The Builder Magazine

December 1916 – Volume II – Number 12


Part 2

Continued from Part 1

xx. Next Month: January 1917
Previous Month: November 1916www General Index


By The Editor


WHAT a day was that on which I went to Stratford, to visit a tiny town and a mighty grave! It was like a dream come true, its soft bright hours like the stanzas of a poem in which echoes of unheard music linger. All the way down from London I mused on the mystery of genius, but found no key to the riddle of it. God breathes it; beyond that we cannot go. Dig how you will in the lore of Stratford, no fact, no hint turns up to account for a man whose genius is "an intellectual ocean whose waves touch every shore." It is a mystery the secret of which no one may fathom.

My guide, philosopher and friend took pains that I should see everything, and to best advantage. Climbing into a cab, we turned away from the town out into the country. It was like riding through a park. Hedgerows neatly trimmed, a quaint cottage here and there, apricots on garden walls, birds singing, and over all the dreamy peace of English summer! Where we were going I did not know. Nor did I much care, wishing that the ride might be endless amid scenes so lovely – thinking of a boy who once wandered along these ways. After a little we turned a corner and stopped at a long, low cottage with a thatched roof and tiny windows, and flowers in the garden.

Then I knew where we were and why we had come. It was the home of Ann Hathaway, where the boy had gone a-courting in the village of Shottery. Near the front door is a stone where Dickens once sat musing of that odd romance of long ago, remembering, no doubt, how the boy himself had afterwards said that it would be a good thing if every boy could be put soundly to sleep at fifteen, and not be allowed to wake up until he is twenty-three. Of a truth it would be safer, but think of the fun he would miss! Inside the cottage they show you the old kitchen, with its old fire-place but little changed since Will and Ann sat so close together on the seat near by, whispering all the sweet nothings that lads and lassies say when life is new and love is young.

Thence we drove to Borden's Hill, a mile or more away, from which lay spread out, as in a picture, the town of Stratford, its rows of brick houses, its winding streets, its church-spire, half hidden by trees. It is a scene to haunt the heart forever, and 'tis no wonder that memories of it floated into all the plays and poems of the Bard of Avon. Nor is it strange that Shakespeare came back to this scene towards the end, wise enough to know when to quit and wishing to leave the earth where he had first learned to love it. Down the Hill we went, our next stop being at the house on Henley Street, where the seer was born. Forty thousand people visit that house every year, coming from the ends of the earth to pay homage to a great memory.

No one knows in what room the poet was born, but tradition has consecrated the small chamber facing the street, on the first floor. Names have been scribbled over all the walls. Most of them mean nothing, but one finds those of Thackeray, Keen, and Browning, and in the room above the signatures of Walter Scott and Thomas Carlyle scratched on the window. No new names are allowed to be added. The back room, up stairs, contains the so-called "Stratford Portrait," now declared by Sidney Lee to have been painted from a bust in the eighteenth century. Below is the kitchen, one of the few rooms that has not been changed since the bard was a boy. Two rooms to the right are fitted up as a Museum, and contain early editions of the plays, portraits, and various relics. The Garden, at the back of the house, is filled with the trees and flowers mentioned in the plays.

Passing along High Street we see the house in which Judith, the daughter of the poet, lived for thirty-six years. Further on stands the picturesque half-timbered Harvard House, once the home of Katharine Rodgers, mother of John Harvard – founder of Harvard University. On Chapel Street is the site of New Place, the house in which the poet resided when he returned to Stratford, and where he died. Only the foundation remains. Opposite New Place is the old Guild Hall, where the boy may have seen troops of strolling players perform; in the upper story of which was the Grammar School which he attended. At the end of Church Street we turn into the Old Town road which brings us to the Trinity Church, almost hidden amid trees on the bank of the Avon.

As we entered the Church, two aeroplanes passed over the town, like huge birds. I wondered what Shakespeare would have said. Be sure that fertile fancy, in which Ariel had his birth, would have found a phrase to fit the fact. The Church is interesting in itself, and in its treasures of art, but chiefly, of course, for that it is the tomb of the greatest genius of the English race. As Washington Irving said of it long of old, "The mind refuses to dwell on anything that is not connected with Shakespeare. His idea pervades the place; the whole pile seems but as his mausoleum. The feelings no longer checked by doubt, here indulge in perfect confidence; other traces of him may be false or dubious, but here is palpable evidence and absolute certainty."

Standing by that Grave on the north side of the chancel, I had such a sense of the reality of Shakespeare as I never had before. There, only a few feet below me, lay the actual dust of the Magician himself – divine dust, because his celestial spirit lent it Divinity, revealing all the heights and depths, the tragedy and comedy of this our mortal life. Who can pause beside that grave and doubt the triumph of the soul over death ? How could that creative mind, that busy heart, cease to be ? It is unthinkable ! Only two other spots on earth have touched me with a like sense of the reality of immortality: one is Westminster Abbey, and the other is the grave of Emerson in Sleepy Hollow. As I read the oft-quoted epitaph with its warning, I thought, instead, of that wonderful 146th Sonnet, in which he conquered death before he died.

Nor must we forget the Memorial Theatre – that treasure-house of paintings of the Dramatist and his characters, which is also a library of Shakespearian books. From the top of the tower, reached by flights of steps and ladders, one sees another picture never to be forgotten. The town, the winding Avon, the summer beauty on the hills – it is as lovely as a dream. On one side of the theatre was a park, half full of men wearing the blue-gray uniform of wounded English soldiers – reminding us of the vast tragedy not far away. On the other side stands the Monument, erected in 1888 by Lord Gower – crowned with a giant image of the Poet, surrounded by figures representing Tragedy, History, Comedy, Philosophy.

Of course, we saw the Fountain, the gift of an American in 1887, in honor of the genius of Shakespeare and the jubilee of Queen Victoria. On our way we met Marie Corelli out for an airing – a fat, chubby little lady she is, quite unlike her pictures. Reluctantly, with mingled joy and regret, we took the train for London. Always it is back to London, as of old all roads led to Rome. Now I know what the poet meant in his Rhymes of the Road,

"Go where you may, rest where you will,
Eternal London haunts you still."

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Geometry, that is to say, the science of harmony in space, presides over everything. We find it in the arrangement of the scales of a fir-cone, as in the arrangement of a spider's living web; we find it in the spiral of a snail shell, in the chaplet of a spider's thread, and in the orbit of a planet; it is everywhere, as perfect in the world of atoms as in the world of immensities.
- Henri Fabre. The Cufic of the Spider

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I offer this book to the sight, not of philosophers and wise men of the world, nor of great theologians wrapped in endless questionings; but to the simple and untaught, those who seek to love God rather than to know many things. For not by disputing, but by doing will He be known, and by loving.
– Richard Rolle, 1316.

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By Bro. S.W. Williams, P.G.H.P., Tenn.

IN the many-sidedness of Masonic study we all have been taught much relative to the NUMBER THREE. Volumes have been written in regard to its mysterious symbolism in its connection with the Religious systems of past ages. Its potency today is shown in the TRINITY OF DEITY – the FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST – regarded most sacredly throughout the civilized World.

Let us look at it from a different standpoint. The seven colours which form the Rainbow when perfect – RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO and VIOLET – are constructively evolved from what are known as the THREE PRIMARY COLOURS – RED, YELLOW and BLUE. From these are all the others formed, WHITE is the presence of all colour, while BLACK is the absence of all LIGHT (which makes colour possible) and hence, is the absence of all colour. Each of THE SEVEN has been awarded a symbolic meaning – but these three PRIMARY COLOURS, in their symbolic significance, embrace all that there is in life for Man, from birth to eternity.

Man begins life in the Innocence of Childhood – symbolized by WHITE – the presence of ALL COLOR – because he is "Made in the image of God" and to show his many-sided nature, crowned with an Immortal Soul.

With Manhood, he enters the domain of the first of the primary colours – the RED – which signifies all that is strong and virile in Manhood; the flush of health and the physical force and power to DO and ACT.

When the strength of Man faileth, he is said to be "In the sear and yellow leaf" – hence, YELLOW is the symbol of AGE; and, when "He falleth, like autumn leaves to enrich our mother-Earth" – then it is that he enters the realm of the Blue colour, which, as it nears Divinity, gradually loses its strength, being affected by the glorious whiteness of the Light of Heaven, till it becomes the Ultra-Violet – the Honce of the Angels and of those redeemed Souls who have found favor with God.

WHITE denotes PURITY – INNOCENCE – GOD. And every Child that is born into the Garden of Innocence must pass out therefrom, into the World of work and strife, and assume the cares, the responsibilities, and the duties of Manhood, only to fall in the "Sear and Yellow leaf" and, as a reward of his efforts, he enters the BLUE Zone – the Spirit-land – from which he is to pass once more into the PURE, WHITE LIGHT which emanates from the Throne of the Father. The Circle has been completed, – and a Circlet of White, enclosing a triangle of RED, YELLOW and BLUE, would carry our thoughts through life – into Eternity.

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By Bro. C. M. Schenck. Colorado

THE perversity in attaching through preconceived views a wrong significance to signs is illustrated by an anecdote found in several versions and in several languages,1 (but repeated as a veritable Scotch legend by Duncan Anderson, esq., Principal of the Glasgow Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, when he visited Washington in 1853.)

King James I. of England, desiring to play a trick upon the Spanish ambassador, a man of great erudition, but who had a crotchet in his head upon sign language, informed him that there was a distinguished professor of that science in the university at Aberdeen. The ambassador set out for that place, preceded by a letter from the King with instructions to make the best of him. There was in the town one Geordy, a butcher, blind of one eye, a fellow of much wit and drollery. Geordy is told to play the part of a professor, with the warning not to speak a word; is gowned, wigged, and placed in a chair of state, when the ambassador is shown in and they are left alone together. Presently the nobleman came out greatly pleased with the experiment, claiming that his theory was demonstrated. He said: "When I entered the room I raised one finger to signify there is one God. He replied by raising two fingers to signify that this Being rules over two worlds; the material and the spiritual. Then I raised three fingers, to say there are three persons in the Godhead. He then closed his fingers, evidently to say these three are one." After this explanation on the part of the nobleman the professors sent for the butcher and asked him what took place in the recitation room. He appeared very angry and said: "When the crazy man entered the room where I was he raised one finger, as much as to say I had but one eye, and I raised two fingers to signify that I could see out of my one eye as well as he could out of both of his. When he raised three fingers, as much as to say there were but three eyes between us, I doubled up my fist, and if he had not gone out of that room in a hurry, I would have knocked him down."2

On record are many stories, related by honest and intelligent men, of instances where Masonic signs have been recognized by North American Indians, and today some well informed Masons believe that Masonry was known to these Indians before the coming of the white man, and that it still exists among them. Of how easy it is to mistake the meaning of signs the Aberdeen anecdote offers a good example. It very often happens that things are not what they seem to be.

