TB-1916-11a

The Builder Magazine

November 1916 – Volume II – Number 11

THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY

Part 1


Continued in Part 2


.xx Next Month: December 1916
Previous Month: October 1916www General Index


MEMORIAL TO JOHN PAUL JONES

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

THE bronze statue of the peerless John Paul Jones, with its marble pylon for a background, is situated at the foot of Seventeenth street, near the entrance to Potomac Park, in the City of Washington. It is the work of Mr. Niehaus, an American Sculptor of German descent, who used Houdon's bust for a model.

This memorial had its origin in the hearts of a grateful Congress, when they learned that our American Ambassador, at Paris, General Horace Porter, who was also President General of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, had spent $35,000 in his search for and the identification of the body of John Paul Jones, and had refused reimbursement by the Government.

The body of the great Admiral was brought from France to the United States in a battleship, convoyed by a fleet of French war ships, and the obsequies were held at the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, on the 24th of April, 1906. This date was chosen by the President of the United States, because it was the anniversary of Jones' battle with the Drake.

Though a man of small stature (five feet seven inches in height) the statue of John Paul Jones is of heroic size, about twelve feet in height. The marble pylon, the waters of the Potomac and the foliage beyond afford a beautiful background for the memorial. The sculpture is classic and his been pronounced exquisite.

John Paul Jones is represented as standing on the deck of his ship, in the uniform of his rank, his left hand resting on the pommel of his sword, his right hand clenched, his lips compressed and his gaze fixed on the enemy.

The pedestal was designed by Mr. Hastings and is decorated on two sides with a combination of sword, helmets and laurel branches, in high relief. A band of low relief runs around the pedestal, and has a number of Naval emblems for motives. In front the attic of the pedestal shows an Eagle in flight, carrying a wreath of oak leaves. In the rear is a relief showing John Paul Jones raising the stars and stripes on a U.S. Man-of-war.

At the obsequies the speakers were the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, the Ambassador from France, (Monsieur J. J. Jusserand), General Horace Porter, (our Ambassador to France), and the Governor of the State of Maryland.

The officers of the French Fleet which had come to Annapolis, Members of the Supreme Court, Senators Members of Congress, officers of the Navy and Army and other distinguished men were present.

The only flowers in evidence were the laurel wreaths on the Casket, and the floral wreath containing a square and compasses which was sent by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. The casket was covered with the union jack, as is the rule for seafaring men.

No one could hear the speeches that day without a feeling of pride and shame: of pride for the man whose acts had been so potent in securing the recognition of the Republic: and of shame that he to whom the Nation was indebted full $60,000 for services rendered, should have been buried by charity in a foreign cemetery, and there remain, neglected by his countrymen, for a century and a quarter.

It was decided that day to inter the body of John Paul Jones in the crypt, under the Naval Academy chapel (then under construction), somewhat in imitation of the tomb of Napoleon, at Paris. The cost of the changes in the building, for this purpose, was estimated by the architects, to be $100,000; and, in declining the proffered reimbursement of $35,000 spent in discovering and identifying the remains, General Porter requested the Government to add the amount to the estimate, which would make the tomb so much more beautiful and imposing.

The refusal of General Porter to accept reimbursement is what determined Congress to show its gratitude in erecting a memorial to John Paul Jones, in the Capital City.

Senator Lodge, of Massachusetts, (a member of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution), introduced a bill in the Senate, carrying $50,000 for a memorial statue of John Paul Jones.

The bill had such a ring of patriotism and the history and deeds of John Paul Jones had been so often repeated in the daily press and was so fresh in the public mind that no one thought it necessary to push that bill. The bill was committed and probably would have lapsed had not another, paraphrasing Senator Lodge's bill, been introduced in the House, by Mr. Driscol of N. Y. This bill differed from the Lodge bill in that it purposed making its memorial to "Commodore" John Barry "Father of the American Navy."

As John Barry was the eleventh Captain on the original Navy list, Congress could not declare him, in that Act, to be the "father." The Bill for the Barry statue was urged by the "Irish Societies" while that for John Paul Jones seemed to have no promoters, and as both bills were reported by the same Committee the same day, and were passed the same day, it is apparent that one helped the other.

John Paul Jones was made a Freemason in the lodge of Saint Bernard, at Kirkudbright, Scotland, in 1770, but he afterwards took his membership to that famous French Lodge, Neuf Soeurs, in Paris, of which Benjamin Franklin, Houdon, Voltaire, Helvitius, Elie DuMont, D'Estang and other famous men were members.

John Paul Jones began to go to sea when about 14 years of age. He was a Midshipman in the British Navy, from which he resigned because of the retarded promotion. He entered the Merchant Marine and was in command of a ship before he was twenty-one years of age.

He must have been a close student, for he seemed to be master of both French and Spanish as well as being a superior navigator. His letters are still in use, as models, at the Naval Academy. As a diplomat he was in the highest rank, at that time.

John Paul Jones joined an older brother, in Virginia, where he was living when war was declared. He was the first officer who received a commission in the Colonial Navy (as a first lieutenant). He was the first to aid the Continental Congress in creating the Navy and formulating its regulations. He was the first in command of a vessel of war; the first to run up the American flag on an American war vessel (the Alfred); he was with those first at sea with the flag, and was in at the first British warship striking colours and surrendering to an American warship; the first and only Naval officer named in an act of the Continental Congress, creating the flag - the Stars and Stripes. He was the first to run up the Stars and Stripes, on board an American war vessel - the Ranger. He was the first to carry this flag across the sea; the first to propose and to receive a salute to the Stars and Stripes from a foreign Nation, and, therein the first to receive recognition of the new Nation, the United States. He was the first to make a British war vessel (the Drake) strike her colours and surrender to the Stars and Stripes; the first and only Naval Officer to receive a vote of thanks from the Continental Congress, and the only one, during the Revolution, who never lost a warship in battle.

The Nation's Board of Admiralty said, and the Continental Congress printed

"He hath made the flag of the United States respected among the flags of other nations."

The victory of John Paul Jones, in command of the Bon Homme Richard, over the Serapis, had more to do with the United States getting recognition from other Nations than any one act of that war.

John Paul Jones was the only Naval Officer, of any Nation, who dared carry a war up to a British port, so firmly were the Britons masters of the sea of that day.

John Paul Jones was the only American Naval officer who figured at all extensively in British History of the American Revolution.

At the close of the Revolutionary war the ships of the Navy were dismantled and sold and the officers and crews discharged. The Treasury was depleted; there was no money for salaries. John Paul Jones, however, was retained as Commissioner, in France, to settle the complicated affairs that existed: ships had mixed crews of French and Americans. Some of the ships had joint owners and some, with mixed crews, were owned entirely in the United States.

John Paul Jones contracted consumption and nephritis from which he died in Paris in 1792. His assets were not available and he was buried by the charity of noble-hearted Frenchmen in a small protestant cemetery where his remains lay for a hundred and twenty-five years.

The search for his body extended over a period of six years. It was found and turned over to the French Academy for identification, which, at first, would appear impossible. But the history of his burial, the perfect preservation of measurements, particularly of the head, compared with the Houdon bust, and the unmistakable identification of lesions in the kidneys from nephritis and in the lungs from tuberculosis, the colour of the hair, and numerous other ways made the identification complete. The body had been preserved in alcohol, in an air-tight metallic casket.

Two years after his death the Navy of the Unites States was rehabilitated, when it was found that but few of the original officers were living. The regulations, prepared by Jones, were used and his original organization was continued.

John Paul Jones was a man of remarkable personality, dainty and particular in his dress and manners he was, at the same time, pugnacious. He was popular in the best of society. He was a welcome guest at the French Court, and Louis XIV made him a Chevalier, and presented him with a sword. He was as popular with ladies as with men.

The Marquis of Vaudreil said of him, "His talents are so wonderful and of such diversity that each day he brings forth new proofs of cleverness."

Franklin spoke of the "strange magnetism in his presence, and indescribable charm of manner."

The Captain of the Serapis, said he felt that he was fighting something superhuman in his battle with the Bon Homme Richard.

John Paul Jones would never sail in a privateer. In a letter to Jefferson he said, "I can never renounce the glorious title of a citizen of the United States," and also "I do not wish to engage in privateering. My object is not that of private gain but to serve the public in a way that may reflect credit on our Infant Navy and to gain prestige to our Country on the sea."

He also said, "If, by desperate fighting, one of our ships shall conquer one of theirs of markedly superior force, we shall be hailed as pioneers of a new power on the sea, with untold prospects of development."

These principles he lived and by them won renown and made his name immortal in the history of the Nation and of the world.

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AMERICA

I love thine inland seas,
Thy groves of giant trees,
Thy rolling plains;
Thy rivers' mighty sweep,
Thy mystic canyons deep,
Thy mountains wild and steep,
All thy domains;
Thy silver Eastern strands,
Thy Golden Gate that stands
Wide to the West;
Thy flowery Southland fair,
Thy sweet and crystal air, -
O land beyond compare,
Thee I love best !
- Henry Van Dyke.

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MASONIC SOCIAL SERVICE - CHICAGO EMPLOYMENT BUREAU

By Bro. Arthur M. Millard, Chicago

THIS is the story of an organization of usefulness; an organization made up of Masonic bodies, reaching out for the fulfilment of their higher calling which lies before, and represented in its workings by men with high ideals; men with a vision of purpose and of progress, and inspired by the spirit of that which lies at the foundation of Masonry's teachings.

It is the story of an organization of effort - and of privilege - an organization whose work is open to all men of Masonic calling and whose privilege lifts them to higher planes of purpose and of action, to purer ideals and nobler impulse by the practical application of that spirit of love and of service, which they have found is the body, soul and spirit of the Masonic Institution.

It is the story of the Masonic Employment Bureau of Chicago, an organization which during the past few years has placed thousands in employment, has helped thousands to help themselves, has inspired the foundation of many other organizations of a like purpose and character, both in and outside of Masonry, throughout the United States and Canada, and which preaching by its actions the gospel of Brotherly Love and Relief, is pointing more clearly the way to the pathway of Truth.

The Masonic Employment Bureau commenced its career of finding jobs for Masons, and helping others to help themselves, in 1905, at a meeting of the representatives of a number of Chicago Masonic Lodges, called by a member of Wrights Grove Lodge who felt the need of applying his Masonry in a practical manner to those less fortunate than himself.

At this meeting, an organization was formed to be maintained, by such Masonic Lodges and other Masonic bodies of Chicago and Cook County as cared to join in its purpose, by a subscription fee of so far as possible five cents per member annually and for the purpose of securing employment for unemployed Masons in good standing, their widows, daughters and minor sons, at no cost to the applicant or those securing their services.

With wise forethought, it was decided that the government of the organization should be representative, that is, each Masonic body holding membership in the Bureau by contribution towards its support should be represented in the conduct of its affairs by a duly appointed representative (the officers being chosen annually from among the representatives), and as it has been worked out, this object has a two-fold purpose; first, to give the subscribing bodies a voice in the conduct of the Bureau, and second, to create an interest in its affairs and purpose by having the representative report back to the body from which he was appointed and arouse and enthuse in the members of that body a fraternal bond of helpfulness to those less fortunately situated than themselves.

