The Builder Magazine

January 1917 – Volume III – Number 1


Part 2

Continued from Part 1

xx. Next Month: February 1917
Previous Month: December 1916www General Index


Democracy is not a mere phrase. It is a spirit, a religion. It is that faith in the excellence of human beings which makes life worth living. It finds that excellence in inclusiveness. It is different from any other and all other religions. It has its root in a kind relation to God because it has a kind relation to man. It is more than liberty, equality and fraternity. It is the thing Lincoln had. It is the thing Whitman had.
– Francis Hackett.

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By Bro. J. Angus Gillis, Okla

In the beginning I wish to say that in this article there is nothing original. In some instances I have used quotation marks and at times give full credit when I have copied verbatim what I have read if at the time I remember who made the original remarks, but the assembling of facts and arrangement of arguments may be of some value to the Craft.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, claims to have conferred both the Royal and Select Master's degrees at Charleston, S.C., in 1783, which was certified from Berlin, Prussia; but Josiah H. Drummond investigated and found that the ritual was not authentic, for while they claimed the Supreme Council as the governing body, the Supreme Council did not exist until 1801. The records show that in 1802 to 1807 the Inspectors General conferred fifty-five different degrees, but the Council degrees were not named among them.

The Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction, claimed that the Royal and Select Master's degrees were conferred in the lodge of Perfection in New York by Andrew Franken who received his authority from Stephen Morin, of Jamaica, Deputy Inspector General, and that Morin was empowered to propagate the rite in the new world by the Emperors of the East and the West in France; but there is no evidence to substantiate the claim.

Philip P. Eckles and Hezekiah Niles received the degree of Select Master in 1792, at Baltimore, from Henry Wiemans, Grand Inspector General; but there is no record of when, where, or from whom Wiemans received it. Eckles and Niles conferred it on Jeremy L. Cross in 1807, and Cross conferred it on a great many Royal Arch Masons in the North, South and Western parts of the then United States; and in 1818 he received the Select Master's degree and united it with the Select Mason's of 27, now the Select Master's degree. To Jeremy L. Cross, therefore, are we indebted for uniting these two degrees and forming the Cryptic Rite; and even if it was from a mercenary motive for disseminating them more assiduously than any one else, until they became independent in their governmental relations to the other branches of the American system, it was a real service to the Order.

The origin of all Masonic degrees is unknown; in fact, the Holy Bible, the Great Light of Freemasonry, gives an account of everything that we know. Our knowledge otherwise ;s limited, mystic, unauthentic, denied by some and averred by others. No one can go back with steady steps through the dark, winding, and sometimes obliterated pathways of the past, to the time or birthplace of Masonry.

In discussing the origin of the different Masonic degrees, Frederick Speed said: "One myth after another has vanished into thin air, until we do not hesitate to aver in writing, that, with scarcely an exception, the ritual of every Masonic degree now produced in these United States, originated, or was elaborated, since the American revolution, and by Americans; but that the admission of this fact does not in the least degree detract from the dignity, high character, or claim to an ancient origin of the institution itself."

All Masonic students admit that the origin of the Cryptic degrees are in doubt, just as are the origin of the Symbolic and Capitular degrees; and while there seems to be no doubt but what the Scottish Rite first conferred them as detached or side degrees, there is the same proof that the Royal Arch degree was conferred by the Inspectors General the same way, and under the same conditions, until each branch became self supporting, or expressed a desire to be controlled or under the jurisdiction of State Grand Chapters and Councils. While in each branch or rite in the American system there is an interdependency for application for membership, both by affiliation and by receiving the degrees, the system lacks one link of being complete, because of its numerical place (except in the Virginias), as the Commandery organization does not protect the Council as is done in all the other branches of the system.

For example, the pre-requisite to apply for the E. A. degree is to be a man of lawful age, etc.; for the F. C. is to have been an E.A. for a proper length of time; for a M. M. is to have been a F. C. a proper length of time. As a member of a Symbolic lodge, he may apply for the Capitular degrees, and as a member of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons he may apply for the Cryptic degrees; or he may skip this link in the series of allegories of Ancient Craft Masonry and apply to the Commandery for the Chivalric Orders – the summit of teaching in the American system of Freemasonry.

Thus, each degree is a pre-requisite to the succeeding degree, and each branch is a pre-requisite to the succeeding branch. Each is supported from below and protected from above, (except the Council), and if the amendment to Sec. 113 of the Constitution of the Grand Encampment is adopted, the accepted scheme of Masonic support and protection will be carried out in full.

Masonry is a progressive science consisting of a series of degrees, and as practiced in the American system is divided into branches, or rites, which, when taken together, form the complete American system of Freemasonry.

Albert Gallatin Mackey said: "I learned from the experience of my early Masonic life, that the character of the institution was elevated in every one's opinion, just in proportion to the amount of knowledge that he had acquired of its symbolism, philosophy and history." This is why Masonry means something different to each individual. Some think it is simply a "club of good fellows," while to others it is a "system of morals, or even pure religion," according to their foundation of character, educational and intellectual attainments, previous instructions, etc.; as is evidenced by the superficial and selfish views of some who see only the part that suits their narrow purposes, or the deep reverence and wide humanitarian outlook of others; and the difference becomes greater the more difference there is in their preliminary Masonic instructions.

It is a pleasure to gather together the scattered legends of Freemasonry, each different, but deftly built together so that their symmetry as a whole develops the great TRUTH. The Cryptic degrees are so closely connected with the degrees of the other branches of the American system, their beauty and utility is unquestioned; their logical necessity is recognized by all Masonic students. They are thoroughly established and organizations are maintained in almost every Jurisdiction in the United States; and no one will claim to have completed the studies of Ancient Craft Masonry who has not received the Cryptic degrees. This being so, we do not treat the applicant for further Masonic light justly when we allow him to skip these links that are explanatory of the 3rd and 7th degrees.

This logically brings to mind the question of prerequisition of the Council degrees for the Commandery Orders, which has been before the Grand Encampment for the last three years, and which is to be adopted or rejected at the Triennial Conclave in Philadelphia in October, 1919.

There is no good reason why this legislation should not be adopted; for if Cryptic Masonry is good – and it is or organizations would not be maintained – it should have the same protection that is accorded the other branches of Masonry. This argument of one's own free will and accord will not stand against the acid test of enlightened reason, and the fact of compulsion practised in all other degrees and branches comprising the American system of Freemasonry. The Cryptic rite is universally recognized and accepted as a component part of the American system, and a legitimate and necessary branch to complete Ancient Craft Masonry; herefore the Commandery should willingly require knowledge of all preceding degrees, Symbolic, Capitular and Cryptic, in order to maintain with dignity and impartial justice its position at the head of the system.