One of the believers in Indian Masonry was Dr. Charles E. Stone, a charter member of Yuba Lodge No. 39, of Marysville, California, with whom on the evening of February 24, 1909, I visited his lodge. He was at that time eighty-two years of age, a Knight Templar, and a 33 degree Hon. Scottish Rite Mason.

Among other things which he showed me was an album containing photographs of the charter members of the Lodge. He called attention to the picture of a man named Heath, whose life he said had been saved through the recognition of a Masonic sign by hostile Indians. In reply to my question, "How could the Indians have gained any knowledge of Masonry?" he replied, "Probably from the early French."

In May, 1910, Brother Stone, who died a few months later, (December, 1910), repeated to me in a letter the story which he had told me in the Lodge room, from which letter I will quote:

Marysville, Cal., May 23,1910.

C.M. Schenck,
Denver, Colorado.
Illustrious Sir and Brother: -

In the year 1867 or 8, Bro. James Heath, a member of our Lodge, came to me and expressed a desire to join the Chapter of which I was an officer, giving as a reason that, a year or two before, he, with a party of friends, went on a prospecting trip in the State of Nevada. They had a good camping outfit, a four-horse covered wagon, and supplies to last for several weeks Heath was the driver and was one day left in a beautiful valley while the others went out to prospect.

About 2 o'clock in the afternoon a band of Indians, finely mounted, appeared on a ridge above the valley, and he saw then were in hostile array, and said he hardly knew what to do, but thought if the G.H.S. would ever do any good, now was the time to try it; so he gave it, and the leader of the Indians at once dismounted, stuck a spear he carried, in the ground, and left the band, came down, took Heath by the hand, led him behind the waggon, and, as he expressed it, gave him more grips and signs than he knew, and gave him to understand that his party must leave and return to Virginia City.

The Indians then remained with them a day or two and escorted them out of the hostile country, and until they were safely on their journey and in sight of Virginia City, when the Chief parted with his white Brother, taking his men with him and were soon out of sight.

Bro. Crandell, who was at the time Grand Sr. Warden of our Grand Lodge, told me that, in crossing the plains in 1849 with a large company of emigrants, he and one other man were the only Masons, although there were several families in the company. The Comanches had war parties out, and were very troublesome, and had stolen stock, and killed several people. Crandell and his friend agreed, should the Indians make their appearance near them, to try Masonry as a means of protection. It was not long before they had an opportunity, as a large band came swooping toward them. He and his friend then made themselves known as Brothers, and two or three of the Indians responded and their company was never molested during the journey, and lost no stock; the Indians keeping faith with their white Brothers.

Many years ago I read of a visit made in St. Louis by a delegation of Indian Chiefs, who were on their way to Washington to visit the Great White Father, as they termed the President of the U. S. In escorting these Indians about the city, they were taken to a Masonic Temple which had been recently erected. On being taken to the Lodge rooms, which had been decorated with Masonic Emblems on the walls and ceiling, they showed by signs and other expressions, that they were perfectly familiar with them.

After Bro. James Heath had taken all the degrees in the Chapter, Council and Commandery, he said some more signs were given him by the Indian Chief, and I presume the Scottish Rite Degrees, or some of them, might have been conferred on the Red Man.

Bros. Heath and Crandell's statements, which I had from their own lips, I have given as nearly in their own words as possible: they made a lasting impression on my mind regarding the universality of our Order, and the protecting care it insures its members "wheresoever dispersed around the globe."

All the Bros. mentioned have passed to the Celestial Lodge above, and I, the Elder Brother, am left to tell their experiences. All were old friends of the '49 period, and we "kept watch and ward together many years."

Referring to my visit he wrote: The candlesticks which you saw used as Altar lights in our Lodge Room, (Yuba Lodge, No. 39, Marysville, California, visited Feb. 24, 1909), were taken from a Buddhist Temples where they had probably been used for centuries, and were used at the institution of the first Masonic Lodge in Japan, under an English Charter, and called Nippon Lodge No. 1. Bro. Charles E. DeLong, our Minister to Japan, was present at that Ceremony, and was by that Lodge presented with the candlesticks, he furnishing others to replace them. Bro. DeLong also presented us the chain armour, spear and banner of a Japanese warrior of the older time. The American Flag, which you also saw, was the first American Flag to be carried through that Island when Bro. DeLong was allowed by that government to make a trip through their country. The flag-staff is of Japanese wood.

Bro. Geo. W. Prescott, who visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land, presented us with the beautiful Corinthian pillar and the gavels. The base of the pillar is marble from the foundation of King Solomon's Temple; the shaft is of the Cedar of Lebanon, and the gavels are of olive-wood from the banks of the River Jordan.

Very truly and affectionately yours,
(Signed) C. E. Stone, 33 degree, Hon.

That Brother Heath thought the Indians understood his sign, and that they were Masons, there can be no question. As to whether his conclusion was correct there is room for doubt.

In Col. Garrick Mallery's paper on "Sign Language Among North American Indians," previously mentioned, on page 530 (Fig. 335) is a picture of an Indian giving a sign which is at least suggestive of the one used by Brother Heath. The accompanying text explains that it is the sign for "Peace; Friendship," made by elevating the hands at arms length above and on either side of the head. Observed by Dr. W. J. Hoffman, as made in Northern Arizona in 1871 by Apaches, Mojaves, Hualpais, and Seviches."

This being so, is it not perhaps probable that the sign given by Brother Heath was interpreted by the Indians to mean "Peace; Friendship" ? If the friendly relations established through the medium of the sign, were followed by a good feed and other entertainment, it is easy to account for the Indians remaining with the party for a day or two and then escorting it safely out of the hostile country. You will remember that Brother Heath narrated that the Indian "led him behind the wagon and gave him more grips and signs than he knew," and that in later years the Indian Chief gave him some more signs, and he presumed that "the Scottish Rite Degrees, or some of them, might have been conferred on the Red Man." Of this it may be said that there are but few Masonic signs which are not found, although with an entirely different meaning, in the sign language of the American Indians.

Illustrations of several such signs are given in Col. Mallery's paper above referred to. Note particularly Fig. 290 on page 467; Fig. 293, page 471; Fig. 309, page 487; and Fig. 336, page 531.

In "The New Age" for September, 1910, (pages 244 and 245) in his article on "The Legend of Masonry Among the Osage Indians," Frederick S. Barde says:

"A Scottish Rite Mason who has lived long in Oklahoma was asked if he believed the Osages knew anything of Masonry. He replied instantly that he did, and told of having recognized certain signs used by an Osage who had shown curiosity in examining a Masonic badge. This Osage could not speak English and talked through an interpreter. This Scottish Rite Mason had no familiar acquaintance with the Osages, and admitted that his belief was based largely on surmise, as he did not attempt to hold Masonic communication with the Indian. The observation and belief of this Mason is common to many others. A Mason ignorant of Osage customs and speech, watching attentively a conference of Osages, and departing without enquiry, might be convinced beyond the shadow of doubt that these Indians know something of Masonry.

"All North American Indians have an inter-tribal means of communication, known as the sign language. It is so graphic and comprehensive that two Indians, wholly unable to understand each other orally, may converse easily and with certainty in this language. In it are two signs that correspond without appreciable difference to two of the most important signs of Masonry, both in the degree of Master Mason. Remarkable as it may be, the meaning of these Indian signs is practically the same as their Masonic counterparts, one being concrete and the other more or less abstract

"But unhappily for the Osage legend, or its extension to other Indian tribes, a more inaccurate and misleading statement could hardly be made than to say that the Osages have even the slightest knowledge of Masonic secrets. From the Indian standpoint, one of these signs has a clear origin in a custom peculiar to a powerful tribe when in battle; the origin of the other, speculatively at least, may be traced to a daily phenomenon of nature.

"The accuracy of this conclusion is upheld by Masons of inquiring minds who have lived for more than a quarter of a century among the Osages, speaking fluently both the sign language and the Osage tongue, and who are acquainted with the legend of Osage Masonry. They declare that they never found the least evidence of Masonry among the Osages, and believe firmly that the legend has no stronger foundation than the gestural coincidence between the two Indian and the two Masonic signs."

What the two signs were, I have taken some pains to find out, but am still uninformed.

In his book entitled "Indian Masonry," Robert C. Wright addresses his Preface "To the Brethren of the Craft," and begins it with:

"This work is fraternally dedicated to you. In your kindly charge it is placed, hoping that when it has been measured by the plumb, square and level, it will be found good work, true work, square work, and just such work as you need and may pass to be used in the building up of the real Masonic structure."

Here are a few extracts from the book:

"Some time ago a brother said one day that he had seen Indians give Masonic signs, and this being doubted in spite of the brother's earnestness, an investigation was begun." (p. 1)

"I have had Masons solemnly tell me that they had seen Masonic signs given by Indians and that they were Masons. This can be explained in two ways: first, the Indian had actually become a Mason or had learned the signs secretly from white men as negroes of the south had done- second, those brethren had taken as Masonic, signs made by the Indian for which he intended an entirely different meaning. There is great danger that the civilized understanding is mistaken or forced, and errors are more likely to happen from the hearsay of traders, interpreters and agents, who have made an Indian jargon, and insist that signs of their own making, adopted by the Indians, are universal." (p. 12)

"Signs are very liable to be misunderstood; yet some of them have a startling likeness to ancient Masonic symbols." (p. 16)

"There is no Indian Masonry. There is Indian Masonry. This wide difference I make clear when I say, no Indian Masonry as the average man understands it, but there is a deep Indian Masonry for him who seeks to find it." (p. 108)

"There is no Indian Masonry in that small and narrow sense which most of us think of; that is, one who pays lodge dues, wears an apron like ours and gives signs so nearly like ours that we find him perforce a Mason in any degree or degrees we know, and which degrees we are too prone to watch, just as we do a procession of historical floats, which casually interest us, and maybe a little more so if we can but secure a place at the head of the procession, the true meaning of which we have but a faint idea about. This makes our own Masonry as meaningless as the interpretation of Indian signs by an ignorant trapper." (p. 109)

Dr. Walter Rough. a Mason and an anthropologist who for twenty-seven years has been associated with the Smithsonian Institute, is reported to have expressed himself in so far as Masonry among the Hopi Indians is concerned, as told in the following extract from a newspaper article:

"A Blue Lodge Mason entered one of the Hopi lodges. He came out thunderstruck. "I don't know where he got it," said the Blue Lodge man, "but that Indian buck in there knows as much Masonry as I do." Which is a lovely fable which helps to make guides rich. According to Dr. Hough, there aren't any Hebrew words or Masonic rites to be found in Hopi Pueblos. The resemblance is undeniable, but there is no common meaning or common origin." (Herbert Corey, in Denver Times of Oct. 1, 1913.)

