. And yet it has its place in comparing the cost to us of the tower we should build to the loss in the lowering of ideals, the deterioration of the meaning of Masonry to members of the Order, and on a much lower level still of the loss of prestige in the eyes of the world. Admitted that the figures do no more than tell us of the most superficial aspect, yet even on this ground alone we can see at how small a cost we can do so much. Can we do it? Can the Masons of this country raise the sums required? Not much greater than the Masonic bodies in many of our larger cities have spent on a Temple for their own convenience? Can we do it is not the question at all, it is this; can we afford not to do it?

* * *


UNDOUBTEDLY, were a census taken, it would be found that a very large majority of Masons the world over are at least nominal adherents of the Christian faith, yet it certainly is not a Christian institution. The declaration in the Constitutions of 1723 made that point sufficiently clear. But it may be argued that this was no very revolutionary step, that though in the old MS. records mention is made of the Trinity and of the church, and Masons are exhorted to keep clear of heresy in the same breath as they are enjoined to be loyal to the King, it meant no more than that to them the church and religion, like King and parliament, lodging houses, taverns, rough layers and employers were all part of their world which it never occurred to them to question.

Yet it was inevitable that reflection should lead to a comparison being made between the two, just as in the Compagnonage in France, there was a strong tendency towards symbolizing in the ceremonies of admission the details of the death of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that in the Royal Arch, for example, are veiled references to the doctrine of the Trinity, and these are far more obvious in the English ritual of the degree. The chivalric orders also had a Christian character; it could hardly have been otherwise, seeing they assumed to be survivals or revivals of definitely Christian orders of men who were monks as well as soldiers. But it was in that degree, or order, which in most rites is numbered eighteen, that the most thoroughgoing essay was made to interpret Masonry in a Christian sense. So far as can be judged this was the original idea. It was the third degree over again, regarded as a Christian allegory, stripped of the veils that hid its meaning so that none could mistake. So deeply was this character stamped upon it that it has remained in spite of many modifications; neither those of the Grand Orient nor those of Albert Pike have been able to efface it. But these changes were not the first, the name Rose Croix was from the beginning confused with that of the Rosicrucians, and occult and mystical elements were attached to it. In the latter part of the eighteenth century men were seeking in Freemasonry wondrous secrets, words of magical power, recipes for making gold, the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, the foretelling the future, communication with spirits, the control of fate, and all the rest of the fantastic expectations men had from knowledge before scientific knowledge had come to birth. We may smile today at those who traveled long distances to obtain some new degree they had heard of in the hope that at last they would come at the real secrets of Masonry, at the ease with which charlatans and impostors duped men, educated, and no fools. Men were seeking for what was not there, but this they did not know, and like prospectors for gold they went here and there and everywhere, always seeking.

Physical science since then has produced wonders even greater than those then looked for though not perhaps of the same kind, or produced in the way expected. Yet it is not clear that the seeking has been ended. Men no longer invent new degrees, but they write books instead, and curiously enough the books are bought and read. In them the same kind of visions are set forth, though now less concerned with the ability to produce physical marvels; but instead stress is laid on the mystical and occult. Some mysterious secret behind the veils, through which if we can once attain it the riddle of the universe will be solved, a word, a formula that will explain and make clear all the mysteries of life and death. And these Mosaic writers, like the founders of new rites and degrees before them, are at one in despising the trite moralities of symbolical Masonry, of the simple straightforward charges of the three first degrees. The tendency is not unnatural — the young man who came by night to Jesus did not like the advice to sell all he had and give to the poor; neither did he understand how he could be born again. The Scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign, but none was given them. So certain men expect to find something in Masonry, they know not what, but at least something different and above the commonplaces of every-day life. Two things happen with such initiates — either they lose interest at once and drop out, or they go seeking further, and speak of the wisdom and knowledge of past ages, enshrined in a symbolic system the meaning of which its possessors have forgotten.

It is a constant tendency in humanity. The people of ancient Greece ascribed the Cyclopean walls of Tyryns and Mycenae to the Titans. Here and there were tales of how this or that city or temple were magically built, by the power of divine music, the lyre of Apollo, or Orpheus, which could move men and mountains. Music in Greek thought came near to being an exact equivalent to the Word of Power in the Kabbalah and elsewhere. A Rabbinical tale, quite well known, tells how Solomon built the temple by magical means. Yet nothing is more certain that all these wonders were built by patient toil and good craftsmanship. Blow by blow the stones were wrought, in sweat and weariness from day to day. Magic there was, the magic of genius, of skill, of human persistence in striving to realize an end long imagined and desired. Is not this itself a parable?

We despise the simple moralities of the Craft — they are no secrets, we knew them before. Brotherhood? We had friends before we were Masons. Relief and Truth? What of that, Masonry has no monopoly. So we look for something else — and do not find it. We look for some great thing to do, and despise the little things at hand.

What of all the wonders of our age? To another generation they would have been miracles — we pride ourselves on them, we are at the summit of knowledge, all who went before and the things they were and did are out of date — "back numbers." Yet what are these things? Merely modes and methods of doing what men have done from the first. Automobiles, wireless, moving pictures, poison gas, high explosives, aeroplanes, do nothing especially new; we communicate, travel, kill with greater expedition, that is all. Viewed dispassionately from the outside, such things only affect our lives with less or more of what has always been in the life of mankind. And so it remains that the fundamentals, truth and justice, friendship and morality are still the great things in the world as they have been from the beginning.

Thus it seems that the great secret is open before us, only we overlook it; the treasure is at our feet, and not in some far field at the foot of the rainbow, Every day we have to do with the little things — in our own symbolism the use of gavel and gauge, of square and level — and in the end a temple is built. Will it happen that those who come after will say of our work that the builders had the true word and no substituted secrets?

* * *


Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren

WHAT then was this "lodge," the form of which was so carefully concealed from the profane, and whose "discovery" marked such an important stage in the initiation or "making" of the newly entered Mason?

We have already been informed that it was a "long square," but this somehow does not seem adequate to account for the mystery. In the English "Tracing Boards" mentioned in the first part of this article (page 119) the emblems and concrete symbols of each degree are represented within an oblong marked with a definite border. In the old "Master's Carpet" designs, the earliest prototype of which is to be found in the Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor of Jeremy Cross (reproduced on page 120) we have an oblong pavement depicted in perspective, with the emblems of all degrees disposed on or about it. In the earlier English charts the first and second degrees are combined, and this arrangement carries us back to the time when the "lodge" was still being drawn on the floor in chalk and charcoal, and afterwards washed out by means of the "mop and pail," about which early detractors of the Craft used to be so facetious. This all at first sight very puzzling. We are so accustomed to regard the tiled chamber in which we meet as being itself the lodge that it appears strange to learn that originally it only contained and concealed it from the outside world. If, however, we take the tradition of the outdoor assembly as witness to an actual custom, and suppose that when (at first occasionally and only later habitually) Masons began to meet between four walls and under a roof they continued to do in the chamber just as nearly as possible what they had previously done on a hilltop under the open sky, a clue is given that may lead to a solution. We are told today that the lodge represents the world, and its description has been elaborated with this symbolism in view, but that this was a primary conception is hardly to be believed; actually it would have appeared to have been merely the enclosure within which a new Mason was entered and made.