The growth of the Chicago Masonic Employment Bureau, from its inception up to the present time, from a few to hundreds of interested brethren, has not been one of phenomenal progress, rather it has been that steady, persevering and persistent effort, which, meeting and surmounting the obstacles that beset its path, climbs steadily onward to achieve its purpose; but though in its infancy today, though it has but reached the foothills of the mountains of purpose, progress and achievement ahead, it stands an enduring monument, firm on the rock of applied Masonry, pointing out to the world about it the simplicity of service and the way which shall one day be accepted as the true and enduring principle on which to build a practical and applied charity in the onward march of progress and of civilization. But it must not be assumed that the sole object of the representatives concerned in the welfare of this Bureau is but a plan to secure jobs for the unfortunate unemployed, because it goes farther than that. It is true that the Bureau is organized for the direct benefit of the unemployed, but beyond that is the spirit of the work which is behind it all.

During the past few years the Bureau has secured not only representatives from nearly all of the Masonic bodies of Chicago, but also committees in those bodies, all of whom are working in unison on the broad platform of helping others. Now, these brethren are planning and carrying into effect a broader work and a greater purpose - they are building toward an ideal.

It is not enough to provide work for the unemployed, they are now providing work for all Masons, however high or low their station, in helping others to help themselves.

The Chicago Masonic Employment Bureau is going beyond the material and binding that to the spiritual. It is striving to become the big brother of humanity.

It is teaching the principle of putting aside self in service for others, and pointing the way to an applied Masonry, a Masonry which in its search for Truth applies the principles of Brotherly Love and Relief to all with whom they come in contact.

The spirit of the work of this organization of Chicago, the plans and ideals of the brethren who make it up, is not a thing apart but it is the spirit of Masonry pointing the way to a real brotherhood of service, to a universal work for the advancement of humanity; for representing as it does the unity of the Masonic bodies along certain definite lines, the principle upon which it stands and from which it receives and gives its inspiration, and to which it owes its origin, is that which lie at the source and is the fundamental law and principle of the teachings of the Masonic Order.

It is that which rises above the things of material life and stands on a higher plane, a plane of purpose and of progress, for while its object is carried out in the material realm below, its application is such as to instill into men's hearts and lives that touch of spirituality that fulfillment of duty, one toward another, that application of human sympathy and brotherly love, which brings them into closer communion and fellowship with Him above, under whose banner they are enlisted and under whose laws they are committed to serve.

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THE YORK RITE

By Bro. WM. F. Kuhn, Missouri

It has been stated that "A Rite in Freemasonry is a collection of grades or degrees always founded on the First three degrees." This definition is wholly misleading, and constitutes as grave an error as to call "The York Rite" as conferred in the United States, "The American Rite."

For the purpose of adding "more light" on the subject, we may state that in the United States there are two Masonic Rites, known as the York Rite and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Both are misnomers if the name of the Rite is to indicate its parentage or birth place. The York Rite was not born in the ancient city of York, neither was the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite begotten in Scotland.

The so-called York Rite is the result of an evolution in England from a One Degree Operative Craft of 1717, to a system of degrees of six or more as now practised in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland. The Scottish Rite was evolved from the Rite of perfection of twenty-five Degrees, by the addition of eight more at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801, where the Mother Supreme Council was formed.

If either one of the Rites is to be known as the American Rite, the title probably belongs to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. To designate the so called York Rite in the United States, as the American Rite, would be even more absurd than to call it the York Rite, for it is neither.

What is meant by the word Rite? A Rite is defined as "A custom of practice of a formal kind; a formal procedure of a religious or solemn observance." But such a religious or solemn procedure or observance must have a definite end or purpose. It must have a goal idea. A central idea which the ceremony of procedure is intended to convey. The ceremony may be brief or voluminous, plain or ornate, but the central idea must be maintained and attained, as in the Rite of Baptism, in the Rite of Marriage, in the Rite of the Holy Sacrament, etc.

The central idea or pivot around which all Masonic ceremonies or Degrees must revolve is the Loss, the Recovery, and the Interpretation of the Master's word. This goal idea must be the nucleus of a system of Degrees, and without which no system of Degrees can be called a Rite.

Any series of Degrees, however intimately connected, that does not contain this central idea of Loss, Recovery, and interpretation can not be called a Masonic Rite. This is the goal idea or pivot of the so-called York Rite. The number of Degrees in a Rite is merely incidental. It matters not whether there are three or thirty-three Degrees, provided the central idea, the end of all Masonic symbolism is present.

The Loss and Recovery with a positive interpretation, or the Loss and Recovery with a general or individual interpretation is the very essence of a Rite.

The Loss is symbolized in the Craft or Lodge Degrees, the Recovery is symbolized in the Royal Arch.

In the York Rite the interpretation of the symbolism of the Royal Arch is left to the individual interpretation of the Royal Arch Mason, or it finds its positive and special interpretation in the light of the new dispensation, as taught in the Masonic Order of the Christian Knighthood.

The Three Craft or Blue Lodge Degrees, the Royal Arch, and the United Orders of the Temple and of Malta are the essential grades of the York Rite. The Mark, Past, Most Excellent, Royal, Select Degrees, and the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross are not essential, nor essentially necessary to the York Rite, but they are great aids in the elucidation of the symbolism of the central idea of the Rite and they adorn and magnify the Rite. The Lodge Degrees, the Royal Arch, and the Masonic Orders of Christian Knighthood constitute the so-called "York Rite." To eliminate the Royal Arch would be like removing the keystone of an arch, and the whole fabric would crumble and fall.

In essentials, the York Rite is the same in the United States as it is in every province or Country in the British Empire; in other words, it is essentially the same in the Anglo-Saxon world. But each country has its own system. In the United States it consists of seven Degrees and three Orders; in Canada, of six Deees and three Orders, although Canada has added the most excellent Degree in the Chapter and the Red Cross of the Commandery to harmonize, for the purpose of visitation with the United States; in England, it contsists of four Degrees and two Orders; in Ireland, of five Degrees and two Orders; in Scotland the system conforms closely to that of Ireland. The most excellent Degree is unknown in the British Empire, except in Canada; in England, the Mark Master's Degree is under the control of a Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.

It will be noted that in the countries mentioned, the number of Degrees in the Rite varies, even the Degrees bearing the same name vary in the ceremonies of presenting the same truth. The Master's Degree in Pennsylvania varies much from the same Degree in the other States, yet symbolically it is the same. The Royal Arch in the United States, is more dramatic in its form than that of England or Canada, yet in essentials it is the same.

The Order of the Temple in the English Ritual is brief; in the Canadian Ritual it is more elaborate and has its military features; in the United States it is more wordy, possibly more ornate and dramatic, yet it is essentially the same in all these countries.

The Rituals of the Order of Malta in these countries are so near alike that a person that is conversant with one can readily use the other; even a casual observer can readily see that this so-called "York Rite" in essentials is the same everywhere where the English language is spoken. The Concordat adopted in 1910 by the Temple Powers of the World, emphasizes this great fact.

The name "York Rite" is an inexcusable blunder; at least an unfortunate mistake. There never was a York Rite. It is unnecessary to enter upon any discussion as to the claims of the York Grand Lodge or a York system of Freemasonry as the question has been settled beyond controversy. The name "York Rite" is an inheritance from the forefathers of Freemasonry in the United States, who were more skilled in ritual tinkering than in the history of Freemasonry. This becomes especially apparent, when one remembers that the ephemeral Grand Lodge of York never chartered a single Lodge in America. The Freemasonry of the United States began under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, then under the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) with Price as Grand Master. The Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) and the Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered Lodges in America, and it is reasonably possible, that before the union of the two Grand Lodges of England, the Royal Arch and the Masonic Orders of Christian Knighthood were conferred in this Country by the Military Lodges connected with the Irish Regiments stationed in the Colonies. To sum it all up, our so-called York Rite is the English Rite dressed in more fantastic clothing.

The name "York Rite" should be eliminated and the name English Rite substituted. In view of the foregoing facts as to what constitute a Rite, we in the United States are practicing or have formulated an American system of the English Rite; not an American Rite as it is frequently erroneously called, but a system of Degrees of the English Rite; it should be known as the English Rite, or Anglo-Saxon Rite.

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A MASON'S PRAYER

Unto thy altars, Truth, we come;
We would commune with thee;
From errors of the heart and brain
Oh, keep our Order free.

Make us true seekers for the light
That springs from thee alone,
That we may lead a darkened world
To thy sister Reason's throne.

Help us to build our edifice
"Fair, fronting to the dawn,"
Not on a thrice denying saint
Who would his Lord were gone,
But on thy words wherever found
In tree or grass or rill;
And in the very soul of thee
We'll find our haven still.

Help us to travel unafraid
The path that thou hast shown,
For with thee standing by His side
A man's a host alone.

Help us to realize that time
"Makes ancient good uncouth,"
And for the blind who fain would see
Oh trouble the waters, Truth !
- Oscar A. Janes.

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THE SUPPRESSION OF THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE

By Bro. Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts

CIRCUMSTANCES have conspired to single out the Order of the Temple from the other orders of Soldier-Monks of the twelfth century for the particular notice of succeeding generations. Preeminent for their valour and their accomplishments during the days of their magnificent success, the bitter injustice and cruel suffering attendant upon the suppression of the Order has thrown around their name a dark shadow of tragedy. Not only so, but the added horror of the accusations made against them, the whispers of still more dreadful things circulated by envious, fearful, or malignant tongues, the unusual end of the proceedings against the Order, and the conviction of many members before the ecclesiastical courts have lent an air of mystery to the whole sad story.

The very mention of the word Templar brings to many minds the suggestion of romance and of mystery coupled with a vague sense of hidden crime and lurking horror. As a matter of fact there is really very little mystery about the fate of the Templars and it is perfectly possible to find out of what they were accused and to make a fair estimate of their probable guilt or innocence. This is of particular interest to Masons because large numbers of Masons in other than symbolic degrees have taken the name of the old Order, endeavouring to practice its principles and emulate its virtues and holding in everlasting remembrance the name of the last Grand Master.

Before proceeding to tell in detail the story of the fall of the Order, let us stop to review briefly the story of its growth.

In 1118, two Knights, Hugues de Payens, a Burgundian, and Godeffroi de St. Omer, a Frenchman, associated with themselves six other Knights for the service of the Holy Sepulcher, the protection of pilgrims, and the welfare of the Church.

These men took a step beyond that taken by the ordinary crusader, in that they undertook to give their whole lives to the service of the Church militant and to found an order of men likewise devoted to the same service. These eight men took an oath to the Patriarch of Jerusalem by which they swore to fight for Christ under the three fold vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience. It will be understood, of course, that the vow of poverty, while it debarred the Knight from having any personal possessions whatever, did not apply to the accumulation of riches by the Order or to the Knight's enjoyment of those riches, while the vow of obedience had reference only to his relations with his superiors in the Order.

King Baldwin I. of Jerusalem gave them for a residence a part of his palace next to the Mosque of Aksa, the so-called Temple of Solomon, from which they took the name of Knights of the Temple. At first they had no particular regulations or "rule," as it is commonly called, and no distinguishing dress. Their first idea appears to have been to make the Order a means of reformation by opening its ranks to men whose past was one of sin and failure and giving them an opportunity to redeem their souls through offering to Christ a service of constant danger. They, therefore, admitted to their number excommunicated knights, after they had obtained absolution from a Bishop, and other men of darkened past who desired an opportunity to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. This missionary idea was soon abandoned and the Knights chosen from candidates, who showed themselves worthy. It was unfortunate, however, in that it immediately laid the Order under suspicion of both the Church and laity because of doubts of the sincerity of such repentance.