Brother Newton R. Parvin of the Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Grand Secretary of Iowa, has kindly furnished me with a list embracing thirteen books and magazine articles relating to Indian Masonry, which I shall be pleased to pass on to any of you who wish to delve deeper.

In so far as a settlement of the question whether there was, or is now, any Masonry as we know it, known to uncivilized North American Indians, I will leave it as Stockton did in "The Lady, or the Tiger." You will remember that at the end of the story he told us:

"The question of her decision is not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it all with you: Which came out of the open door, the lady or the tiger?"

List Furnished By Brother Parvin

Sept. 23, 1913

  • Barde, F.S., Legend of Masonry Among the Osage Indians. New Age, V. 13; pp. 242, 245.
  • Bromwell, H. P. H., Masonry Among the American Indians. American Tyler, V. 5; p. 10.
  • Freemasonry Among the Indians. New England Craftsman, V. 4; p. 90.
  • Indian Masonry. American Tyler, V. 16; p. 160
  • Masonry Among the American Indians. Evergreen, V. 3; p. 3.
  • New Kind of Masonry. American Tyler, V. 15; p. 84.
  • Newell, C., Masonry of the Red Man. Tyler Keystone, V. 21; pp. 113, 146, 168, 192, 194.
  • A Possible Relic of Indian Masonry. American Tyler, V. 7; p. 336.
  • Some Unrecognized Masonry. American Tyler, V. 18 ; p. 404.
  • Welles, T.F., Freemasonry Among the Indians. Trestle Board, San Francisco, V. 9; p. 31.
  • Welsh, Indian Freemasonry. Trestle Board, San Francisco, V. 2; p. 178.
  • Wright, Robert C., Is there Masonry Among the Indians? Tyler Keystone, V. 20; p. 523. V. 21; pp. 8, 28.

Wright, Robert C., Indian Masonry.

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By Bro. F.C. Higgins, New York

Our lodge is in every respect a symbolic workshop, furnished with all the tools belonging to the different grades of workmen, and with a trestleboard upon which are set forth the day's designs and the material upon which the labour of the brethren is to be expended.

This symbolic material consists of the two ashlars, emblematic of the crude material and the finished product, which are placed plainly enough on view in New York lodges, but absent or almost unknown except to students in many other states. The oblong stones and nondescript slabs sometimes seen are noteworthy evidence that the age-old significance of the "cubical stone," which has played such a prominent role in the mythology and mysticism of the past, has almost run to oblivion in the modern craft. These stones should really be perfect cubes. The symbolism of the working tools is completely lost the moment such proportions are lost sight of or ignored. The ancient Hebrews had their own version of the great "number philosophy," which lent sanctity and expressiveness to the number 12. First of all, it was the number of their Twelve Tribes, who were doubtless a symbolical enrolment of all the heads of families under the zodiacal sign of the month in which they were born. It is certainly significant that the patriarchal system was founded upon this number, and later on many other dispositions were made that showed a particular reverence for the Chaldean plan of the universe based upon 12 signs. As one cube possesses six sides each of which is a perfect square, a number of remarkable mathematical and geometrical symbolisms were established based upon the fact that all the numbers, from one to 12 added together produce 78. This number is also the sum of 3 times "26," the numerical value of the "Great and Sacred Name of Jehovah" (JHVH).

As each cube possesses 12 edges, the combined number require a 24-inch rule to symbolize their total outline. The breaking into different mathematical combinations of this supreme number, each significant of some one of the great ruling phenomena of nature, was seen in the symbolism of the use of an operative Mason's gavel in the dressing of building stones.

The grand old mystery name of our Creator, called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "four-letter name") had as its root the three letters J, H, and V, which as numbers were 10, 5, and 6, or 21, the sum of the added numbers 1 to 6 represented by a single cube.

This fact was made the basis of a curious legend, ought by the wise old rabbis into that marvellous compilation called the Talmud, from which more than a little of our Masonic material has been derived.

The story is of the Patriarch Enoch (Hanok, father Methuseleh), whose name means "the initiator," 10, all accounts agree, lived 365 years, or a "year of years." A remarkable book attributed to him is often alluded to by the Hebrew commentators and early Christian "Fathers"; but no trace of it was ever found until in the last century it turned up in Abyssinia. It has been translated out of that strange African dialect into many tongues. The so-called Book of Enoch contains a remarkable recital of astronomical science as known to the ancients, told entirely in allegorical form, while the history of the Children of Israel is prophesied ( ?) under the allegorical simile of the remarkable doings of a singularly intelligent flock of sheep which build a house for their shepherd, the whole reading very much like a children's fairy tale.

The Talmudic legend of Enoch represents him as greatly disturbed at the news of the impending world Deluge," for fear the Name of God should be lost. He accordingly caused it to be inscribed upon a triangular plate of gold, and affixed it to a cubical stone, for the safe keeping of which he caused a series of nine arched vaults to be constructed, one beneath another, at the foot of Mt. Moriah (the holy mountain of the Jews, as Mt. Meru was of the Hindus). The rains came and the flood descended, and so washed the mud and silt over the site that it became completely obliterated.

Centuries later, when King David was moved "to build an house unto the Lord," and actually set his workmen to dig the foundations thereof, the latter discovered the vaults, and descending therein brought to light the long-buried stone.

Tradition also has it that the material of this stone was agate, which would at once connect it with the Hermetic philosophy; for agate, above all, was sacred to Hermes and Thoth or David. The latter, having been a warlike monarch, was not permitted to achieve that which he had begun and so bequeathed the cubical stone to his son Solomon, who made use of it as the cornerstone of the Temple.

The imagery of this is plain enough in the fact that, not in a written or engraved inscription, but in the mathematical proportions of the cube itself, was to be found that wonderful Name which is, as it were, the foundation of the universe, of which man is a fleshly epitome and the Temple on Mt. Moriah a symbolic one.

By knowing the use of the working tools of an E. A. the initiate might begin his labor of hewing and shaping the brute matter at his feet into stones fit for the builders' use; but when he had accomplished his task he was apprised that the symmetry and order it represented in its finished shape was "God": not a god whom he created, but a God whom his patient labour had revealed.

The cube itself was an age-old symbol of the spiritual Man, as set forth in the Mahabarata of ancient India:

A portion of Mine own Self, transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit, draweth round itself the senses of which the Mind, is the Sixth, veiled in Matter.

Therefore we find the cube present in all the ancient mythologies, which were but racial cloaks for one and the same wisdom religion, understood by the priests of all countries alike as a symbol of the sixth sign of the zodiac, the characters portraying the great Mother of Wisdom and her divine son Man.

It is the task of the apprentice to break through the shell of matter and liberate the Divine Word that dwells within by opening his own spiritual perceptions to the light of the Logos. As the priceless statues of Phidias and Praxiteles were once shapeless masses of unmeaning stone and the Parthenon a sea-worn crag, until gavel and gage, mallet and chisel, in the hand of inspiration had performed their tasks, so has always been the lesson of the cube in its unshapen and shapen forms to the apprentice Mason.

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By Bro. M.F. Funkhouser, Nebraska

The chief claim of an Institution to some is the evidence of its Antiquity; to such the genealogical record of Masonry should be most gratifying. That it should antedate the Christian Era ought certainly to satisfy the most exacting enthusiast, but there are those who insist on even a more remote origin and who never tire of tracing its ramifications through the labyrinths of the Ancient Mysteries of India, Egypt and Greece, and exultingly picture it in detail, surviving, triumphant through all the vicissitudes and mutations of human affairs, outlasting the wreck and havoc of dynasties, the disruption of Empires, the downfall and rise of Republics, witnessing in successive ages the atrocities and death of tyrants and applauding the self sacrifice, devotion and triumph of patriots.

How shall we gauge and measure the merit of such an Institution, with a foundation so broad and deep and firm that it has been thus perpetuated, though ever feared and frowned upon by ignorance and superstition, threatened by bigotry and assailed by intolerance. The jealous hate of despots has attacked it with fire and sword and its followers have been proscribed, persecuted, reviled, loaded with chains, thrown into dungeons and even burned at the stake martyrs to a spiritual despotism which made Reason and Free Thought crimes, worthy of discipline and severe punishment, instead of a patient hearing and candid exposition.

A sacred trust is attached to this rich inheritance, which we have received from our progenitors. A personal responsibility rests upon us for the preservation of the principles of civil and religious liberty

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Free Speech, Free Thought, Free Conscience, Free Press and Free schools should be as dear to us as they were to our departed dead.

We too, should be ready and willing to shed our blood, yea even give up our lives, in order that these sacred, God given rights and principles should continue to exist, grow, expand, and be a force and power for good, and that the permanency of our institutions should be established forever in this land of freedom and opportunity, where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars. Religion, morality and knowledge are necessary to make men happy and respectable, under any form of government. Masonry, as has been well said, is more than an institution, more than a tradition, more than a society. In truth, it is one of the forms of the Divine life upon earth; of no age, it belongs to all time; of no religion, it finds great truths in all. It has touched with grace and beauty the tender virtues of mercy and kindness. Its blessings have been felt in every nation, language and creed, and from its altars constantly arise the incense of a prayerful life. It has always stood for liberty, equality and fraternity. It has instituted no inquisitions, lighted no fires of persecution, antagonized no religion. It stands for the purity of womanhood and the sanctity of the home. As the citizen is the unit of the state, the fireside is the unit of civilization and woman is its Queen. All the higher interests of the race are in her keeping and the honour and chivalry of Masonry are thrown around her.

The essence of Masonry is character, its goal, ideal manhood and its mission is "to teach men to know and practice their duties to themselves and their fellows." (This is the practical end of all philosophy and knowledge.) Its message is the dissemination of moral, political, philosophical and religious truth, and that honour and duty are the beacon lights to guide life's vessel over the stormy seas of time.

It has a history, a literature and a philosophy. It also has a creed, the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul. Born almost in the very cradle of the race, the antique symbols of Masonry are vessels which have come down to us full freighted with the intellectual riches of the past. In the lading of these argosies are the best from the ports of every age and contain much to prove its claim to be acknowledged as the benefactor of mankind.

When men begin to reflect, they begin to differ. The great problem then is to find guides who will not seek to become tyrants. In Masonry with its faith in man, hope for the future of humanity and loving kindness for its fellows is found a guide who ever endeavours to be beneficent, unambitious and disinterested.

The onward march of the human race requires that the heights about it should blaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage, in which the hope of success and not the expectation of reward, should be the stimulating and sustaining power. Life's length, my brethren, is not measured by its hours and days, but by that which has been done therein for our Country and Mankind.