Cryptic Masonry is the top of Ancient Craft Masonry; Templary is the top of the American system of Freemasonry; and it is beyond dispute that it was the intention of the original organizers of Templary in America to make all Masonic degrees pre-requisite to the Commandery Orders, for each degree known at that time was specifically mentioned. The accepted scheme of Masonic support and protection should be carried out full. A Templar should receive all the information contained in the system; not be a half or two-thirds, but a complete Mason.

If a brother is satisfied with his Masonic knowledge and fraternal associations after taking the Symbolic degrees, well and good; if a Companion is satisfied after taking the Capitular degrees, it is also well; but if he then desires to take the Chivalric Orders for the satisfaction of being a Templar, or in order to be eligible to take the Shrine, he should also be required to take the Cryptic degrees. Each applicant should have the same Masonic preliminary teaching, receive the same lessons, learn the same allegories, and miss none of the links; for if so, it will be a handicap in accomplishment in proportion to the educational attainments along other lines. For, "He who has the key to any science will interpret the whole according to the light he possesses," and the efficiency of the membership will be marred according to the number missing a part of the legends.

The claim that this legislation, if adopted, would be the death knell of Templary in some Jurisdictions, is proven not to be a fact from the rule and practice in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Ohio, and in many of the large subordinate Commanderies; and as the law in some Jurisdictions compels an applicant for the Capitular degrees to apply and pay for the Cryptic degrees at the same time, experience wholly disproves that the additional fee, time required, or association as Cryptic Masons, deleteriously affects Templary; e. g. investigate conditions in Texas and South Carolina.

In every walk and vocation and in every effort of life we must advance or retrograde. Accomplishment is effected by individual or collective effort, and so-called Independent Jurisdictions must decide whether they can accomplish the most independently or collectively. We must all admit that visits and fraternal exchange of idea is an aid to accomplishment, and having this end in view the National Masonic bodies have been organized. The General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council, and the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America are working (in a broad sense) harmoniously together towards the hope of accomplishing many great things which are in the heart of every true Mason; and the question of affiliation of the so-called Independent Jurisdictions with the National bodies is whether more good can be accomplished alone or by working in concert with a large majority of the other Jurisdictions of the United States.

This last phase of the question some may say has nothing to do with pre-requisition, but I think it has, for – "in union there is strength" and every division means a less concerted effort which is a detriment to accomplishment.

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I think there is some reason for questioning whether the body and mind are not so proportioned, that the one can bear all which can be inflicted on the other; whether virtue cannot stand its ground as long as life, and whether a soul well principled will not sooner die than be subdued.
– Samuel Johnson.

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Arranged by Bro. C. G. Emrich, Past Deputy Grand Lecturer of Ohio.

Brother, I am about to present you with the lambskin, which is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honourable than the Star and Garter, or any other order. And from a time whence the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, this emblem, plain and unadorned; has been the peculiar clothing of all Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. The citizen toiling in humble poverty and the prince commanding the resources of empires, have alike worn it in the consciousness that it has lightened the labour of the one and added dignity to the power of the other. It may be that you are or yet will be so firmly entrenched in the confidence of your fellow men, or so deserve their gratitude, that they will elevate you to the highest position of honour, trust and emolument and cause your name to be inscribed high upon the pillar of worldly fame. But never before have you had, and never again, my brother, will you have a higher mark of favour and confidence bestowed upon you than this, which I, as the representative of these brothers and of the craft throughout the world, am now about to bestow – this emblem which King Solomon wore when arrayed in all his glory; which invested with additional dignity other kings, princes, and rulers, and which has been eagerly sought and worthily worn by the best men of your generation, I now with pleasure present to you. Its spotless white is emblematic of that purity of heart and uprightness of personal manhood which we expect and sincerely hope will hereafter distinguish the conduct of all your worldly affairs. This emblem is yours to wear, we hope, with pleasure to yourself and honour to the fraternity. If you disgrace it, the disgrace will be augmented by the consciousness that you have, in this lodge, been taught the principles of a correct and moral life. It is yours to wear as a Mason, so long as the "vital spark" shall animate your mortal frame; and when at last, whether in manhood or old age, your spirit shall have winged its flight to that "house not made with hands"; when amid the tears and sorrow of surviving relatives and friends, and by the hands of sympathizing brother Masons your body shall be lowered to the confines of that narrow house appointed for all living, it will still be yours – to be placed with the evergreen upon the coffin that shall enclose your remains, and with them laid in the windowless palace of rest. My brother, may you so wear this emblem of spotless white that no act of yours shall ever stain its purity or cast reflection upon this ancient and honourable institution, which has outlived the dynasties of kings and the mutations of empires. May you so wear it and "so live that when your summons comes to join the innumerable caravan which moves to that mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death," that you may "go, not like the quarry slave at night, scourged to his dungeon, but soothed and sustained by an unalterable trust, approach thy grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams."

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The white leather apron is more ancient by far
Than the eagles of Rome, a symbol of war,
Or the fleece of pure gold, by emperors given,
A rich decoration for which many have striven.
The Garter of England, an Order most rare,
Although highly prized, can not with it compare;
It is an emblem of innocence, symboled in white,
And purity ever brings the greatest delight;
With pure thoughts and actions, how happy the life,
How care-free the conscience, unclouded by strife!

No Potentate ever can upon us bestow
An honour so great as this apron doth show;
No king on his throne in his highest estate
Can give us an emblem so cherished or great;
'Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear
Than the gold of the mine, or the diamond most rare.
So here's to the lambskin, the apron of white,
That lifts up all equals and all doth unite,
In the Order so ancient that man can not say
When its teachings began or name its birthday.

Since its birth, nations young have gone to their tomb,
And cities once great turned to ashes and gloom;
Earth's greatest achievements have long passed away,
And peoples have risen and gone to decay.
Outliving all these, never changing with time,
Are the principles taught in our Order sublime.
And now, my good brother, this apron's for you,
May you worthily wear it and ever be true
To the vows you have made, to the lessons most grand;
For these, home and country, we ever will stand.
– D. W. Clements.

