Builder 1916 - Vol. 2 No. 10 - October 1

The Builder Magazine

October 1916 – Volume II – Number 10


Table of Contents


By Bro. Geo. W. Baird

P.G.M., District Of Columbia

THE most beautiful group of bronze statuary in Washington is that of La Fayette. It shows a greater number of figures than any other group in the city, and is highly artistic in every way. It is situated in La Fayette Square, very properly, but unfortunately, there are other statues in that square. It deserved a separate site.

The group contains the figures of the French leaders who were prominent as our allies in the War of the Revolution, namely, La Fayette, Rochambeau, D'Estaing, Duportail and De Grasse.

The figures of these officers are all of life size. La Fayette surmounts the pedestal, while the others are at the base; La Fayette appearing in our continental uniform. The figure of America is at the base, offering her sword to La Fayette.

This magnificent group was modelled and cast in France, for which Congress made an appropriation of $50,000 in 1885. It was completed and turned over to the government in 1891, but there was no ceremony or demonstration whatever when it was unveiled.

During the time this group was being sculptured in France, our Ambassador at Paris, Gen. Horace Porter, was making his search for the body of Brother John Paul Jones, which search continued for a period of six years before his efforts were crowned with success.

Mr. Henry Watterson, who was present when Jones' coffin was opened, told the writer that its resemblance to Brother Houdon's bust of Jones was so close that the entire party involuntarily raised their hats.

The critical comparison of measurements of the head, with the sculptured bust of Houdon, the measurements of the body, the searching examination of the lungs, heart and kidneys, etc., by the savants of the French Academy, under the direct guidance of such eminent men as Dr. Capitan and Dr. Papillaut, left no question of identity unanswered.

La Fayette was made a Mason in an Army Lodge at Valley Forge, the degree being conferred by Washington himself. We find several records of his having visited lodges; for example, Lodge No. 9, Williamsburg, Va., just after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and in company with Thomas Nelson, John Marshall, and George Washington.

D'Estaing's name is found in the list of members of that famous lodge Neuf Soeurs in Paris. Rochambeau's Masonic record is lost, but (Monsieur Vadecard says) Madame Rochambeau was a member of the Ladies Masonic Auxiliary in Paris, membership in which was dependent on her husband's Masonic identity.

La Fayette served in the battles of Brandywine, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He offered his services to the Colonies in 1777, and being accepted, came at once to America.

The magnificent appearance of the La Fayette statue, though overlooked in its inauguration, attracted unusual attention. It is by far the most beautiful and most artistic of any of its kind in the city, and is the first memorial of the Revolutionary services to any foreigner.

Archbishop Ireland, an Irish enthusiast, in passing was struck not only by the singular beauty of the memorial, but evidently felt a twinge of jealousy, for at the meeting of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, in York, shortly after, he was the principal speaker and said:

"I charge you, Sons of St. Patrick, to see to it that in Washington City, near the monument of La Fayette and Rochambeau there be erected a monument to some Irish Soldier to commemorate the part Ireland took in the Revolutionary War." At the "meet" of the Ancient Order of Hibernians at Denver in 1902, Mr. Dunleary, in his speech of welcome, said "the roll of honour in the war of the Revolution shows such names as General Moylan, General Sullivan, who led the retreat successfully across Long Island and in whose honour the National Congress is contemplating a memorial in New Hampshire."

At Denver the speech of Archbishop Ireland was repeated (or quoted) by one of the speakers. They probably discovered that General Sullivan (Grand Master of Masons in N. H.) was not the kind of an Irish soldier the Bishop would endorse, and they shifted to John Barry, a captain in the Navy (not a soldier) during the Revolutionary War, whose record was fine.

A Bill paraphrasing Senator Lodge's Bill for the John Paul Jones Memorial, substituting the name of Barry for that of Jones, was introduced in Congress. The Barry Bill was lobbied by its adherents; the Jones Bill was neglected. But the Committee evidently thought it would not do to appropriate for the hitherto obscure Barry and neglect the historic Jones, so the two Bills were reported the same day, and were passed the same day.

At the obsequies of John Paul Jones at Annapolis, April 24th, 1906, when the President, Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Maryland, General Horace Porter, the French Ambassador and others spoke, it was decided to place the body of John Paul Jones in the crypt of the chapel (which was being built) in imitation of the tomb of Napoleon at Paris, and the President also determined to ask Congress to reimburse General Porter for the $35,000 he had spent in the recovery and identification of the body. General Porter, however, asked that the $35,000 be added to the architect's estimate for the changes in the crypt, to make it more beautiful, which was agreed to.

So the memorial of the great La Fayette and that of John Paul Jones, both Freemasons, are linked by a modern tie.

The ubiquitous Hoosier, who is more practical than aesthetic, gazed intently at the La Fayette statue, evolving an interpretation. Finally he said: "The girl at the base is saying 'Here, Mr. Soldier, I'll swap this sword for some of the clothes on your arm. I need the clothes and you may need the sword.' "

Return to Top



The words of this song were first printed in Watt's "Musical Miscellany, (V. III), 1730, under the title "The Freemason's Health." It appears in many eighteenth century song collections, the tune most commonly used appearing for the first time in "Pills to Purge Melancholy," (Vol. 2), 1719. It was popular well into the nineteenth century.

Come, let us prepare,
We brothers that are
Met together on merry Occasion;
Let us drink, laugh and sing,
Our Wine has a Spring,
'Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.
The World is in Pain
Our Secret to gain,
But still let them wonder and gaze on;
Till they're shewn the Light
They'll ne'er know the right
Word or Sign of an Accepted Mason.
'Tis This and 'tis That,
They cannot tell what,
Why so many great Men in the Nation
Should Aprons put on,
To make themselves one
With a Free or an Accepted Mason.
Great Kings, Dukes, and Lords,
Have laid by their Swordes,
This our Myst'ry to put a good Grace on,
And ne'er been asham'd
To hear themselves nam'd
With a Free or an Accepted Mason.
Antiquity's Pride
We have on our Side,
It makes a Man Just in his Station;
There's nought but what's Good
To be understood
By a Free or an Accepted Mason.
Then Joyn Hand in Hand,
T'each other firm stand,
Let's be merry, and put a bright Face on;
What Mortal can boast
So noble a Toast,
As a Free or an Accepted Mason ?

Return to Top



By Bro. Jno. W. Barry, Iowa



In Fig. 32 (Color Plate) is a photograph of the only flag now in existence known to have been carried as a regimental flag during the Revolution. If you should enter the flag room of the State House at Annapolis, Maryland, you would see there this most treasured flag labelled as follows: –

"NO. 1 – OLD GLORY"1

This flag is cherished as THE flag of the Revolution. It is the flag shown by Trumbull in his "Princeton," in his "Burgoyne" and in his "Cornwallis," it is the flag shown by Charles Wilson Peale in his "Washington at Trenton." It is the flag ordered by Washington to be made by Betsy Ross, the wife of a Master Mason, of whom a bit of personal history is now in point.

In Iowa – The Original Masonic Certificate Of The Flag Maker's Husband

Betsy Griscom married John Ross2 a nephew of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He lost his life in the service of his country, January, 1776, only a short time before Betsy made the first flag. Betsy married Captain Ashburn in 1777. He was soon captured and in a few years died a prisoner of war in Mill Prison, near Portsmouth, England. John Claypoole, a lineal descendant of Oliver Cromwell,3 had been his friend and fellow prisoner. When released from prison, Claypoole returned to his home in Philadelphia and delivered to Betsy the keepsakes and last message sent by her husband. Later John Claypoole married Betsy, a union blessed with a family of four daughters.

Betsy Ross-Claypoole continued the flag making for her new husband who like those she had heretofore taken, had devoted his life to the service of his country, had been wounded at Germantown and long confinement in Mill Prison had broken his health. So as the bread winner, Betsy Ross-Claypoole continued to make flags until 1827 when she turned the business over to her daughter Mrs. Clarissa Sidney Wilson who in turn continued it until 1857, when she moved to Fort Madison, Iowa Here ended all known record, so I wrote Brother L R. Traverse, P. M. of Claypoole Lodge of Fort Madison, for further information about the descendants of Betsy Ross-Claypoole. In response I received a letter from Mary C. Albright Robinson saying her great grandfather John Claypoole was a Mason and that she had his Masonic certificate under seal of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania – that it is written on vellum and in English, French and Italian. Here was something worth while. And immediately I got secretary A. C. Rowland on the long distance cable tow and urged him to secure the loan of that certificate – a most rare find. Here it is in Fig. 33 (Frontispiece, August), the actual certificate of the soldier husband of the flag maker. It is dated March 30, 1780, and was issued on a request accompanied by the following certificate:

"Chester Town, 17th Dec., 1779.4

"I do hereby certify that Mr. John Claypoole was regularly entered, passed and raised in Lodge No. 7, at "Chester Town, Maryland.

"By Order of the Master.

Signed "James Claypoole, Secy. Lodge No. 7."

Pennsylvania had previously constituted a number of lodges in Kent County on the "eastern shore of Maryland" of which No. 7 was one, hence the petition. Issued 136 years ago, it is a little the worse for wear, but

"Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer –
In fact there is nothing that keeps its youth
So far as I know but our flag and truth."