One of the most marvellous, wonderful, significant and convincing reasons for Masonic perpetuity, is that it is the only institution in the world around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin and the follower of every creed (excepting only "that orphan, that waif wandering the midnight streets of time, homeless and alone," the Atheist) may on terms of perfect equality, assume our sacred obligations and as brethren unite in prayers to the One God, who is above all others, leaving each of its initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope in the written scriptures of his own religion.

The Sages of all the Ancient Races have ever had of necessity, a secret and Holy doctrine, which was not made known to the people at large, when the stars were worshipped, the Initiates adored that which manifested itself as a star. When Fire and Light were objects of adoration by the multitude, the Adepts worshipped the Invisible Principle from which the Light emanated.

To Masonry, as to other Institutions, there came at intervals, crises when it was deemed expedient and necessary to create higher degrees a circle within a circle to whose members alone the chief secrets could be entrusted. At such times infinite care was taken, while seeming to make the whole known to all, to conceal what was necessary by symbols and even trivial explanations, which led away from the truth, instead of toward it.

The Inner circle of the Scottish Rite, modified to suit the modern conditions and requirements, is our Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, the Governing Body of Our Order to whom we all owe and willingly give loyal allegiance, and from whom we derive our authority to assist in propagating as the highest duty of Citizenship, an unselfish Patriotism, "that spirit of liberty which stifles the voices of despots, turns blind submission into rational obedience, dissipates the mists of superstition, kindles the flame of Art and pours happiness into the laps of the people."

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, as now constituted, came into being in 1786 when the Grand Constitutions, which have governed the Rite since that date, were adopted. The number of degrees were increased to 32, with the addition of a governing degree, the 33rd.

This Rite was in existence in France and other countries in Europe prior to 1762 and known as the "Rite of Perfection or Heredom." It was then composed of three degrees of the York Rite and twenty two others, the 18th being the Rose Croix, and the 25th the "prince of the Royal Secret."

Scottish Masonry was introduced into America by Stephen Morin, who held a patent from this Rite of Perfection or Heredom, Orient of Paris, of the date of August 27th, 1761. His title was "Grand Master Inspector." Besides the power to establish a symbolic lodge in America, the Grand Councils authorized him to confer the higher degrees, giving him the rank of Inspector over all the bodies of these degrees, with power of substitution, and to create Inspectors General in all places where the sublime degrees were not established. He confined his labours exclusively to the Scottish Rite and successive Deputy Inspectors were created by him, who in turn granted patents to other individuals.

In April, 1795, John Mitchell was raised to the highest degree in Masonry and created Deputy Grand Inspector General. On May 25th, 1801, Inspector General Mitchell granted equal honours and a similar patent to Frederick Dalcho, a physician of Charleston, S. C., and also an officer in the United States Army. Six days later, on May 31st, 1801, there was organized at Charleston, South Carolina, with Col. John Mitchell as the First Sovereign Grand Commander, and Dr. Frederick Dalcho as Lieutenant Commander, a Supreme Council of the 33rd for the United States of America, which on December 4th, 1802, issued a circular giving the Grand Constitutions of 1786 as the law of its existence and source of power, stating that the same had been ratified by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and Grand Commander and who had delegated to this First Supreme Council, all the Masonic prerogatives which his Majesty himself possessed.

To America alone the privilege was given for the establishment of two Supreme Councils, while to every other Country in Europe, but one was permissible. There are scattered over the world, in existence and in harmony with our own, twenty-nine regular Supreme Councils, every one of which has, mediately or immediately, flowed from our own Mother Council of the World, the limits of whose jurisdiction embraces thirty states and all the territories, organized and unorganized. This includes the Philippines, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Oriental Empire of Japan, and only through our doors can the Army and Navy gain admission into the ranks of Scottish Rite Masonry. A patent issued by this Body is a sure passport to the confidence of Scottish Rite Masons and commands their respect in all lands and among all peoples.

The Northern Supreme Council was established in August, 1813, and their jurisdiction is limited to fifteen states of the Union, but among these are included the most populous and thickly settled. A thorough understanding exists between the two Supreme Councils and they work together, without friction or jealousy. Since the organization of our Supreme Council, nearly 115 years ago, "the record of those who have been crowned active members is one to which we can point with just pride, not only because of their general high character, the good judgement and discretion displayed and good works done, but also because of the unique fact that not one ever has brought reproach on the Order
their Escutcheon is as bright and untarnished as when they first entered on the scene," exemplifying again the truth of the sentiment that the "noblest monuments that mark the progress of Mankind are not confined to those of marble, stone, and brass, but rather deeds of men."

With such an Institution to inspire enthusiasm and loyalty, such an Ancestry to arouse and stimulate, with such leaders to counsel and direct, with such companions to encourage and assist; if we but earnestly endeavour to do our part of constantly diffusing our messages of wisdom and philanthropy, of philosophy and toleration; of voicing ever an appreciation of the dignity and discipline of labour; of disseminating, with discrimination, the doctrines containing profound truths for every department of life; belief in the existence of God, the Brotherhood of Man, the Immortality of the Soul, insisting on and living up to a patriotism as loyal as is obedience to the law is unswerving; then we can rest assured that our Grand and Noble Order, clothed in majesty and power, shall continue to move down the great highways of History, marching at the head of the procession of the World's events, the foremost exponent, teaching by example of civilized and Christianized freedom, its manifest destiny to light the torch of liberty till it illumines the entire pathway of the World, till human freedom and human rights become the common heritage of mankind. For in the language of our late Grand Commander, "the cause of human progress is our cause, the enfranchisement of human thought is our supreme wish; the freedom of human conscience, our mission; and the guarantee of equal rights to all peoples everywhere, the end of our Contention."

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  • The keynote of creation is modesty, and its spirit is that of concealment.
  • There are depths of the universe which give up strange forms, as the sea gives up monsters.
  • The light of the true world is darkness unto this.
  • The universe exists for its intelligences; and for man in so far as he can use it.
  • Morality is not the end of life, but rather its beginning.
  • Covetousness is a cardinal virtue when it is directed to imperishable things.
  • The secret of eternal life is that of love, and the secret of love is to live in the lives of others, with and for them.
  • All great books are sacraments, but all readers do not communicate worthily.
  • Human life is the story of a great secret, but we are slowly unravelling the plot.

A. E. Waite. Steps to the Crown.

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"Peace On Earth"

LONG ago, over the armed camp of the hard old Roman world, the Angels sang their prophetic hymn, proclaiming "peace on earth among men of good will." How far off it must have seemed in that day, like a faint echo of the bells of the City of God; how far off it seems today, when the earth is red with war and a pall of woe hangs over the race. The world is still in twilight; and from beyond dim horizons comes ceaselessly the thunder of great guns. A hard frostlike surface of gaiety sparkles in our cities; and anxiety turns to laughter or to apathy for relief. After all the ages, the hope of peace on earth seems as vain as all the vain things proclaimed of Solomon.

Nevertheless, the song of the Angels will come true. It is not a myth. It is not a mockery. Surviving ages of slaughter, of hating, of wild injustice, it returns to haunt us, foretelling a better tomorrow, proving in this last defeat its immortality. Because that music is so far off we know that it is not our own, but was sent into the soul of man by a Power as far above all our discordant noises as the stars are above the mist. It means much that we can hear it, despite the mad hell of the hour, and if we cease to love it chaos worse confounded will come again, making the Dark Ages eternal. If the time seems long delayed, we must lay it to heart that the vision will come true as fast as the world fills up with Men of Goodwill – and no faster.

Finally, out of the welter of war, with its blood and fire and tears, its measureless misery and woe, its hideous nightmare of bigotry and brutality, its unspeakable cruelty, its slavery of hate, its orgy of lust, its senseless worship of Force; slowly, surely, sadly, after ages of tragedy are past,

"We shall come, not blindly impelled, but free
To an orbit of order at last,
And a finer peace shall be wrought out of pain
Than the stars in their courses know;
Ah, me ! but my soul is in sorrow till then,
And the feet of the years move slow."

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A National Masonic Conference

How can we best celebrate the founding of the mother Grand Lodge of England, in June, 1917 ? Looking forward to that day, which ought to give a new date to the history of Freemasonry, we venture to suggest a National Masonic Conference; not a legislative assembly, but a Feast of fraternal goodwill, a Festival of joy and wisdom in which to renew our vows, to cement our fellowship, and to lay far-reaching plans for the better use of Masonry in behalf of all that makes for private nobility and social welfare. Such an assembly, meeting in some central city easily accessible – Indianapolis, for example – representing every part of the country, and every rite and rank of the Order; presided over by that noble and distinguished Mason who for thirty years has been the Grand Master of Maryland; with a program carefully prepared, covering the questions of universal interest, and bringing together the best intellects of the Craft at home and abroad – such an assembly, we say, would give an impetus to Masonry that would be felt for years to come.

Surely, if Masonry means anything at all, American Masons ought to be able to meet on St. John's Day without jealousy and without suspicion, celebrating the greatest event in the story of modern Masonry, and discussing ways and means whereby to make the spirit of Masonry more effective. Indeed, the very suggestion of the possibility of misunderstanding or objection shows how much such a Conference is needed, and how much it may do, equally for a better adjustment of inter-jurisdictional differences and for the promotion of a closer fellowship, a more concerted action, and the mobilizating of the influence of Masonry for the common good. An unofficial, voluntary Conference, drawn together by the spirit and need of the Fraternity, in memory of a great event, planning for a greater Masonry, if not why not? What valid or wise objection can be urged against it? Would not the deliberation of such an assembly report the best thought and practical wisdom of the Order, and mean an advance of Masonry everywhere? We shall be very glad to hear from our Members in regard to this proposal which seems to us to be worth while.

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Grand Lodge Of England

Our readers will recall that we wrote last spring regretting the action of the mother Grand Lodge in suspending from Masonic fellowship Brethren of German birth during the period of the war. At a distance it looked as if the Grand Lodge had permitted political issues to invade its sanctuary in violation of its own Constitution, and we confess that it dismayed us. However, as so often happens, when all the facts are know it is the other way round. The fact that did not get into the record, and seemed not to have been mentioned in the discussions, was that German Brethren insisted upon bringing up the issues of the war in Lodge meetings. So much so that it became difficult, in some places, to hold a Lodge meeting in peace – for English Brethren were in no mood to debate such issues, much less in Lodge. Things came to such a state that Grand Lodge was appealed to for relief, and it passed the resolution referred to. No doubt there were Brethren of German birth who had no inclination to inject such questions into their Masonic fellowship, and who suffered hurt by the law. Perhaps another and better way might have been devised, but our point is that the Grand Lodge was intent on keeping all such issues out of the Lodge room, not bringing them in. After visiting England, and learning the situation, we feel that Masons everywhere never had more reason to be proud of the mother Grand Lodge than during the last two dreadful years. Its dignity, its patience, its loyalty to its own great principles were worthy of its great tradition; the more so, remembering the fact that the Grand Lodge of Teutonic countries severed relations with their Brethren in enemy lands at once and out right. So much in view of the fact, and for the sake of making the fact clear.