In 1127 Hugues de Payens, who had been chosen Grand Master, went to Europe with the purpose of finding support for the Order. He was fortunate enough to enlist the interest and obtain the active patronage of St. Bernard. Bernard of Clairvaux, more commonly known as St. Bernard, was the greatest and most influential churchman of his time and one of the greatest of all times. Under his patronage the Order quickly obtained flavor and support and grew in members and power.

St. Bernard drew up the "rule" or series of regulations governing the organization of the Order and the lives of its members. The original "rule" of St. Bernard was written in French. Unfortunately there are no early copies of it known to be in existence. There are however, later copies together with the translation into Latin known as the "Latin Rule" and additional statutes which were adopted from time to time.

It was vehemently asserted by the enemies of the Order, in later years, that there was a secret "rule" quite different from this which entirely changed the character of the Order, coloured it with heresy, and stained it with sin. There is no evidence whatever that any such "secret rule" ever existed. Stories about it may be safely dismissed as idle gossip.

The French "rule" provided for the officers of the organization and defined their duties. It also carefully regulated the daily conduct of the Knights and provided for the support which they should receive from the common funds of the Order. It is interesting to observe that the "rule" provided that each Knight should have three horses and one squire. By favour of his commander, or prior, he might have four horses and two squires.

This effectually disposes of the legend that the great seal of the Order, representing two Knights mounted on one horse, was intended to indicate that in early days the Order was so poor that the Knights went to battle mounted thus in pairs. The second rider in the device is probably intended to represent either a wounded Knight who is being rescued by his brother in arms or a pilgrim being protected by a Knight of the Temple.

The Knights were not priests. That is to say, although under the three vows they were not in holy orders. Each priory or house of the Knights was provided with one or more chaplains. These chaplains were members of the Order of the Temple and were always in holy orders. The chaplains were exempt from ordinary ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Spiritually they were accountable only to the Pope; temporally only to the Grand Master. They were the sole confessors of the Knights, who were not permitted to accept the ministrations of religion from any but their own chaplains unless it was impossible to secure a chaplain's services.

The monastic custom of having the Bible read at meals was prescribed by the "rule" for the Knights, in consideration of the fact that they were laymen, and consequently uneducated, the Bible was read in the vernacular and not in the Latin which was customary in religious services. There is in existence an old French Bible of the Templars which shows evidences of the critical spirit on the part of the translator.

With this brief survey let us pass on to the opening years of the fourteenth century. The little band of eight Knights sworn to the service of the Holy Sepulcher and the protection of pilgrims had grown to be one of the great powers of the world. If its purpose and policy had been other than they were it might have shaken the power of any monarch in Christendom. It consisted of many thousand Knights besides the lay brothers and feudal servants of the Order. It possessed wealth far greater than that of any state in Christendom. This wealth was the result of the great stream of gifts which for two centuries had flowed steadily into the coffers of the Order, supplemented by the spoils of war, and husbanded with great financial ability. Kings, princes, and nobles throughout Europe had vied with each other in their great donations to the Order of the Temple. It owned literally thousands of estates all over Europe and wherever in the east the crusades had been successful.

The crusades being over and their immense expenditures having ceased, the enormous revenues of the Order were accumulating in its hands, and those were not idle hands, for the Templars were not content to let their gold pieces lie idly in their treasury. This was before the age of modern banking and the Templars, with their great wealth, their many establishments, and their connection with the Orient, made themselves the great international financiers of the age. Kings and merchants alike borrowed on good security and at ample interest the unused treasure of the Order. Oriental exchange, especially, was almost absolutely in their hands so that they acted as the great financial clearing house between Europe and Asia. Their establishment, commonly known as the Temple, at Paris was the centre of the world's money market.

It is said that when De Molay came from the east, lured by the treacherous call to consult about the crusade, he brought with him 150,000 florins in gold and ten horse loads of silver. With due allowance to the difference in the purchasing power of money, the gold was probably the equivalent of three million dollars today. I have no way to guess the value of the silver, but it must have been very great. This, it will be remembered, was the ready money upon which De Molay could lay his hands at short notice.

The power of the Order matched its wealth. The Grand Master was a sovereign prince, recognized as a full peer of any monarch in Europe. The Knights, save those too old for warfare, were all soldiers trained to arms and owing no allegiance to any power but the Grand Master and the Pope. During the stormy years of the crusades, they, with the Knights of the companion Orders, formed the fighting edge of the Christian army. Combined with their lay brothers and the feudal array of their tenants they formed an army far superior to any other in existence.

That an Order possessed of such wealth and power should have been regarded with suspicion, and even fear, is only natural. It is entirely clear, however, from their entire history, and especially from their fate, that the Order had no policy in the political affairs of Europe either for its own advantage or that of any others. The Knights adhered strictly to the original policy of the Order. They had no enemies in Christendom and no friends outside of it. Their sole military and political purpose was the service of the church and the reconquest of the Holy Land. It must be remembered that while we know that the crusades were over in 1300 the men of that day did not know it. They fully expected that the crusades would be resumed, and the Knights of the Temple were maintaining their numbers and diligently increasing their wealth in order to be able to strike more effectively than ever before when the banner of the Cross should once more take the field against the Crescent.

In addition to all their wealth and power the Order had great privileges of two classes, lay and clerical. As lay nobles they held and exercised all the usual feudal rights in and over estates which had been given to them, with certain extremely important additions. The Order, being a corporation in the first rank of the feudal hierarchy, exercised in all its fiefs what was known in those days as high, middle, and low justices, that is, complete jurisdiction extending even to the infliction of the death penalty. Owing allegiance only to the head of their Order, the estates of the Knights were not liable for military service except to the Order itself. The estates of the Order were the permanent possessions of the corporation.

The greater part of the revenue of the kings of that age was derived from certain rights of taxation which were exercised on special occasions; for example, the passage of an estate by death or marriage from one holder to another involved certain payments to the king or over-lord which amounted practically to an inheritance tax. The marriage of children, the knighting of the noble's sons, or other events in the family of the noble were occasions for gifts to the king which were practically taxes. Other forms of taxation were laid from time to time on the feudal estates. But corporations do not die, do not marry, and do not have children, consequently the estates of the Templars were free from every kind of taxation, except for the benefit of the Temple itself.

This exemption from military service and from financial burdens struck at the very roots of the royal power as the state was organized in the middle ages. The Templars enjoyed all the benefits of the feudal system but bore none of its burdens. When an estate in France or England, for some reason, passed into the hands of the Templars it was to all intents and purposes taken out of the kingdom as effectively as if it had been swallowed up by the sea.

As an Order of military monks, the Knights enjoyed clerical privileges equally great.

That their spiritual affairs were in the hands of their chaplains, has already been pointed out. In addition to this, the Grand Master and others of the high officers possessed the power of disciplinary confession, but not of sacramental confession, a point important to be remembered in connection with later developments. The Order as a whole and its members individually were entirely free from the jurisdiction of bishops and other ecclesiastical authorities. They were accountable only to the Pope in person. They were not affected by general censures or decrees of the Pope unless they were especially mentioned. Their churches, of which there were great numbers on their various estates besides those attached to their houses, were not affected by ordinary excommunication and interdicts. No matter what ecclesiastical censures might hang over the people of the nation the activities of the churches of the Temple went on undisturbed. Excommunicated persons might be buried in consecrated ground belonging to the Templars, and this was not infrequently done. They possessed, by papal decree, the right to have churches not their own which were under interdict opened twice a year and services held for the purpose of presenting their cause and taking collections for the support of the Holy War. They collected the usual tithes from the churches on their estates but they did not pay any tithes, even for those churches, into the coffers of the Church.

The natural result of this condition was envy and hatred on the part of both civil and religious authorities. Civil authorities looked on with dismay while the broad lands of noble after noble passed by gift or bequest into the control of the Templars and ceased to contribute to the maintenance of the state, while the individual noble was filled with envy as he saw the Knights of the Temple enjoying privileges and powers so much greater than his own, and the law officers of the crown indignantly found their authority everywhere terminating at the boundary line of one of the Temple estates.

On the other hand the religious authorities, accustomed to control the lives and actions even of kings, were enraged beyond measure to find themselves utterly powerless before the Knights of the Temple. Entrenched behind the many privileges granted by a long line of Popes the Templar could and did snap his fingers in the face of the most arrogant archbishop or cardinal and the angry churchmen had to swallow his wrath and digest it as best he could, while he had not even the poor consolation of collecting revenues from the parishes in his jurisdiction which had passed into the hands of the Order. This sort of thing had raised tides of envy and hatred against the Order of which it seemed to be strangely unconscious.

Claims that the Knights abused their power and privileges were common. The picture of the Templar in Scott's Ivanhoe undoubtedly represents the widespread conception of the character and conduct of the members of the Order. That there were men like Scott's Templar could hardly be denied, but there is no reason to believe that they were typical of the Order generally.

One feature of the Order gave the opportunity for proceedings against it and the excuse for its undoing. The Order of the Temple was always a secret order. Its conclaves for business and for the reception of candidates were always closely guarded. It was as impossible for one not a member of the Order to get into meeting of the Knights of that day as it would be for like person to get into a meeting of one of our modern gatherings of Knights Templar.

This secrecy, as is inevitable, in all ages and especially in times of ignorance and superstition, like the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, bred all manner of suspicion. Men, and especially ignorant men, are ready to believe that evil things are done in places where they are not admitted and unfortunately there were too many who envied and hated the Templars and were ready to spread these whispered accusations. It was asserted that under cover of this secrecy the Knights not only lapsed into heresy and consorted with Saracens and other misbelievers but that they practised idolatry and necromancy, that they performed the most blasphemous travesties of religion, and that they were given to licentiousness and practised every conceivable crime, natural and unnatural.

We have now set the stage for the tragedy. Let us consider a little the persons and antecedents of the three principal actors. They were the Grand Master of the Templars, the King of France, and the Pope.

The Grand Master of the Templars, who had in been office since 1295, was Jacques de Molay. He was a simple, unlettered Knight, personally brave, confiding and unsuspicious, incapable of intrigue or treachery, not very clear headed or resourceful in the face of other than physical peril. His intentions were always good; his conduct under the severe trials to which he was subjected was sometimes weak. He was a man who could be easily deceived and could be worked upon through his reverence for the Pope, his respect for the King, and his honest desire to protect the interest of the Order and the welfare of his brother Knights.

The Knights generally were fighters and some of them were men of affairs, but they were not thinkers and they were not intriguers. It has been said that they were too stupid to be heretics but this is probably an extreme statement. They were rather simple minded single hearted gentlemen thoroughly loyal to the cause to which they had dedicated their lives and for which they were ready to die.

The King of France was Philip IV, commonly known as Philippe Le Bel or Philip the Fair, a name, by the way, which would better be translated, Philip the Handsome. Born in 1268 he ascended the throne in 1285. As his name indicates, he was a man of singular beauty, being said to be the handsomest man of his time. He was cold, self-contained, far-sighted, crafty, and unscrupulous. He possessed great ability and was absolutely remorseless in the choice of means and in the pursuit of his ends. It is said that he was never known to smile and those whom he crushed in the cold persistence with which he executed his purposes said that he was not a man at all, but that his beautiful body was inhabited by a demon instead of a human soul.

It must be admitted that from the point of view of the interests and prosperity of the kingdom he was a good king. In his day France was well governed and strongly consolidated and he left it on the whole in a much better condition than he found it. He had one supreme end in life and that was to make the royal government supreme in France. He was determined that the government should be independent of priests or noble and the king should have a free hand, not limited in the exercise of his authority by any powers within or without the confines of the kingdom.