The qualification "merely" is used to express our modern point of view from which it is not easy to see any great significance in the marking out of a certain particular piece of ground. When Masons today think of an outdoor lodge meeting, such as occasionally occur, they consider only the possibility of guarding against intrusion and the presence of necessary jewels and furniture. It is true that the idea of a sacred place is not wholly absent from modern thought. We can understand the sanctity of a church or a temple; we loosely describe certain places as holy ground as being in a sense sanctified by associations, the home of childhood may be regarded with such a feeling, or the battlefield on which the liberties of a people are won; but the primitive conception of sanctity we have lost entirely. Moses was told to put off his shoes because he stood on holy ground, made so by the presence of God. In other cases, however, men put on shoes in order not to touch it directly (with very much the same feeling as we would put on rubber gloves when handling an electric wire), such shoes being afterwards destroyed or left behind, as they, too, had become charged with sanctity. In a sense we regard a cemetery as consecrated ground even if it has not been actually consecrated by religious rites, but we no longer think that to be buried outside such an enclosure will lessen an individual's chance of attaining Heaven as people in the Middle Ages undoubtedly did.

When we consider it the building of a temple with walls and roof is but to carry this underlying motif of delimitation and separation a stage further by interposing an actual physical barrier instead of a moral or imaginary one. And to some extent all buildings once had something of this sacred aspect, for in primitive life every dwelling had its household sanctities. The threshold, the hearth, the ridge pole, the posts and lintel of the doorway, as well as the ancestral spirits, and the gods of the store room. To go a long way afield the houses of the Ainu in Japan are placed East and West, the hearth is oblong in the center, the place of honor is the East. The entrance is in the West, while there is a window opposite, outside is the Nusa, a sacred fence of willow rods, shaved at the upper end into a bunch of curling shreds. Between this and the window is sacred ground on which no one should trespass. All this is only a curious coincidence, of course, but it illustrates how men continually reproduce the same kind of ideas by a sort of psychological necessity, with variations due to circumstances.


In books on magic we find great emphasis laid on certain diagrams which are to be drawn on the ground with incantations and mysterious ceremonies. In a few cases they are said to be drawn on paper or silk, thus apparently following the same course of development as the Masonic charts. It saves time and trouble to have your diagram in a permanent and portable form. The most common figure used in magic is the circle, but the pentagon is also employed, which figure, like the circle, is formed with a single line, only interlaced with itself. Such diagrams were drawn "with the finger in the dust" or "with consecrated chalk," but perhaps the most efficacious method is with the point of a sword or a knife, the latter being essentially the same thing as a sword, a cutting and piercing implement or weapon made of iron or steel. In Scotland the procedure of ridding a haunted house of its uneasy spiritual occupant required the use of a candle, compass, a Bible and, if possible, a crucifix. With the compass a circle was drawn within which the exorcist was to remain. The crucifix was laid on the Bible, or if none was available a cross was to be drawn inside the circle. We may guess that the Bible is a post-Reformation addition to this ritual, and that the cross drawn in the diagram is more primitive than the crucifix. Be this as it may, the circle fortified by the cross and Bible evidently formed a protecting barrier against the spiritual forces.

In some accounts the evoked demon is confined within the circle, and with this agrees the Devonshire superstition that if a circle be drawn around a snake with an ash stick (the ash is a tree with magic qualities) it cannot or will not pass out of it. Of course a barrier will work either way, to keep the dangerous power in or to keep it out. But by far the more general use was the latter.

This protective use of the figure is, however, probably secondary and derived from a symbolic use. The Hallowe'en bonfires lit on Scottish hills were formerly enclosed within a circular trench, which was said to represent the sun. In a 1771 account of the Bealtine fires of May Day, it is said that "they cut a square trench with a turf in the middle." It is not clear, however, if the fire was lighted within this, but in a later description of the custom it is said "they cut a table in the green sod, of a round figure, by casting a trench in the ground of such a circumference as to hold the whole company." Again the position of the fire is not mentioned but it seems probable it was within the circle. Another account of a similar observance says the trench was dug in the form of a circle large enough to enclose all those present.


In the sword dances and mummer's plays, which even yet survive in some places in Great Britain, the preliminary to the performance appears to have normally been a preparation of the place by one of the actors. This preparation is said in some variants to have been the marking out of a circle with a sword, and in others the sweeping of the space required with a broom, and, in some instances at least, we are told that this swept area was circular. The broom may perhaps here have only been a substitute for a sword, but a wider survey of analogous customs reveals the fact that the broom was a piece of magical apparatus in its own right. In oriental magic, in crystal gazing and the use of the ink pool, the vision always begins by the appearance of two men with brooms who sweep the place and make it ready. Some castes in India actually worship and make offerings to a broom. This homely domestic implement apparently had properties useful in purification. In the Vedic ritual of sacrifice the first thing was to make the ground where it was to be offered pure, or in the primitive sense, holy. All evil spirits and influences had to be removed, and it is perhaps possible in the light of the above mentioned belief, that sweeping the ground first took place, after which a rectangular portion was marked out and purified by four fires. Inside these a circle was drawn and within that again the sacrificial pit or trench was dug. As is well known, the broom played a very prominent part in medieval witchcraft. Essentially a bundle of twigs tied to a stick, it could be regarded very much in the same light as the boughs, green sprigs and garlands and wreaths of the whole group of spring and autumn festivals. Stood upright it could be classed with the May poles and Christmas trees and pillar and tree sanctities. The broom was supposed to sweep out ghosts and spirits and other invisible but dangerous influences just as it swept out dust and dirt. Traces of this are to be seen in European funeral customs. Among others designed to purify the house from the miasma of death, the room had to be swept as soon as the corpse was carried out. The reason for this apparent digression is that it may be possible that the mop and pail about which eighteen century detractors of Freemasonry used to make so merry had originally been a besom or broom used to prepare the ground for the lodge as in the beginning of the mummer's play.

Returning to the magical circle there is a curious half-drawn picture in an account of a gathering of witches in Northumberland in 1673. One of them declared in her confession that

"she and the rest had drawne their compasse nigh to a bridg end, and the devil placed a stone in the middle of the compasse, they sett themselves downe and repeated the Lord's prayer backward ."

It is evident from this that the "compasse" spoken of here was a ring or circle marked out in the center of which the sacred stone was placed, presumably as an object of worship.


In the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini there is a very interesting account of some magical operations in which he took part. The place was within the Coliseum at Rome, the narrative is too long to quote in full, but one point may be noticed here. The priest, who was the magician,

... according to the custom of necromancers began to draw circles on the ground with the most impressive ceremonies imaginable ... as soon as he was in readiness he made an opening in the circle and took us by the hand ...

apparently to lead them into it, as from what follows it is evident all present were within it. The "circles" spoken of in the plural were probably concentric, as shown in Fig. 1 and the illustration of Kelly invoking a spirit. In other cases the circle is said to have been left incomplete until all those assisting had entered, when it was closed.