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Moral Idealism

Masonry is moral idealism, by which is meant no vague and filmy dream, but a life-like portrait seen in advance of what men and society should be. Ideals, so far from being mere visions, are the most accurate results reached by means of the most painstaking calculation. It stands much in their favor that they come not from the brains of the evil, but from the intellects that are greatest. The greatest minds of each age have pleaded for Liberty because only the great minds can paint in advance the portrait of a free people. Many nations are now in the mire, lacking mind great enough to grasp a lofty ideal. Instead of being a mere romance, an ideal is the long mathematical calculation of a mind as logical as Euclid. Idealism is not the musings of a visionary; it is the calm geometry of life.

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A New Year Prayer

O Thou Ancient of Days, whose years are throughout all generations, how frail we are in a world that was before we were born; how fleeting in a world that will last when we are gone. Nevertheless we are Thine, thought into being by Thy loving kindness for some purpose beyond our fathoming, and Thou dost not forsake the work of Thy hands. Therefore we who live in the House of Time lift up our prayer for light and love and life eternal, seeking to know Thee by what we are and what we have in us of the true and everlasting. Waken us to hear in the depths of our own souls Thy voice of gentle stillness telling us that our mortal life has immortal meanings.

Increase our faith as Thou dost increase our years, that the longer we live on the earth the nobler may our service be, the more willing our obedience, the more complete our devotion to Thy will. Grant us to be wiser tomorrow because of the failures of today; more trustful in the future by reason of the doubts that haunted us in the past; more forgiving because we so much need to be forgiven. Quicken our dull hearts to a more lively hope in Thy mercy; sanctify to us whatever may befall of trial or of danger; and grant us to love much, to love all, and most of all to love Thee, our Father and Redeemer.

Mercifully hast Thou brought us to the end of another year, though many who were better than we have fallen into the great white sleep – many of whom we knew and loved. O let us not miss what might be done with the gift of a new year for the service and blessing of our fellows; let us not fail of the beautiful thing that might be made of it. Stir up the gift that is in us; make us wise with insight from on high to discern clearly, to endeavor uprightly, to endure heroically. If we fail much, may we at least learn humility and penitence, and so have a heart of pity and of hope for others who have failed.

Forgive our mis-spent days, and help us to begin a new year with a new heart, a new hope, a new courage, and, if it may be, live more nobly, more faithfully, more kindly, more patiently, touched with a higher and holier purpose. And when the thread of our years is broken, when days and works are done, and the house of our dwelling is dissolved in death, O receive us by Thy mercy into the Home of the Soul, in His name. Amen.
J. F. N.

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(The war will change many things in art and life, and among them, it is to be hoped, many of our own ideas as to what is, and what is not "intellectual.")

Thou, whose deep ways are in the sea,
Whose footsteps are not known,
To-night a world that turned from Thee
Is waiting – at Thy throne.
The towering Babels that we raised
Where scoffing sophists brawl,
The little antichrists we praised -
The night is on them all.
The fool hath said – The fool hath said -
And we who deemed him wise,
We who believed that Thou wast dead,
How should we seek Thine eyes?
How should we seek to Thee for power
Who scorned Thee yesterday?
How should we kneel, in this dread hour?
Lord, teach us how to pray!
Grant us the single heart, once more,
That mocks no sacred thing,
The Sword of Truth our fathers wore
When Thou wast Lord and King.
Let darkness unto darkness tell
Our deep unspoken prayer,
For, while our souls in darkness dwell,
We know that Thou art there.
- Alfred Noyes. London Daily Mail

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Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she invites all men of all religions to enlist under her banner and to war against evil, ignorance and wrong.
– Albert Pike.

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Abraham Lincoln

IT is said that no Englishman understands American politics and that most of them are proud of their ignorance. However that may be, Lord Charnwood is an exception, as may be seen from his new "Life of Lincoln," which is the best biography of our prophet-President so far written in England. Joining a fine historical insight to a singularly lucid style, he portrays the background against which the tragedy of our Civil War must be studied; showing how far back the roots of schism ran in our history. This gives him opportunity to characterize the early leaders of the Republic, an art in which he is an adept, albeit we may not always agree with his estimates – as, for example, his too severe drawing of Jefferson. Still less can we subscribe to his rather low, if not biased, opinion of our Declaration of Independence.

Of Hamilton, whom Talleyrand ranked with Napoleon, he has a very high estimate; and Burr he describes as "an elegant profligate, with many graces but no public principle," – to which all would say Amen. Coming to the great debate that led up to the war, Lord Charnwood tells us that Webster must have been "nearly a great man; he was always passed over for the presidency." Calhoun he regards as the "embodied intellect of his time," but, alas, a man "who is undisturbed in his logical processes by good sense, healthy sentiment or any vigorous appetite for truth," – again a too austere verdict. He accepts the Wolseley estimate of Lee, as a man of majestic presence, of sweet and simple nature; "one of the few men who ever impressed me with their natural, their inherent greatness." So we might go on through a long list, accepting or rejecting one picture after another, each one etched with deftness and skill.

The great subject of the book is, of course, Lincoln, and barring a few minor errors as to his early life, it is a noble portrait, drawn with sympathy, insight, and warm appreciation, without idealization and without eulogy. Lincoln is presented to us as a real man, humble, modest, tender of heart, holding no bitterness, no hate, resisting the matchless generalship of Lee on one side, and on the other dealing with the rankest incompetency of leadership until Grant came to the rescue; struggling against adverse and counter-currents of feeling and events, lied about, defamed, ridiculed by men not worthy to touch his shoes – it is a great story, by whomsoever told, and here it is recited in a manner worthy of its nobility. If the reader will join with this biography the volume of "Personal Recollections of Lincoln," by Rankin, which ye editor edited last year, he will have an unforgetable picture of the man whom Lowell called "the First American."

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So many Brethren have asked about brief introductions to philosophy, that we venture to call attention to one entitled "Initiation into Philosophy," by Emile Faguet, of the French Academy, as one of the best of its kind. It is planned and written for the beginner, and is designed to satisfy the initial curiosity of young men as to what philosophy is, what it has to tell us about life, and what its uses are. As such, it is written in a very lucid and happy style, giving a rapid sketch of the history of philosophy from the time of Thales down to the last century, avoiding as far as possible technical language; giving the keynote of each school of thought, and the main lines followed by each great thinker. "Initiation into Literature," by the same author, does the same service for the rich and picturesque field of poetry, story and drama.

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The Green Mansions

One of the greatest living writers – now that Tolstoi is gone – is W.H. Hudson, albeit he is not widely known. Poet, naturalist, philosopher, magician, as a stylist he has few, if any, living equals. As a prophet of the great out-of-doors there is not another like him. Such stories as "The Green Mansions" and the "Purple Land" are books to read more than once, if one wishes to come very close to Mother nature in whose soft arms all must sleep at last. In proof of the spirit as well as the art of man, read this:

"The blue sky, the brown soil beneath, the grass, the trees, the animals, the wind, the rain, the stars are never strange to me; for I am in and of and one with them; and my flesh and the soil are one, and the heat in my blood and in the sunshine are one, and the winds and the tempests and my passions are one. I feel the strangeness only with regard to my fellow men, especially in towns, where they exist in conditions unnatural to me, but congenial to them. In such moments we sometimes feel kinship with, and are strangely drawn to the dead, who were not as these; the long, long dead, the men who knew not life in towns, and felt no strangeness in sun and wind and rain."

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Grand Lodge Library

The book to which we referred some time ago, "Treasures of the Grand Lodge of England," by Brother Dr. Hammond, is well along its way to completion, and will itself be a treasure, as we can testify after having examined some of the plates that are to go into it. There will be twelve pages of color illustrations, thirty-two pages of black and white plates, and a hundred pages of descriptive matter by Dr. Hammond, the Librarian. There will be two editions, one expensive and highly finished, and the other more popular – the prices have not been announced. It will no doubt find its way into Lodge libraries all over the land, as a kind of keepsake in celebration of the founding of the mother Grand Lodge.

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  • The Green Mansions, by Hudson. Alfred A. Knopf Co., New York. $1.50.
  • Initiation into Philosophy, by Faguet. G. P. Putnams Sons, New York. $1.25.
  • Those About Trench, by Lewis. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50
  • The New World, by Hugh Black. Revell Co., New York. $1.00
  • Philosophy, What is it? by Jovens. G. P. Putnams Sons, New York. $1.00.
  • Masonic Instructor, by Rabbi Eno Ytneves. Publisher not named
  • Aspects of the Infinite Mystery, by Gordon. Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston. $1.50.

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"GIVE US MEN" [A Poem]

Give us Men!
Men from every rank,
Fresh and free and frank;
Men of thought and reading,
Men of light and leading,
Men of loyal breeding,
The nation's welfare speeding;
Men of faith and not of fiction.
Men of lofty aim in action;
Give us Men – I say again,
Give us Men!

Give us Men!
Strong and Stalwart ones;
Men whom highest hope inspires,
Men whom purest honour fires,
Men who trample self beneath them,
Men who make their country wreath them
As her noble sons,
Worthy of their sires!
Men who never shame their mothers,
Men who never fail their brothers,
True, however false are others;
Give us men – I say again,
Give us Men!

Give us Men!
Men, who when the tempest gathers,
Grasp the standard of their fathers
In the thickest fight:
Men who strike for home and altar
(Let the crowd cringe and falter),
God defend the right!
True as truth, though lorn and lonely,
Tender, as the brave are only;
Men who tread where saints have trod,
Men for Country – Home – and God;
Give us Men – I say again – again -
Give us such Men!
By the Bishop of Exeter

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There dwelt, so runs the legend, brothers twain,
On Zion's hill long centuries ago.
Below them Jordan's green and fertile plain,
Against the cloudless blue gleamed Hermon's snow,
Westward rose Carmel's purple ridge, and fair
The vine-clad hills, the groves on either hand,
The emerald slopes begemmed with blossoms rare,
The distant glistening sea, the forests grand.

Content they toiled in mutual love and peace,
And being righteous, God upon them smiled,
And blessed their labour with a rich increase,
But unto Ephraim had given no child.
Submissively he saw his hope expire;
Sad oftentimes, yet questioning not God's ways,
Though Reuben's dwelling held his heart's desire,
A son, and daughters fair made glad his days.