To accomplish this he believed that two things were necessary. One was that the shackles imposed by the papacy upon the King of France, in common with the other monarchs of Europe, should be broken and the crown of France relieved from the domination of the Vatican. The other was that the feudal nobles should be brought into subjection to the crown and especially that the independent power of the Order of the Temple should be broken, their wealth plundered for the filling of the royal Treasury, their great estates restored to the usual condition of feudal dependency, and their resources of men and money made available for the purposes of the kingdom.

The Pope was Clement V. In order to understand the conduct of Pope Clement, it is necessary to go back a little. At a comparatively early period in the reign of Philip, Boniface VIII ascended the throne, in 1294. The predecessor of Boniface was Celestine V, one of the most singular popes who ever occupied the chair of St. Peter.

Deeply imbued with mysticism, he was a dreamer of dreams and a writer of strange books. The sanctity of his life and the strangeness of his somewhat unintelligible writings placed him on the narrow edge between condemnation as a heretic on one side and canonization as a saint on the other. Whether saint or heretic, he was utterly unfit for the difficult administrative duties of the papacy. He never wanted to be Pope and after a short and troubled reign he was induced to resign, and sought seclusion, which was really imprisonment, in a monastery, where he died in a very short time.

Boniface was certainly the leader in the movement which brought about the resignation of Celestine and was charged with being the author of the unfortunate old man's misfortune. At any rate, he succeeded him on the papal throne. There was quite a good deal of doubt in the minds of canon lawyers as to whether a pope could resign, and therefore a cloud rested on the title of Boniface, a cloud which was only partially dispelled by the death of Celestine. The enemies of Boniface, and he had many, declared that the death of his predecessor was not a natural one and that Boniface himself was responsible for it.

Boniface was proud, arrogant, and rash. He declared himself over-lord of all the monarchs of the world, and set the high water mark of papal pretension. On one memorable occasion, when there was a vacancy in the office of Emperor, the Pope appeared in public, brandishing his sword and declaring that he was Emperor as well as Pope. He claimed, and attempted to exercise, power to set up and pull down kings and even emperors.

Naturally, Philip the Fair and Boniface very soon found themselves engaged in a deadly conflict. Boniface laid France under an interdict and excommunicated King Philip and his family. The King, supported by a host of the clergy as well as the laity of France, appealed to a future Council of the Church. It is worthy of mention that this appeal was signed by the Order of the Temple. The appeal struck Boniface in his most sensitive spot. The question of whether or not a Council was superior to a Pope had not yet been settled and the assumption that it was his superior was unspeakably exasperating to the overbearing, tyrannical Boniface.

King Philip was far too aggressive to content himself with this appeal. Seizing an occasion when the pope was absent from Rome on a visit to Anagni, his native town, and comparatively undefended, the king sent his chancellor, William de Nogaret, and Sciarra Colonna, a great Italian noble who was on bad terms with the pope, to arrest Boniface. By whom Philip expected that the pope would or could be tried is not clear. The charges preferred were intrusion, that is to say, forcing himself into the papal chair without proper title, gross immorality, tyranny and heresy.

Boniface was actually arrested and treated with great indignity. Some authorities say that he was actually struck in the face by Colonna. The people of Anagni rose and overpowered the guard and released Boniface, but the shock of his arrest with the attendant humiliation and indignation caused his death within a few days.

He was succeeded by a somewhat colourless pope, Benedict II, who ruled only from October 27, 1303, to the seventh of the following July. He released France from the interdict and Philip and his family from excommunication, but his reign was otherwise unimportant.

Now came the question of the election of a new pope, in which Philip proposed to play an important part. His attention fell upon Bertrand de Got (Gouth). De Got came from a Gascon family and was an Aquitainian, that is to say, an English subject, for it must be remembered that at this time about half of what is now France belonged to the dominions of the English kings, either by descent from the Dukes of Normandy, or by virtue of the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry III.

De Got was Archbishop of Bordeaux. He had been an early friend of Philip, who knew the man thoroughly, but in the quarrel between Philip and the pope, he had sided with Boniface. Election to the papacy was not then limited to the cardinals, and the Archbishop of Bordeaux might well aspire to the tiara. He was extremely ambitious, hungering with all his soul for wealth, honour, and power. Philip knew his man and believed that as pope he might be controlled, especially if he was made to feel that he owed his election to the king.

Philip did not see the Archbishop personally, as has been claimed by many writers, but he did unquestionably have an understanding with him through intermediaries before using his influence to secure his election. Two questions were raised by King Philip. One was the question of the suppression of the Order of the Temple, for the interest of both church and state through the abolition of the power and privileges which made the Templars so objectionable to both. The other was the question of the heresy of Boniface VIII. King Philip threatened to bring pressure to bear which would make it necessary to call a General Council before which he would impeach the late Pope of heresy. In view of the great unpopularity of Boniface and of certain things said and done by him, there appeared to be great danger that the charge could be pushed home and the memory of the late Pope attainted of heresy to the great scandal of the church and disgrace of the papacy.

De Got was unscrupulous enough to agree to almost anything in order to be made Pope and he therefore agreed to co-operate in the suppression of the Order of the Temple if the king would agree not to press the charge of heresy against his predecessor. With this understanding King Philip supported his candidacy and he was elected Pope and took the title of Clement V.

As might be expected it very soon appeared that Bertrand De Got who wanted to be Pope and Clement V who was Pope, were not quite the same person. Like many another successful politician before and since the Pope had no intention of fulfilling pre-election promises if he could get out of it.

His first movement was to propose the consolidation of the Order of the Temple with the Order of the Hospitalers. This would then enable him to reorganize both bodies and amend their charters. This project was proposed in 1306, but was abandoned on account of the vigorous opposition of the Grand Masters of both the Orders. The Pope then proposed to reform the Order of the Temple, but moved slowly in carrying out the project.

King Philip was very impatient at the Pope's delay and continually pressed him to fulfill his promises of suppression under threat of a general Council and condemnation of Boniface VIII for heresy. He was not content, however, with insistence and threats. Through his agents he found two broken Knights of worthless character, Esquiau (Squin) De Florian, a Frenchman, and Noffo Dei (Deghi), a Florentine. These men claimed to have been members of the Order of the Temple and offered pretended confessions in which they charged the Order with heresy and various abominable practices. For all this they were well paid.

On the basis of this manufactured evidence Philip submitted formal charges to the Pope. The Pope received them, but continued to delay action. Philip's determination, however, was more than a match for the Pope's procrastination. He found means to force the Pope's hand through the intervention of William of Paris, Grand Inquisitor of France. The Grand Inquisitor had been King Philip's confessor and was entirely ready to lend himself to the King's desires. By virtue of his office he had power to take summary action in all cases of heresy within the kingdom and to take such measures as he saw fit to deal with them.

Philip submitted his evidence to the Grand Inquisitor who forthwith demanded of the civil authorities the arrest of all the Templars in France. Obviously this was a very serious matter. If the Templars had taken concerted action to resist such an arrest it would probably have been impossible. Assembled in their strong houses they might have stood siege until aid could have reached them from other countries and it would have been a very serious question whether Philip could have retained his throne. Plans were therefore laid for their capture by surprise and arrangements were made for the simultaneous arrest of all the Knights throughout the kingdom on the night of October 13, 1307.

The blow came like lightning from a clear sky. It is true that the Templars had been aware of the circulation of unpleasant reports. They knew that there were whispers of evil and De Molay had gone as far as to ask, in 1306, that an investigation be made into the conduct of the Order, but investigation was the last thing the King desired and no attention was paid to the request.

The apprehensions of the Templars were set at rest and their confidence was further deliberately strengthened by the treacherous conduct of the King. In 1306 King Philip had been assailed by a mob in the streets of Paris and saved himself from great personal danger by taking refuge in the house of the Templars which happened to be not far from the scene of disturbance. This obligation, however, rested lightly on his conscience. The Templars were accustomed to have a public reception of Knights in addition to the private initiation and King Philip attended such a public reception the spring of 1307. On October 12, the very day before that fixed for the arrest, De Molay was present by invitation, at the funeral of King Philip's sister-in-law and was assigned a place of honour among the participants in the ceremonies. It is not to be wondered at that the blow of October 13 was an entire surprise and was entirely successful. De Molay and all the Knights in the kingdom were arrested, their goods were seized, and their houses taken possession of, without the slightest attempt at resistance so far as we have any record.

The events which ensued are somewhat complicated and consist of two distinct sets of proceedings, first, personal proceedings against the individual Knights and second, proceedings against the Order as a whole and in all its branches.

Proceedings against the Knights were the first in time. They were begun with great vigor by the Grand Inquisitor of France, but there was some question about the Grand Inquisitor's jurisdiction. Particular rights and immunities of the Templars which have already been noted might be considered as placing them beyond the reach of proceedings not instigated by the Pope, or at least approved by him.

The Grand Inquisitor, however, would not allow himself to be troubled by questions of this sort and immediately proceeded to examine the arrested Knights under torture.

We must not forget that this was not an unusual proceeding. The examination of accused persons, and even of witnesses, under torture was the ordinary method of judicial procedure at that time. It was not a method confined to the Inquisition but was commonly practised by the civil courts. It would have been very unusual if it had been omitted in this case. Horrible as it appears to us and useless as a method of ascertaining the truth, it was an every day occurrence in the 14th century and was absolutely relied upon as a method of getting at facts.

Torture was not confined to physical torment. The accused were promised clemency if they freely confessed the acts with which they were charged and named their accomplices. In the case of the Templars such promises were conveyed in letters under the royal seal. These letters were decoys pure and simple. They were either forgeries or deliberately written with intent to deceive and without the slightest intention of keeping the promises which they contained.

The accused were told that if they retracted these confessions they would suffer the pains of death in this world and of hell in the world to come. It was realized that men under physical torture will often say almost anything which may be suggested to them as a means of securing relief from their sufferings and these means were taken to prevent a retraction of these forced confessions.

Moreover the law of evidence in use in those days contained one provision which seems to us a peculiarly ghastly mockery. The confessions which were wrung from the lips of the tortured victims were taken down as uttered. Depositions thus obtained were taken to the victim after he had recovered from the first effects of the torture and he was asked to sign them. If he did thus sign them, aware that a refusal to do so would mean renewal of the tortures together with the before mentioned threats of death and damnation, confessions thus signed were held to be voluntary and not legally made under torture.

Naturally many of the Knights confessed. De Molay himself made a partial confession. Most of these confessions were afterwards retracted, but for the time being they stood.

The charges will be examined further on, but the principal things confessed should be noted here. They were:

  • Denial of Christ. Defiling the Cross by spitting upon it and by other methods too indecent to describe.
  • Indecent kisses which it was claimed the initiates were compelled to give the receiving officer on various parts of his body.
  • Sodomy. This, by the way, was a vice much more common in the 13th century than now and was ordinarily a part of any serious accusations made against either individuals or groups of individuals. It was one of the charges against Boniface VIII when he was arrested by De Nogaret and Colonna.
  • Idolatry. This was based on the alleged worship of an idol, of which we shall hear more, and on the accusation that the cord which was part of the habit of every Templar was consecrated by this idol by being touched to it before the Templars put it on. Other abominations were vaguely referred to but these were the main points of the accusation.

(To be Continued.)