Therefore, this flag shown in Fig. 32, being of the series made by the Mason's wife, is cherished because of that association but it is also cherished because it is an actual battle flag, and the only one now left, carried in the war of the Revolution. It is the flag of the Third Maryland regiment commanded by Bro. John Eager Howard5 at the battle of Cowpens, Jan. 17, 1791, and was carried by William Bachelor, who, being wounded was sent to his home in Baltimore, but was allowed to take his flag with him. His death soon followed and the flag was inherited by his son, William Bachelor, Jr., who carried that same flag against the same old enemy again during the War of 1812 in the battle of North Point near Baltimore.6 After the War of 1812, William Bachelor carried this flag on many gala occasions as an attraction. Finally in 1907 it came into the keeping of the state of Maryland in trust for the people of the whole United States. All honour to Maryland – well is she guarding her trust. Finally this flag is cherished because it is the victory flag used in that pivotal battle of Cowpens of which Avery said:

"In point of tactics, the battle of Cowpens was THE most brilliant battle of the war."7 It was the turning point leading directly to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown nine months later, when occurred a most rare bit of retributive justice. But a year before, General Benjamin Lincoln had been driven to a humiliating surrender by Cornwallis at Charleston. Now Washington directed that the sword of Cornwallis should be delivered to Benjamin Lincoln – a brother who eight years before had been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in St. Andrew's Lodge at Boston, Mass.8 Therefore this "Old GLORY No. 1" is cherished above other flags because it commemorates the devotion of the patriotic flag maker, the wife of a Mason, whose descendants are today honoured citizens of our own Iowa; it is cherished because it commemorates the devotion of Masons to liberty in the defence of which they surrendered their lives rather than betray their trust; finally it is cherished because it is the victory flag leading directly to that final surrender of Cornwallis to Washington and his Masonic brothers in arms at Yorktown. Therefore, as in the beginning and all through the strife, so it was at the close, Masonry was in the saddle and the sword of the vanquished first opposed by Masons at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill was now directed by a Mason to be delivered into the hands of a Mason. Well, did he receive it not only in token of the surrender of Cornwallis, but as signalizing the final triumph of the TILER in putting out of the new nation all cowans and eavesdroppers. May we be ever mindful that the first great care of Masons is to see that the Lodge of The Nation is duly tiled to the end that all cowans may be kept out.

Masonry In The Homes Behind The Soldiers

Had the Revolution been a soldiers' war only, this story would end here, but the fact is it was a Masons' war as well and there were Masons outside of the army working "without any tool of iron" and what they wrought fitted with remarkable exactness into the things wrought in "the clay grounds" by Washington and his generals. The printed proceedings of the grand jurisdictions of the several states give many names which when followed through into their connection with the events of their time show what seems wonderful "team work." It suggests a wide field of Masonic Research. Following are a few illustrative of the many -all reproduced from Lossing's Cyclopedia of U. S. History.

Here are six governors respectively of Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, South Carolina and New Jersey, honours which came to these brothers as a recognition of their efforts for liberty through the long struggle and everyone of them rich in Masonic honors. On the bench, in Congress and in the state legislature, the team work was consistent and persistent. Further illustrating the fact, here in No. 47, is Grand Master Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. As a boy he followed his father in the Revolution and was fit inspiration for the well known picture, "The Spirit of '76." While he was Grand Master he laid corner stones with the lodge opened on the First Degree only.

In Congress The Pen Wrote What The Sword Wrought

Peyton Randolph, Grand Master of Virginia, was president of the first Congress in 1774, and from that date to the final victory Masonry continued to be a dominating influence at each and every session of Congress. The place of meeting was the old state house known as Independence Hall – Philadelphia.

There are many shrines of American liberty but perhaps none more revered. In No. 49 you see it as it appears today, with the Statue of Bro. Washington in front.

But if you could go back to 1776 – and then around to the other or Walnut Street side of it, you would see it as shown in No. 50.

David Rittenhouse had erected the tower to observe the transit of Venus and it was used to herald the proclamation of Mars. Here hung the "Liberty Bell" to "proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof." The tower has been made higher – the clock taken from the end and placed in the tower, while the bell is carefully treasured in Independence room. Here Independence was declared. Here Congress sat during the Revolution and here a Massachusetts Mason, Bro. John Hancock, succeeded Peyton Randolph as president. But the crowning glory of the old building, erected in 1736, was the formation there of the Constitution of the United States under the guidance of Bro. Washington as chairman and Bro. Benjamin Franklin, a Grand Master of Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Franklin both at home and abroad did more by his wisdom and diplomatic skill than any other one Mason, Washington alone excepted, to place Old Glory high among the nations. He helped make both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and is a signer of both documents. In the treaty of peace in 1783, he secured such favorable concessions as to astound the nations of Europe and they were not slow to manifest their displeasure. It was a rare triumph of American diplomatic skill, seldom equalled and never exceeded even in our one hundred years of brilliant achievement. Well did he use the trowel.

The Master's Chair

The most historic furniture in America now in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, consists of the two pieces shown in No. 53. Elson says: "These two pieces of furniture were used for both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On the chair a half sun is carved."9 When the Constitution was being signed, Franklin said with a meaning well understood, referring to the half-sun emblazoned on the center of the back of the chair here shown, "Painters have found it difficult to paint a sun near the horizon so as to tell whether it was a setting or rising sun, but," said he, "after the Constitution had been passed and the members were signing, I looked at the sun behind President Washington and I saw for the first time it was a rising sun."10 In very truth may we not call this the Master's Chair? From this chair the pen wrote what the sword wrought. As the sun rises in the east to govern the day so rose the Constitution in the east to govern the nation with equal justice and regularity.

"Second To None In Private Life"

When the war was over, Washington returned to his farm but never for a moment did he cease to be actively true to that vow he made to his officers on that memorable day in the "Temple" when he faced the ruffians. From 1783 to 1789 when there was only the semblance of a government, Washington's course endeared him more and more to every true patriot. His character was so aptly described by Bro. Henry Lee in a single sentence known the world over. How often you have heard the first part of that renowned sentence – and alas, how seldom the second! Here is the full sentence: – "First in War, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, HE WAS SECOND TO NONE IN THE HUMBLE AND ENDEARING SCENES OF PRIVATE LIFE." "Second to none in private life," in itself may not have made him president but it did give him the distinction of being the only one ever elected president of the United States by unanimous vote. Washington was inaugurated President at New York April 30, 1789. Grand Master Robert Livingston administered the oath of office to him using a Bible from St. John's Lodge. Well did he remember the vow he voluntarily made to his officers on that memorable 15th of March, 1783. Here is his first cabinet – all Masons but Jefferson. He appointed no one but those he considered best able to serve the country, but among the men he knew so well in other scenes, he found the right kind of nerve and loyalty to promote the best interest of all.

In the second office in power was an honoured Mason of Philadelphia,11 the Hon. F. A. Muhlinberg, Speaker of the House. Thus was "Old Glory" again sponsored by those taught to yield their lives rather than their honour.

First National Corner Stone Laying

September 18, 1793, the corner stone of the new capitol at Washington was laid by the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Washington using the trowel, which is a treasured relic of Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22. In the description, two odd things occur as they appear to us now, first, the stone was laid in SOUTHEAST corner and second, in the grand procession was a place for

  1. Masons of the first degree
  2. Masons of the second degree
  3. Masons of the third degree.

The event is commemorated in one of the panels of the Crawford Bronze Doors, which open from the Senate Vestibule upon the portico. This is the north wing of the Capitol. The door is double with eight panels, each of which commemorates in high relief an important event in the life of our country. The door was designed by an American sculptor, Thomas Crawford.

'Tis well, yea 'tis meet and propel that our brothers of 1776 should be thus commemorated in undying bronze in the inner chamber of the national capitol at Washington. But me thinks that if these bronze lips could but speak to us we would hear familiar words – thus – "Go therefore and may the blessing of God attend you. Heretofore you have had brothers to speak and do for you. Now you must speak and do for yourselves and for those to follow you – even as we have done. We leave you the working tools bright from service – here is the emblem "Old Glory" with a star for every state. Go, see ye to it that there shall ever a state FOR EVERY star."

So mote it ever be.

Return to Top



1. Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow;
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need.

2. Knee to knee, that we may share
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray.

3. Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal;
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known,
We must cherish as our own.

4. Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low:
Underneath a load of care,
Which we may and ought to share.
That the weak may always stand,
Let us lend a helping hand.

5. Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
To our brothel in distress:
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee.

6. Foot to foot, and knee to knee,
Breast to breast, as brothers we:
Hand to back and mouth to ear,
Then that mystic word we hear,
Which we otherwise conceal,
Bu on these five points reveal.
– N. A. McAulay

Return to Top



By Bro. C. M. Schenck, Colorado

UNDER the above caption in the May number of The Builder, Bro. J. L. Carson says, "Two lodges accompanied the American Army during the Mexican War, while over a hundred dispensations for lodges are supposed to have been issued during the Civil War," and continues, "Cannot some of our grand old veterans tell us something of some of these?"

The writer, the son of a veteran over whose grave in Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas, stands a stone on which is inscribed:

"Maj. W. L. Schenck Late Surgeon 17th O. V. I. 1825-1910"

submits the following from the October, 1862, issue of the Masonic Review, published at Cincinnati, Ohio:

An Ohio Army Lodge. Head Quarters 17th O. V. I.
Camp Schoepf, on Elk River, Tennessee, Aug. 15, 1862.

"Bro. Moore: – When our army was encamped on the field of Shiloh, in this State, the 17th Ohio was there, and by virtue of a dispensation from the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, duly granted to Bro. Bonham H. Fox, W.M., Jno. Stinchcomb, S.W., D.M. Rex, J. W., and several other Brethren, a Regimental Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was duly organized and called "Ward Lodge," in honour of our gallant Major, Durbin Ward. We organized near the place where General Beauregard's Head Quarters were during the bloody fight of the 6th and 7th of April last.

The officers elected were: Bro. Durbin Ward, Treasurer, W.L. Schenck, Secretary, Robert Gates, S.D., Owen W. Brown, J.D., Sharp, Tyler.

"We keep our Lodge with us, and when we can't get a Lodge room, we meet on the 'highest hills,' or in the 'lowest vales.' We have spent many pleasant evenings together in the Lodge, but find many inconveniences you would little think of, unless you were with us. Sometimes we are on the march the night of our regular meeting, and so continue for several days, but as we are nearly all in our Regiment, we can call a meeting with but little trouble. We have done considerable work, and have to take advantage of our short stays at camps, to work.