As a curious parallel to this, and to the lodge diagram also, is the use of a symbolic circle by a smith's gild in Germany (Fig. 6). Gould quotes the formula thus in his history:

The mark is made by the Elder of the Magdeburg Smiths in opening their meetings. Having knocked three times on the table with a hammer he commands "By your favour, fellowcrafts be still." The proper official then brings in the chest which is opened with proper dialogue. The Elder then places his finger and thumb on the open ends of the outside circle in saying "By your favour I thus draw the fellow circle — be it as round or large as it may I span it, I write herein all the fellows that are at work here." Knocks with the hammer "With your favour I have might and right and close the fellow circle." He then completes the circle with chalk ... at the end of the ceremony he closed the meeting and rubbed the chalk ring out with his hand.

This leaving an entrance to the enclosure also recalls the ancient Etruscan ritual for marking out the site of a fortress or city by means of a plough drawn by consecrated oxen, or a white bull and a cow. Where the gates were to be built the plough was lifted and a gap left in the furrow. The American Indians of the plains, in celebrating the Sun Dance, apparently marked out the ground with a large circle having an opening towards the east. It does not, however, appear in the accounts available whether the circle could only be entered through this opening or not, but from analogy this might be expected.

The description of the ground prepared for the Vedic sacrifice, rectangular with a circle within it is curiously reflected in the Hindoo talisman (Fig. 2). In a curious plate that serves as a frontispiece to Batty Langley's "Practical Geometry" (published 1726), which is certainly Masonic in character though the work itself has nothing in it about Freemasonry, there appears a drawing or "tracing" board suspended to a pillar upon which is the plan of an oblong building with an entrance on the north side (the points of the compass being marked) and two pillars before it marked I and B. In a variant of the same design taken from an engraved silver jewel of unknown date, though undoubtedly considerably later, the plan of the building is square with an entrance on each side. It is possible that in these designs we have an echo of the original "form" of the lodge on the hilltop. Three versions of the old Catechisms mention an "Eastern passage" of which the Examination may be quoted for an example:

Q. How do Masons take place in work?

A. The Master Southeast, the Wardens Northeast and the Fellows the Eastern passage.

From this we may infer that the lodge had at least two entrances, as this one is designated as the eastern one in distinction, and if we may judge from later indications the other entrance was at the west end. But it is possible, in some places at least, that originally it had openings to the four points of the compass.


The four quarters of the heavens and the cardinal points seem everywhere to have been regarded as significant. Churchward gives square diagrams made of sticks from Africa, America and Korea that seem almost identical, though unfortunately he cites no authorities. Within the square are four shorter sticks arranged as a cross. The one pointing east is peeled, the one to the west has all the bark on while those marking north and south are partly peeled. We have already seen the cross in the magic circle which lies east and west and north and south. The Roman Augur when seeking an omen marked out the templum with the lituus or crooked staff that was his badge of office. Originally (though the descriptions are somewhat obscure) he first marked out an oblong space with sides and ends parallel to the two first lines, and then sat down facing south, so as to have the east on his left hand, to watch the flight of birds by which he drew his conclusions as to the future. The templum in this primitive form being a sacred area, which later was enclosed, and the building thus erected took the same name and became a temple in the usual sense of the term.

Roman military camps were laid out on the same lines and one may guess that originally similar ceremonies took place when they were laid out. They had entrances on each side, with two thoroughfares crossing from side to side. The altars were erected in the northeast quarter. The so-called terramare or prehistoric settlements of north Italy were laid out on the same plan, and it has not unnaturally been suggested that the Etruscans inherited it from them — Rome having been an Etruscan city at one stage in its history. However this may have been the Romans were too practical and too good engineers to allow even an ancient and sacred religious tradition bind them too closely, and they adapted (as all builders have done) their camps and cities to the lay of the ground. Nevertheless the typical camp and military post was an oblong square.

Rome itself had a mysterious sacred area called the Lapis niger, the "black stone." It seems to have been a square pavement, or oblong rather, of black and white stones. An archaic stele or pillar stone was found here with a defaced inscription. Traditionally it was the place where Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome, was buried, and the mundus was also here. Mundus as a substantive is usually translated by "world" or "universe" but it also meant "provisions," food in bulk. As an adjective it meant "clean," not a far step from "purified" or "holy." The Mundus, how ever, was apparently an underground vault or chamber in which very sacred things were kept; just what they were no one knows. It was a secret of the Collegium of priests and died with them. There are allusions, however, to an underground altar. This chamber was opened at certain festivals connected with agriculture, spring and harvest, and some scholars have thought that it was originally an underground granary or store house in which the seed corn of the community was preserved. Into this we need not go but it all seems a very curious parallel to certain features in the present day Masonic systems, especially to the Royal Arch in its various forms.


In general, a circular or round enclosure is the easiest and most natural to make. Practically all primitive dwellings are circular in plan. Fort in his Antiquities quotes Grimm as saying that the earliest form of Teutonic court was circular, the natural form a crowd will take in gathering round a street fakir, a "soap-box" orator or a dog fight. "Subsequently this shape gradually changed to an oval and finally to an oblong square." [ein langlichs viereck is Grimm's own expression.] Fort gives no reason for this development, but it is fairly evident how it came about. In a court of justice there are two foci, the judges, and the plaintiff and defendant. These necessarily face each other and thus make one axis of the ring longer than the other. This would be the natural form, but when it came to be marked out, as was customary, by peeled hazel sticks and white cords it is again obvious that a boundary with straight sides would become almost inevitable, and the oval would become a rectangle. Incidentally it may be noted that the change from the circular to the square plan for dwellings and other buildings probably came through a parallel necessity. When huts are built of reeds, or wickerwork and the like it is easier and more natural to use the material perpendicularly, and the curved outline is as easy to build and gives the greater area for the perimeter of the walls. But as soon as more solid construction is attempted with logs or hewn planks it is obvious (once it is pointed out) that it can be used more conveniently horizontally, but this change in construction necessitates straight sides to the building. As in most places stone erections followed wood, these, too, were built on a square plan; but in a few cases, such as South Africa, both in the modern Kaffir kraals and the ancient ruins of Zimbabwe, stone building seems to have directly followed primitive hut construction, and the plan is invariably curved and usually oval. Another form of primitive erection is the circle of upright stones, of which Stonehenge in England is perhaps the most familiar example, but such circles are hardly buildings, but merely an exceedingly conspicuous and enduring mode of marking out a space. Some such enclosures are made with small round stones placed close together like an ornamental border to a flower bed, others are of intermediate size from two to four feet high. Dudley Wright in his Druidism quotes a Welsh writer, Meyryg of Glamorgan, with regard to such an enclosure:

"A Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain must be held in a conspicuous place, in full view of hearing of country and aristocracy and in the face of the sun and in the eye of light; it being lawful to hold such meetings under cover, at night, or under any circumstances otherwise than while the sun shall be visible in the sky.... It is an institutional usage to form a conventional circle of stones on the summit of some conspicuous ground, so as to enclose any requisite area of greensward; the stones being so placed as to allow sufficient space for a man to stand between two of them, except that the two stones of the circle which most directly confront the eastern sun should be sufficiently apart to allow at least ample space for three men between them; thus affording an easy ingress to the circle."