Thus sped the years; then came a time of blight,
When labour of the fig and olive failed;
Nor ripening clusters hung on sun-kissed height,
And husbandmen their barren fields bewailed;
Empty the fold, no herd within the stall,
Famine and pestilence walked hand in hand;
Shrouded each home by sorrow's sombre pall,
And voice of mourning sounded through the land.

Each heart was saddened by the other's grief
When the brief toil of songless reapers done,
So scant the harvest, numbering every sheaf,
The sum sufficed not for the need of one;
And each took earnest counsel with his heart
When dawned the feast day set for prayer and praise,
How secretly, some cheer he might impart
To light the gloom of erstwhile joyous days.

Moonlight's soft splendour silvered wave and wood,
And Ephraim, deeming that his brother slept,
Arose and hastening, gained the hill where stood
The meagre, scattered shocks from mildew kept,
A sheaf uplifting from his scanty store
He sighed, "My brother, greater is thy need."
Then to the farther field his burden bore,
Nor dreamed that angels marked the kindly deed.

Reuben had waited also for the night,
And softly, silently, he took his way
Where gaunt and shrunken in the yellow light,
His ripened corn upon the hillside lay.
"Brother beloved," he said, "how rich am I
In ail thy lonely, loving heart doth crave,
Half of this treasure on thy field shall lie
Thou shalt rejoice and say the dear Lord gave."

Thrice had they passed each other in the night,
Intent upon their mission; morning came,
And still, O miracle, O wondrous sight,
The sum of tented sheaves was still the same !
The fourth time, lo! the feet of both were set
In the same path, where shadows interlaced,
And midway, silently, the brothers met,
Each understood, and weeping, they embraced.

And on this hallowed spot, fair Zion's hill,
Jerusalem was built, and to this day
The legend beautiful, the pilgrims tell
To travellers passing up the Holy Way.
Mrs. Otto N. Schulte Ward Place, South Orange, N. J.

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You must make the voyage with self alone
Into the beautiful realms of God,
Though it lead you afar and away from home
Into haunts that are seldom trod.
It is nature's plan, it is nature's call,
It is nature's way so true,
And you, the consciousness in it all
Must find what is TRUTH to you.

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Story Of Freemasonry

In the September issue of The Builder are several questions on a book called "The Story of Freemasonry." Where can I get that book and what is the price?
– H.H.H.

From Brother John H. Cowles, 16th and S Streets, N. W., Washington, D C. The price is fifty cents. You will find it an interesting little book.

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Ritual Of Ancient Egypt

Relative to the inquiry of G.R.D. as to the Ritual of Ancient Egypt, let me say that the "Book of the Dead" has been translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, and is published in three volumes, containing the Egyptian text and an English translation, with illustrations. "Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life," by the same author, is a popular little book with numerous extracts from the Book of the Dead.
– D.H.

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The First Idealist

For further information regarding Akhnaton, I would refer G. D. to "Tell el Amarne," by W. M. Flinders Petrie, who discovered the site of Akhnaton's capital which he built after he abandoned Thebes and Amun worship. This work, containing the results of Petrie's discoveries, illustrates and describes the short but brilliant period of mesopotamian influence on Egyptian art and religion. – D.H.

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Talmud And Vedas

I would call the attention of J. A. K. to a small volume entitled "Treasures of the Talmud," by Hershon, which consists of a series of subjects compiled from the Babylonian Talmud. A specimen of the Vedic Literature is to be found in "Rig-Veda," by F. Max Muller. – D.H.

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White And Black

Will you advise me through your pages, (1) What is the present approximate number of Freemasons in the United States? (2) What percent of them are white and what percent are coloured?
– O.E.H.

(1) There are, approximately, one million and a half Masons in the United States.
(2) The latest facts at hand – 1913 – regarding coloured Masons, estimates that they number 91,668; no doubt they may safely be reckoned at one hundred thousand by this time. From which it is easy to figure out the percent.

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Cleopatra's Needle

What were the Masonic emblems found under Cleopatra's Needle ? Are they illustrated anywhere?
- N.W.J.H.

See article in The Builder, Vol. 1, p. 18, by Brother Baird, discussing the emblems found under the Needle when it was moved from Egypt to New York; the article is illustrated. The emblems found were as follows: – A polished Cube of syenite, a perfect Ashlar; a polished Square; rough and irregular block of syenite – a rough Ashlar; axis stone with figures – like a trestleboard; a marked stone; hard lime stone with a trowel cemented to the surface; a lead plummet. For an elaborate account, see "Egyptian Obelisks," by H. H. Gorringe, who had charge of the removal of the Needle, and who includes in his volume full accounts of all obelisks brought from Egypt to Europe, their measurements, inscriptions, and the methods of their transportation.

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Physical Qualifications

I understand that after the Civil War, a few of the Grand Lodges permitted their subordinate Lodges to accept candidates for degrees that had been maimed during the war. (1) Will you please tell me what Grand Lodges did this, and if any of them are still allowing it. (2) Is there any jurisdiction where a man can enter, if he has lost an arm or a leg ?
– H.M.M.

(1) Such candidates might have been permitted to enter, though we do not recall any legislation to that end. If done at all it was doubtless by tacit understanding, not by formal law – that is, so far as we are aware. Perhaps some Members can furnish further facts. There was a time, along in the seventies, when Grand Lodges were rather lax on the subject, perhaps for the reason our Brother gives.
(2) There are jurisdictions in which a man may enter who has lost an arm or a leg – if he has an artificial limb which permits him formally to fulfil the requirements. We are soon to publish all the facts in the case, covering all the jurisdictions – and it will be an interesting revelation.

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Differences Of Ritual

(1) Is the York Rite and the American Rite for the three degrees one and the same ? And is it the Ancient Rite as worked now? (2) Is the ritual of Pennsylvania the same as the Canadian work ? (3) What are your views as to the correct work of the three degrees of Masonry ? I find there is a vast difference in the work here and the work I have been used to, and it sets a man thinking what is the correct work.
– G.M.T.

As we are soon to publish a brilliant lecture on this subject, it will be sufficient for the present to give very brief answers to these large questions: –
(1) There is no "ancient York Rite” now in existence, if by that is meant the work as known in York, England, from whence the name comes. Our American Rite is a modification of a work which has passed through many vicissitudes.
(2) There are no doubt as many differences between the Pennsylvania and Canadian work as between the Pennsylvania ritual and that of other jurisdictions in the United States. Pennsylvania adheres, we believe, to the work of the "Ancients" as it was before the union of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813.
(3) The best Masonic work is that which best conveys the spirit and truth of Masonry; the ritual which makes the truth Masonry was meant to teach at once most impressive and most luminous. Such differences as exist have to do with matters of detail – everywhere the fundamental principles are the same. So much, awaiting the lecture which will do much to the clear and set us right.

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Thomas Jefferson

Was Thomas Jefferson a Mason? Have just been looking over the October Builder, and on page 295 Brother Barry says of Washington's first cabinet, "all Masons but Jefferson." I confess that this rather jolted me, as the impression had always lurked in in my understanding that all but two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons – one of these two being a Catholic, and the other a Quaker. Clearly Jefferson was neither of these. Yet in the same issue, page 312, I am told that Jefferson was made a Mason in Paris. What is the truth? -

There is no proof, so far as we are aware, that Jefferson was ever made a Mason at any time or anywhere. He may have been made a Mason in Paris, but we asked to be shown. It serves no good purpose to claim as members of the Fraternity men of fame and historic importance – unless the facts are plain and unmistakable. Masonry does not need the patronage of great names, being great enough by virtue of its inherent beauty, its benignant spirit, and its service to humanity. If it can be established that Jefferson was a Mason, well and good – it would show that he was a man of discernment and good sense. It is the man, not the Order, who is honoured in such cases.

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Royal Arch Literature

Please let me know where I can procure a little book that would be particularly interesting to Royal Arch Masons.
/– J.P.K.
I am preparing an address on the Symbolism of the Keystone, and if you can render me any assistance I will appreciate it very much.
– G.E.P.

Unfortunately, the literature of the Chapter degrees, apart from history and ritual, is very meagre and unsatisfactory. Brother Waite – than whom there is no greater interpreter of symbolism now living – has promised to contribute some articles to The Builder on this subject, and they will be awaited with eager expectation. English and American interpretations of the Royal Arch are quite different, as we pointed out some time ago.3 Of course, we have the "Book of the Chapter," by Mackey; also "The Keystone," by Lawrence4; and the delightful essays of Brother G. W. Warvelle, Masonic Temple, Chicago – to name no others. What we need very much is a book of the right kind on the symbolism of the Chapter, after the manner of Mackey's book on the first three degrees. As for the Keystone, its symbolism is so obvious, so eloquent, that it ought to be easy to interpret.

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Negro Masonry

Would you be kind enough to throw more light on the origin of Negro Masonry; whether or not they originally worked under charter granted by some Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; whether or not they are supposed to have carried with them the regular work in all of the 33 degrees; and the connection, if any, of Prince Hall with regular Masonry.
– R.H.

These questions have been the occasion of heated debates in times past, and need not be revived for two reasons: first, because hardly a single new fact can be added to the masterly thesis of the late W. H. Upton on "Negro Masonry," which grew out of a report to the Grand Lodge of Washington regarding the rights and status of Negro Masons. Second, it would bring up once more the vexed questions of recognition, which, as the late Theodore Parvin said, is a question of taste, not of laws. See "History of Freemasonry Among Coloured People in America," by Grimshaw,5, also "Prince Hall and his Followers," by G. W. Crawford, The Crisis, 70 Fifth Ave., N. Y., especially the letter by Pike quoted on pp. 84-86. Our Brother will find his questions answered in these books, especially the first.

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The Bible In Masonry

Answering a Brother who asks for a list of Biblical allusions in the Masonic rituals, we have found the following; it may not be complete, but it will give him an interesting hour to look them up.