"At Tuscumbia, also, we met several times in the Masons' Hall? which brethren there kindly gave into our charge. There is that romance and oddity about a Lodge of Masons meeting under such circumstances, that I am sure you would enjoy it.

"Our Colonel, J. M. Connell, was the first applicant, and has the honor of having been made a Mason on the battle-field of Shiloh.

"Our Tyler, Bro. Sharp, died at Corinth in hospital, a few days since, and Bro. Rex, our Junior Warden, formerly of Rushville Lodge, when on a scout with the Regiment, injured himself so badly as to produce rupture, and he by reason thereof has been compelled to resign. We lose two valuable officers thereby in the Lodge, and also in the Regiment. Bro. Sharp commenced in the ranks, but by his virtues and conduct as a soldier merited and received promotion, and died a Captain. I may give you an item occasionally.

"Fraternally yours, (Signed) Jno. Stinchcomb."

In his declining years my father, at the request of his children, wrote at considerable length "Recollections of his Life and Times" from which I copy references to this Ohio Army Lodge, and to Captain Stinchcomb.

"My regiment slowly advanced toward Corinth to take its place in the grand army under General Halleck that was following the rebels who had retreated to that point from Pittsburg Landing. One of the pleasant events in the regiment was the meetings on convenient occasions of Ward Lodge A. F. and A. M. working under dispensation from the state of Ohio. We were going to have such a meeting in one of my hospital tents on the way to Corinth, and I went over to General Schoepf's quarters to invite his medical director, Surgeon Strew, to meet with us. After doing so, he asked, 'Why don't you invite the General?' who stood near us. I replied, 'Because I don't know him as a Mason.' And addressing him, I asked, 'Are you a Mason, General ?' He replied, 'I am.' Then I said, 'We would be glad to have you meet with us.'

"From this point, (Winchester, Tenn.) the army moved eastward to the foot of the Tennessee Mountains where I recall two or three incidents out of the common line of army life… We were encamped in the edge of a thick woods and in cleaning out the underbrush the craftsmen of my regiment volunteered to make a lodge room in the open field in front of us by enclosing an oblong square with proper ante-rooms, the walls being so thickly brushed that the lights within could not be seen from without, and here Ward Lodge U.D. held several meetings, at some of which General George H. Thomas, General Thomas L. Crittenden, General Alvin Schoepf, and other officers and soldiers exchanged fraternal greetings.

"A four horse ambulance, belonging to my regiment, whose upper story had given out, had been fixed a la omnibus, and one of the boards along its sides was supported at one end by a box containing the 'working tools' of Ward Lodge A. F. & A. M. This being reported by my amiable assistant, who, like the newly appointed medical director, was an anti-mason, the latter lost no time in coming to enquire of me what was in the boxes that held up my omnibus seat.

"I said, 'Some of them contain air, and in one there is a square and compasses, a plumb and trowel, and sundry other like articles.'

"He said, 'I will give you just five minutes to take that box out of your ambulance.'

"I rode forward to Major Ward, W.M. of Ward Lodge U.D. and together we reported the facts to General Schoepf, who said, 'It is my order you keep that box where you got it. I report him to General Thomas.'

"During the afternoon the medical director came along again and asked if I had removed that box.

"I said, 'No it is still on duty.'

"'Didn't I say I would give you five minutes in which to remove it?'

"'Yes, and I believe I said I would take the five minutes.'

"'So you mean to disobey my orders?'

"'I do.'

"'I'll report you to the General.'

"'Please do.'

"It is needless to say I never heard anything more about removing the box.

"While my regiment was made up in a distant part of the state, Fairfield and the adjoining counties, and the men all strangers to me excepting Major Durbin Ward, who was from Warren County, when I went home on furlough from Somerset, Kentucky, four of my personal friends, and members of my Masonic lodge, Eastern Star No. 55, R.F. and George Ireland, John Gage and Stephen Corwin went back with me and were mustered into Company B., Captain Stinchcomb, all serving until the close of the war."

My father, from whose writings the extracts are taken, was made a Mason in Eastern Star Lodge No. 55, F. & A. M., at Franklin, Ohio, in the year 1848, and was its Master in 1850. Of this Lodge, instituted in 1819, his uncle, William C. Schenck, was the first Master, and his father, Garret A. Schenck, the first Junior Warden.

At the time of his death, which occurred at Topeka, Kansas, in 1910, he was a member of Siloam Lodge No. 225, A. F. & A. M., Topeka, and Topeka Commandery No. 5, K. T. His funeral services were conducted by this Commandery.

Return to Top



Never, perhaps, was lyric more bitterly born than Gilbert Frankau's stirring "A Song of the Guns." two stanzas of which herewith are given. Thus its prefatory note:

The author, who is now serving in Flanders, was present at the battle of Loos, and during a lull in the fighting – when the gunners, who had been sleepless for five nights, were resting like tired dogs under their guns – he jotted down the main theme of the poem. After the battle the artillery brigade to which he was attached was ordered to Ypres, and it was during the long trench warfare in this district, within sight of the ruined tower of Ypres Cathedral, that the poem was finally completed. The last three stanzas were written at midnight in brigade headquarters, with the German shells screaming over the ruined town.

We are the guns and your masters!
Saw ye our flashes?
Heard ye the scream of our shells in the night and the shuddering crashes?
Saw ye our work by the roadside, the gray wounded lying,
Moaning to God that He made them – the maimed and the dying?
Husbands or sons, Fathers or lovers, we break them!
We are the guns! We are the guns and ye serve us !
Dare ye grow weary,
Steadfast at night-time, at noontime; or waking, when dawn winds blow dreary
Over the fields and the flats and the reeds of the barrier water,
To wait on the hour of our choosing the minute decided for slaughter?
Swift the clock runs;
Yes, to the ultimate second. Stand to your guns !

Return to Top



From an Ancient Manuscript

"Hate is a cruel word. If men hate you, regard it not; and you can turn the hate of men to love and mercy and good will, and mercy is as large as all the heavens.

"And there is good enough for all. With good destroy the bad; with generous deeds make avarice ashamed; with truth make straight the crooked lines that error draws, for error is but truth distorted, gone astray.

"And pain will follow him who speaks or acts with evil thoughts, as does the wheel the foot of him who draws the cart.

"He is a greater man who conquers self than he who kills a thousand men in war.

"He is a noble man who is himself what he believes that other men should be.

"Return to him who does you wrong your purest love, and he will cease from doing wrong; for love will purify the heart of him who is beloved as truly as it purifies the heart of him who loves."

Return to Top



By Bro. Rod'k H. Baxter, Manchester, Eng.

(Herewith we reproduce a list of books suggested for a course of Masonic reading, by the secretary of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, to which we have ventured to add a few American books. Most heartily we recommend this reading course, (1) because the books named are authentic and trustworthy, giving in a popular form the results of the best Masonic research; (2) because they are, for the most part, inexpensive, and might easily be owned by any Lodge having an interest in Masonic Study; and (3) because a list of this kind will answer many inquiries which have come to ye editor. Later we propose to publish like lists dealing with other branches and rites of Masonry not included in the present course.)

"Knowledge is the solace of the intellect as religion is the comfort of the soul. And its acquisition is not a toil but an indescribable delight."
– G.W. Speth.

INQUIRIES from young members of the Association have been so frequent as to what books should be read to enable them to acquire a proper knowledge of the craft, that the Council have decided to issue a curriculum, and have entrusted me with the preparation of the work – a task which I undertake with much pleasure.

Bro. Speth, than whom there could be no safer guide, published a curriculum for English readers in 1890, in Vol. III of the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum), and in 1901 prepared an admirable and much more extensive list of works, suitable for American brethren, with a running commentary, forming a delightful essay, which was published at Detroit, Michigan, in 1901. It would be presumptuous on my part to endeavor in any way to improve on this work, were it not for the fact that so many fresh Masonic books have appeared since that date as to render a revision necessary, but I ought to add that my compilation is not merely a bringing up to date of Bro. Speth's list, but a fresh plan, which I consider the circumstances of the case require.

Bro. Dr. Chetwode Crawley, in the introduction to his Caementaria Hibernica, says that there are three classical works which are absolutely indispensable to all Masonic students, viz:-

  1. Gould's History of Freemasonry,
  2. Hughan's Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, and
  3. Sadler's Masonic Facts and Fictions.

Whilst fully appreciating the value of these works, I would not, however, suggest that the student should begin by reading them in the order given. The great history of Gould is too ponderous to be attractive, and necessary as it is to every library, I would rather class it as a work of reference than as a book likely to encourage a taste for Masonic literature. One serious fault the work possesses – it has never been brought up to date – and despite the fact that so many so-called fresh editions have appeared, the text so far as I am able to ascertain, has never been revised.

My own suggestion is that instead of entering on a course of advanced reading, the beginner should procure some of the more recently published "tabloid" works at reasonable prices, which, when properly assimilated, should create such a desire for further knowledge, that he would not then grudge the expenditure of time and money in acquiring it. I hope I may not be considered too egotistical in first of all mentioning a small work of my own, "General and Historic Notes on Freemasonry" (James Clegg, Rochdale, 1s., or, post free, 1s. 2d.), in which I may hasten to add, I have no financial interest whatever, as being probably the cheapest work available. Next in order I would recommend the works in the following list:

  • The Master Mason's Hand Book, by F.J.W. Crowe. (G. Kenning and Son, London. 1s. 6d.)
  • Things a Freemason Should Know, by F.J.W. Crowe. (Kenning, London. 2s. 6d.)
  • Freemasonry before the Existence of Grand Lodges, by Lionel Vibert. (Spencer and Co., London. 4s. 6d.)
  • A Short Masonic History, by Fredk. Armitage. (Weare and Co., London. 2 vols., 4s. 6d. each.)
  • The Comacines: Their Predecessors and Successors, by W. Ravenscroft. (Elliot Stock, London, 3s. 6d.)
  • The Builders, by J. F. Newton. (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. $1.50.)