Here again we must note the entrance towards the East undoubtedly to observe the rising sun. As the traditional courts of the Teutonic peoples opened at sunrise it is probable that the enclosure was oriented for the same reason; and here it may be noted that many of the mystical diagrams given in books on magic have references to the cardinal points of the compass. In a medieval fairy tale a certain spring was known by the hero to have magical properties because it "flowed east and west."

Another kind of enclosure of a ceremonial kind (under one aspect at least, and it may possibly have a debased descendant in the modern boxing ring) was employed by Scandinavian peoples for legal duels, the holmgang. This was sometimes enclosed by cords and stakes, but more often by a ditch filled with water. The combatant forced over the boundary was regarded as disgraced, as one who had fled from battle. As there was a religious ritual in connection with such duels, and the enclosure was ceremonially prepared, the latter is not to be regarded as a mere practical convenience. The proceeding partook of the nature of an ordeal for determining the rights of a quarrel, which relates it closely to methods of divination and magic.


In Denmark and Sweden there are a number of enclosures called "ships." The outline of a boat is marked in smaller or larger stones, seldom more than two feet high and more often only comparatively small boulders. In the middle is usually a larger stone set upright where the mast would be. What they were used for is quite uncertain, unless a primitive ritual custom from Ireland may be held to throw some light on the question. This observance used to be carried out at a "wake." It seems to have become an occasion for a lot of horse play, but that originally a more serious intent lay behind it is at least probable. It may be added, too, that it had become almost obsolete by the middle of last century. It was called "building the ship." A number of men were laid on their backs head to heel, down the room. This made the keel. Then others were laid down with their feet against the keel and heads outwards to make the ribs, the tallest men in the middle and boys at the stern and prow. There was much business of fitting the timbers and driving them into place, and their soundness was tested by hitting them on the head with a stick. Finally a boy was taken for the ceremony of stepping the mast. It was doubtless originally the climax of the whole ritual, and also undoubtedly the reason for the disuse of this particular "wake game," for it brings it very obviously into the class of fertility rites, and that phallicism which certain writers are able to discover so many traces in all sorts of unexpected corners in Masonic symbolism.

The conclusions that may be drawn from the instances of enclosures more or less sacred, here gathered together, must be deferred to a later occasion. But it may be noted now that in the first place the marked out area is the important thing, and that its form, entrances and orientation and so on are secondary. The first is purely practical, but the secondary features bring us at once to the realm of symbolism.


The following works are among those consulted in the preparation of this article:

A.Q.C., Vol. XXIX. E. H. Dring on the "Evolution of the Tracing Boards."

The Arcana of Freemasonry, by Dr. A. Churchward.

The Medieval Stage, by E. K. Chambers.

Zeus, by A. B. Cook.

Ancient Legends of Roman History, by Eltore Pais.

The Mummer's Play, by R.J.E. Tiddy.

The American Indian, by Clark Wissler.

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, by W. Y. Evans Wentz.

The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, by M. Murray.

The Folklore of Bombay, by R. E. Enthoven.

The Swastika, by Thomas Wilson.

The Drama of Savage Peoples, by Loomis Havemeyer.

Field Columbian Museum Anthropological Series.

The Golden Bough, by J. G. Frazer.

Pausanias Description of Greece, by J.G. Frazer.


  1. Is the tradition of lodges held on hill tops and in valleys an ancient one? If so, what bearing does it have on the antiquity of the Masonic ritual?
  2. What is implied in the conception of "holy ground," or a "sacred precinct" (a) historically? (b) psychologically?
  3. What was the underlying meaning of consecration, and how has it been expressed in ritual?
  4. Is there any relation between the form of sacred enclosures and mystical or magical diagrams and other figures?

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WHO WAS HIRAM ABIFF? By J. S. M. Ward. Published by the Baskerville Press, Limited, London, England. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Building, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 244 pages. Price, postpaid, $4.50.

IN the search for more light on the subject of the origin of the Hiramic Legend, which for many years has been occupying a prominent place in the endeavors of Masonic students the world over, many discoveries have been made. With almost startling rapidity new theories have been replacing old ones, and, in many instances, the work of early scholars has been relegated to the discard. Its eighteenth century invention, its acceptance as actual history and many other interpretations have either disappeared entirely from the category of accepted Masonic theory, or been shunted to one side for spasmodic revival. It can be truthfully stated that no discredit is reflected on those scholars who have advanced discarded theories, but much new evidence has come to light in recent years which has necessitated either a total discard of the older hypotheses or a modification of them, sufficient to change, in important features, the outward aspect of the subject.

One theory which still has its adherents, and which among many students has fallen into a state of disrepute, is that connecting modern Speculative Freemasonry with the ancient Mysteries. It will, in all probability, be not very inaccurate to state that Bro. J. S. M. Ward is the strongest advocate of such a connection among Masonic scholars today. The opinion may be advanced, with much more certainty than the preceding statement, that it is just such a misapplication of evidence as Bro. Ward promulgates in his latest addition to Masonic writings that accounts for the lowly state into which this particular theory has fallen. It seems that Bro. Ward has started his investigation with a preconceived idea of what the result will be, and in assembling his material has viewed the beginning in the terms of the end. One is reminded again and again of the small child who is delighted with the changed aspect of the world in general when viewed through a bit of colored glass. In the case of Bro. Ward, the intangible nature of the screen makes the realization of its existence less probable. It becomes evident as one reads through the book that the Emulation working occupies in Bro. Ward's mind much the position that the bit of glass did in the case of the child. The truth of this statement is admitted, perhaps unconsciously, by Bro. Ward early in his work when he says:

"In considering who Hiram was I shall assume that my readers know by heart the form of the legend given in Emulation working, and shall only, from time to time, add thereto such variations or additions to the ceremony as survive in the Provinces or overseas, and form important links in the evolution of our ceremony."

The basis is specifically mentioned as Emulation, the variants mentioned as forming "important links in the evolution of our ceremony" will, in most cases, be found to be products of the last two centuries and not survivals of primitive ceremonials, to fall into the same bad habits as are being criticised by the writer in the case of Bro. Ward.

Although Bro. Ward styles himself "Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute," he displays throughout his book either the grossest ignorance, or what is worse, he deliberately violates the first canons of anthropological criticism. He either ignores or is ignorant of the uses to which the comparative method may be put, and the limit to which those uses may be carried. The comparative method teaches us that because we find certain conditions existing in many and various cases it is logical to assume they probably existed in another parallel case in which definite evidence on the subject is lacking. The utmost that can be accomplished through this method is to arrive at a probable existence, not a definite one. An example of Bro. Ward's violation of this cardinal rule of anthropological research is to be found throughout the last chapter of his work, of which I cite only a typical portion.