Psalm cxxxiii; Psalm cxviii:22; Ezekiel xliv:1-3-5; Matt. xxi:42; Mark vii:10; Acts iv:11; Rev. ii:17; Matt. xx:1-16; Psalm xxiv; Psalm cxxii; Chronicles vi, vii; Psalm xxiii; Isaiah xiii:16; Exodus iii:1-6; Chronicles xxxvi:11-20; Ezra i:1-3; Exodus iii:13-14; Psalm cxli; Psalm cxliii; Exodus iv:9; Haggai ii:1-9-23; Zachariah iv:6-10; Amos ix:11; Deuteronomy xxxi:24-26; Exodus xxv:21; Exodus xvi:23-24; Numbers xvii:10; Hebrews ix:25; Exodus vi:2-3; John i:1-5; Genesis xiv:12-24; Hebrews vii:1-6 17-20-1; 1st Kings vii:48-50; 1st Kings vii:40; 1st Kings vi:27; Rev. xxii:12-14; Psalm xv; Psalm lxxxvii; 1st Kings iv:1, 5, 6; 1st Kings v:17, 18;1st Kings vii:13-14- Ezekiel xxvii:9; Deuteronomy xxxi:24-26; Exodus xvi:33, 34; Numbers xvii:10; Numbers vii:89; Exodus xxv:40; Ezra iv; Nehemiah iv, v:1-20; Ezra v; Ezra vi, v:1-15; James iv:9-26-27; Matt. xxviv:14-25; Matt. xxviv:36-49; Matt. xxviiv:24-37; Acts iv:15-26; Acts xxxviiiv: 1-5; St. John xix, v:19; St. John xxv:24-28; Ephesians viv:10-17; John xxi.25-26; Psalms xii:1; Psalms xxxiv:17-22; Psalms xliv:6; Psalms xliv:15; Psalms lxxxviii:10-11; Psalms xc:9, 10, 12; Psalms ciii:14-17; I Cor. xv:51, 55; I Cor. xv:56, 57.

  • E.A. Degree – Amos vii:7, 8.
  • F.C. Degree – Ecclesiastes xii:1, 7.
  • M. M. Degree – Psalms civ:14; Amos vii:7, 8.

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Scottish Rite Philosophy

If you will permit me to ask you a few questions I will be very grateful. I would like to read Pike's "Morals and Dogma," but am unable to comprehend the more philosophical portions of it. What would you suggest as a preliminary course of reading – something in the way of a primer of philosophy. I am an ardent student of the Scottish Rite, and it seems to me that there is a message in it, but at times I wonder if there is. If you will answer these questions for me, it will help me much: – Is there a royal secret? What do you understand by the Holy Doctrine? Could it be supposed that there is any Masonic significance in the opening words of the Gospel of St. John ?
– L.S.G.

Thank you, Brother, for so frank a letter – many thousands of Masons would write the same kind of letters, if they were honest with themselves, or cared enough about the matter to bother to write at all. As for "Morals and Dogma," we have been saying of late that hardly any book is more in need of elucidation, and a more ill-arranged book we have seldom encountered. As it stands, it is more obscure than profound – as witness the fact that this Brother, like thousands of others, having received the degrees and studied the book, is uncertain whether there is a Royal Secret and a Holy Doctrine. Nor is it any lack of intelligence on his part. No; something is wrong with our method of teaching, and it is time that we took the matter in hand to devise a more successful – more sensible – way of setting forth the truth which the Scottish Rite has to teach. These words are written, not in a spirit of carping criticism, but by one who loves the Rite, believes in it with all his heart, and would fain do something to make it more efficient in teaching the wise and good and beautiful truth committed to its care. Just because that truth is so important, so emancipating, we must "get it across," 'to use the talk of the street, and make it inhabit the minds of our young men.

Now as to the letter:

  1. We have several times mentioned books for beginners in the study of philosophy, one of the best being "Philosophy, What is it?" by F.B. Jovens. (Putnam's Co., New York). Read this along with the lectures of Prof. Pound on "The Philosophy of Masonry," and you will see that the philosophy of Masonry is simply its nature, its reason for being, its uses to the individual and to society. As Kant said long ago, philosophy does not discover truth; it sets it in order, relates it to other truth, and shows its practical value for life. When we ask, What is Masonry? What is it for? How can we use it? we are dealing with the philosophy of it.
  2. Is there a Royal Secret? Indeed, yes; the royal secret of life every man possesses – all that Masonry can do is to make him aware of it and how to use it. The great secret of life, that which makes our thought valid, our faith firm, our hope sure and steadfast, what is it? What can it be, save the kinship of the soul with God? Let a man realize that fact – not as a vague theory regarding mankind in general, but in regard to himself – and how different this world is. It lights up like an aurora.
  3. What do we understand by the holy doctrine ? Why, we expounded it only an issue or so ago, describing it as the Doctrine of the Balance – concerning which we have received more letters of thanks than for anything we have ever written in these pages.
  4. Have the opening words of the Gospel of John a Masonic significance? Certainly; in that they tell of one Life in which the Lost Word was found in the only way in which it can ever be found on earth or in heaven. "The word was made flesh," – that is the whole of it; translating the truth into life and character! That is what Brother Waite means when he says, "From day to day we pronounce the Lost Word with our lips, but it remains lost until we utter it with our hearts."

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Uniform Work

Dear Sir and Brother: – Having read "The Builder" since its first edition, and appreciating your desire to keep its editorial matter accurate and reliable, I feel assured that you will welcome and accept any corrections that may be submitted by the brethren, after due examination and corroboration by yourself.

Referring to your valuable compiled table on standards of ritual, page 349, November, 1916, edition, I note that you list Louisiana among the States exemplifying "Uniform Work." In this, I can personally testify, you are in error, in that the Grand Lodge of Louisiana recognizes and approves two separate and distinct standards of ritual and work in its Jurisdiction; both what is known as the York Rite and the Scottish Rite rituals are authoritatively exemplified in New Orleans, and I have personally witnessed the conferring of the three symbolic degrees in Lodges of both Rites in that City.

The Lodges permitted to work under the Scottish Rite ritual are:

Union, No. 172, working in English.
Cervantes, No. 5, working in Spanish.
Perseverance, No. 4, working in French.
Dante, No. 174, working in Italian.
Polar Star, No. 1, working in French.
Germania, No. 46, working in German.

All of the above Lodges are chartered, regular Lodges, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Other Lodges in New Orleans work in the York Rite ritual. Both Rites are recognized by Chapter, Council, Commandery and Consistory.

I am further informed that Scottish Rite Lodges exist in New York, Wisconsin and California, under regular charters by the Grand Lodges, but personally I have not visited these Lodges, although frequently in those States when travelling. I declined invitations to visit the New Orleans foreign ritual Lodges for several years, thinking them clandestine, until reliably informed that these Lodges were all "regular," and satisfying myself of this fact by legal information. I would recommend all of my brethren to witness the Scottish Rite symbolic degrees at the first opportunity; assuring that all properly certified Master Masons will receive a Masonic welcome, brotherly hospitality and entertainment of unusual interest to all searchers after more light.
Sincerely and fraternally, Eugene T. Skinkle, 33d, Chicago

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Better Late Than Never

Dear Brother Editor: – Will you be so kind as to allow me a short space in your columns that I may defend myself from the blame thrown upon me by a careless brother?

The revival, if I am allowed to call it so, of the Cuban Masonry is a fact; with it came out a thorough literary spurt, and, taking Iowa as a model, a Masonic Manual is being written, inspiring our ideas in the already famous "The Builders" of your ever practical Grand Lodge. Together with it a valiant push was given to our Grand Lodge Library, several thousand volumes are already collected and the existing number of foreign proceedings and official publications carefully rearranged; on that account we came to the discovery of several missing volumes, among them Vol. I of the History of the Grand Lodge of Iowa.

A few lines to the most obliging Grand Secretary, Bro. Parvin, brought the precious work and with it a surprise: the erudite Masonic scholar Joseph E. Morcombe, author of the volume, had done Cuba the great honour of mentioning her in it, but unhappily in doing so he was wilfully deceived by the carelessness of a brother Mason.

In page 48 of the said volume, Bro. Morcombe inserts a paragraph from the correspondence report of North Dakota for 1903, which is intended to be a translation from a part of a previous Masonic Chart published by the undersigned in the Proceedings of Cuba for the year 1900, inserting subsequently the commentaries to it from the Brother correspondent of South Dakota. Unhappily neither of the correspondents are Spanish scholars and the victim of all this has been the over-confident Bro. Morcombe, who in a moment of unmasonic wrath galled me, in the History, inaccurate and as showing an exhibition of ignorance. If Bro. Morcombe should ever glance at these lines I am sure that he will repent of his insinuation, thrown upon me many years ago, but from which I could not before extricate myself, as his excellent History only reached me a few days hence.

So runs the paragraph origin of this digression: "We find a Masonic pedigree, taken from the annual of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, showing the introduction of Masonry into the world. England is given as the root, and the date of its establishment as June 24, 1717. Tracing the paternity of our own Grand Lodge of North Dakota, we find that England chartered Pennsylvania in 1730; Pennsylvania chartered Missouri in 1807; from Missouri sprang Iowa, 1840, and from Iowa, Dakota, in 1862."

South Dakota intends to correct the above, as to the English derivation of Masonry, accepting the theory of the Scotch "Grand Mother Lodge Kilwinning" and, in what refers to the establishment of Missouri, whether it was done by Pennsylvania or Tennessee. Brother Morcombe, remembering the late Bro. Robbins (of Illinois) read the paragraph and probably said: "Masonry that does not speak English is no Masonry at all," and gave full credit to North Dakota, without ever giving a hearing to the modest Latin Mason to whom was ascribed so tremendous misconception, or ever trying to verify the alleged translation, since neither of the Dakota correspondents were Spanish scholars; but in doing so he failed, carrying into partnership the innocent Grand Lodge of Iowa that paid for the History.

I did not say any such a thing as has been gratuitously ascribed to me, it is a question of Light not of Right or less of Might. Had the brethren read the note, inserted in large type at the foot of the chart, no chance for the flogging or ever for this correction were necessary. What I mentioned and the data given is intended for, is the origin of the pioneer or first lodge in which Masonic light shone in all countries. As you can see, this is a very different matter and explains readily why Pennsylvania is referred to. Is it true or not that Pennsylvania chartered Louisiana Lodge, at St. Genevieve, Mo.? Is it true or not that the said Lodge, whether formed by French traders or not, or whether it had to surrender its charter soon afterwards, was the first regular lodge in Missouri? Is it true that Louisiana Lodge was chartered in 1807? If so, as nobody can question, I am right, perfectly right, in my assertions, the same with Missouri as with all the Grand Lodges mentioned.

If we remember, regarding the American doctrine, that any Grand Lodge can charter lodges in an unoccupied territory, having therefore concurrent jurisdiction in it with all other regular Grand Lodges, how can it be possible to trace a genealogical tree when many parents are to be accorded to an offspring? If any of the Dakota correspondents can do that they will perform a marvel, as no human being can accomplish such a thing. It is also true that all the persons connected with this incident in the States did not take the trouble to verify the data appended; had they done so they could have arrived to the conclusion that either they were wrong or I had to be sent to a mad house.

More yet, how can any Mason say that a Grand Lodge can charter another Grand Lodge ? We, Cuban Masons, novel as we are, cannot commit such a blunder; remember St. Paul and believe that Charity is the greatest of all virtues, and that is what I claim for me in this case.

Hoping that you will consider mine a just cause, and, though convinced, as I am, that among my people many Sancho Panzas can be found, D. Quixote is to be met with not only among Spaniards but among other people also; Cervantes and Shakespeare were undoubtedly very bright stars in the XVI century, no wonder they both died together.