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God, though this life is but a wraith,
Although we know not what we use,
Although we grope with little faith
Give me the heart to fight and lose.
Ever insurgent let me be.
Make me more daring than devout,
From sleek contentment keep me free,
And fill me with a buoyant doubt.
Open my eyes to visions girt
With Beauty, and with wonder lit –
But let me always see the dirt
And all that spawn and die in it.
Open my ears to music; let
Me thrill with Spring's first flutes and drums, –
But never let me dare forget
The bitter ballads of the slums.
From compromise and things half done
Keep me with stern and stubborn pride
And when, at last, the fight is won,
God, keep me still unsatisfied.
- Louis Untermeyer.

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By Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa

IT is the mission of our fraternity to make sweet reason and brotherhood prevail. But Brotherhood! It is a world in itself as wide as it is ancient which breaks through our definitions and overflows our best ideals. Never was it more talked about than now when it seems like an angel troubling our Bethesda pools to a new sense of its inevitability and never has it haunted us so much as in this hour, though war seems to make a red mockery of it.

Until two years ago the signs of the time seemed to indicate that at last after all the weary ages of waiting the Kingdom of Brotherhood was at hand. Industry was busy plaiting a web about the earth: throwing out its thrumming wires, sending its ships like bobbins to and fro, catching up trains and caravans as shuttles to its hands, weaving the whole world of men into a web of mutual interest and trust. Science toiled quietly at the same task and enticed the hidden forces in ray and wave to serve the wants of men, the while its sister, literature, carefully built its republic of letters in which was neither free nor bond, Jew nor Gentile; Democracy went about to cast its leaven under the throne of kings, and Socialists dreamed their dream of a United States of the World. Meanwhile the church's missionary enterprise went out to bind up the ends of the world into the kingdoms of our God in which the race's littlest people might find a place in the everlasting sun.

Then, on a fateful day, a young Serbian high school student fired a shot the echoes of which are still heard round the world.

It was as if some shaggy creature from Dante's pit had crawled out and swept all this fine work away with one sweep of its paw. The instruments of fraternity underwent a change like the transformation in some horrible dream phantasm when the most familiar objects suddenly loom in terrifying aspect. Clouds of battle smoke drifted over the lands like hell's mirages making our nearest neighbours to look like demons. Industry was impressed into the service of shot and shell. Science went over to the side of Satan. Socialists shot each other down from opposing trenches. Philosophers and poets mobilized for the warfare of hate. Rival churches prayed from the one God the boons of victory. The whole fair web of amity was rent in twain from top to bottom and our hearts turned sick within us to the realization that John Ball spoke the sober truth when he said, "Brotherhood is heaven; the lack of brotherhood is hell."

But, after all, is not the lack of brotherhood an old, old thing? The war has not created a new problem but has only served to cast an ancient problem into bolder relief. Human charity under the sun was as rare when Abraham tended his flocks as now, and rarer. Who cannot testify to the shock of disillusionment when he discovered the gray character of men to be so different from the generous estimates of early enthusiasm? When the appearances of fraternity were so much more favourable it was still true that deep weariness and sated lust made human life something like a hell, and that men were too much given to retaliation and distrust.

Has not this always been the problem of the lodge room? What the war has brought us a white focus has always existed there, though not always clamant. In that sacred rectangle with the light from the East across it men have been subjected to influences constantly appealing to the better angels of their nature. Ancient ritualists have played upon them with the soft insistence of a prayer and appealed to them as only the truth can when throbbing with the submerged rhythms of a divine poetry. The very atmosphere, as we have all felt, has been drained of all save these fine appeals and silence, which is finer than all; and a vigilant watchman has been at the gate guarding us against the enemies of love.

But one thing has ever slipped past the tyler, – our scarred and twisted human nature. The heart of man is desperately wicked and full of deceit, and never more unmasked in its wickedness than in the circle of which the Great Light of Masonry is the centre. Slander, envy, pride, vanity, self ambition, cunning, gossip and silent, vicious innuendos have crept in and always will creep in while man is man. The lair of anti-brotherhood lies not in outward things but in the heart; it is the shadow cast by our unredeemed nature. Armaments do not create it, they merely give it vent. We have learned war for so many ages, national war and personal war, it has become a part of our very substance, so that our minds are warped permanently into the ways of strife.

All this is but to say that brotherhood itself is a problem. If we hold our hopes in check and do not let our wishes create illusions, we shall all see that fraternity cannot come by any easy incantation. We want that men shall deal with each other as if the whole race were one family, as indeed it is, albeit so many of us have not yet made the discovery. This is the temple we would build. But what imperfect ashlars we men are! To use William Hawley Smith's vivid phrase, each of us is in some vital direction "born short." We are twisted and gnarled, selfish and vain, conceited and stubborn, determined to have our own way and jealous of our comfort, ready on slight provocation to say or do the thing that will wound a brother's heart.

Is this an overstatement of the case? While this war thunders about the world one could hardly exaggerate this matter. I have stated the matter as vigorously as possible in order that we may all the more be led to realize the divine potency of that power which, in spite of wars and rumours and wars and the opposition of human perversity, will yet prove itself able to send up the shining spires of the temple not made with hands.

Whence can come an illumination able to dispel such darkness? I believe it can come from no other place than from that Great Light which lies unfolded on the altar at the center of the lodge. Two brief sentences, like twin suns, lie close upon its pages. Let me recall them and then let me endeavour to show how in them lies the principle which alone is capable of coping with the enemies of brotherhood.

"Return good for evil." "Love your enemies."

Each of these utterances, on which hang all the law and the prophets, is a wholesale condemnation of the method of retaliation. The one great condemnation of retaliation is not that it violates some abstract theory of morals, but that it will not work. And that is what amazes me about so many hard headed men who pride themselves on being "practical," and who have so much undoubted vigour and good sense! In business these men have submitted every detail to the acid test of workability, creating thereby the new science of efficiency, yet in so obvious a transaction as returning evil for evil their sense of the practical seems to forsake them. They go on returning evil for evil all the days of their life, as if in obedience to some hard and fast law of nature entirely oblivious to the results; indeed seeming never to examine results at all.

What these results are every child can discover if he will. When one returns evil for evil, the world is so made that the only result possible is the increase of evil. If I return a lie for a lie, I add one more liar to the world. If I return slander for slander, two serpent's tongues are hissing where only one hissed before. If I cheat the man who cheated me, the world contains one more thief. The spirit of evil is as much in the other man as before; perhaps, as a result of my own opposition, resentment has been aroused and he grows worse instead of better. The net result of my retaliation is simply this, the amount of evil in the world has been increased by it.