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THE TROWEL

By Bro. Rabbi Eugene Mannheimer, Iowa

My Brothers: Mine it is to speak of the Trowel – that instrument which, occupying an important position in the work-chest of the operative mason is, as our ritual suggests, the especial tool of the Master Mason; made use of by operative masons to spread the cement which unites a building into a common mass, but utilized by the Free and Accepted Mason for the more noble purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of friends, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can best work and best agree. What instrument could be of nobler significance ? What implement of more glorious inspiration ?

Through the use of the trowel, spreading the cement, the single bricks and stones, once a chaotic mass, now stand united and solid, to form this noble edifice which we dedicate this day to the cause of God and Masonry. Through the symbolic service of the Masonic trowel, spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, we, the individual members, once as separated and chaotic as these stones which house us, are as firmly bound together in a union which dedicates us one for all and all for one… What were this structure, which we solemnly consecrate, had not the trowel been honestly wielded, or if the cement and mortar should fail it? What were our brotherhood without the bond of love and affection to bind us close? And only as long as this bond continues to unite us, only so long will this Temple stand a true shrine of Masonry and of God. Only so long will our Brotherhood be a real brotherhood, worthy of its consecration and its vows.

Do we need this lesson? Does this thought require the especial emphasis we would wish to give it? Truly, none more. None to which mankind has beer. more impervious in all times and all ages.

Three thousand years ago, on Judea's plain, the prophet of the Lord proclaimed: "Behold, it shall come to pass in the latter day that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established at the top of the mountains and exalted above all hills. And all nations shall flow unto it. And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall there be war any more." For two thousand years, not the one seer alone, but all prophets and ministers of Judaism and Christianity together have united to emphasize the same ideal. They have urged and re-urged the truth on the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of all his children. Out of such conviction they have hoped to bring to dawning the day of universal peace.

But look about us today and see the result. Where is the brotherhood, the affection, the peace, the understanding ? Do not bigotry, hatred, superstition, ignorance and jealousy flourish as ever before? Are not differences in creed, colour and birth, on the slightest provocation, still found meaningless excuse for savagely warring nations, as for many of-their supposed superiors in culture? Does not the whole modern world panorama but demonstrate that whatever our lip service to the ideal of God's fatherhood and Man's brotherhood, whatever the hymns and prayers that have arisen from our temples, the songs and prayers were not from the heart but from the lips of man only?

As Master Masons, who have taken the obligations of the three degrees, brotherhood is our ideal. We have vowed to eradicate darkness, hatred, superstition and misunderstanding from out our own lives and from out the world as far as lay within our power. Recognizing no particular creed within our Lodge room, hailing as brothers the followers of all creeds who are worthy of such recognition, we have taught ourselves, and we hold before the world the constant example, that men of different creeds can stand and work together for a common purpose. Living in a world of discord, in which brotherhood, love, sympathy and justice are, all-too-often, nothing more than words, it is urgent beyond expression that we continually reimpress our vows upon our hearts and minds, that we may never lose them from our lives. Most urgent of all is it for us to spread their influence as far and wide in the world as our united power will permit, that thus we may do our share to end the reign of bigotry, hatred and superstition. Thus will we do our part to help hasten the dawning of the day when the glorious brotherhood and peace dream of the prophet shall be realized.

As men and Masons we understand that this task is not easy of accomplishment. But as men and Masons we have faith in God, in our fellowmen, in ourselves. We know that the attainment of the goal is the sure promise of the morrow. In this faith we live and labour on.

But note this one thing more, my Brothers. Those who wrote our ritual did not harbour the foolish notion that initiation into Masonry would in some mysterious way, in a single moment, through a single act, change the entire nature of the initiate, to make him in a moment the perfect servant of God and man that his obligations require of him. We are not told that as the result of entering the Masonic fraternity a man must be at once, so filled with the spirit of brotherhood that the spirit of false contention CAN never again find lodgement within his breast. We are told that it SHOULD never again be found within him. The demand is made of each of us who comes to this Altar to take the obligation, that he shall continuously thereafter strive to eradicate from his heart the prejudice, error and misunderstanding that may have filled him in the past, that at last the moment may come when he is a Mason in reality as well as in name. But the burden of making ourselves such true Masons is placed upon our own shoulders, and nowhere else. To us ourselves and to no others the task is assigned.

It is these high and noble purposes, my Brothers, of which the Trowels are here emblematic. These the ideals, of which they stand to remind us upon our Altar. As we consecrate these trowels anew, this night, unto their holy offlce, unto these same holy purposes may we, at the same time, re-consecrate ourselves. To these ideals may we vow renewed fidelity.

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WATCH YOUR STEP [A Poem]

Yet in opinions look not always back;
Your wake is nothing, mind the coming track;
Leave what you've done for what you have to do;
Don't be "consistent," but simply be true.
– O. W. Holmes.

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ARCHES AND ARCHES [A Poem]

Build as we may we shall not reach the sky;
Our little arches bend forever low
Beneath the eternal arch that curves on high,
Above the eternal depths we do not know.
– F. D. Snelling.

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THE LODGE ROOM OVER SIMPKIN'S STORE [A Poem]

Brother Lawrence N. Greenleaf

Past Grand Master of Colorado

The plainest lodge room in the land was over Simpkin's store,
Where ,Friendship Lodge had met each month for fifty years or more.
When o'er the earth the moon, full-orbed, had cast her brightest beam
The brethren came from miles around on horseback and in team,
And ah! what hearty grasp of hand, what welcome met them there
As mingling with the waiting groups they slowly mount the stair
Exchanging fragmentary news or prophecies of crop,
Until they reach the Tiler's room and current topics drop,
To turn their thoughts to nobler themes they cherish and adore,
And which were heard on meeting night up over Simpkin's store.

To city eyes, a cheerless room, long usage had defaced
The tell-tale line of lath and beam on wall and ceiling traced.
The light from oil-fed lamps was dim and yellow in its hue,
The carpet once could pattern boast, though now 'twas lost to view;
The altar and the pedestals that marked the stations three
The gate-post pillars topped wilh balls, the rude-carved letter G
Where village joiner's clumsy work, with many things beside
Where beauty's lines were all effaced and ornament denied.
There could be left no lingering doubt, if doubt there was before,
The plainest lodge room in the land was over Simpkin's store.

While musing thus on outward form the meeting time drew near,
And we had glimpse of inner life through watchful eye and ear.
When lodge convened at gavel's sound with officers in place,
We looked for strange, conglomerate work, but could no errors trace.
The more we saw, the more we heard, the greater our amaze,
To find those country brethren there so skilled in Mason's ways.
But greater marvels were to come before the night was through
Where unity was not mere name, but fell on earth like dew,
Where tenets had the mind imbued, and truths rich fruitage bore,
In the plainest lodge room in the land, up over Simpkin's store.

To hear the record of their acts was music to the ear,
We sing of deeds unwritten which on angel's scroll appear
A WIDOW'S CASE – FOUR HELPLESS ONES – lodge funds were running low –
A dozen brethren sprang to feet and offers were not slow.
Food, raiment, things of needful sort, while one gave loads of wood,
Another, shoes for little ones, for each gave what he could.
Then spake the last: "I haven't things like these to give – but then
Some ready money may help out" – and he laid down a TEN
Were brother cast on darkest square upon life's checkered floor,
A beacon light to reach the white – was over Simpkin's store.

Like scoffer who remained to pray, impressed by sight and sound
The faded carpet 'neath our feet was now like holy ground.
The walls that had such dingy look were turned celestial blue,
The ceiling changed to canopy where stars were shining through.
Bright tongues of flame from altar leaped, the G was vivid blaze,
All common things seemed glorified by heaven's reflected rays.
O ! wondrous transformation wrought through ministry of love –
Behold the LODGE ROOM BEAUTIFUL ! – fair type of that above.
The vision fades – the lesson lives – while taught as ne'er before
In the plainest lodge room in the land – up over Simpkin's store.

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THAT WHICH ABIDES

A great character, founded on the living rock of principle, is, in fact, not a solitary phenomenon, to be at once perceived, limited and described. It is a dispensation of Providence, designed to have not merely an immediate but a continuous, progressive and never ending agency. It survives the man who possesses it; survives his age – perhaps his country and his language.
– Edward Everett.


Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
– Cowper. The Task.

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CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN – NO. 2

Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland, Ohio

Note. Evidence multiplies that this Correspondence Circle idea has met the desires of a great number of our Members. This did not surprise any of us. The remarkable – and unexpected – feature of the replies to Brother Clegg's September letter was the universal desire that the Society should from the beginning lead off in a definite Course of Study. The demand appears to be for something very like a Chautauqua organization. Our theory of co-operation between Study Clubs contemplated an interchange of queries and results between groups of Brethren undertaking to work out programs of their own, suited to local conditions. This, we felt, would make of the Society's office an headquarters, a forum, a radiating center, suggestions coming in and being forwarded everywhere that similar needs seemed to exist. We had hoped to add, from time to time, references and helpful plans for overcoming obstacles.

But to meet the present unexpected situation requires time and study. We shall not shirk the problem, but with your help, will tackle it confidently. Our friends must needs see that it will only be as they present their suggestions and problems that we shall be able (if at all) to think them through.

This much must be said, in order that the Society's attitude shall not be misunderstood. We can only work out the outlines of study, papers, etc., which this new plan will require, in co-operation with our own Members as individuals, or as voluntary Study Clubs. What is said must be considered as suggestive and advisory only. Those who go along with us do so for the sole purpose of self-improvement, even as we expect to be benefited by your efforts. As light radiates from its central source without producing friction, but generates warmth and fruition on far-distant bodies, so must we mutually agree that our united efforts – we supplying as best we can that which you will use – shall be always and ever a union with the single purpose of promoting a better understanding of Masonry, and between Masons. In a word we embark now into a new enterprise, but as before, with no ulterior motive whatever. We simply "think out loud" in an effort to help one another.

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Committee Ready for Tools

Your work has, by comparison, taught a number of the Brethren the baldness of the effort here, and encouraged them to try to better conditions. A Committee on Masonic Research and Education has been selected but has no tools with which to work. You would confer a great favour if you be so good as to cause me to be sent instructions regarding organization, and such literature as would be helpful during the formative stage. With best wishes, I am, Yours fraternally,
E. M. Walker, Masonic Temple, Winnipeg, Man.

The October issue of The Builder has in the Bulletin section in the centre a letter from S. H. S. His problems were analogous to yours. They are indeed so closely akin that I might venture in default of further particulars from you to repeat verbatim what I then said. If in any wise the answer to S. H. S. does not properly meet all the requirements I shall be willing, yes, anxious to serve you in every practical manner.

If your plans are local, and of such were my intentions in preparing the letter for the September issue1, then the situation is less awkward for me to handle. I feel very diffident at making suggestions toward State organizations. Such a group of earnest students as was suggested in the September issue could very informally but effectively pursue research studies. Simplest of organizations is all that is necessary. For those who may consider something more formal I shall be very glad to assist in any way that is unobjectionable to the Masonic authorities.

With a very few books of reference and a supply of the various publications issued by the National Masonic Research Society you can easily make a start. During the initial stages and until your members get the swing of the movement you can use for discussion some of the papers that will be printed for that purpose in The Builder and in this Bulletin. Our resources will be at the disposal of the Society, as long anyway as they will hold out under pressure, and I am always ready to comfer with any of the members. Kindly call upon me again as you go along. I am keenly interested in everything you undertake in study club propaganda. How can I best serve you ?