Having-carefully perused the above primers, the student will have acquired an elementary knowledge of Masonic history, but those desirous of more light ought certainly next to read:-

  • A Concise History of Freemasonry, by R.F. Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 10s. 6d.)
  • The History of Freemasonry, by J.G. Findel. English translation. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
  • It is time now to provide one's self with an encyclopedia of some kind, and following the precedent already adopted, the following list gives the works in the order of simplicity.
  • A Concise Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, by E.L. Hawkins. (A. Lewis, London. 4s. 6d.)
  • Kenning's Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford. (Kenning, London. Originally 10s 6d., but now about 2s. 6d.)
  • Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
  • Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopedia. (Second-hand, about 12s. 6d.)
  • Dr. A. G. Mackey's Encyclopedia, edited by E. L. Hawkins and W. J. Hughan. (A. Lewis, London. 2 vols., 50s.)
  • Under this heading, perhaps, ought to be classed Gould's great work:-
  • The History of Freemasonry. (Jack, London. 6 half vols., :1883-7. Published at 3 pounds 15s., but now second-hand for about 15s.)

Before dipping into other works of reference, I suggest that the following works be read:

  • The Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, by Wm. Jas. Hughan. Second edition. (Research Lodge, Leicester. 10s. 6d.)
  • Masonic Facts and Fiction, by Hy. Sadler. (Second-hand, about 15s.)
  • Masonic Reprints and Historical Revelations, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s. 6d.)

The introduction to the last-named work, by Bro. Chetwode Crawley is one of the finest pieces of Masonic writing that I have ever come across, and in my opinion ought to be read by every Mason, whether a student of craft lore or not.

For special study the works under the various headings hereafter given may be consulted.

Guild Life

The theory that our ancient lodges were in some way connected with the various guilds, amounts to something stronger than a mere possibility, so that a knowledge of these early organizations is desirable. Many good works have been issued on the subject, but a study of the following will suffice:-

  • English Gilds, by Toulmin Smith, with a fine Introduction by Brentano.
  • Two Thousand Years of Gild Life, by the Rev. J. M. Lambert.
  • The Cathedral Builders. The Story of a Great Guild, by Leader Scott.
  • Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons, by Edward Condel, Jr.
  • Aberdeen Merchant Crafts and Guilds, by Ebenezer Bain.
  • The Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh, by James Colston.


Most of the traditions of the craft are dealt with in general Masonic literature, but the following little work is of special interest:-

  • The Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry, by J. Finlay Finlayson. (Kenning, London. 3s. 6d.)
  • Speculative Masonry, by A. S. MacBride. (D. Gilfillan, Glasgow. $1.50.)

Symbolism And Ethics

The peculiarly difficult subject of symbolism is equally difficult to advise about, but I suggest:-

  • The Perfect Ashlar, by the Rev. J. T. Lawrence.
  • The Keystone. Ibid.
  • Sidelights on Freemasonry. Ibid.
  • Byways of Freemasonry. Ibid.
  • The Etiquette of Freemasonry, by an Old Past Master (i. e., Bro. Franklin Thomas.)

(All published by A. Lewis, London. 4s. 6d. per vol.) Symbolism of Masonry, by Dr. Mackey. (Macoy Co., New York. $1.50.)


The Book of Constitutions should, of course, be in the hands of every Mason, and should be carefully studied. No really good interpretation of the book has yet appeared. Oliver and Paton have made more a less indifferent attempts, and the most recent effort is:

  • Masonic Jurisprudence, by the Rev. J. T. Lawrence Second edition. (A Lewis, London. 7s. 6d.)

But on no account should the critique of the Wor. Bro. Hextell be passed over, as some of the author's conclusions are very seriously controverted.

Scottish History

No country in the world is richer in old lodges and their records than Scotland, and fortunately skilled craftsmen have done full justice to the subject. The following works are all good; but Murray Lyon's work is absolutely a classic, and must be consulted.

  • History of the Lodge of Edinburgh Mary's Chapel No. 1. Embracing an Account of the Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Scotland, by D. Murray Lyon. (Second-hand about 15s.)
  • History of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, by Allan Mackenzie. (Lodge No. 2. 7s. 6d.)
  • History of the Ancient Masonic Lodge of Scoon and Perth, by D. Crawford Smith. (Cowan and Ca Perth. 10s. 6d.)
  • History of Freemasonry in Roxburgh, Peebles, and Selkirkshires, by W. Fred Vernon. (Kenning, London. 4s.)

Irish History

Ireland stood void of any serious Masonic historical works until the advent of our distinguished Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley, but his brilliant talents have amply removed the stigma. His three volumes of Irish Masonic Reprints are difficult to procure at any price but cannot possibly be omitted from any list of books for Masonic students.

  • Caementaria Hibernica, by W.J. Chetwode Crawley. Fasciculus I.

Numbers and Changes Of Lodges

Bro. Jno. Lane, of Torquay, inspired doubtless by Bro. Hughan, earned the distinction of being the statistician of the craft par excellence, and although his works can scarcely be styled attractive, they must certainly be regarded as monuments of research.

  • The Four Old Lodges and Their Descendants, by R.F. Gould. (Spencer and Co., London. 5s. 6d.)
  • The Atholl Lodges, by R. F. Gould. (Spence London. 3s. 6d.)
  • Numerical and Numismatical Register of Lodge by W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
  • Handy Book to the Lists of Lodges, by Jno. Lan (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
  • Masonic Records, 1717-1887, by Jno. Lane.
  • Do. Do. Second edition, 1717-1894. (Grand Lodge, 1 pound. 1s.)


Leaving out of account the eally works of Metzdorf, Zaccharias, and Marvin, which are difficult of access, we have in the following list a series of very nice books.

  • Hughan's Numerical and Numismatical Register (already cited.)
  • Centenary Warrants and Jewels, by Jno. Lane. (Kenning, London. 10s. 6d.)
  • The Medals of British Freemasonry, by G. L. Shackles. (Q. C. Lodge. 12s. 6d.)

Ancient Manuscripts

To Bro. Wm. Jas. Hughan, the craft is indebted for the most careful investigations on the ancient MS. Constitutions, no roll having come to light during the past forty years without his opinion having been consulted. Unfortunately his books are all out of print and difficult to procure.

  • The Old Charges of the British Freemasons, by W. J. Hughan, with an Introduction by the Rev. A.F.A.Woodford. (Second-hand, about 1 pound 1s.) Do. Do. (Second-hand, about 15s.)
  • Ancient York Masonic Rolls, with an Introduction by W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, about 10s. 6d.)

The first six volumes Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha contain sumptuous facsimile reproductions of the most important of the MS. Constitutions, with transcripts and commentaries, and Vols. IX and X are equally valuable as containing reproductions of other early writings.

Old Books Of Constitutions

The early editions of the Book of Constitutions are treasures eagerly sought for by collectors, and are only purchasable at fancy prices. Fortunately their contents are available in reprints, and no finer description of the whole series has ever been done than that by Bro. Hughan in Vol. II of the Archaeological Library.

  • Kenning's Archaeological Library, Vol. I., edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, containing a (pretended) facsimile reproduction of the premier Book of Constitutions, 1723. (Kenning, London. 6s.)
  • Do. Do. Vol. II. Edited by W.J. Hughan, containing a facsimile reproduction of the Appendix, 1776, to the 1767 Constitutions. (Kenning, London. 6s.)
  • Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. VII, containing a facsimile reproduction of the 1738 Constitutions. (Q. C. Lodge. 10s. 6d.)

I am not aware of any reprints of the Ahiman Rezon, the Book of Constitutions of the Ancients. Very curious readings are to be found in the different editions of this work. Copies of the 1778 and 1801 editions are in our own collection.


It may seem strange even to mention bibliographies as being readable books, but the first four catalogues in the following list have been so carefully annotated by Bro. Hughan that they are really interesting. The great work of Wolfstieg is the most complete of the kind ever attempted.

  • Catalogue of the Worcester Masonic Exhibition, 1884. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor.
  • Do. Do. Shanklin, 1886. Edited by Alfred Greenham.
  • Do. Do. Plymouth, 1887. Edited by W. J. Hughan.
  • Catalogue of the Worcester Masonic Library and Museum, 1891. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor. (Obtainable from F. L. Gardner, Gunnersbury. 7s. 6d.)
  • Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literatur, by A. Wolfstieg, 1911-13. 3 vols.


Although my list has already reached considerable length, I cannot possibly complete it without particularly mentioning:-

  • The Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076. Vols. I to XXVI, which Bro. Hughan has described as veritable mines of wealth. Other books which may with advantage be consulted are:-
  • Illustrations of Masonry, by Wm. Preston. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
  • The Spirit of Freemasonry, by William Hutchinson. (Second-hand, about 7s. 6d.)
  • Builders' Rites and Ceremonies, by G. W. Speth. (Second-hand, 3s.)
  • The Religion of Freemasonry, by H.J. Whymper. (Second-hand, 7s. 6d.)
  • Masonic Sketches and Reprints, by W.J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
  • History of the Apollo Lodge, York, Ibid. (Second hand, 5s.)
  • The Jacobite Lodge at Rome, 1735-7, Ibid. (Research Lodge, Leicester. 7s. 6d.)
  • History of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
  • Memorials of the Globe Lodge and Origin of the Red Apron, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 4s.)
  • Thomas Dunckerley: His Life, Labours, and Letters. Ibid. (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
  • Military Lodges, by R. F. Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 5s.)
  • French Prisoners' Lodges, by J. T. Thorp. (Leicester. 5s.)
  • The Philosophy of Masonry, by Roscoe Pound, (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. 76 cents.)
  • Morals and Dogma, by Albert Pike. $5.00.