Is that success? Does that work? Is such a method, by any conceivable jugglery of words, to be described as practicable? If the object in our dealing with evil is to destroy evil, retaliation manifestly is not practicable, because it defeats its own object. If one cares to see this visually demonstrated, let him step into one of the old-fashioned penitentiaries where the prisoner is exposed to the vengeance of society. Society returns evil for evil, with the result that the criminal is made more of a criminal than before, so that retaliation transforms the very means of reformation into a school of crime.

If the condemnation of the method of retaliation is that it does not work, the glory of the method of returning good for evil is that it does work. If a man supposes it a piece of moral moonshine fit only for an impossible utopia, he simply confesses that he has not tried it, or at least has not tried it observingly and thoroughly. Even if it does not wholly succeed, it has as an advantage over retaliation the fact that evil is not increased, and that is more than can be said for the opposite method.

But, returning good for evil most certainly does more than merely refuse to increase the amount of evil; it has a positive and constructive result, which springs from the fact that usually evil will wither up in the presence of love. For love is not a mere matter of reciprocity; it is a constructive force, creating its own ends and conditions, as Henry Demarest Lloyd taught us in a glorious book, making something exist where before nothing existed. Love is like the sunlight which not only chases away the dark, but brings in the light.

This is the idea, as I can understand it, in the Book. By "love" it does not mean admiration, affection, or fondness. These things are instinctive and cannot be commanded. Any teaching which demanded that we feel fondness for a brute cannot possibly be binding upon us, because it flies in the face of the very constitution of our souls. This, however, is not anywhere demanded by the Bible, a fact that is overlooked by George Bernard Shaw and those others who condemn the teachings of non-resistance and love, and who understand "love" in the divine pages as if it were the equivalent of "admiration." Love is not a matter of the mere sentiments; it springs from the will and may be described as the habitual willingness that the object of love shall be permitted and assisted to live the completest possible life.

This heavenly wisdom of love, this spiritual greatness which is the ultimate cleverness, was exhibited by Warden Allen of Joliet who, if ever a man was, was justified in seeking retaliation on the men who had so fiendishly violated his confidence and betrayed his confidence. But that great heart did not go back like a fire brand to wreak vengeance; he went back with redoubled determination to love his "boys" the more. That is not to say that he can feel affection for the men who murdered his wife; it is simply to say that he willed that these men should be encouraged to live a completer and more human life.

Love as thus defined is a creative, a generative power and justifies itself by creating its own objects. If a man is too twisted and bent to fit into the machinery of brotherhood, treating him in an unbrotherly fashion won't better him any, but treating him in a brotherly fashion will. By loving him, he will be made more lovable. Men may be brothered into brotherliness.

Brotherhood is most certainly nowhere an established fact. We must all agree with the cynic on this charge, but that is not to surrender the case for it, because the very principle in the Book on which our lodge is erected is that brotherhood is a task. And it is the first great task of the Fraternity to organize all men of good will, "mobilize" them, if you prefer, for the purpose of making brotherhood prevail. We enter the Craft as rough-hewn stones drawn from the crude quarries of human nature; in our hands is placed the sacred trowel; from ritualism, teaching and example is supplied the mystic cement; by forbearance, tolerance, faith, and prayer, we are called to engage in that heavenly task of raising the house not made with hands.

What man soe'er I chance to see –
Amazing thought – is kin to me;
And if a man, my brother.
What though his hand be hard with toil
And labour his worn garments soil;
He is a man, my brother.
What though ashamed, with drooping head
He beg a morsel of my bread;
He is a man, my brother.
What though he grovel at my feet,
Spurned by the rabble of the street;
He is a man, my brother.
What though his hand with crime be red,
His heart a stone, his conscience dead;
He is a man, my brother;
The soul which this frail clay enfolds
The image of its Maker holds;
That makes this man my brother.

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By Bro. Dudley Wright, Ed. London Freemason

IT is doubtful whether the question, so often asked, as to what period in the history of man witnessed the origin of Druidism will ever be answered. Some writers maintain that it was a development or offshoot – of the Egyptian religion, and, along with Freemasonry, originated in the sublime teachings of Ptah, which are said to have been brought out of Egypt by Moses.

Philology does not render much assistance, although few modern scholars would consider seriously the suggestion once very frequently made that the word "Druid" is derived from the Greek word drus, meaning "an oak" or the argument that the original Druids sprang from the oaks of Mamre, mentioned in the Book of Genesis. One explanation given is that derwydd means "the body of an oak," formed from derw, oak, and ydd, a substantive termination; that Ovydd (Ovate) implies the sapling or unformed plant, from ov, "raw," "pure," and ydd; and that bardd signifies the branching, derived from bar, "a branch" or "the top." Others give the derivation as from the Hebrew word derussim or drussim, the meaning of which is given as "contemplators." Another explanation is that it is an old Celtic word, druis, formed from trowis or truwis, meaning "a doctor of the faith." The Persian duru means "a good and holy man"; the Arabic deri, "a wise man"; and the Welsh drud, "an absolver or remitter of sins." In Scotland the Druids were called Dercergli; in Spain, Turduli or Turdutan. The Oriental Dervishes are thought by some to derive their name from the same source as the Druids. Mr. D. Delta Evans, who may be regarded as an authority, says that according to the best informed Celtic scholars it would appear almost beyond doubt that the word derwydd is derived from dar, meaning "above" and gwydd meaning "understanding," "learning," "knowledge." Cynwal, an eminent Welsh poet of the sixteenth century, so employs the term and thus apostrophises an ancient Bard:

Dywed weithian dad ieithydd Dy feddwl ym, do foddawl wydd ! Declare thou then, thou father of languages, Thy mind, if of well-cultured knowledge.

According to Caesar, who, of course, had to depend upon other people for his information, the Gauls boasted that they were descended from Dis as their father, a tradition handed down to them by the Druids. Dis, or Dives, according to mythology, was one of three brothers, of whom Jupiter and Neptune were the two others. They had Saturn for their father and Minerva for their mother. Dives is the same word as the Hebrew "Japheth," and this is probably the foundation for the tradition that Japheth was the progenitor of the Celts, who are believed to be the earliest colonists of Western Europe. Whatever the origin, however, few would venture to quarrel with Theodore Watts-Dunton's statement that, compared with Druidism – that mysterious poetic religion which more than any other religion expresses the very voice of nature – all other religions have a sort of commonplace and modern ring, even those which preceded it by centuries.