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Earnest Study to be Encouraged

I am much interested in Bro. Clegg's proposition for group meetings, and request a list of the members of the Research Society in my location. If anyone else in this section should request a list please give him the preference as I am Secretary of Adelphi Lodge and don't feel that I can really afford the time and effort necessary for such a proposition, but feel the lack of real earnest study among the brethren.

I would much rather be an enthusiastic booster for some good leader than to have to do the leading myself, so even if some other brother requests later than mine please give him the preference.

We have over 500 members and are doing considerable work, so you can see the Secretary is fairly busy.
Julius H. McCollum, Secy., 40 Shelter St., New Haven, Conn.

My heart goes out to the active Secretary of a big lodge. What a multitude of things come his way, all demanding prompt and systematic and continually courteous attention. Yet who has better chance to bring studious Freemasonry straight home to the members, old and new? Masters come and go but Secretaries commonly continue permanent as the famous pillars at the porch, greeting the guests, cheering sojourners, ever making programmes and seeing them duly executed.

Your letter was officially acknowledged forthwith. If there is anything that I can do now to start you off the more successfully please let me know of it.

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Awaken the Heart Interest of Masonry

I wish to make response to open letter from Robert I. Clegg for list of members of Research Society in my immediate vicinity for co-operative study of the neglected half of Masonry, the heart part. I very much commend your work. Yours very truly and fraternally,
A. K. Bradley, Tioga, Texas.

You have indeed hit the spot. It is the heart interest we seek to encourage. Too much of Freemasonry has been allowed to push the research intimacy of it aside. Advise us oœ your progress. Easy as it is to start something, it takes vim to keep agoing Your letter lings so true that I shall expect further light upon your advance. Please keep us posted on your progress. Highly value your complimentary words.

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How Shall We Start Something?

I see in the September BUILDER something about clubs for the purpose of studying Masonry. I am writing for information and as to how to get started. Fraternally yours,
A. G. Templen, Greeneville, Mo.

Your desire for information on the best way to make a start - is met fairly well in the Bulletin accompanying the October BUILDER. Other particulars as to local members were sent to you direct. Much more than these details are necessary and will be supplied in due course as my opportunities and the resources the Society are capable of dealing to the best of our respective abilities with the situation. We want to start right in all we attempt but we shall avoid all possible delays.

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Denver Is Up And Doing

If there is to be a study club organized in Denver, Colo., I would like very much to become a member of it. I have been ying to get into something like this for a long time. Have been doing a lot of Masonic reading lately, but don't get out of it hat I should and am sure that what we need is some definite plan of study along some certain line. Very truly yours,
W. A. Reynolds, 1079 So. Corona, Denver, Colo.

If there is not a study club organized in Denver it will not be because of any lack of the finest material for membership therein. Be sure and get my old and highly esteemed friend, Henry F. Evans, the secretary of Rob Morris Lodge, to join it. Where there is one like Evans there must be others of the same kind. In him is the true instinct of evangelism. He cannot help but be a missionary of Masonry. You won't have to interest him. Long ago he was vaccinated and it took for keeps.

A definite plan of study along some certain line is, as you point out, essentially necessary. In the October issue I briefly resented an outline for the student of Freemasonry. Any one of the topics enumerated would require a lot of study before approaching exhaustion.

But such an outline will not meet all the necessities of the case. What I am considering, and what I hope to make an actual start at in this issue, is a paper or two in some such convenient form as to be read at any study club. It ought to be complete in itself. Have plenty of references so that the diggers among us may go ahead with their own pursuit of the Masonic quarry, but independent of the literary frills so that every brother can understand and appreciate fully. But proceed along the lines laid down in the October issue. Make a start. Meantime we must as we are able provide for all the needs that are being so suddenly developed on the heels of that pioneering letter of mine in September.

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Answers To Questions In Builder

Note the series of questions running in The BUILDER. Would appreciate information as to how to procure answers to same. If published in book form please advise where same can be procured. I understand that there is to be a study club organized here as soon as Temple No. 4 can arrange and fit up a new home. Reply at your convenience appreciated. Yours fraternally,
W. H. McEwen, 2106 Providence street, Houston, Texas.

The series of questions may be answered by referring to the book pages quoted in the articles published in the BUILDER. Perhaps you refer to the enquiry that once in a while waits in the correspondence columns. Such instances are few, very few. So I rather think your reference is to the lists of questions emanating from study clubs. The questions are really in the nature of a review, quickening the interest and impressing the memory with what has been the purposes of the book on which the questions are founded.

Why let the study club wait for a new home for the lodge? Lodge business is going on while the tenancy is fluid. Pending the change you might plan with your local brethren the initial meetings of a study club eminently deserving the excellent quarters that I hope are in store for you. Please start something. Surely there can be no better time. Can I help you?

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An Excellent Plan Of Campaign

Have read Bro. Robt. I. Clegg's letter on inside back cover of September number of BUILDER and it's just what I have wanted for a long, long time. Will you please send me a list of the members of the Society in this immediate vicinity so that I may write them calling their attention to Bro. Clegg's letter and arrange for a meeting in the near future ?

As to the course of study we will want to pursue, I am afraid that we will in a way be obliged to begin with the ABCs of Masonry, but will write you in regard to this after we have our first meeting.

If you have on hand a supply of Bro. Clegg's letter that I may enclose in letters to Brothers who are interested in the study side of Masonry but are not at this time members of the Society, I would be glad to receive about five of same and through the study club they may be made to realize what they are missing by not receiving the BUILDER. Fraternally thine,
J. A. Stiles, Morganfield, Ky.

Many thanks. All that we could send your way has been forwarded from Society headquarters. Do not fail to ask me for anything that will help you in making a start. I have in prospect the publication of just such papers as I fervently hope will meet your requirements. These will appear soon, perhaps a beginning may be made in this issue. Meantime it is most cheering to note how thoroughly you have caught the spirit of the enterprise. Your club is certain to be a success.

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Starting Study Clubs By Wire

TELEGRAM – Will you please send me paper regarding lecture course of outline in September issue by Clegg ? Will appreciate a prompt reply as subject to come before our Lodge September 18th. Wire me collect if I am too late.
H. M. Marks, Jr., W. M., Lodge 148, F. & A. M., Ft. Worth, Texas.

All the available information went your way as quickly as possible. We hope that it was of service to you though probably too hurried to do what could have been done with a greater expenditure of time. The October issue of the BUILDER contained an article or two written with your telegram in mind. If they did not give exactly the data of which you were in search I trust you will write us again and go more thoroughly into details of what is wanted.

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Texan Takes Hold In Fine Style

We desire to get Masonic Lectures started in the various organizations here. I note "An Open Letter to our Members " Sept. 16th, The Builder. We desire a lecture once a month, given by our Masonic Club in their rooms, fostered by Master Masons. We may be able to start study units. We have a place to meet. The Brethren will come together on call of the Club the Third Tuesday in each month. The elements are all here. The Club has a small library already. We need something for that Third Tuesday and you can supply the need I'm sure. Cordially,
K. Robey, Fort Worth, Texas.

Your letter in connection with the telegram from your neighbour, Bro. Marks, is conclusive that Masonic activity in your vicinity is most progressive. You have the opportunity in shape and are prepared to go on with the work. We hope to publish the very material of which you are in search and shall endeavour to time our labours so that they will fit in nicely with the Tuesday,s on which you hold meetings. Your plans strike my fancy very favourably. Every contingency seems anticipated. My heartiest congratulations on your perseverance and your foresight.

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A Study Club Of one, Plus

Kindly forward me such information as you may have at your command in compliance with Robert I. Clegg's suggestion in your September issue of the BUlLDER. I am much interested in such work and hope within a year or two to be in a position so that I can mingle with Brother Masons more than I am permitted at this time or for the last five years. In the meantime I can be preparing for the future as I have much time that can be devoted to study. Waiting your early reply, I am, Fraternally yours,
Lem L. Gaghagen, Pelican Bay Woods Camp No. 2, Odessa, Oregon.

Your message somehow gives me the impression that at the moment you are too isolated for study club purposes with the companionship of many Masons. Consider yourself therefore a member-at-large, entitled to receive all the information that goes to any study club and participating in such long-range benefits as can possibly be deflected your way.

This Bulletin department should be of particularly direct help to you in maintaining a close acquaintance with the brethren. Many who cannot join study clubs must be cared for here. Their independent study will through the BUILDER have excellent vehicle for carrying the results of their investigations afield.

Let no brother lament that near him there can be no study club. He can, as does the good brother here, look ahead to the approaching and favouring prospects and in the meantime make the best possible use of our current advantages in the study of Freemasonry.

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Local And National Memberships

Enclosed find check to cover membership fee of Bro. J. R. Hunter. Will say in behalf of the BUILDER that we find it very helpful in our Club work and we hope that by the first of January, 1917, all our Club members will be members of the N. M. R. Society. Thanking you for past favors, I am, Fraternally yours,
N. T. Roach, Winslow, Ariz.

The benefit from membership in a national organization is very evident. If it were only that we can spread our inquiries over the larger field, membership in the countrywide body is preeminently worth while. We need you, and in the proportion that our membership nationally is larger than is yours locally so do you get the greater outlook with us.

In every manner practicable we plan to make the contents of the BUILDER minister to the better knowledge of Masonry and your approval of it is appreciated warmly.

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Books, Programmes, Memberships

Upon the repeated solicitation of a number of the Brethren of the Craft of this city, I am making a canvass among the membership to ascertain whether or not it would be possible to organize a Masonic study club. With that purpose in mind I have approached one of our very brightest Masons to assist us in the work should we succeed in starting a club of that kind. He consented.

I now ask you, if I am not asking too much of you, to please send me such literature as is being sent out to such clubs in your state. Or state whether we ought to affiliate under the Research Society. I should like to have a study program or outline of work. Also what books, if any, we must purchase. Any information necessary to thoroughly start us to working will be appreciated. Kindly send me a couple of blanks for brethren who desire to join the N. M. R. Society. Thanking you in advance, I am, Yours fraternally,
E. W. Cruss, 32d, 2314 Ave. M., Galveston, Texas.

For the reasons stated in the immediately preceding letter and my comments, it does seem highly desirable that you and your brethren should become members of the National Masonic Research Society. A further argument is that this body has already collected a fund of information that has been given the light of print in the BUILDER and in other publications. This data is available for all of you as members. In the first volume of the BUILDER, in Dean Pound's book oL the "Philosophy of Masonry," and in various other reprints, the Society has now at your command enough for alluring discussion at many meetings.

The October issue had a briefly expressed line of work laid out with a number of references to topics and to authorities. We expect to supplement this with a series of papers in this month's Bulletin. Such papers will not be too weighty but will be arranged for ready use at any study club. They will have a fund of references for deeper and further enquiries.

My own preference as to books is given in the October issue. If I could afford to buy but one book I would get Mackey's Encyclopedia, the very latest edition. I am doubtful about study club libraries; the individual member's own set of books is the thing to aim at. I do not profit by the sale of any book and therefore my opinion is all the more that of a buyer of volumes. Lodge libraries are usually stagnant. Perhaps study club libraries may not run into the same ruts. But anyway I have more faith in every member having his own books and slowly adding to their number. Please refer to what is said on the question of books here and there in the Bulletin of October.

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First An Organization, Then For The Rest

In answer to the Open Letter in the September issue of the BUILDER I write asking for a list of the members of Research Society who receive the BUILDER at Onawa. I would like very much to get a Study Club started. Unless the list has already been sent I would like to have it. After we get an organization, we will no doubt need assistance as to topics and programs. I think the study club idea is the genuine fruit that should be the result of the Society and the BUILDER. Fraternally,
Mark H. Dobson, Box 476, Onawa, Iowa.