Periodical Literature

It is quite essential for every Brother, desirous of keeping himself in touch with the current doings of the craft, to subscribe to some periodical. The "Freemason" and "Freemasons' Chronicle" appear weekly, and the "Northern Freemason" monthly. I do not for a minute suggest that these journals are of a high order of merit, but it must be remembered that a more generous response from the Masonic public would enable the proprietors to provide better and cheaper fare. A very useful little publication is "Miscellanea Latomorum, or Masonic Notes and Queries," edited by Bro. F. W. Levander, 30, North Villas, Camden Square, London, N. W. (9 parts per annum for 5s.), which enables questions to be asked and generally satisfactorily answered on almost any branch of Freemasonry.

My strongest and last recommendation to every intelligent Brother is to join the Correspondence Circle of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, the foremost literary lodge of the world, where, for a joining fee of half-a-guinea and an annual subscription of like amount, he will receive the published transactions of the lodge, and be entitled to all other advantages of membership, except holding office and voting on matters of business. I say advisedly that it is necessary to join this circle, and not merely to read some other subscriber's copies of the publications, for it must be evident that a very large influx of subscriptions is necessary to enable the work, which is so highly appreciated by the foremost Masonic scholars in all parts of the world, to be carried on.

Return to Top



WORSHIPFUL Master and Brethren: Let us behold the glorious beauty that lies hidden beneath the symbolism of the Square and Compass; and first as to the Square. Geometry, the first and noblest of the sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry has been erected. As you know, the word "Geometry" is derived from two Greek words which mean "to measure the earth," so that Geometry originated in measurement; and in those early days, when land first began to be measured, the Square, being a right angle, was the instrument used, so that in time the Square began to symbolize the Earth. And later it began to symbolize, Masonically, the earthly-in man, that is man's lower nature, and still later it began to symbolize man's duty in his earthly relations, or his moral obligations to his Fellowmen. The symbolism of the Square is as ancient as the Pyramids. The Egyptians used it in building the Pyramids. The base of every pyramid is a perfect square, and to the Egyptians the Square was their highest and most sacred emblem. Even the Chinese many, many centuries ago used the Square to represent Good, and Confucius in his writings speaks of the Square to represent a Just man.

As Masons we have adopted the 47th Problem of Euclid as the rule by which to determine or prove a perfect Square. Many of us remember with what interest we solved that problem in our school days. The Square has become our most significant Emblem. It rests upon the open Bible on this altar; it is one of the three great Lights; and it is the chief ornament of the Worshipful Master. There is a good reason why this distinction has been conferred upon the Square. There can be nothing truer than a perfect Square – a right angle. Hence the Square has become an emblem of Perfection.

Now a few words as to the Compass: Astronomy was the second great science promulgated among men. In the process of Man's evolution there came a time when he began to look up to the stars and wonder at the vaulted Heavens above him. When he began to study the stars, he found that the Square was not adapted to the measurement of the Heavens. He must have circular measure; he needed to draw a circle from a central point, and so the Compass was employed. By the use of the Compass man began to study the starry Heavens, and as the Square primarily symbolized the Earth, the Compass began to symbolize the Heavens, the celestial canopy, the study of which has led men to think of God, and adore Him as the Supreme Architect of the Universe. In later times the Compass began to symbolize the spiritual or higher nature of man, and it is a significant fact that the circumference of a circle, which is a line without end, has become an emblem of Eternity and symbolizes Divinity; so the Compass, and the circle drawn by the Compass, both point men Heavenward and Godward.

The Masonic teaching concerning the two points of the Compass is very interesting and instructive. The novitiate in Masonry, as he kneels at this altar, and asks for Light sees the Square, which symbolizes his lower nature, he may well note the position of the Compass. As he takes another step, and asks for more Light, the position of the Compass is changed somewhat, symbolizing that his spiritual nature can, in some measure, overcome his evil tendencies. As he takes another step in Masonry, and asks for further Light, and hears the significant words, "and God said let there be Light, and there was Light," he sees the Compass in new light; and for the first time he sees the meaning, thus unmistakably alluding to the sacred and eternal truth that as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so the spiritual is higher than the material, and the spiritual in man must have its proper place, and should be above his lower nature, and dominate all his thoughts and actions. That eminent Philosopher, Edmund Burke, once said, "It is ordained that men of intemperate passions cannot be free. Their passions forge the chains which bind them, and make them slaves." Burke was right. Masonry, through the beautiful symbolism of the Compass, tells us how we can be free men, by permitting the spiritual within us to overcome our evil tendencies, and dominate all our thoughts and actions. Brethren, sometimes in the silent quiet hour, as we think of this conflict between our lower and higher natures, we sometimes say in the words of another, "Show me the way and let me bravely climb to where all conflicts with the flesh shall cease. Show me that way. Show me the way up to a higher plane where my body shall be servant of my Soul. Show me that way."

Brethren, if that prayer expresses desire of our hearts, let us take heed to the beautiful teachings of the Compass, which silently and persistently tells each one of us,

"You should not in the valley stay
While the great horizons stretch away
The very cliffs that wall you round
Are ladders up to higher ground.
And Heaven draws near as you ascend,
The Breeze invites, the Stars befriend.
All things are beckoning to the Best,
Then climb toward God and find sweet Rest."
– Bro. B. C. Ward, Iowa

Return to Top



By A Special Committee On Dispensation, Massachusetts

(Several Brethren have asked of late about the admission of non-Christians in general, and of Buddhists in particular, into the fellowship of Freemasonry. Pertinent to this important question is the following report of a Committee appointed to deal with the request for a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for International Lodge at Pekin, China. The report is the work of a very able Committee, of which Brother Roscoe Pound was a member, and he it was who presented its findings to Grand Lodge. We take pleasure in reproducing the report, as worthy of wide reading and long pondering, for that it stands so squarely on the fundamental principle of Freemasonry, than which there is no firmer basis for Freedom, Friendship and Fraternity among men.)

In Grand Lodge, Boston, December 8, 1915.

The special committee appointed to take under consideration the fourth and fifth questions discussed in that part of the address of the M. W. Grand Master at the last Quarterly Communication which has to do with the establishment of International Lodge at Peking, China, begs to report as follows:

Stated briefly, the first of those questions is with reference to the eligibility of candidates who subscribe to prevailing Oriental religions. This question may be considered with respect to Oriental religions in general, but should also be looked at with respect to Buddhists and followers of Confucius, since it is probable that the matter, so far as this Grand Lodge is concerned, will be only academic as to other creeds. In the case of Mohammedan, Hindu, and Parsee, the question no longer admits of discussion. The practice of the United Grand Lodge of England and its predecessors, undoubted for almost a century and a half, would of itself suffice. In 1776, Umdat-ul-Umara, eldest son of the Nabob of Arcot, was initiated at Trichinopoly in a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Master for Madras. This reception of a Mohammedan Prince was an event of such significance that it was made the subject of congratulations by the Grand Lodge of England. The Parsees of Western India, so Gould informs us, long ago took an active interest in Masonry, and one of them, Brother Cama, was elected Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of England in 1886. With respect to Hindus, it seems that there was an impression as late as 1860 that they were not eligible for Masonry, and the initiation of a Brahman in Meridian Lodge No. 345, in that year raised a vigorous discussion in the Masonic press. But it should be noted that the discussion did not turn upon any supposed ineligibility of the adherents of Oriental religions, but solely on the question whether the Brahman faith involved belief in God, as Masons understand such belief. The arguments of the Master of the Lodge was that "the very groundwork of the Brahman faith is the belief in one Grand Superintending Being." (See Freemason's Magazine, April 21, September 8, October 13, 1860; May 18, 1861.) In 1861, two Sikh Princes were initiated, and there does not appear to have been any doubt upon this matter since that time. In 1874 a Hindu was Master of a Lodge under the English constitutions. (See Gould, History of Freemasonry, III, 333, 336; Mackey, History of Freemasonry, VII, 1892.)

It would belie all our professions of universality if this were not so. We must guard jealously the Landmark – one of the few undoubted and universally admitted Landmarks – that calls for belief in God, the Grand Architect of the Universe. In Brother George F. Moore's well-known paper upon the subject he justly pronounces this the first Landmark in Freemasonry. But the idea of God here is universal. Each of us may interpret it in terms of his own creed. The requirement is not that Masons adhere to this or that theological system or conceive of God in terms of this or that creed. It is a simple requirement of belief in the One God, however manifested, upon which philosophers and prophets and saints and the enlightened religions of all time have been able to agree. It is enough to say that we fully concur in the eloquent and convincing presentation of this matter in the address of the Grand Master.

Perhaps it is superfluous to add anything to the argument from the practice of the premier Grand Lodge and the argument from principle. But if any still harbor scruples it may be noted that except for Hutchinson and Oliver, whose view that Masonry is a distinctively Christian institution obviously can not be admitted, Masonic scholars and teachers have been at one upon this point. In a passage afterward quoted in Webb's Monitor Preston says: "The distant Chinese, the wild Arab, or the American Savage will embrace a brother Briton [Webb adds "Frank or German"] and he will know that beside the common ties of humanity there is still a stronger obligation to engage him to kind or friendly offices." (Illustrations of Masonry, Bk. 1, par. 3). Certainly we are not to suppose that this Chinaman and this "wild" Arab are Christians. But Preston speaks elsewhere in no uncertain tones: "The doctrine of one God, the creator and preserver of the universe, has been their firm belief in every age; and under the influence of that doctrine their conduct has been regulated through a long succession of years. The progress of knowledge and philosophy, aided by divine revelation, having abolished many of the vain superstitions of antiquity and enlightened the minds of men with the knowledge of the true God and the sacred tenets of the Christian faith, Masons have readily acquiesced in and zealously pursued every measure which could promote a religion so wisely calculated to make men happy. In those countries, however, where the gospel has not reached and Christianity [has not] displayed her beauties, the Masons have pursued the universal religion or the religion of nature; that is to be good men and true, by whatever denomination or persuasion they have been distinguished; and by this universal religion the conduct of the fraternity still continues to be regulated." (Illustrations of Masonry, 2 ed., 154.) The Grand Master's address has already quoted Mackey upon this subject. A score of passages from Albert Pike might be quoted to the same effect. Let one suffice. After explaining that "these ceremonies have one general significance to every one of every faith who believes in God and the soul's immortality," he proceeds: "In no other way could Masonry possess its character of universality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enabled two kings, worshipers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters while the walls of the first temple arose." Finally, we may cite the words of Rev. Joseph Fort Newton, which have the endorsement of the Grand Lodge of Iowa: "While Masonry is theocratic in its faith and philosophy, it does not limit its conception of the Divine, much less insist upon any one name for 'the Nameless One of a hundred names.' Indeed, no feature of Masonry is more fascinating than its age-long quest of the Lost Word, the Ineffable Name; a quest that never tires, never tarries, knowing the while that every name is inadequate, and all words are but symbols of a Truth too great for words – every letter of the alphabet, in fact, having been evolved from some primeval sign or signal of the faith and hope of humanity. Thus Masonry, so far from limiting the thought of God, is evermore in search of a more satisfying and revealing vision of the meaning of the universe, now luminous and lovely, now dark and terrible; and it invites all men to unite in the quest –

One in the freedom of the Truth, One in the joy of paths untrod, One in the soul's perennial Youth, One in the larger thought of God.