Let it be at once admitted that nothing precise is known with regard to the origin of Druidism, that the statements made even with regard to its religious tenets are, in many instances, deductive only; that even where there is anything approaching definite statements, the source is in every instance outside Britain.

There is, however, no conflict in the testimony regarding their rites and ceremonies and it is difficult to explain the many points of strong resemblance between the rites and institutions of the Druids of Britain and Gaul, the Magi of Persia, the Chaldeans of Babylonia, the Brahmins of India, and the priests of Egypt except upon the hypothesis that the rites and institutions of these various religions were derived from one common source, which would be of a date anterior to the time when the Greeks and Romans produced those "elegant mythologies."

O'Curry, in his "Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," says: "It must occur to everyone who has read of Zoroaster, of the Magi of Persia, and of the sorcerers of Egypt mentioned in the seventh chapter of Exodus, that Druids and Druidism did not originate in Britain any more than in Gaul or Erin. It is indeed probable that notwithstanding Pliny's high opinion of the power of the British Druids, the European Druidical system was but the offspring of the Eastern augury, somewhat less complete, perhaps, when transplanted to a new soil than in its ancient home." Pliny was of the opinion that the Druids were the Gaulish Magi, and, according to Porphyry, "the name Magi in the East was most august and venerable: they alone were skilled in divine matters and were the ministers of Deity." Higgins believed them to be Pythagoreans, and, therefore, akin to the Essenes, while Madame Blavatsky held the opinion (one which, of course, cannot be substantiated) that the Druids were the descendants of the lost Atlanteans! Alexander Bertrand maintained that Druidism was not an isolated institution, without analogy, but that its parallel is to be looked for in the lamaseries which still survive in Tartary and Thibet.

Dr. Churchward, in "Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man," holds that the ancient Druids "were undoubtedly descendants of the ancient Egyptian priests, who came over and landed in Ireland and the west of England, and who brought with them their religious doctrines and taught and practiced them there. The Tuatha-de-Danann who came to Ireland were of the same race and spoke the same language as the FirBolgs or the Formarians, possessed ships, knew the art of navigation, had a compass or magnetic-needle, worked in metals, had a large army thoroughly organized, a body of surgeons, and a Bardic or Druid class of priests. These Druids brought all their learning with them, believed and practiced the Eschatology of the solar doctrines, and came from Egypt. That their temples are older than those found in Uxmah, in Yucatan, in Mexico (which are stated to be 11,500 years old), those amongst the Incas in South America, and some of the Zimbabwe in South Africa, is clearly proved by their want of knowledge in building an arch, although we find in the oldest remains amongst the Zimbabwe lintels at Umnukwana and no doubt there are others in South African ruins, but successive immigrants have obliterated most of the original, which was the old Egyptian, as can be proved by other facts."

Concerning the arrival of the Tuatha-de-Danann in Ireland, Keating in his "History of Ireland," says that they journeyed to Erin after seven months sojourn in the north of Scotland. They landed on the north coast of Ireland, but, in order that they should not be seen by any of the Fir Bolg, they, by means of the magical powers with which nearly all ancient writers invest them, raised a mist around their vessels until they reached Sliabh-an-iarainn (Slieve-an-ierin), the iron mountains in County Leitrim. Once landed they made their departure impossible by burning their boats.

With regard to Druidism in Ireland we are treading upon more certain ground than when dealing with Druidism in Britain, inasmuch as the sole source of information of Irish Druids comes from Irish writers, whereas all our knowledge of Gaulish and British Druidism is derived from Latin and Greek writers. According to the Irish ancient writings, Parthalon made his advent into Erin about three hundred years after the date assigned to the Deluge. He came from Middle Greece and brought with him three Druids: Fios, Eolus and Fochmare, names which mean Intelligence, Knowledge and Inquiry. Three hundred and thirty years later there came another colony of immigrants, led by Nemid and his sons, who entered into a conflict with the Druidical forces they found established in the island. From that time there is a practically unbroken record or chronicle of the acts of the Druids in Ireland. In ancient Irish writings they were referred to frequently as "men of science" and extraordinary powers were attributed to them. They were credited with the power to raise storms and atmospheric disturbances as well as with the ability to quell such disturbances. The following translation of an incantation used by them is taken from the "Book of the Invasions of the O'Clery's" in the Royal Irish Academy:

I pray that they reach the land of Erinn, those who are riding upon the great, productive, vast sea.

That they may be distributed upon her plains, her mountains, and her valleys; upon her forests that shed showers of nuts and all other fruits; upon her rivers and her cataracts; upon her lakes and her great waters; upon her spring-abounding hills.

That we may hold our fairs and equestrian sports upon her territories.

That there may be a king for us in Tara and that it (Tara) may be the territory of our many kings.

That the sons of Milesius may be manifestly seen upon her territories.

That noble Erinn may be the home of the ships and boats of the sons of Milesius.

Erinn which is now in darkness, it is for her that this oration is pronounced.

Let the learned wives of Breas and Buagne pray that we may reach the noble woman, Great Erinn.

Let Eremon pray and let Ir and Eber implore that we may reach Erinn.

The tempest is said to have ceased and the survivors enabled to land immediately after this oration had been pronounced by the Druids.

It would certainly appear from an examination of the evidence that the Druids settled in Ireland at a much earlier date than they did in England. The Druidical faith also survived in Ireland to a much later period than it did in Britain. Long after the advent of St. Patrick in Ireland the chief monarchs adhered to Druidism. Two of the daughters of King Laogorius, in whose reign St. Patrick preached the doctrines of the Christian faith, were educated by the Druids and maintained their ground in a dispute against the new religion. Laogorius and all the provincial kings of Ireland, however, granted to every man free liberty of professing and preaching the Christian religion. Rowlands gives it as his opinion that when the Druids were expelled from Anglesea they sought refuge in Ireland, the north of Scotland and the Scottish Isles. Certainly when Druidism was inhibited in Gaul and the active persecution of the Druids began they appear to have retired to Caledonia, there to practice and teach their religion. According to Spotswood's "History of the Church of Scotland" they were in force in Scotland in the latter part of the third century. He writes: "Cratylinth, king of Scotland, coming to the throne in the year 277, made it one of his first works to purge the kingdom of heathenish superstition, and to expel the Druids, a sort of people held in those days in great reputation. They ruled their affairs very politely; for, being governed by a president who kept his residence in the Isle of Man, which was then under the dominion of the Scots, they did once every year meet in that place to take counsel together for the ordering of affairs, and carried things so politely and with such discretion that Cratylinth found it difficult enough to expel them, because of the favour they had amongst the people."