Any way that we can help you from headquarters, or anything that I can do personally, will be cheerfully done with all the speed and conscientiousness that is ours. Emphatically you are right. We are ready and must go forward. The accepted time is now. Please call on our facilities as if they were in very deed your own.

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Grand Lodge Urges Masonic Studies

North Dakota Grand Lodge passed a resolution during the recent session of Grand Lodge favoring the aggressive pushing of Masonic study during this coming winter. We, in the library, are making every effort to get reading lists, study outlines, etc., with that in mind. We are advised that the N. M. R. S. has just such lists and outlines which may be obained for the use of its members. If such is the case, may we hope to receive from you some assistance of this sort? Personally, I should be very glad to learn just what the resources of this sort are which are available for the use of the members of the association. Yours very truly,
Clara A. Richards, Librarian in Charge, Fargo, North Dakota.

Let me ask you please to examine the present Bulletin and also the one that appeared in the October issue of the BUILDER. There was in the latter a reply to S. H. S. which gave with some degree of detail what I was venturesome enough to offer to one Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education. I offered the suggestions with considerable diffidence. I again do so. If they contain anything of worth to the brethren of North Dakota and to the Librarian, I shall be abundantly repaid.

An outline of Masonic study is given in the October Bulletin and some references are given to books as well as topics. In general, and maybe for the bookish and scholarly Mason, this October outline would serve roughly as a guidepost at the very least.

It does not satisfy me. As the writer of it I have every right to criticize it. If we are to make Masonic study really attractive we must go a long way beyond the point of directing the other fellow's footsteps. Many must be led for a while. This calls for actual papers to be presented to the study clubs and so thorough and so interesting that everybody will go away afterwards feeling that all could understand and also be inspired to do some digging on his own account.

Masonry has at its command the best men of our own generation. As their minds are gradually turned toward the literary delights of Masonic investigation we may count upon an unearthing of rare possessions. I therefore rejoice exceedingly in the activity planned by your Grand Lodge and I anticipate we shall be greatly benefited by your co-operation with us. I hope your Grand Lodge and its subordinate bodies will become allied with us in the most useful of studious associations among Masons in America.

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~~ooOoo~~


THE REVELATION

What we call degeneracy is often but the unveiling of what was there all the time; and the evil we could become, we are. If I have in me the tyrant or the miser, there he is, and such am I – surely as if the tyrant or the miser were even now visible to the wondering dislike of my neighbours.
– George MacDonald.

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~~ooOoo~~


A SIGNIFICANT CHAPTER IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY

By R.I. Clegg

I HOPE to present some facts of very general interest to the brethren. Whatever use may be made of them is a matter for each of you to determine for himself There are those who will value these details as most important contributions to the ever wondrous story of the Craft. Others will I daresay hold them as mere coincidences, incidents of only accidental import and of minor pertinence at best.

Be that as it may, the field is open to you all. Many ts are already available. Many more are doubtless waiting for you. It is the purpose of our organization, the National Masonic Research Society, the individual as well as the collective forces of the body, to take up these admittedly slender threads of testimony and her them into whatever cord of evidence is proper and practicable.

Two points of consequence should first be mentioned: First, It is impossible in a paper written for publication to say many things relative to the ritual that could readily and properly be communicated by word of mouth within the inner door of a Lodge. My brethren must therefore apply for themselves much of what I shall say, having the ritual constantly in mind, continually asking yourselves if the words written do apply in any wise to what each of you has experienced either as a candidate or as an officer in the conferring of the Masonic ceremonies. Please therefore add to what I shall here utter your own knowledge of the work. Much will in that way be made clear.

Secondly, in a paper such as this I must not be too technical. For those who desire to carry forward the study of the subject I shall elsewhere in the Bulletin of the Society submit a selection of authorities to be consulted. This list can easily be lengthened to elaborate proportions. Such an array of authors and of literary productions adds strength to any paper but if too freely quoted the effort becomes cumbrous and burdensome to speaker as well as to hearers.

I am convinced that the really interesting and instructive things to be said and to be treasured about Freemasonry need be neither tiresome nor appalling. Whatever success we may meet in our endeavors toward this end, successful or unsuccessful as any of us may be, we should honestly make the effort. Too often the study of Freemasonry is hidden behind a cloud of words or weakened by a poverty of facts.

Returning to our topic after thus clearing away the path, let me state my case briefly.

Today the blessings of education are about us. Common is the ability to read.

Suppose that the contrary was true. Assume that Freemasonry was active but that the common people were little informed as to moral truths in the manner that the church and Craft desired them to be known. It would under those conditions be a likely prospect that Freemasonry would attempt a means of bringing the instruction of religion to the masses.

To make the contents of the Book of Law vivid to the people there is no more striking method of presentation than the pictorial one employed by the devout peasantry and townsfolk of Oberammergau who for so many years exemplified the tale of the Christ on the stage. That Freemasons should have done this is by no means out of the question as I shall hereafter show to some extent.

Now carrying this picture in your mind's eye, the early Freemasons staging the episodes narrated in the Scriptures, permit me for a moment to take you a step further. After several scores, yes, hundreds of years, of such labour by the Craftsmen we find the people gradually acquiring a learning sufficient to meet their needs in the study of the Bible for themselves. Then there would be less necessity for the public instruction of the multitudes by Freemasons. The field properly tilled, the Craft would then in all probability withdraw.

But would it entirely abandon its dramatic presentations? Not necessarily. These very probably would in some form be continued. Spectacles and pageantry delight the eye and make a very vigorous appeal to the mind. Many who listen with dull ears are keenly alive to impressions upon the eye.

Did the brethren of old desire to select some most striking lesson to teach a great truth then what could they have preserved of more consequence out of the many known so well to them than the one acknowledged as the climax of the Craft degrees and which reappears in various forms in so many of the grades Masonic of every rite, old or new?

You may now ask for proof of these speculations. Backward we turn the pages of dramatic history. What do we find ? Among the trustworthy chronicles brought down to our own times is the account of the city of London written by William Fitzstephen who died in 1191. He is quoted freely by Stowe who flourished some four hundred years afterwards. Well, what says Fitzstephen, the monk of Canterbury?

"London," says he, "instead of theatrical shows and scenic entertainments, has dramatic performances of a more sacred kind, either representations of the miracles which holy confessors have wrought, or of the passions and sufferings in which the constancy of martyrs was signally displayed."

Who took part in these staged moralities, these dramatic episodes of religion? The artisan corporate bodies. Stowe is unmistakable when in his "Survey of London" he enumerates the "Skinner's well, so-called for that the skinners of London held there certain plays yearly, played of Holy Scripture, etc."

Snell in his "Customs of Old England" points out a very noteworthy conclusion as to the origin of these religious ceremonials. "As far as can be ascertained, the earliest miracle play ever exhibited in England – and here it may be observed that such performances probably owed their existence or at least considerable encouragement to the system of religious brotherhood detailed in our opening chapter – was enacted in the year 1110 at Dunstable."

Incidentally, I may here allude briefly to the religious orders, such as the followers of Saint Benedict. The initiation of a member of the Order of Saint Benedict has been described by our late and greatly lamented Brother Gould. Further details may be found in the various histories of the Order. The ceremonial includes a dramatic teaching of the impressiveness of death and the hope of immortality.

Early artisans and merchants of England (legally chartered by the government to carry on their respective trades and professions) joined hands with the religious orders to adequately represent these Scriptural incidents. Each Craft took some important episode and we can readily understand that there was involved a lively trade rivalry, a competition that brought out a remarkably effective result.

Eventually these isolated plays, crude as they must originally have been, grew into pageants, each extending over several days, and the degree of elaboration meant an expense of labour and of money restricting these exhibitions to the larger centres of population and of wealth. Thus there came about the planning and the presentation of the four great cycles, those of Chester, York, Wakefield, and of Coventry. The cycle was a series of plays forming a compendium of history. Commencing with the Creation, the cycle proceeded to unfold the story of earth and the people thereof unto the times of the New Testament. Movable stages were devised so that the several sections of every locality could be reached and the halt or lame accommodated conveniently.

Says Archdeacon Rogers of the stage itself, as quoted by Snell: "A high scaffolde with two rowmes, a higher and a lower, upon four wheeles. In the lower they apparelled them selves, and the higher rowme they played, being all open on the tope, that all behoulders might heare and see them." Wood and iron were used in the construction of these portable stages. Trap doors were in the floor of the stage covered with rushes.

Roger Burton, the town clerk of York, has enumerated for us the various trades taking part in the Play of Corpus Christi in that city. It reads as if an inventory of all the industrial crafts. The cycles were a glory of the city and it became a point of honour not to be outclassed by any other city; or for any participating guild, or "mystery," to be outshone by a competitor.

Sometimes the sections of the play cycle were appropriately apportioned to some particular craft or organization. Thus there are instances where this aptness of assignment of duties is very marked. Take the scene where Noah is warned to undertake the making of the ark, this part of the representation being given to the "Worshipful Company of Shipwrights"; and then when the patriarch appears in the completed ark this was done by the Mariners, a special touch of realism and of trade propriety being afforded by this division of duties.

Towns were for the time being turned into theaters. The huge stage was drawn from one station to another. Again we may quote from quaint Archdeacon Rogers in what he says of Chester: "The place where they played was in every streete. They begane first at the abaye gates, and when the first pagiant was piayed, it was wheeled to the high crosse before the mayor, and so to every streete; and soe every streete had a pagiant playinge before them at one time, till all the pagiantes for the daye appoynted weare played; and when one pagiant was neere ended word was broughte from streete to streete, that soe they might come in place thereof excedinge orderlye, and all the streetes have their pagiantes afore them all at one time playeing togeather, to se which playe was greate resorte, and also scafoldes, and stages made in the streetes in those places where they determined to play their pagiantes."

Sometimes the elaborate arrangement of the plays so enacted by the craftsmen was by no means unworthy of mention in the same breath with our modern scenic triumphs. For example we are told that at one portrayal of the "Trial of Jesus" two stages or scaffolds were simultaneously employed. One of these displayed the judgement hall of Herod, the other was reserved for that of Pilate. Messengers on horseback passed between the two halls of judgement. By no manner of means was this an unambitious exposition of Biblical story, but one that compares quite favourably, as I am sure you will agree, with what has in our own times been attempted in that direction.

When the pageants passed from the churches into the streets for their rendition they gradually became less dominantly controlled by the churchly authorities and were the more closely governed by the civic and guild officers.

Pope Gregory held in the year 1210 that the priests must no longer participate in what had in his belief ceased to be an act of public worship.

Devotees of the church in a strict construction of the edict lost regard for the Craft plays but it is very significant for us as Freemasons that Manning who in his translation of a French manual upon sins denounced such representations and regarded it sinful to look upon them, yet held as allowable that the resurrection might be played for the confirmation of men's faith in that greatest of mysteries. Manning's prejudice was not universal. More than a hundred years later, in 1328, the Bishop of Chester counseled his flock to resort "in peaceable manner, with good devotion, to hear and see" these stagings of the Scriptures.

Moreover the Grey Friars of Coventry had a cycle of Corpus Christi plays of their own. These they exhibited outside the town. Exactly what was the reason for the selection of this place of portrayal is not clear. Shell records the conjecture that it was so chosen because of the competition of the trade guilds.