Truly the human consciousness of fellowship with the Eternal, under whatever name, may well hush all words, still more hush argument and anathema. Possession, not recognition, is the only thing important; and if it is not recognized, the fault must surely be, in large part, our own. Given the one great experience, and before long kindred spirits will join in the "Universal Prayer" of Alexander Pope, himself a Mason:

Father of all! in every age, In every clime adored, By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage, Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !" (The Builders, 262-263.)

It remains to consider whether Buddhists and followers of Confucius are believers in God in such sense that they may be made Masons. As to the former, we have the weighty opinion of Albert Pike that Buddha was a "Masonic legislator" – that is that he gave laws in the spirit of Masonry. He says of the original followers of Buddha: "They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed" (Morals and Dogma, 277.) Professor Rhys Davids, the chief authority in English upon Buddhism, indicates that this may be a matter of dispute. But the committee does not deem it necessary to go into this question, to which it is indeed scarcely competent. For if any Buddhists are to be initiated in International Lodge they will be required to profess belief in God at the outset, and as they will be men in whom our Brethren have confidence and will come well recommended, we may be assured that their professions will be sincere. The same point may be made with respect to the followers of Confucius. But the Rev. J. Legge, an unquestioned authority, tells us that while the teaching of Confucius "was hardly more than a mere secularism" his predecessors on whom he built made abundant reference to the Supreme Being and their writings contain "an exulting awful recognition of Him as the almighty personal ruler who orders the course of nature and providence." It seems clear that monotheists may follow the ethical teachings of Confucius, even if sceptics may do so likewise, and the former only will be elected to receive the mysteries of Freemasonry.

The second question, put briefly, is with reference to the adaptability of our rites when applied to adherents of Oriental religions. Here again we may appeal to the settled and unquestioned practice of the United Grand Lodge of England. In response to a request for information addressed to him by the R. W. Grand Secretary, Sir Edward Letchworth, Grand Secretary of the English Grand Lodge, writes, under date of October 25, 1915: "Adverting to your letter to me of the 11th instant, it has always been the practice of this Grand Lodge to permit Candidates for Freemasonry who are believers in a Supreme Being, but not in the Christian Religion, to be obligated upon the Sacred Book of their own religion. Thus Jews are obligated on the Old Testament, Mohammedans on the Koran, Hindus on the Vedas, and Parsees on the Zendavesta."

On principle this must be the sound practice. It is indeed but a corollary of the proposition involved in the first question. Moreover the testimony of Masonic scholars is clear. The M. W. Grand Master has already quoted from Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence. In another work Dr. Mackey says: "Masonically the book of the law is that sacred book which is believed by the Mason of any particular religion to contain the revealed will of God; although technically among the Jews the Torah, or Book of the Law, means only the Pentateuch or five books of Moses. Thus to the Christian Mason the Book of the Law is the Old and New Testaments; to the Jew the Old Testament; to the Mussulman the Koran; to the Brahman, the Vedas; and to the Parsee the Zendavesta." In the Entered Apprentice Lecture, as written by Albert Pike, he says: "The Holy Bible, Square, and (Compass, are not only styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from Our Lodges, because they can not regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

"The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed." (Morals and Dogma, 11.)

Much more might be cited from Masonic writers authority. But the practice of more than a century the Grand Lodge of England and the principle of the thing require no other support.

The committee would report that the conclusions of the M.W. Grand Master upon the two questions referred are, in his opinion, beyond controversy, being sustained by-long precedent and usage, by the clearest deduction from the fundamental tenets of the Fraternity, and by the concurrent testimony of Masonic scholars. Fraternally submitted,



Report was accepted and adopted.

Return to Top



I am a man, and nothing that concerns human beings is indifferent to me. By nature we are inclined to love mankind; take away this love and you take away all the joy of life, for men are born that they may mutually benefit one another. When one has studied the nature of things and has come to look upon himself as not confined within the walls of one city, or as a member of any particular community, but as a citizen of the Universe considered as a Commonwealth: amid such an acquaintance with Nature and such a grand magnificence of things, to what a Knowledge of himself will he attain !
– Pagan Scriptures

Return to Top



Narrow chested and gray blooded children living in dark rooms in congested tenement districts, eating adulterated food and corrupted in their childhood by an environment of dives, gambling dens and brothels, are a poor foundation for a first line of defense.
– Raymond Robins

Return to Top



(The following address, found on Page 147, in Part III of the 1798 edition of the Book of Constitutions, prepared for and under authority of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts by Brother Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, Grand Chaplain, rings true in this year 1916 as it did at that time. – Editor.)

"You, Brother, the native and subject of another nation, by entering into our Order, have connected yourself, by sacred and affectionate ties, with thousands of Masons in this and other countries. Ever recollect that the Order you have entered into, bids you always to look upon the world as ONE GREAT REPUBLIC, of which every nation is a family, and every particular person a child. When, therefore, you return and settle in your own country, take care that the progress of friendship be not confined to the narrow circle of national connections, or particular religions; but let it be universal, and extend to every branch of the human race. At the same time, remember that, besides the common ties of humanity, you have at this time entered into obligations, which engage you to kind and friendly actions to your Brother Mason, of whatever station country or religion."

Return to Top



In the big heart of a true Mason there is no caste, but that which is born of true manhood; no sovereignty but that which willingly begets service; great because lowly, strong because faithful, invincible because patient.
– W. F. Kuhn

Return to Top



For years we had stood together
And toiled at the self-same task,
With a hand that was worn to leather,
And the face of an age-old mask.
Where the narrow walls confined us
We had dreamed, as a bondsman can,
Of a world made free for brothers-
And a kingdom of every man.
We had dreamed of a space unbounded
Where the eye sees far and clear,
With never a thought for nations-
Ours was a world frontier!

And today it was that I found him
When we stormed the other trench,
With a hell-fire hot all round us,
And a deadlier poisoned stench.
There he lay, like a wild beast slaughtered,
And a stain on his mouth like wine,
And eyes that stared, unseeing,
To the heaven that's his and mine.
Perhaps, at to-morrow's dawning.
I, too, shall be lying there,
In the only peace and freedom
That he and I can share.
Elizabeth Berthon Fahnestock, – In "The Outlook"

Return to Top



Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg

Caxton Building, Cleveland, Ohio

NOTE. Of the forty responses to Brother Clegg's "Get Together" Open Letter in the September issue (inside back cover) received up to September 12th, he has selected the following as covering the representative problems presented. The emphasis which he places upon the ability of ONE LIVE MEMBER of the Society to inspire a complete Study Club in his vicinity is well deserved. But let not the individual Brother who desires to be counted "present" in this movement be discouraged, even though others do not join him at once. He will find much of value (and to his liking) in this Department, as time goes on, and the recapitulation of the ways in which problems of organization are being solved, will help him.

The CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN will for the present be published and distributed with the regular issues of The Builder. This is the most economical method: and, as we believe, will deserve the widest publicity that we can give it. EVERY MEMBER will at once appreciate the increased value of the Society to the Craft, and we hope to show EVERY MEMBER that his interest in Masonry will be best served by allying him self with other interested Brethren for the furtherance of the Society's aims.

The Methods Whereby Studious Masons May Mingle For Betterment

THAT article on the inside back cover of the September issue of The Builder must have been timely and truthful. It tapped a fount, yea, a flood of correspondence the end of which is not yet. That the opportunity was ripe there is no question. That there is great good to be accomplished is evident. That we should at once proceed to enter the promised land is beyond dispute. That the work is of the highest importance is unquestioned.

Urgent as is the need of action, it is supremely important that we all be as patient as possible remembering that the undertaking may develop difficulties unforeseen by the wisest. These we will all do our best to iron out as we go along.

Some of the letters telling of real difficulties are most interesting and I hope to give them space in full for general discussion. But as it may not be practical to do this at present I will make extracts from several of them and add such comments as seem most helpful from my point of view. It will be easy to come back to me for additional information if the suggestions I offer are not fully satisfactory, and the printing of the pointers in The Builder will enable others to profit wherever the data is seen to be of benefit, and every reader is also invited to give me and everybody else the advantage of such criticism as may occur to him in the study of this department.