Although, in Britain, the Romans issued stringent laws ordering the suppression of the Druidical groves and altars, there is strong reason for believing that Druidism was not eradicated. It was too deeply rooted not to spring up again after the Romans had taken their departure. In many parts of the island the Romans permitted the natives to retain many of their laws and usages and to be governed by their own princes, and here, undoubtedly, they would continue the performance of their ancient and sacred mystical rites. It may also be inferred from some of the ancient poems that a seminary for the training of Druidical priests was maintained after the Roman invasion somewhere in the north of Britain and there are not wanting writers who assert that Druidism was not suppressed completely until the end of the sixth century. A rescript of Augustus forbade Roman citizens to practice Druidical rites, but in Strabo we find the Druids still acting as arbiters in public and private matters, though they do not appear to deal then with charges of murder as formerly they did. Celtic and Gaulish Druids and Druidesses are mentioned in the third century as connected with events in the lives of Aurelian and Diocletian. They are mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus and Ausonius in the fourth century and their practices are noticed in the sixth century by Procopius. Gibbon epitomises the history of the Druids in the Christian era in the following words: "Under the specious pretext of abolishing human sacrifices, the Emperors Tiberius and Claudius suppressed the dangerous power of the Druids; but the priests themselves, their gods and their altars, subsisted in peaceful obscurity till the final destruction of paganism."

Like Mithraism, however, Druidism was eventually swept off the face of the earth. But it must not be forgotten when speaking of the supplanting by Christianity of Druidism, that the Druids held many of the tenets inculcated by Christianity. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, the belief in miracles, and other beliefs of the Christian faith had already been taught them by their own priests and they were no strangers to the rite of Baptism, which every Christian neophyte had to undergo.

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Life is what we make it, boys,
Be it paradise or hell.
When things go wrong, just sing a song
As if it all was well.
Life is what we make it, boys,
You can't get away from that.
Make life worth while, and wear a smile
When your castles all fall flat.
Life is what we make it, boys,
You can bet your bottom dollar.
When you hit a snag, don't stop and lag,
But brace right up and holler.
Life is what we make it, boys,
Be it cloudy, fair or bright.
If you have hard luck, revive your pluck,
Roll up your sleeves and fight.
Life is what we make it, boys,
So let's cheer up and sing –
"We're here today to make it pay,
We thank thee God, for everything."
– O. A. Fick, Jan. 19,1916.

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The Feet Of Time

DEAR old Rabbi Duncan, who was no Rabbi at all, but a quaint teacher of Hebrew in New College, when his students assembled after the holidays, met them with these words: "Gentlemen, many will be wishing you a happy New Year; I wish you a happy Eternity." Truly it was a wise wish, made by a man who had found out the trick which Time plays upon us whereby we are deluded into the feeling that we live under the despotism of days and years. Clear thinking had set him free from that old tyranny, teaching him that what we call time is only a measured portion of that eternity in which we live now and always. He knew that our quarrel with Time is a case of "much ado about nothing," since Time is fiction and an illusion.

One of the greatest thinkers of the world proved that once for all in his desperate, bewildered, longing to grasp a moment, analyze it, and make it real. But when he opened his hand it was empty. There is no past that is dead; there is no future that is unborn and may never come; nor can your swiftest touch put a finger on the present. And yet we perceive, or think we perceive, intervals of time, we compare them and find joy or sorrow in the illusion. Indeed, it is hard to see how we could ever have gotten along without the idea of time, its convenience is so obvious. No past, no future? But how should we regulate our lives, how make plans, how profit by our days? What should we do with our mistakes, and where should we place our hopes?

If there is no such thing as time, what is it that gives us the sense of duration, what is it that seems like the passing of time which makes us happy or sad ? It is simply movement, the putting forth of energy. The hands of the clock go round because the spring is wound up, or because the weights are doing their duty. With the great starclock in the sky it is the same – just so much motor force. When we speak of our age, and of the feeling of being borne along from youth to middle life and beyond, it is the same. Again it is movement, growth, development, decay, the onflowing of life like the winding of an invisible stream.

Here we come upon one of the great secrets of life, often overlooked, but of far‑reaching meaning. Our earth goes round the sun at a high speed but we are not conscious of it, because we move with it. Unfortunately, we cannot stand and see ourselves go by. But there is something in man that can, somehow, stand aside and be aware of the movement of life which we call time. "Time flies, not we," ran an old proverb, and it is the timeless within us that makes us aware of the passing of time; and this fact, when we ponder it, opens many gates of thought and hope. Read his 146th Sonnet, and see how Shakespeare found in this fact the key whereby we became Masters of Time and Death be obeying the eternal within us!

Once we learn this profound and simple secret, we are set free from the tyranny of days and know the fellowship of that life in which Time is only a shadow! and where a thousand years are as a day. This is the great emancipation, open to every man, and to win it is the finest of all ventures and victories. There is no such thing as a future life. Life is one, here and here after, now and forever. God is here; eternity is now The sky begins at the top of the ground, and if we are immortal at all we are immortal now. Therefore, to become aware of this truth is the one great human experience, the truth that makes us free indeed. If this be not the deep lesson of the Master Degree of Masonry, then we have misread its meaning utterly.

The First Degree asks us, whence we came and what we are here on earth to do? Receiving our answer, it instructs us in that fundamental morality which must be the ground-plan of every noble human life. It is profound. It is beautiful. Nothing can take its place. Without it life is a house built upon the sand. The Second Degree asks us what we are, and without waiting for our answer it seeks to make us aware of our mental powers, and how to use them. It points to the arts and sciences, and leads us up the winding stairway to a larger outlook, showing the dignity of the intellectual life, its ascent toward the highest, and its rich rewards.

The Third Degree reveals to us who we are, unveiling, if only for a moment, the august and awful fact that we are citizens of eternity. It does not bid us cherish a hope of immortality to be realized hereafter. Not so. Immortality is a reality into which the candidate is initiated, symbolically, here and now, teaching him in a parable and a drama the greatest truth man may learn in the midst of the years! He that hath ears to hear, let him hear and give heed, if so that he learn to outrun the Feet of Time !