The fifteenth century found at York a famous preacher, William Melton. He declared that it was necessary to have certain changes made in the conduct of the pageants. Accordingly, the mayor, William Bowes, on the 7th of June, 1417, issued an ordinance that has some elements of interest for us. Among the various regulations we find "that no man go armed to the disturbance of the peace and the play, and the hindering of the procession, but that they leave their weapons at the inns, upon pain of forfeiture of their weapons, and imprisonment of their bodies, save the keepers of the pageants and officers of the peace." So were they duly and truly prepared.

Hone in his "Ancient Mysteries Described" tells of the practices followed in the church. These suggest the fount from whence the greatly embellished plays of the guilds were evolved. As for instance we may take "The Making of the Sepulchre," as it was termed. This custom, founded upon old tradition, taught that the second coming of Christ would be on Easter eve. Therefore Jerome conceived that the people should await until midnight in the church for the Redeemer's appearance.

The "Making of the Sepulchre" and the watching of it remained in England until the reformation. An account of it by Davies follows:

"In the abbey church of Durham, there was very solemn service upon Easter Day, betwixt three and four o'clock in the morning, in honour of the Resurrection; when two of the oldest monks of the choir came to the Sepulchre, set up upon Good Friday after the passion, all covered with red velvet, and embroidered with gold, and then did cense it, either of the monks with a pair of silver censers, sitting on their knees before the Sepulchre. Then they both rising, came to the Sepulchre, out of which with great reverence, they took a marvellous beautiful image of our Savior, representing the Resurrection, with a cross in His hand, in the breast whereof was enclosed, in most bright crystal, the holy sacrament of the altar, through which crystal the blessed Host was conspicuous to the beholders. Then after the elevation of the said picture, carried by the said two monks, upon a fair velvet cushion all embroidered, singing the anthem of "Christus Resurgens," they brought it to the high altar setting it on the midst thereof, the two monks kneeling before the altar, and censing it all the time that the rest of the whole choir were singing the aforesaid anthem; Which anthem being ended, the two monks took up the cushion and picture from the altar, supporting it betwixt them, and proceeding in procession from the high altar to the south choir door, where there were four ancient gentlemen belonging to the choir, appointed to attend their coming, holding up a most rich canopy of purple velvet, tasselled round about with red silk, and a goodly gold fringe; and at every corner of the canopy did stand one of these ancient gentlemen, to bear it over the said images with the holy sacrament carried by the two monks round about the church, the whole choir waiting upon it with goodly torches, and great store of other lights; all singing, rejoicing, and praying to God most devoutly till they come to the high altar again; upon which they placed the said image, there to remain until ascension day."

These early practices of the church are not extinct. Particularly at Christmas there are many observances to be found that remind us strongly of these ancient customs from whence the craftsmen of old drew the inspiration for their great public displays of theatrical skill.

You may ask if there is record of the Masons having taken part as an organization in the city cycles of pageants. There is a carefully prepared account still extant of the York pageants. This is entitled "The order of the Pageants of the play of Corpus Christi, in the time of the Mayorality of William Alne, in the third year of the reign of King Henry V. anno 1415, compiled by Roger Burton, town clerk."

There are fifty-four scenes, some of which are depicted by more than one class of craftsmen. For instance, the Pewterers and the Founders were associated in the rendition of the thirteenth scene. The first scene was assigned to the Tanners, and was "God the Father Almighty creating and forming the heavens, angels and archangels; Lucifer and the angels that fell with him into hell." So we go on to the eighteenth scene, allotted to the Masons. This was of "Mary with the child; Joseph, Anna, and a nurse with young pigeons; Simeon receiving the child in his arms, and two sons of Simeon."

You will be interested to learn that some of these old morality plays are even yet of record and are by no means trivial. In fact the conditions under which they were produced, and the time spent upon them for some hundreds of years, must have brought them to a very high plane.

Take the Cornish Mystery of the Crucifixion:

Jesus – Woman, seest thou thy son? A thousand times your arms Have borne him with tenderness. And John, behold thy mother; Thus keep her, without denial, As long as ye live.

Mary – Alas ! Alas ! Oh ! Sad ! Sad ! In my heart is sorrow, When I see my son Jesus, About His head a crown of thorns. He is Son of God in every way, And with that truly a King; Feet and hands on every side Fast fixed with nails of iron. Alas ! That one shall have on the day of judgment Heavy doom, flesh and blood, Who hath sold him.

John – Oh sweet mother, do not bear sorrow, For always, in every way I will be prepared for thee; The will of thy Son is so, For to save so much as is good, Since Adam was created.

Jesus – Oh Father, Eli, Eloy, lama sabacthani? Thou are my dear God, Why hast Thou left me, a moment alone, In any manner?

First Executioner – He is calling Elias; Watch now diligently If he comes to save him. If he delivers him, really We will believe in him, And worship him for ever.

(Here a sponge is made ready, with gall and vinegar. And then the Centurion stands in his tent, and says:)

Centurion – I will go to see How it is with dear Jesus: It were a pity on a good man So much contumely to be cast. If he were a bad man, his fellow Could not in any way Truly have such great grace, To save men by one word. (The Centurion goes down.)

Second Executioner – It is not Elias whom he called; Thirst surely on him there is, He finds it an evil thing. (Here he holds out a sponge.) Behold here I have me ready, Gall and hyssop mixed; Wassail, if there is great thirst.

Jesus – Thirst on me there is.

Third Executioner – See, a drink for thee here; Why dost thou not drink it? Rather shoulds't thou a wonder work ! Now, come down from the cross, And we will worship thee.

Jesus – Oh, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit; By Thy will take it to Thee, As Thou sent it into the world.

(Then Jesus shall die. Here the sun is darkened.)

You have here, my brethren, a story of the cross that for simple strength is not easily excelled. Not for a moment is it to be marvelled at that great throngs saw these spectacles. Theatrical skill in abundance was lavished upon them. Devoted craftsmen contributed freely of their means in money and histrionic ability. Great religious orders gave them literary aptness. Monks and Masons, Church and Craft, combined the best that in them was for the portrayal of the Scripture story from the creation to the cross, from the Fall to the risen Lord.

This co-operation of forces has curiously given some things in common to the Catholic and Protestant Churches and the Masonic organization. Think of the similarity of symbolism, particularly of colors as with blue, red, purple, white, etc. Consider the ritual of the Mass, its obvious teaching and the signs and ceremonies that are its accompaniment. Ponder over the joint uses of such words as warden, deacon, chapter, council, consistory, and so forth. Do these not tell us of the days when the brotherhood of Freemasons held up the hands of the church with dramatic fervor, with an ornate stage, showing the Scripture and saying its story in so simple and strong a style that the least informed might be made wise unto biblical truths and all fundamental philosophies ?

This fact I hold to be one of the greatest significances of Masonic history, a heritage to be proudly possessed and passed onward.

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Notes For Further Research

Readers of the Bulletin will have observed the suggestion made on the fourth page in the October issue for a "Course in the Study of Masonry."

Under the head of "Ritual" I mentioned several items for consideration. One of these was the "Mystery Plays of the Middle Age." Promptly I received a request that I say something further on this topic as at least one good brother had never thought of these plays in that connection. The above article was at once prepared. It is not intended to be comprehensive. Time for its preparation has been so limited that I have been unable to cover to my liking certain phases of the subject that demand critical attention. Yet it may serve for the present. And it may also provide a paper that can be submitted at any study club. Frankly do I admit that it is not my ideal of a paper for study club consideration. I shall have other papers and I hope papers of even more general appeal and perhaps more pertinent significance. When we get to the stage where we are receiving papers from study clubs everywhere we shall indeed have a finer quality of production.

To the good brethren who seek to pursue this subject further for themselves, and beyond the confines of the various Masonic publications, I have a few references to provide.

An excellent chapter on "Miracle Plays" is to be found in Snell's "Customs of Old England."2

Some few references are to be found in Stowe's "Survey of London."

I am especially fond of that volume in "Everyman's Library" entitled "Everyman, and Other Interludes, including Eight Miracle Plays."3

"Everyman," by the way, I have been tempted to reproduce in this Bulletin, and later may do so. It is a morality play in which the various attributes of manhood are personified and converse with the individual when he approaches his death. This exhibition of Wisdom, Strength, Beauty, Good-deeds, Fellowship, etc., in the shadow of death is of decided interest to the Freemason, and is peculiarly apt to the era of my paper of which it is indeed a valuable survival.

Hone's "Ancient Mysteries Described"4 contains some curious lore upon old church customs. Allusion to one or two of the many cited by Hone is made in my paper.

The Encyclopedia Brittannica has an article on the Drama. About a column of it treats of the old miracle and morality plays. While you are looking through the Enyclopedia, glance at the articles entitled "Initiation" and "Mutilation." While these do not directly touch upon the plays here treated, they have marked interest to the student of primitive ceremonies. From the consideration of these peculiarities we may derive light upon society, secrecy in the earliest stages of its evolution.

F.H. Stoddard's "References for Students of Miracle Plays and Mysteries"5 furnishes a bibliography that up to the date of publication, 1887, is ranked as full. The little volume, "Everyman," already mentioned, has in the introduction a very useful set of references.

The two volumes of Taunton's history of the "English Black Monks of St. Benedict" (5) can be consulted for some additions to the references I have made in the above text to what is said on the subject by Gould.
- R.I. CLEGG.

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THE MEASURE OF GOODNESS

Be good at the depths of you, and you will discover that those who surround you will be good even to the same depths. Nothing responds more infallibly to the seret cry of goodness than the secret cry of goodness that is near. While you are actively good in the invisible, all those who approach you will unconsciously do things that they could not do by the side of any other man. Therein lies a force that has no name; a spiritual rivalry that knows no resistence.
– Maurice Maeterlink.

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CHIPS FROM THE QUARRY

Human improvement is from within outwards. – Froude.
In this world a man must either be hammer or anvil. – Longfellow.
Architecture is frozen music. – De Stael.
Greek architecture is the flowering of geometry. – Emerson.
A Gothic church is petrified religion. – Coleridge.

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A MAN'S MAN

By Charles Bayard Mitchell

A man's man must be his own man. I mean by that he must have faith in his own integrity. He does not discount himself. He knows himself. He has surveyed his own estate and knows his limitations and boundary lines; but knows his powers, as well. He has studied himself. He has discovered within himself a duality; one side of him tending downward, and the other upward. He aims to be true to his better self. By restraining the evil and giving vent to the good within him, he has seen the better forces coming to the throne of his life. He can trust the scepter in the hands of his own better nature. He dares trust himself. He can trust his instincts. He yields quickly to his intuitions. He feels strong in the sense of his own integrity. He knows he is a true man – others may think what they please. He knows he rings true. When a great question is to be decided he dares take it to the bar of his own better judgment and abide its decision. His mind is superior to doubt and fluctuation. He can laugh at opposition. He feels within himself the power to will and to do. He dares to do what others fear. He initiates where others follow. He has a sublime confidence in his own power to carry out whatever he wills. He knows no timid lingerings. Neither doubts nor misgivings keep him back from the trial. He is larger than his vocation and superior to opinion. He is impervious to contempt and ridicule.

No man can be a man's man who is not his own man. Discount yourself and the world will take you at your own estimate. A divine self respect, a sane self-confidence, must mark the man who aspires to win the confidence of his fellow men.

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Continued in Part 2



.xx Next Month: December 1916
Previous Month: October 1916www General Index

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