When Local Members May Be Few

Dear Brother: In re Masonic studies noted on last page last Builder, please furnish me list of local members. Providing there are not sufficient here how may I procure the information ? C.W. Tedrowe, Elk City, Okla

Numbers will make no difference as regards the willingness of the Society to help you. Whether there be two or two hundred members of The National Masonic Research Society that you can reach locally, will not make any difference in that respect. In fact it will be an excellent plan to invite to your meetings Masons who are not already members of the Society. If you get them interested they are very likely to want membership, and as you are not going to invite those you would not care to have join hands with you in this work you thereby enlarge the influence of the Society and make useful additions to your numbers and ours. Tell us what success you have in assembling the brethren. Let us know what subjects seem of the greatest degree of interest to most of you, or what has come up for consideration at your meetings and we will suggest sources of information and lines of investigation that you may take up to profitably employ your time and energies.

Lists Wanted – Subjects For Discussion, Masonic Books For Public Library

Dear Brother: Having just read Brother Clegg's letter on the inside cover of the September Builder, I hope to be among the first to respond, as his idea is certainly well worth attention. Our lodge is becoming interested in the history side of Masonry and is planning not only a series of lectures for the coming winter, but a study club of members. While I would appreciate a list of members of the N.M.R.S. in this section, yet am I more interested in a list of subjects for discussion. If I could trouble you for a list of subjects upon which you think a foundation might be built, or which would serve as a nucleus for later original efforts on our part, I would be very appreciative. A list of a few books which our local library has kindly offered to purchase would likewise be appreciated. H. C. Wolf, 408 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill.

Let me take the last of your requests first. Your Public Library should have the first volume of The Builder and should subscribe to the subsequent issues. There should also be on file the book on the Philosophy of Masonry by Dean Pound and published by The National Masonic Research Society. The best Encyclopedia is none too good and for this purpose get Mackey's latest edition. Mackey and Singleton's "History of Freemasonry," and R. F. Gould's "Concise History" are also most valuable. We will send you a pamphlet list of Masonic works and shall promptly inform you of the relative merits of any of the items upon which you may desire further light.

A list of subjects for consideration by your brethren and yourself is no easy task to prepare, and then be fully acceptable to you and to me. I am somewhat in the dark as to topics that would appeal to you. For instance I know of a group of Masons that found a very lively interest in digging up all the data obtainable upon such subjects as the Essenes. To me that would have been rather dry but they found it full of zest and charm. Lately I and a few other brothers spent an evening discussing some points in Masonic law and the time slipped away very rapidly but I can imagine there are brethren who would not find that topic at all attractive.

There is to my mind only one way to cut the Gordian knot and that is to do your best to select in the first instance subjects of the greatest general interest and then specialize later when you have the more accurately gauged the tendencies of your own taste and those of your associates.

Suppose we take any one or more of the following points: What is the purpose of Masonry? What is taught by the Entered Apprentice degree ? What is taught by the Fellowcraft degree? What is taught by the Master Mason's degree ? How should a visiting Mason be examined? What ought a member to know of Masonry ? What has been the history of Masonry – tracing the progress of your local lodges, your Grand Lodge and the bodies from whence you drew your authority?

Any one of the above will keep you busy for some time if handled judiciously and thoroughly. Should you like other references please do not fail to write me.

It may also be that you will seek light on some angle of the above that is not clear, and here too every resource we possess is at your service. But start in courageously and keep going.

Anything Of Ritualistic Or Monitorial Merit Very Welcome

Dear Sir: I note your notices about study clubs, and I would like to do what I can to help you form a club. I am greatly interested in the study of Freemasonry. Could you use an article on the Symbolism of the Third Degree ? Rasmus Bartleson, 452 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, Minn.

The Editor of The Builder is always pleased to receive essays from the brethren. Furthermore it is just such papers as the one you mention that will probably be found highly useful in our study clubs. Already we have had discussions upon Symbolism circulated among lodges when reprinted from The Builder and they were very enjoyable and thought-provoking. Our research into Masonry need not get too far away from what is suggested by the ritual. The "work" is known to all no matter how rusty they may be and the topics based upon it are all the more attractive on that account because all can take part. Right here is the very essence of the scheme; sociable contact in study of the successful sort for classes, the same being based upon the intimate and general appeal of the topics chosen for the attention of the brethren.

Voices A New Crusade

Dear Sir and Brother: I read with great interest your very suggestive open letter to members of our Society and am fully in accord with your idea of Masonic study. I think now is the time for all Masons to not only study but also practice in our every day life the duties we owe to the great Institution and to ourselves.

Would it not be a grand uplift to Masonry if every member of every lodge belonged to the Society and then set an evening for study and debate ? There are so many of our members who fail to see the concealed yet revealed beauty of Masonry. C. T. Laschinger, Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

You have indeed hit the nail on the head. May we not also say that the responsibility is ours of increasing the attractiveness of Masonic study? Shall we not all take hold of the situation in our respective localities and endeavor to make others see Masonry as you see it ? How shall we do this ?

I feel confident that we shall later on get from you some serviceable working ideas based on your progress with the brethren. What you say so definitely and well cannot but be followed by action and creditable results. Go forward along the path you have blazed so well, and then let the rest of us have the benefit of your plans and progressiveness.

Plans Vary With Places

My dear Brother: In the late issue of The Builder, on the inside back page is a message which I felt was both proper and timely, in all respects.

I desire to be one who asks for the list of brethren in this locality, for the express purpose as mentioned in the article. There are four Blue Lodges in Davis county – at Bloomfield Drakeville, Pulaski, and one which meets at call, at Stiles. The first three are situated in corporate communities, and could well support their individual clubs, although if it is deemed best to start with interested brothers from these places, the best cooperation will be afforded.

If someone from here has already applied, I will gladly cooperate with him in the effort, otherwise I shall use my best endeavours in behalf of the movement, I assure you. John W. Teed, Bloomfield, Iowa.

P. S. – Any suggestion, information, or plans will be gratefully received and appreciated.

Whether you should try for several study clubs or have one is only to be determined by careful examination of the situation from firsthand opportunities. Large classes are unwieldy, small ones don't give the varied points of contact in debate that are afforded by large classes. Small classes are easily called and handled but the absence of one or two members makes a serious hole in the attendance, a large class is the opposite.

My plan would be to get all you can assemble together for a preliminary meeting. Have some well-equipped brother present some subject for consideration. Several others should have prepared themselves to take up the same topic and maintain the interest of the debate. Make the evening lively and useful, entertaining as well as instructive. Let everybody go away with a heart warmed to each of his neighbors in the class. Avoid contention and you will have no corroding resentment.

The simplest parliamentary organization is all that is necessary. You may even change your Chairman every meeting by election from the floor. But you require a good Secretary, some one brother who will make a cherished hobby of the thing.

Where you have several lodges there may be a possibility of having a meeting in each of the locations consecutively. This will depend upon local circumstances, but ought to have a tendency to promote study activities in each place visited. Any way, make a start and the rest will take care of itself as you go along.

Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. Every one of these organizations for study will have problems that in their solution will benefit other like bodies. Therefore let all hands make a practice of telling us of the details of their progress, what obstacles are met and how they are overcome, what has tended to harmony and what has not, what has been most edifying and what hasn't. Don't keep your troubles and your triumphs to yourself. Remember the time when successful and unsuccessful reports wound up in a triumphal procession for everybody. So tell us of all your doings.

The Fellowcraft Degree

Dear Sir and Brother: I have just read your open letter to members in the last number of The Builder.

The Fifth Saturday Research Work of City of the Straits Lodge No. 452 will take up the study of the Fellowcraft Degree at its next meeting and I would like very much to have not only a list of your Detroit members but the use of any articles and papers you may have dealing particularly with that branch of Masonry.

Our Research meetings are made compulsory by Lodge Bylaws and are meeting with much success, interest and contributions by members being general and attendance excellent.

We are indebted to The Builder for much advice and assistance. – F. A. Hilton, Chairman of Committee, Detroit, Mich.

A copy of the "Symbolism of the Fellowcraft Degree" has been sent to you and I daresay you found it of much interest and usefulness. I expect you also read in this connection the chapter on Preston in Dean Pound's "Philosophy of Masonry." The latter gives you a key to the meaning of Fellowcraft Masonry as it looks to me. But if I start in here to expound what in my humble judgment are the fundamentals of Masonic teaching I fear I shall take up too much space and I may get tedious at that !

Your report shows several exceedingly noteworthy points. First of all your Lodge in its wisdom has set an admirable example. Would that all Lodges were equally alert, and informed.

Please let us know the titles of the papers read by your members. Kindly advise us of the relative interest of the several subjects. How were the papers discussed and to what extent? As you will see from these answering notes of mine in this department there is a constant desire of my correspondents to know what to study. There is so much that can be studied that I must not overtax the efforts of the brethren by any long lists of topics. Now if I can from the experience of others add to my own conclusions I am not only the more nearly right but I shall feel much better satisfied that everybody w ill derive good and wholesome instruction.

Already At Work

Dear Sir and Brother: Some of us have been trying to conduct something of a study club in our lodge here in the past year. Any information that will be of he]p to us as suggested by Bro. Robert I. Clegg in his letter to members on the last page of the last issue of The Builder will be greatly appreciated. L. F. Knowles, Mantorville, Minn.

Dear Sir: I have read with much interest the open letter to members by Brother Robert I. Clegg and as the suggestion is directly in line with some ideas that I have already tried to start among the brothers, I would be pleased to receive a list of the members of the Society in Chicago and will do whatever I can to further the work. W. F. Reinbold, 212 W. Washington St., Chicago. P. S. – Any suggestions as to subjects, programs, etc., will, of course, be gratefully received.

Dear Brother: Just received the September Builder. I have for some time been dreaming of the plan suggested for study clubs by Brother Clegg. The only reason I haven't tried it has been the lack of time to work out programs. Your suggestions solve the difficulty. Count me in for starting one here. If anyone else has preceded me, let me know so I can help him out. Yours fraternally, Ralph B. Smith, Keokuk, Iowa.

Each of you has already thought over your local prospects and your problems are similar. I can therefore group what I have to say.