"Firstly, we see that Hiram Abiff was a Consecration Sacrifice at the completion of the Temple, and was offered up because he was a priest-king, who was supposed to enshrine the Divine Soul of the fertility of corn god, Tammuz.

"Secondly, this cult of the Dying God threw out off-shoots. One Branch, that of Cybele and Attis, migrated to Rome 200 years B.C. Another early off-shoot gave the name of Dionysius to the fertility god, and reached Greece quite early, passing to Rome in due course, where the god was known as Bacchus. Both of these cults had a secret mystery Rite as well as popular ceremonies."

Such statements as this, and the one to follow, can do much to throw the proverbial cold water on the work that really intelligent students are trying to do on this problem. It cannot, in the writer's opinion, be reasonably doubted that there is some singular connection between the Mystery Cults and the Hiramic Legend, but it certainly is beyond the pale of conservative scholarship to state that because the story of Hiram resembles the story of Attis, Adonis, Osiris, Bacchus, or any of the standard classic mysteries that it is one of them. Especially is this true when, as in our particular case, nothing can be found to connect the two in a direct chain, that is, nothing that would stand the searching tests of historical criticism.

Here is another example -of the laughable parallels to be found in Who was Hiram Abiff?

"The Coast Murring tribe of New South Wales performed the following ceremony. First of all the medicine man knocks out a tooth of each initiate, using for that purpose a chisel and hammer. Perhaps, therefore, the use of these instruments in a masonic lodge was not, originally, because they were tools used by operative masons, but, like the 24-inch gauge, because they had a definite part in the ceremony. An eye-witness described those rites as follows:

"At about 11 a. m. the initiated man prepared the ground by digging a grave. Then sheets of bark were beaten out into fibre and from this cloaks were made for six men who were entirely enveloped in them from the crowns of their heads to the soles of their feet, thus completely covering their faces.

"Four of them were tied to a rope, which was fastened to the backs of their heads, and each man carried two pieces of bark in his hands. The other two men were not fastened to the first four, but hobbled along leaning on sticks as if bent and old.

"Then another man lay down in the grave on his back with his hands crossed on -his chest and held upright thereon a small tree "

And then, in a note to the last sentence he has this extraordinary comment, "Thus making Seven in all. A perfect lodge."

In this quotation we see a typical example of the use Bro. Ward makes of evidence. What would be a more logical instrument for knocking out teeth than a hammer and a chisel, especially among primitives where such things as forceps are usually unknown, or at least quite uncommon? I should hesitate to venture an opinion of what conclusions would have been reached by Bro. Ward if the eye-witness had described the instrument as a setting maul. The results are sufficiently appalling as it is. The final touch, however, is the analogy between seven in the primitive ceremony and seven in a perfect lodge. Such a slender shred of evidence as the coincidental agreement of numbers is too much for any but the most uninformed to swallow.

There is much of what might be called valuable material contained between the covers of Bro. Ward's book. If one can read it and draw his own conclusions, totally ignoring any of the author's own opinions it might be worthwhile. The difficulty with such procedure is that those to whom the material would have value would be sufficiently uninformed to swallow all the absurdities Bro. Ward propounds. One of the most sacred duties of Masonic scholars, and one which all students should have constantly before them, is to be exceedingly careful not to advance any opinions which when placed in the hands of the uninformed might be misleading. The abysmal ignorance of the vast majority of Masons on subjects pertaining to the origins of the Institution should be taken into consideration by all who write on the subject. The constant endeavor of all engaged in Masonic research should be to throw more light on their particular field, not only among students, who generally have sufficient critical powers to discriminate between the good and the bad, but among the laity (if I may call them such) who are interested, but do not have either the time or the inclination to delve into the material at hand and form their own conclusions. Such a book as Who was Hiram Abiff? is the greatest possible breach of the confidence placed by non-students in the scholars of our Order.

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THIS number of the Transactions of the well known Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research has an exceedingly interesting paper on the "Beehive and Freemasonry" by Bro. Geo. W. Bullamore. The author, it appears, is an expert apiarist, so that his interest in this symbol is very natural. He brings together evidence that the hive, or in some cases the representation of a bee, was used on jewels, medals, aprons and charts from early in the eighteenth century till the Union between the Ancients and Moderns in 1813, when for some reason or other it was entirely discarded in the usual workings in England, although it lingered on in some places, at least in representation. It was also of frequent occurrence on the continent of Europe as well as in America. The author and most of those taking part in the discussion seem to be rather vague about American forms, and though not exactly falling into any errors yet seemed uncertain how far the beehive remained an emblem in this country.

Bro. Bullamore also made a number of quotations from non-Masonic sources, both classical and recent authors, and gave a number of instances of the bee as a symbol from Mithraic reliefs to the Napoleonic device.

He is inclined to the conclusion that the use of the bee and beehive in Masonic symbolism must have originally had a deeper meaning than the trite one of industry. The one suggested is that it was a symbol of resurrection or immortality, rather like the butterfly. Other possibilities appear in the quotations given that made the beehive a fit representation of the Masonic Fraternity. Bees live in a community, they are decidedly clannish and at least defend the hive, if not individuals, and also they are expert builders — of honeycomb — the mathematical exactness of which has frequently excited admiring comment and remark.

It was further suggested that a possible reason for the emblem having been dropped in 1813 was the fact that it had been used by Jacobite partizans and so had come to have political associations.

In the discussion Bro. Gilbert Daynes (Associate Editor of THE BUILDER for England) drew attention to the fact that the trowel had disappeared also from the English rituals. He also remarked the uncertainty existing as to the proper place of these two emblems; in some cases (and the earlier) they appear to have pertained to the First Degree, in others (as in America today) they both belong to the Third. Bro. Daynes also thought that the beehive belonged more especially to the "Modern" ritual, and is inclined to think that this was the reason of its having been dropped at the Union, on the ground, we suppose, of the opinion so strongly advanced by Gould, that the Ancient ritual was the basis of the post-Union English work. With this Bro. Bullamore does not agree, and we are inclined to think he is right.

Bro. Tuckett gave some valuable information regarding the use of the Bee emblem by the Jacobites and quotes a MS. ritual in the possession of Bro. Dring which apparently belonged to a rite claiming Charles Edward Stuart as Grand Master. In this ritual the beehive is twice represented.

Bro. W. J. Williams gives some further reference to bees, both Masonic and other, and some of the latter have a very Masonic sound, and if such ideas were current it might easily account for the adoption of the emblem.

There is also a paper on "Bath and Neighborhood," by Bro. J. Walter Hobbs. A special feature of interest in this is the description of a re-discovered Saxon church dating possibly from the eighth century. The strange thing about this discovery is that the building had been and was in use for secular purposes, but it had been so altered inside and masked outside by later additions that no one knew what it originally was.