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The Masonic Apron

Horace Greeley used to say that he would not give a cent for a man who could not spell a word in more than one way – it showed a lack of versatility and inventive genius. Much the same may be said of Masonic symbolism, which is as flexible as it is suggestive, and may be interpreted in many ways, by each initiate or student according to his light. "Each sees what he carries in his heart," as we read in the Prologue of Faust. All of which is brought to mind by a passage in the valuable book, "True Principles of Masonry," noted elsewhere in this issue, in which the author tells us, out of a rich and thoughtful mind, what the Apron means to him. It symbolizes that plan for the redemptive making of personality, which Masonry has sought to promulgate from the remotest ages. As we may read:

"This apron is composed of a square, surmounted by a triangle, or of seven lines, four in the square and three in the triangle. The lower line in the square, to me, represents selfishness, the lowest and most degrading of all human passions. It has been the common saying, from time immemorial, that 'The love of money is the root of all evil.' But I say to you that selfishness is the root of all evil, because selfishness, in its very worst form, may be entirely free from love of money; that selfishness of Creed and Dogma, that is not willing to concede to another the same freedom of thought, speech and conscience that we demand for ourselves. Selfishness is tie progenitor of all the base passions of the human heart, vanity, deceit, cruelty, envy, jealousy, intolerance, greed, malevolence, lust, unhumanity, and brutality.

Rising from this low plane of selfishness, we have two perpendicular lines; the one I call Intellectuality, and the other Spirituality. The one might possibly be termed an attribute of the mind, the other of the soul; and each of them capable of development, independent of, or to the exclusion of the other. For example, a man may have reached the summit of all human knowledge. He may have the intellectual ability of a Euclid or a Sir Isaac Newton, but at the same time be wholly lacking in spirituality, or that faculty of his nature may be wholly dormant. In that case, endowed with the most brilliant intellect that can be conceived of, he may be a moral degenerate.

On the other hand, another man's spirituality may be abnormally developed, to the utter exclusion of intellectuality; in such case you find the religious fanatic or a religious monomaniac. So we are forced to the conclusion that in order to secure good work, true work and square work – ,just such work as is needed in the construction of a well-proportioned temple, the development must proceed along both lines of intellectuality and spirituality, in due proportion and harmony with each other. The top line of the Apron's square represents faith – a logical, reasoning faith that has grown up out of, and been projected from, the two lives of intellectuality and Spirituality. A faith that satisfies the longings of my spiritual nature, and at the same time meets with the approval of my reasoning faculties.

Parallel with the top line of the Apron's square, and in close proximity to it, is the line at the base of the triangle. To me it represents unselfishness and self-sacrifice. Rising from this line are the two converging lines of the triangle; the one love of God, and the other love of my fellow man; and their intersection at the apex of the triangle generates the great undying light of Freemasonry."

Whether or not all will accept that interpretation of the symbolism of the Apron, all will agree that it is wise and good and inspiring teaching, which every man of us ought to lay to heart as the years come and go, like hooded figures, each bringing its quota of joy and sorrow, and also its opportunity for advancement toward that coronation of character which is the crown of life and the defeat of death. So mote it be.

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An Ambassador

Ye Editor has accepted the pastorate of the City Temple, in London, at once the most famous and the most responsible pulpit in the world, but this will in nowise alter his relation to the Society or his labours in its behalf. Indeed, it should extend its influence and following, enlisting the interest and co-operation of Brethren in England and Scotland, making it international in a way hardly possible otherwise. He will remain an editor of The Builder, as deeply concerned as ever for its welfare, bringing to its service the best Masonic scholars of Europe; a Masonic Ambassador in behalf of a closer fellowship and a happier intercourse of the Craft the world over. In fact, it will be easily possible for him to do as much, if not more, for the Society in England as he has been able to do at home. As he will not be going before spring, he will go on with his work as before, taking this opportunity offered to thank the Members of the Society for their loyalty and support, made known in so many ways, the while he wishes most sincerely that the New Year may be the best of all years for each of his Brethren.

Truly we stand at the end of an epoch, and we must learn to see things in the large, to think in world-terms, the better to make Masonry – which is a world-Order of international meaning – effective for its part in that vast readjustment of values and relations following the world-war. Whoso does even a tiny bit in that behalf, has wrought a benign and permanent labor equally for his country, his race and his Craft, looking for the dawn of that day when Peace will be the lasting inheritance of mankind.

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Principles Of Masonry

NOW it is in Iowa, now in Arkansas, now in Mississippi, and still the Hand-books of Masonry multiply, in obedience to a deeply felt need that the history, principles and symbolism of the Order be set forth in simple and understandable form for the instruction of its younger Brethren. The latest addition to the list, "True Principles of Freemasonry," by Brother Melville R. Grant, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Mississippi, had its beginnings in an address delivered to a joint meeting of Blue Lodges in Meridian on Masonic Symbolism. At the request of Grand Master Carson, the author made a tour of the jurisdiction, delivering a series of addresses to joint meetings of Lodges throughout the State. Everywhere he found the men of the Craft eager to know more about Masonry, and his volume now published is in answer to that interest and need. Frankly a compilation, it is none the less a useful book and will no doubt win the wide reading it deserves, albeit we could wish that the author had been a little more careful in accepting as facts certain things about which Masonic students are less certain than they used to be.

Beginning with a chapter of Historical Briefs, the author traces the genealogy of Masonry in Mississippi, then proceeds to the origin of Masonry in America, and so on back into antiquity – a very readable sketch indeed. Two chapters are given up to Old Charters, Charges and Regulations in England, Scotland, and Germany, some of them of doubtful authenticity, but useful as giving a glimpse of the laws and organization of old Craft Masonry. Lectures on the definition of Masonry, its Symbolism and its Teachings follow, and a chapter on each of the first three degrees. The Letter of Pope Leo against Masonry and the famous reply of Albert Pike are included, in full, with a brief survey of the history and principles of the Scottish Rite. The concluding essay is one of the best in the book, informed by a fine idealistic spirit and a passion for the noblest achievements of faith and character. The ultimate purpose and spirit of Masonry are well interpreted in the following typical passage:

"It takes the low ideals and renovates and changes them into high and noble concepts of beauty; making them over into laws of conduct. The man who has come into full fellowship in this Institution, finds his feebleness overlaid with strength, his purposeless instincts transmuted into moral direction, with the upward goal ever in view. Emerson tells us that the influx of the Divine into the finite is always accompanied by a consciousness, an enthusiasm of the soul, as it is welcomes this guest who comes to dwell therein. What greater glory can there be in all the universe than a man whose life is enthused by and harmonized in accord with the Divine. He enters into a compact with his spiritual powers and resolves henceforth to be God's man. He finds life presenting a new aspect. He sees in trifles. unheeded before, beauty and power. He finds that, as Maeterlinck says, "there is nothing puerile in nature! He finds that in all men God is there incarnated, through goodness, beauty, truth, mercy and justice."