It is particularly gratifying to me that I happened to voice what has proved to be in the minds of so many of the brethren. They have doubtless cogitated over angles of the problem that have eluded me. As time goes on I expect to get in touch with some of this individual research and to profit by it. Let not any of us withhold whatever it is that will help the cause forward.

Another very pleasing aspect of our progress so far in this work is the readiness of brethren not only to start something but if they have happened not to be pioneers in the race they are equally willing and ready to play second fiddle and to support their leader heartily and vigorously. That is the feeling that wins. That is the true spirit of Masonry.

But of you three brethren and ail the others of your calibre wherever they may be dispersed, to use the time-honoured phrase, I beg of you to read carefully what is here said in The Builder of this date relative to organization and of matters for study and investigation.

How far my suggestions fit your problems it is of course impossible for me to say. If they fail to meet your wants, (and tentative as they are it is almost certain that they will come short and be found wanting in some respect for your purpose), I can only welcome your confidence and pledge you my best cooperation wherever and whenever what is known to me may serve you.

The main thing is to make a start. Get a few brethren together. See that they are congenial. Stage a discussion in which they can all take an active part. Make each member present a missionary. Increase your numbers slowly. Encourage your brethren to submit questions. A Question Box is a good thing, especially if you have some one to follow it up. Invite questions to be presented at the meetings and also sent to the Secretary between meetings. Assign these questions to well informed brethren. Taboo all half-baked replies. Make the answer stand on its feet firmly. Distinguish between speculation and knowledge. Set asunder fiction and fact. Ask for evidence. These and similar expedients conducted courteously and with fervour should hold combined interest and enlarge and make fruitful your gatherings. Try them out.

Official Action On Masonic Study: What Shall Be Done, And How?

What could be done by our Grand Lodge to promote the study side of Masonry? Your opinion and suggestions are invited upon our making the right start. Your article on "How to Study Masonry," in The Builder, impressed me so favourably that I venture to intrude upon your time and patience. Anything we do will probably be on a small scale to start, but I believe if we are able to make the start right we will eventually accomplish results. S. H. S.

You as Chairman of your Grand Lodge Committee honour me by what you ask. Nothing would please me more than to say something capable of being adopted by your Grand Lodge.

My thought in what I wrote for The Builder was to suggest some easy plan whereby a start could be made without of necessity requiring any Grand Lodge authority or encouragement. Your suggestion therefore carries my plan much further afield than was at the time contemplated by me. Please have patience with me if on that account I may offer an idea or two that seem amateurish or immature.

1. Have your Grand Lodge appoint a Committee on Masonic Education. Have this Committee submit a comprehensive report every year to the Grand Lodge on (a) The general progress of Masonic Research; (b) Masonic study in your state; (c) a summary of what has been done by individual lodges toward the Masonic improvement of their members, and what has been done by any individual members to promote Masonic Research. (d) submit a list of Masonic lecturers and lectures presented during the year to your lodges, and also maintain a list of available addresses of value that may be obtained by your lodges. You can readily extend this list of things that such a Committee ought to do.

2. Whenever you hold a School of Instruction let the above Committee present someone to give an able address. Not a weak mushy frothy flow of verbiage but a paper of scholarly brand. Don't let the speaker extemporize. Make him dig. Edit the paper carefully in advance. You have the men who can do this and do it right. Draw on them. Make the paper the climax of your work of instruction and do not permit it to be shelved or curtailed when you have decided what it shall be.

3. Have your Grand Lodge join with the Grand Lodge of Iowa in what is known as the Clipping Service. Write to the Grand Secretary, Brother N. R. Parvin, at Cedar Rapids, for his descriptive circular. Maybe you won't care to join with them notwithstanding the economy. Your independence pleases me. Go it alone.

Furthermore, have your Committee prepare two or three good addresses. Print them on plain, unglazed paper in large type, ten point or even larger for easy reading. Advise your Lodges of the papers you have on hand. Urge them to try these on the brethren. Have them read at a time when they will get proper attention. Get the Worshipful Master to inform the Committee over his signature and that of the Secretary of the Lodge what was done in every case to insure a good attendance, whether there was any discussion, and how long it lasted, and what was the effect of the paper, etc.

Of course I could easily write a lot of these things and at that I might easily miss the very things on which you particularly require my views. The only remedy is to ask me again. Two cents will reach me. Don't hesitate to call on me for anything I can tell you.

Don't forget that the National Masonic Research Society has a store of pamphlets and circulars of most interesting Masonic material.

But why wait for Grand Lodge action ? Try out this scheme of The Builder in your own Lodge. Read once more what you have already gone through on the East end of the September issue. Find out what suits your Lodge. Ten to one that will give you a fair lead on all the other Lodges. Then go into your Grand Lodge prayerfully. Get a Committee appointed that has an interest in the study side of Masonry. Pick men of influence to give your Committee weight, men of brains to make its views respected, active men to accomplish results, men potent, apt and tactful. But don't expect too much of anybody except yourself. May all good luck attend you.

Our Organization – Functional And Organic

A batch of letters had been answered to the best of my ability. I was catching up with the aftermath of that article of mine on the cover of the September Builder when lo there arrived, hot from the wire, a telegram from far-off Texas asking for a course of study to be outlined. Already the subject has been touched upon in a discussion scheduled for appearance in the October Builder. For the present that may serve. Meantime the matter will get careful consideration in such time as I can divert from the prosaic but necessary labours of business. Let not any of our readers imagine for a moment that their inquiries and suggestions do not in every case receive prompt attention. But many of them are not adapted to offhand decision. Time and plenty of it is usually wanted and employed before these matters may receive their just due.

This brings me naturally to weighing our facilities for handling the correspondence that is coming our way. This flood of ideas, these requests for guidance, this presentation of cases in more or less detail for diagnosis, impress upon the mind of the receiver a sense of keen responsibility. In some way or another we must bring to bear upon these problems all the critical and constructive energies of theoretical and practical Masonry, certainly a much greater resource than any one Mason or group of Masons has at command.

Publication of letters from our members will constitute a valuable forum for the general discussion of aims and ends, methods and means. Already this promises to be an enlivening and most instructive department. To this section there will be freely added editorial comments based upon our constantly increasing sources of information at home and abroad.

But we must get beyond the forum stage. While it is an excellent thing in itself, and by all processes and in every particular to be vigorously encouraged, yet the Society ought not to halt content with that degree of progress. We need methodical plans, unified and finished. Speaking as an engineer I may say the whole proposition just aches for a layout and a blueprint of it prepared for every Mason.

Unfortunately a complete design precedes the working layout and the blueprints. We shall get the design into useful and generally acceptable shape when we have first compiled and digested all the attendant conditions. Having determined all the angles of the problem we can with the greater confidence seek a satisfactory solution.

Here at this point is the keynote of our project. Much of the preliminary work with study classes must be experimental. Let us be informed by our readers as to what is everywhere done and how it worked. Nothing is more important. Now, in the formative period, we need just that sort of information. We cannot have too much of it nor in too detailed a form.

This matter of method applies not only to the manner of conducting meetings, the assembling of members, the generation of enthusiasm, the setting of the brethren to work individually and collectively, but it must treat of textbooks, their respective merits and the most efficient methods of using them. The latter is a slow task. A start has been made but much remains to do.

To set the Craft to work and give them wholesome instruction is the purpose of the National Masonic Research Society. That instruction will be the more effective when based upon the largest possible experience of the Craft. Therefore put the study plan to the test. Report the results. From these facts may lay a foundation for the future greatly improving our work of the past. Let us all take hold and at least lift our share of the burden wherever we may be.

Return to Top



(A few emergency hints to meet an urgent demand)

Masonry may be divided into five departments for study – Ritual, History, Philosophy, Symbolism, Law.

  1. Ritual may be discussed in its relations to the Old Charges, folklore, mystery plays of the middle ages, survivals of tribal ceremonials, building customs, monitorial divergences and development, etc.
  2. History may be examined as of any Lodge (where for instance all members of a study class belong to one lodge); and Grand Lodge, and their original source of authority. Local and State historical records are valuable sources of information with Mackey's History, Gould's Concise History, etc.
  3. Philosophy may be studied with the aid of Dean Pound's book, an N.M.R.S. publication.
  4. Symbolism. The symbols of Masonry are all treated freely in Mackey's Encyclopedia.
  5. Law. The Masonic Code of one's own State has leading place of course. Then there is the indispensable Encyclopaedia, and Mackey also has a book on Masonic Jurisprudence.

Get your local library to furnish a list of references to Masonic topics it possesses. Many are often obtained in that way. Assign the several foregoing subdivisions to as many brethren and give to each the references bearing upon his chosen allotted topic.

Every one should have his own library of Masonic works. Few as the books may be, they are at hand for convenient and frequent reference. A good, compact, general textbook, limited but of fine quality, is "The Builders" by Bro. Newton and obtainable through the N. M. R. S. R. I. CLEGG.


(Owing to the increased cost of printing and binding, it has become necessary for us to make a slight advance in the price of bound volumes, as stated below. The Society some time ago put out a catalogue of various books, and the unsold copies in that catalogue remain unchanged in price.)


THE BUILDERS, A Story and Study of Masonry
Price. ….$1.50
By Joseph Fort Newton.

THE BUILDER, Volume 1, (Goldenrod Buckram),
8 vo. …$3.00

THE BUILDER, Volume 1, (3/4 Morocco) ……….4.00

THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (Out in December),

THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (3/4, Morocco) ….4.00

THE PHILOSOPHY OF MASONRY, (Blue Cloth, 16mo)…1.00
By Roscoe Pound, Harvard University.


(Paper covers)…By A. E. Waite, England. $ .15

By A. W. Gage, Illinois.

By J. Otis Ball, Illinois.

QUESTIONS ON "THE BUILDERS" (By Joseph Fort Newton) … .25
Compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study School.


(With Flag Color Plate.) By John W. Barry, Iowa.

(All above prices include postage)

Return to Top


The 1916 October Issue of 'The Builder' is continued here


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License