In Notes and Queries are two letters on the subject of the name of the Master Builder as it appears in the Old Charges, by Bros. Covey-Crump and H. Poole respectively, continuing a previous discussion on a paper by Bro. Tuckett, and another by Bros. J. Heron Lepper and Philip Crossle on old Masonic dress and the origin of the adoption of blue as a Masonic color.

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THIS volume is for the year 1925, and the first paper is one by Bro. Cart de la Fontaine, who is well known to readers of THE BUILDER as an occasional contributor to its pages. His subject was "Dante's Divine Comedy and Freemasonry." He briefly discusses the opinion advanced by certain writers that Dante was a Freemason, and alluded to its ceremonies in his great poem. While not definitely stating any opinion it is easy to see that Bro. de la Fontaine does not, to say the least, hold the theory proven.

Bro. Vibert delivered his Prestonian Lecture before this lodge in June. The subject is the development of the tri-gradal system in Freemasonry, and it must be regarded as one of the most important recent contributions to the subject of the origin of the Masonic ritual. There is no new evidence adduced, it is hardly likely that there will be much more discovered; but it so happens that a great deal of what does exist is very inaccessible to the would-be investigator. Bro. Vibert starts with the hypothesis now very generally accepted of a primitive series of two degrees inherited by the Grand Lodge of 1717. The most novel point in his reconstruction of the stages of evolution is his hypothesis as to the reason for the invention of our present Second Degree. Assuming that "entering" or "making" was equivalent to the initiation of an Entered Apprentice, the original "superior degree" was that of "Master or Fellow," in essentials the same as our Master Mason.

Now the Grand Lodge, very soon in its career, passed a law, so Anderson tells us, that "Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellowcraft only here [that is in Grand Lodge] unless by a dispensation." In the second edition the phraseology was significantly changed to read "Fellowcrafts and Masters." But when the second edition came out the law had been repealed and is only given in order to compare it with the New Regulation admitting the right of (or, as one prefers, granting the power to) the lodges to "make Masters and Fellows" at discretion. Bro. Vibert points out that the restrictive rule was in force during the very period when the Second Degree came into being. He supposes, very ingeniously, that this Regulation XIII would operate in such a way as to give the new Grand Lodge a considerable measure of control over the subordinate lodges, in that it was necessary that the Master elect, according to the fourth charge, should have received the "superior" degree — that is, they had to be Fellows. The inference is, according to Bro. Vibert, that the new degree, our present Fellowcraft, was made up out of parts of the First Degree, and that this was in order to evade the effect of Regulation XIII and to enable the lodges to choose their own Masters as they would without asking Grand Lodge to endorse their choice by first giving them the old "Master and Fellowcraft" grade (the original of our present Third) as a qualification parallel to the modern Past or Installed Master's Degree, which has (except in some American jurisdictions where the rule has been abrogated) to be given to the Worshipful Master-elect before he can rule his lodge.

Bro. Vibert's theory is attractive, but there seems to be some gaps to stop up before it can be accepted. We must remember that at this same period the Grand Lodge was not a representative body, but a general assembly of the Craft. It hardly seems likely that a body composed of all the members of all the lodges acting together would go against the wishes of the majority of those lodges in their separate capacity. It would seem more in accordance with Masonic psychology to suppose that in forming a Grand Lodge the lodges in London intended only to revive the General Assemblies of the old Charges and that this Regulation XIII was merely an academic attempt to revive what we might guess was a traditional rule of operative times, of very practical importance, that the fitness of the apprentices to become free of their trade, and Fellows and Masters of it, should be, judged in the Assembly of the whole Craft in the district. Bro. Vibert says that the fact that there is no record that the "Master and Fellow" grade was ever worked in Grand Lodge proves nothing. And this is exactly true, for at best it is only negative evidence, which in such a case could never be conclusive of anything by itself. But on the other hand it quite fits in with the supposition that the Regulation was, as we have said, academic, and a dead letter from the start. On the other hand, Bro. Vibert's is the only theory so far advanced that attempts to assign a definite reason for turning a two into a three-grade system by duplicating the first and giving it second place.

Bro. J. Heron Lepper has a valuable paper on the "Early History of Kilwinning High Knight Templars Lodge, Dublin," which throws light on the vexed question of the early working of the "high" degrees, and their relationship to the first three. The lodge applied to Kilwinning for a warrant, which was granted. This only gave authority to work the Craft degrees. The lodge also held an ordinary Craft warrant from the Grand Lodge of Ireland under which it worked the first three degrees while it used the second one as authority to work the Excellent, Super-Excellent and Royal Arch grades, and as the climax the "High Knights Templar." A candidate in one minute is said to have "Royally descended and ascended the Arch."

Bro. George Norman has an article on the "Masonic Lodges of Bath," and the information he has laboriously collected throws, as he says, "a curious sidelight on the relations, not always of the pleasantest, between private lodges and the Grand Lodge of those days." The article itself, however, is too long and too detailed to be discussed here.

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THIS volume covers the period from February, 1922, to December, 1925, and contains a number of valuable papers and lectures. Bro. Harmer gave two on Egyptian Rites and the Book of the Dead. Bro. Tate has one on the Pyramids and the Tombs of Sakkara and Memphis; Bro. Oldroyd points out some analogies between ancient Egyptian practices and Masonic ritual, and Bro. Harmer has a third lecture on the Ancient Mysteries. All of these are interesting and contain many points of value, especially Bro. Harmer's first two papers. Bro. Dr. Albert Churchward gave an address on "Signs and Symbols" along lines that will be familiar to those who have read his books. Bro. Lionel Vibert also gave a lecture on "French Master's Gilds," which is, perhaps, from the student's point of view, the most valuable in the whole volume. He starts from the position reached by Gould, and notes that since then M. Martin St. Leon had published a special work on the Compagnonage in 1901. This, neither Gould in his "Concise History," nor Bro. Crowe, in his revision, seem to have taken into account. Bro. Vibert shows the possibility of a survival of at least a tradition of the Collegia in the south of France, and a probability of interchange of ideas between southwest France and England for a period of three centuries, right up to the time, in fact, when our earliest Masonic records begin. But his general conclusion is that the French Master's Gilds as such, bore no resemblance to Freemasonry, though the Compagnonage did, having initiation ceremonies and a legend of a master architect.

Bro. Walter J. Bunney addressed the lodge on the significance of Mozart's opera, "The Magic Flute." The plot is allegorical and the characters represent actual personages of the period. As the "Queen of Night" is taken to be Maria Theresa, who opposed the Freemasons. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins gave an address on the Masonic Million Memorial Fund, its proposal and prospects, and among a number of other speakers and lecturers, too many to mention in detail, Bro. the Rev. Canon Berry addressed the lodge on the "Ideal of the League of Nations." Such a subject may seem a curious one to some members of the Craft in this country, where it has been alleged as a count against the International Masonic Association that it entered into the field of politics because it had passed a resolution endorsing the aims of the League. But what is a political question in one country is not necessarily so in another.

Bro. J. G. Wallis, the Secretary, and also one of the oldest members of the lodge, is to be highly congratulated upon this last volume of Transactions.