Thanking you for this great favour I am sincerely and fraternally yours,
F. de P. Rodriguez, Cuba

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The Secret, Unanimous Ballot

(The following letter is so interesting, so valuable, that we venture to give it to the Craft without permission of the Brethren between whom it passed; trusting two noble hearts to forgive us a seeming disregard for the emenities. If they do not grant us pardon, well, we promise never to do so again – until another letter of equal interest and importance comes our way. Brethren had better have a care about writing such instructive letters and letting them pass through this office; for they will most certainly be waylaid – for which we have the example of the British Government.)

Dear Brother: – You may recall that I once wrote you that I would like to give you my real reasons for thinking that Brother Pitt's position on "The Secret, Unanimous Ballot" was entirely wrong and unsupported by facts – that in what I had said previously, I had not gone below the surface. I will epitomize my views as follows:

  1. The history of the Craft, during the first century of its existence, has been incorrectly written and only in recent times have the true conditions been brought out.
  2. The Premier Grand Lodge of 1717 was responsible, subsequently, for many alterations and variations in the work and practice.
  3. The Grand Lodge of Ireland preserved and continued the ancient working.
  4. The Ancient Grand Lodge of 1751 also practised the ancient work and had the hearty support and sympathy of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
  5. The Ancient Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge of Ireland, had a predominant influence in the American Colonies, and the work, as practised in the United States is closer to the work of 1717-23 than that practised in England today. From which I am convinced that instead of "The Secret, Unanimous Ballot" being an American innovation, the shoe is on the other foot and the Mother Grand Lodge is guilty of the innovation.

With these premises enunciated I will enlarge on them, only remarking here that I will not burden this with references, but every quotation that I shall make is at my hand and can be verified by volume, number and page.

Until comparatively recent time all we knew of the history of the Craft was gathered from the works of Anderson, Preston, Kloss, Findel, Rebold and Oliver, who all followed, more or less closely, in the path marked out by Anderson. Then arose a school of writers, such as Gould, Hughan, Lane, Woodford, Speth, Sadler, Conder and some others who, with infinite patience and a vast amount of skill, separated legends from facts and gave to the Fraternity a knowledge of Freemasonry that proved of rare fascination and a solid groundwork on which to base further studies.

As bearing on the subject under enquiry I would give Brother Chetwode Crawley the first place, (with Brother Sadler as a strong second), and, looking at the changes that were made by the Premier Grand Lodge the best critic we have, as being free to note such changes, without fear of consequences.

From my reading I am convinced that many changes were made in the work by the Premier Grand Lodge; that these changes were primarily responsible for the formation of the Ancient Grand Lodge; that the original work and ancient usages, as practised 1717-23, were preserved by the Grand Lodge of Ireland and later, by the Ancient Grand Lodge who, avowedly, practised "Irish" Masonry.

As throwing a side light on "Irish" Masonry it is of interest to note that during the 17th and early part of the 18th centuries, Dublin was as much an English city as any city in England itself. The customs and manners were essentially English and entirely distinct from the rest of Ireland. When the Grand Lodge of Dublin was formed, it was the counterpart of the one in London; the "Constitution" of 1723 were adopted and reprinted as Irish Constitutions; the same Brother served as Grand Master in London and later, in Dublin. Brother Crawley says:

"As far as our researches have conducted us, no difference has been observed between the systems of Freemasonry practised in England and Ireland before the year 1730… after that year, the case begins to change."

In 1730, when Prichard's "Masonry Dissected" was published, it was adopted as the basis of the Irish ritual. As bearing on the authenticity of Prichard's work, two points are to be noted. First, certain words and names were (admittedly) transposed by the Premier Grand Lodge, to detect those seeking to gain admission by posting up on Prichard's work. Second, some few years ago, while seeking to obtain a copy of "Masonry Dissected," and having despaired of success, I wrote a Brother in England asking if he would send me a written copy of the one in his possession. His reply was, "his E. A. obligation prevented him from complying with my request." As the Brother referred to is one of the leading Masonic scholars of the day, and had favoured me greatly before and since, I drew my own conclusions, which were verified when I was so fortunate as to secure a copy of the book itself.

But the Irish preferred to follow the original work and have continued to do so to the present time; it was this fact that led me to use the words at the conclusion of my first article – to the Lodges holding under the Irish Constitution must we go today, for the purest Ancient Craft Masonry.

During the stormy times, 1722-1723, in London, the Premier Grand Lodge was the prey of the Stuart and Jacobite factions, each seeking to gain control in the hope and expectation of using it in furtherance of their own political ends, and to the storm and stress of that period may safely be assigned the causes for that departure from Regulation VI, referring to the rule for admission into the Society. The Irish Constitutions of 1730 reprints Regulation VI, from Anderson's Constitutions of 1723 verbatim, and while that of 1741 is a duplicate of the "New Book of Constitutions" of 1738, the practice, as far as "unanimous consent" is concerned, has never varied.

Another point that deserves attention is, that the work in Ireland has never been written or printed, but is passed (literally) from mouth to ear. Brother Crawley says he is "the accredited exponent of our Irish Ritual; the Ritual that served the Ancients as a standard and never was committed to writing. In the next place, that Ritual has been passed on to me by brethren who learned their lesson from the lips of the leaders of the Ancients of the last (18th) century."

From my reading I am thoroughly convinced that Masonry, as practised in Ireland today, is nearest to the Masonry as practised just prior and subsequent to 1717, without entering into the question of degrees. Is it not a fair inference that where the esoteric work has been so carefully preserved, that the customs would have been preserved in like manner.

Just a word as to innovations. Gould says: "The book (Constitutions of 1723) introduces three striking innovations. It discards Christianity as the (only) religion of Masonry, forbids the working of the Master's part in private Lodges, and arbitrarily imposes on the English Craft the use of two compound words – Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft – which had no previous existence in its terminology. Against these deviations the brethren rebelled."

If Article VI of the Old Regulations, had been an innovation, I think it would have been included in the above paragraph.

All this as leading up to one point; that during the latter half of the 18th century, the influence of the "ancients," with its ritual and usages, largely predominated in the American colonies; then there was the influence of the Irish Military Lodges to be taken into consideration, together with the intimate connection existing between the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, all stamping Masonry in this country as being very distinct from that practised in England by the Modern Grand Lodge. Politically, the "Ancients" were more in sympathy with the Colonies in their struggle for independence, than were the Moderns. This also would have its effect when the Fraternity threw off its allegiance – Masonic – to the Mother country. As stated by Brother Crawley:

"It is hardly too much to say that towards the close of the last (18th) century the Grand Lodge of Moderns stood isolated among English-speaking Grand Lodges. Even in the Colonies, where it had been first to plant Lodges, the more democratic organization of the Ancients, aided by the ubiquitous Military Lodges, in which Ireland had such a preponderance, rapidly and surely won its way to acceptance. It has been generally found more convenient to ignore this isolation than to accept the conclusions that must be drawn from it."

Just a few words more and I will close. There is a point that has great weight with me, though it may not appeal so forcibly to others. When Anderson wrote the New Book of Constitutions, of 1738, 15 years had elapsed since he compiled the one of 1723. Prior to that year, no minutes had been kept of Grand Lodge Transactions, and subsequently, but the barest skeleton.

Among English commentators I find the disposition to be very chary of accepting the statements contained in the New Book. No one knows the influences brought to bear on him in his later task, but we do know that changes crept in and in the years, became established usages in the Premier Grand Lodge until 1813 – the year of the Union – when they practically surrendered everything to the Ancients – the plurality of black balls being one of the few usages they saved. Brother Gould uses some very strong language in referring to Anderson's work in the Constitutions of 1738, rather evading the question of veracity by an implication of imbecility, owing to his declining years.
Fraternally submitted, W.B.S.

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The Fame Of The Craft

(The following editorial from the Kansas City Journal, entitled "A Significant Departure," speaks for itself and also for the good name of the Craft, giving due praise to our Brethren in Georgia for their noble work. It is a pleasure to reproduce it, because the praise is so richly deserved, and, further, because we agree with the wise man who said that "no good thing can be praised enough.")

A recent issue of The Builder, a Masonic publication, gives the details of an interesting and significant extension of the fundamental principles of the Masonic order to include all mankind, emphasizing the brotherhood of man, upon which all the great fraternal orders are based. The Scottish Rite bodies of Georgia have recently located at Atlanta the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children, which is asserted to be the first institution of its kind established by any of the large fraternal orders for the benefit of all who need its services, regardless of fraternal affiliations and exclusively philanthropic in its operation.

As its name implies, it is solely for the cure of crippled children, but no questions of the religious convictions of their parents, or of fraternal connection are asked. No payment is accepted for the services rendered which are along the lines of Kansas City's Mercy hospital. The only considerations are the curability of the little patient and the inability of the parent to pay for surgical and hospital treatment. The best physicians in the South are included in the faculty and The Builder gives many touching instances of remarkable cures already effected.

The project is intensely interesting on its merits, challenging the sympathy of all who want to see the mournful sum of human pain reduced – and particularly those who pity the sufferings of little children. But it is especially significant because it represents a wide departure from the principles and policies of most of the great fraternal and religious bodies – especially the former. Institutions of this sort are maintained by many of the great orders and ecclesiastical denominations throughout the country. All of these do an immense amount of good within the special scope of their membership. There are Masonic and Odd Fellow and Pythian and Woodcraft homes; many of the big crafts have national institutions where aged and dependent members may spend their last days in comfort. There are Catholic and Protestant and Jewish homes and hospitals and retreats and though it is not to be understood that lines are too rigidly drawn, yet some name is inscribed above the portal of most or all of these institutions. These orders and denominations spend in the aggregate tens of millions of dollars, primarily for the relief of members, but the doors of many of these homes and hospitals swing wide for the sufferer or dependent who is not bound to the order or to the church by fraternal or denominational ties. The Scottish Rite experiment in Georgia is, for all that, a pioneer in what is may be hoped will be a movement more generally adopted which, while taking special care for "them of the household of religious or fraternal faith," will nevertheless seize the opportunity to teach the great truth, broader than any order or any denomination, that God is the father of all and that every man is not only the brother of every other man but is his keeper as well. The Scottish Rite bodies of Georgia have reflected immense credit upon themselves and upon the order they represent in blazing the way in which it is hoped many other feet will walk.

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The Grammar rules instruct the tongue and pen;
Rhetoric teaches eloquence to men;
By Logic we are taught to reason well;
Music has charms beyond our power to tell.
The use of numbers numberless we find;
Geometry gave measure to mankind;
The Heavenly System elevates the mind.
All these, and many secrets more,
The MASONS taught in days of yore.

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