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SYMBOLISM OF FREEMASONRY, OR MYSTIC MASONRY AND THE GREATER MYSTERIES OF ANTIQUITY. By J. M. Buck. Published by Ezra A. Cook, Inc., Chicago, Ill. Table of contents, illustrated with a number of diagrams, cloth, 146 pages.

THE title page of this reprint states that it is the third edition. This is a little puzzling as in 1913 the sixth edition was put out by the R. Clarke Company of Cincinnati, the preceding editions, excepting only the first, being also from their press. Yet this is dated 1925. We can only suppose that it is taken from the original third edition. In any case it is curious that a firm founded by a bitter anti-Mason for the especial purpose of publishing and distributing all kinds of "literature" opposing, criticizing, denouncing and condemning Freemasonry, should find it to their interest to present to the Masonic public (for few outside would be interested) yet another edition of this well known work. It is a rather, extraordinary example of the irony of circumstances if not of fate — or else a case of demand and supply and profit and loss. The book itself has now been in the hands of the Craft since 1896, and it is hardly necessary to say much about it. It must appeal fairly strongly to a large number of brethren or it would not have run through so many editions. Its title gives a fair indication of its contents. Bro. Buck (like many others) saw in Masonry a form of organization for the teaching of occult mysteries. There is just one thing to be said about this theory. Suppose there is a grand occult secret, or body of teaching, and that Freemasonry was devised as one of the entrances thereto, for if we understand this school of writers correctly, it is not the only path of admission to the inner circle; suppose all this, and that the system of degrees is intended to act as a means of selection of fit subjects for final initiation, why should so many books have to be written to tell us so? Surely the great Lodge of Adepts at the back of it all can pull the strings to suit themselves — the qualified candidates will filter through, the unfit will remain content with forms and ceremonies and high sounding titles, and all will be as it was intended. If true, such books as this merely let the cat out of the bag. Even if Masonry is formalist and dead to its high ideals and to the mystic quest, this is only to be expected of a strainer — it naturally collects the dead leaves and other refuse, and if this was the real purpose of the Masonic Order it could not well be anything else. However everyone to his own taste.

S. J. C.

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Moral Influence — it is a rill — a rivulet — a river — an ocean broad, boundless, and fathomless as eternity itself. The small beginning is made; it continues to deepen and widen, and spread, until like the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, it fills the whole earth.

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In "The Missouri Freemason" for Feb. 6, it is said that Frederick Dalcho was one of the founders of the Supreme Council, being in possession of the Grand Constitution formulated by Frederick the Great of Prussia.

May I ask if you know anyone that has ever seen this document, or do you know if there has been ever printed an "authenticated" copy of this Constitution?

I am given to understand that this is a "myth" and want to clear up the question, if possible, for the information of some of my Masonic friends.

M.A.L., Mexico.

It is said that Albert Pike in his Historical Inquiry in Regard to the Grand Constitutions of 1786 published in 1782, and reprinted by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A. in 1883, definitely states that he had seen the original document, but that the signature of Frederick had been completely effaced by the action of sea water to which it had been unfortunately exposed, and that still more unfortunately this precious document had after that been completely lost. As this work of Pike's is not at hand this statement cannot at the moment be verified.

In Mackey's History (Revised Edition, p. 1829) there is a note which quotes from the preface of the above work the following very guarded statement:

I do not assert, and our Supreme Council does not assert, that they [the Constitutions] are, as a known, proven and established fact, genuine, but I do say that they have long been reputed to be so: that there is sufficient evidence to make their authenticity probable, that there is nothing in the grounds on which they have been impeached, and it is not shown that they are not authentic, nor that they ought to be suspected and doubted.

In this quotation we have a definite admission that they cannot be proved authentic, which is sufficiently damaging, though the following expression of opinion seems to be an attempt to nullify its effect.

The same note quotes Begemann, a most careful and accurate scholar, as definitely saying "that the so-called Constitutions of May 1, 1786, cannot be genuine." Albert Lantoine in his recent "History of French Freemasonry" discusses the matter at some length and reaches the same conclusion. He not only points out the fact that in the only definite statement from one who claimed to have seen the original, that of Albert Pike, the latter admits that he never saw the signature. He then goes on to consider the witnesses, whose names were legible, Denina, Stark, Woellner, Willelm, and d'Esterno, and points out that the first, Denina, wrote an essay on the life and reign of Frederick in which he mentions in a few words the latter's initiation into Freemasonry, a "society well known today, which was then commencing to make some noise in the world," and later states that Frederick did not especially favor the Freemasons though he had joined them two years before coming to the throne, but that he tolerated the existence of the lodges. Secondly, that in 1787 Stark confesses in his Justification to having taken little part in Masonic work, and more that he had lost interest in it. Thirdly, a careful search in the papers left by Woellner who was in 1786 Maitre Ecossais Supreme gives not the least hint of his knowledge of such an important event. And finally Lantoine adduces the fact that Frederick died in August, 1786, and that the Constitutions are supposed to have been revised in May of the same year, three months and a half before his death. Although he was ill for eleven months before this and suffered "without interruption" during that time. It would seem, then, that however Pike may have arrived at his opinion that there is "sufficient evidence to make their authenticity probable, and nothing in the grounds on which they have been impeached," it is hardly possible to agree with him.

It may be added that these claims have been examined and rejected by Lenning, Clavel, Ragon, Rebold, Findel and Gould, and that we do not know of a single Masonic scholar today whose opinion carries any real weight outside his own immediate circle who would support them. Even Bro. J. S. M. Ward whose works are widely known, and whom we might suspect of a desire to believe it if he were able to, can only say (Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, p. 226): "This degree [the thirty-third] is stated to have been organized by King Frederick in 1786, but there is little reliable evidence of this."

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In the course of the work of our Study Club I have been asked a number of questions that I cannot answer. Our local library is small and does not cover the items mentioned. I am listing the questions and if you can help me in this connection I would appreciate it very much.

Why does Masonry take two Patron Saints, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist?

How and when did the Masonic ritual originate?

Whence originated the ancient charges?

What is the significance of the letter G and why is it placed over the Master's chair? The information on this last question would be in addition to that supplied in the Look to the East Ritual.

T.J.W., Canada.

These questions to be fully discussed would take enough space to make a book. It is not known definitely when or how St. John came to be associated with Freemasonry. A suggestion will be found in THE BUILDER last month on page 58, though by a slip it is there said that Midsummer Day is that of St. John the Evangelist, which should of course be St. John the Baptist. There is a note to this month's Study Club article on the subject. The only connection that has found favor is that the two Saints John mark respectively the longest and shortest days.

The Study Club article last month may also help to answer your second question. Many opinions are held on the subject. The extreme iconoclasts hold it was all invented at or just before 1717; the extreme traditionalists that it was all devised (as we have it now) by King Solomon. The latter opinion certainly is not true, nor is the former accepted now by many students. Parts of it (the essentials) seem to have been inherited from a remote past, the remainder has been (and is being) developed since.

If by the charges you mean those given to the candidate in the course of the three degrees they deem to have been composed some time in the 18th century, and to have been based on the Charges of a Freemason that first appeared in Anderson's Constitutions and were themselves based on those in the old Manuscript Constitutions.

The letter G was probably in the first place merely regarded as the initial of Geometry. Later the significance given to it in our present day rituals was naturally added. A great deal has been written on the subject, most of it worthless.

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Will you kindly answer the following questions through the columns of THE BUILDER?

How high was the wall that was built around the temple and its courts?

How many acres did it enclose?

How high was the wall around the city?

The Penalties of the three Obligations — E.A., F.C., and M.M. Degrees — from what did they spring or to what do they allude?

On which side of the candidate should the Senior Deacon walk when entering the lodge?

E.E.G., Ohio.

There is no direct statement of the height of the walls and porticos surrounding the courts of the temple. As they were said to be over a half a mile in circumference we may suppose that they enclosed a space of something like 47,000 square yards. The actual site on which the temple and its courts stood is about fifteen acres, but this may have included also Solomon's palace.

With regard to the penalties it is not possible to say much. Bodily punishments until recent times were very cruel, and analogous modes to those invoked by each Mason on himself should he betray his trust can be found. The latter are obviously symbolic and appropriate, the first for revealing secrets, the others for betraying a trust.

There is some variation in the conducting of the candidate, the Senior Deacon usually takes him by the left hand, but you should adhere to the custom in your own lodge. There is nothing essential about it one way or the other.

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The following question has been raised in a discussion and I am taking the liberty to inquire from you what information you may have on the subject.

Why does the Masonic Order have the last rites at a grave?

Mackey's Encyclopaedia states that the Ancient Constitutions have nothing to say on the subject. He does not go into detail nor have I been able to find any authorities to quote. I would like to have your opinion regarding both a Blue Lodge and a Commandery funeral.

L.R.M., Michigan.

Your question is not quite clear, and it may be that we do not apprehend the point you have in mind. If the members of any society wish to show respect to a deceased member we do not quite see what else they could do but attend at the interment of his remains. The present forms of funeral ceremony used by the various Masonic bodies are not very old, but that Masons, from time immemorial, accompanied a departed brother to the grave is hardly to be doubted. Prichard's Masonry Dissected notes that "fifteen Fellowcrafts with white gloves and aprons" should attend, and as the date of this work is only thirteen years later than the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717, we can hardly believe that this was an innovation.

Mackey is correct in saying none of the old Constitutions have anything to say on the subject, but this proves nothing. And it is well known that it was customary for the members of the mediaeval gilds to bury a deceased gildsman. Most of them indeed had elaborate and expensive "palls" to use on such occasions. In England the custom of Masonic funerals has practically disappeared, so far as formal attendance as a lodge is concerned. The members of the lodge of the deceased, however, invariably attend as individuals. This change in custom is directly due to the general tendency there to avoid all public display of a Masonic character.

We think that Masonic funerals are most appropriate. They express the reality of the fraternal tie, and to omit them would be a distinct loss, but the ceremonies in use might be revised with profit; such revision, however, should be in the direction of a return to older and traditional practice from which the present forms have widely departed.

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One of the questions I have many times wanted to write you about is as follows: According to Chronicles the building of King Solomon's Temple was started on the 2nd day of the 2nd month in the 4th year of the reign of Solomon. You have published articles at different times giving this as 958 B.C. and also 1012 B. C. Can you tell me which is correct?

G.W.H., Florida.

There is no absolute certainty about the chronology of the events related in the earlier part of the Old Testament. The date 1012 B.C. is the one that is now favored by most authorities. That of 958 was an older approximation. There is really only 54 years difference between the two, which is not a very large discrepancy considering how long ago the event was. To a certain extent dates in the Old Testament have been checked up by monuments discovered in Babylon and Egypt, but such discoveries are, of course, comparatively rare and can only give certainty to a few points in Biblical history. From these the dates have to be calculated by what the Old Testament itself tells us about the number of years between different events or the number of years between different kings' reigns. When you have to add a number of small periods like this it is difficult to get the total right, as what is called two years or five years may really be 4¾ or 5¼. But in this particular case the best opinion now is that the 1012 B.C. is the nearest approximation that we can get for the foundation of King Solomon's Temple.

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When Newton R. Parvin, of Iowa, passed to the Grand Lodge above, Masonry lost a leader with vision and understanding of what "Applied Masonry" is and should be. In going through some of my correspondence of several years past I came upon a letter from him, which seemed to me like a voice from the grave, urging the living to do their Masonic duty. He has laid down his tools but he seems to bid us to take them up and build a new kind of Temple, a refuge for our sick and consumptive brethren:

I feel that the Grand Lodge should be interested in this matter and that all of our Grand Lodges should contribute toward the upkeep of an institution of that kind in the South, as we are constantly sending our members who are suffering from tuberculosis to that part of the country in the hope that the change of climate will help them. I know that it is a great tax upon the people of the South to look after these parties. One of our lodges here in the city spent not far from $1,000 in taking care of one of their members who was afflicted in this respect, and I presume other lodges have had this same experience.

I feel that there is great need for the construction of a number of buildings to look after consumptive Masons and I hope the Grand Lodges of America will join you in raising a fund which will enable the Southern States to carry out their plans regarding such buildings with hospital care for our brothers so afflicted. I am in hopes that when the time comes the lowa Grand Lodge will be able to join you in the good work you have proposed.

Will the Grand Lodge of Iowa harken to this voice from the grave? We have built monuments and statues to our noble dead. Would it not be more appropriate to build memorial buildings which will also be of service to the living? What greater tribute could Iowa pay to a departed leader than to erect a Newton R. Parvin Memorial Cottage in connection with the proposed National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium?

Francis E. Lester, New Mexico.

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I would like to obtain the first three volumes of The Harmonic Series, The Great Work, The Great Psychological Crime, by T.K. and The Harmonies of Evolution, by Florence Huntley.

H. A. H.

Could you obtain for me a copy of Folger's History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite?

G. L.

Copies of Lawrie's History of Freemasonry, The History of the Lodge of Edinburg by David Murray Lyon and Caementaria Hibernica, by Chetwode Crawley, are desired for our lodge library.

W. H. M.

Could you find for me a copy of Gilliam's Rose Croix? I shall appreciate it if you can obtain for me a copy of The Light of Egypt, published by the Astro-Philosophical Publishing Co., Denver, 1894.

J. H. P.

Address all communications in care of the Editor.

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Misprints are a curious kind of cattle. There are three grades of them. The first is easy, a simple mistake in the letters used or their order. The second is tiresome, where it is a correctly spelled word only the wrong one. The third is absolutely pernicious, or any other strong epithet that occurs. It is where it is not only a correctly spelled word but one that makes sense — only the wrong sense.

A misprint of the second class occurred in the April BUILDER on page 126, in the next to the last line of the last but one paragraph of the review of the Masonic Enquire Within. The word "business" has usurped the place of "between," which is what was intended.