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A Student's Reverie

A student sits in meditation before a skeleton he has been studying. Falling into a train of reflection upon the human form, he is led to ponder the undeveloped powers of man, the reason for his existence, so brief at its longest, so broken at its best, and thence to solemn thoughts of destiny. Not only his own destiny, and of the shadow of a man before him, but of all humanity in its endless procession passing across the earth, as one generation vanishes and another generation appears. Their life is woven of joy and woe, of tragedy and comedy. To not a few it is a thing to be endured, not enjoyed. Some move cheerily, recking not of the future; others trudge heavily, stooping under burdens of sorrow and care. For all it ends in the grave. Whence do they come, and why? Where do they go ? We can follow them no farther. What does it all mean? Has it a meaning? Or did the Great Spirit when He took clay and made man, simply play with it?

Such is the scene, and such the problem of "Christus Victor: A Student's Reverie," by Henry N. Dodge; and since science offers no solution, the student listens while the Master of Galilee tells, in a majestic, plaintive monody, of His passion and hope for humanity. No matter to what school of religious thought a man may belong, he will find much to exalt and touch him to finer faith in this little book. Scattered through it are lyrics, some of them of exquisite delicacy and beauty, singing of life and love, of the coming of spring and the birth of the flowers, and of the love that should bind man to man. For example:

What man soe'er I chance to see -
Amazing thought – is kin to me,
And if a man, my brother !
What though in silken raiment fine
His form be clad, while naked mine;
He is a man, my brother.
What though of strange and alien race,
Of unfamiliar form and face;
He is a man, my brother.
What though his hand be hard with toil
And labour his worn garment soil;
He is a man, my brother.
What though ashamed, with drooping head,
He beg a morsel of my bread;
He is a man, my brother.
What though his hand with crime be red,
His heart a stone, his conscience dead;
He is a man, my brother.
Though low his life, and black his heart,
There is a nobler, deathless part
Within this man, my brother.
The soul which this frail clay enfolds
The image of its Maker holds -
That makes this man my brother.

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Was Jesus An Essene?

Several Brethren have taken pains to call our attention to "The Brook Kerith," by George Moore, as proof that Jesus was a member of the Essene monastic sect, which, because it was in some sort a secret order, is supposed to be one of the ancestors of Masonry. In token of gratitude we beg our Brethren to read the sketch of Moore, by Frank Harris, in Pearson's Magazine, for December, after which they will not have much confidence in his alleged learning. Personally we have no prejudice against the idea that Jesus was a member of the Essene community – if it can be proved. But so far only a thin wisp of frail probabilities has been brought forward in its behalf. Even Brother Wright in his little book, "Was Jesus An Essene," adds no new guess to the rest. But when George Moore is brought to the witness box, it is too much. An apostate Romanist who now seeks to portray the Master of Galilee as a poor deluded, if not imbecile, fanatic, staining that great story with the dirty smear that one finds in all his work – well, if any Brother likes that sort of thing, he is easily pleased. Try it again, Brethren.

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  • The True Principles of Freemasonry, by M. R. Grant. Truth Publishing Co., 3010 Ninth St., Meridian, Miss. $2.00.
  • The House of Solomon, by C. H. Merz, Sandusky, Ohio
  • History of King David and King Solomon, by H. Shamieth New York, N. Y. 50 cents.
  • Christus Victor: A Student's Reverie, by H. N. Dodge. Putnam's Sons, New York. $1.00
  • "Mr. Britling Sees It Through," by H. G. Wells. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50.
  • Raydmond: Or Life After Death, by Sir Oliver Lodge Methuen, London. $2.75
  • The Mysterious Stranger, by Mark Twain. Harper Brothers, New York. $2.00.
  • I sat in Lodge With You, by Wilbur D. Nezbet. P. F. Volland Co., Chicago. 50 cents.
  • An Ambassador, City Temple Sermons, by Joseph Fort Newton. F. H. Revell Co., N. Y. $1.00

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Lincoln's Birth

Dear Brother Newton: – Knowing that you have long been a student of Lincoln, I was surprised to see you recommend the Life of Lincoln, by Lord Charnwood, which, according to a letter which I read today in the New York Times, states that Lincoln was of illegitimate birth. I thought I ought to call your attention to the matter.
– H.L.F.

Thank you; but the man who wrote the letter in the Times is wrong. Lord Charnwood makes no such statement – had he done so ye editor would have poured carbolic acid all over him from head to foot. It would have been an unforgivable blunder on his part to even mention that old lie, long since exploded. Lincoln died believing that he was born out of wedlock. Herndon, his partner, held that to be a fact, and was indiscreet enough to intimate as much in the first edition of his biography. After both had passed away, the facts were brought to light – they may be found in ye editor's volume entitled "Lincoln and Herndon," pp. 319-321.

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The Letter G

I am asked to prepare a paper for our study-club on "The Letter G in the East." Can you tell me where I can get any information on this point?
– R.O.

Among old-time Masons the Letter G stood, undoubtedly, first of all, for Geometry, which they held to be the chief of sciences and the basis of Masonry. Perhaps you have not seen ye editor's little sermon on "The Geometry of God," discussing this very question, showing how in the Bible, and in ancient literature generally – especially in Pythagoras and Plato – Geometry, or the science of measurement, was of fundamental importance. Nor is the reason hard to know. Few realize the service of the science of numbers to the human mind in the morning of thought, it being almost the first hint of law and order in the world, and a key to the mighty mace of things. With Plato, as with Pythagoras, geometry was a basis of belief in God. So, naturally, in time, the Letter G came to stand for Him in whom Geometry had led men to believe. You will find interesting chapters on the Letter G in Preston's "Illustrations of Masonry" and in "The Spirit of Masonry," by Hutchinson, to name no others. You have a beautiful subject, and we hope you will go into it thoroughly. If you care to take up the relation of mathematics to moral and spiritual truth, as it is interpreted today, get the little book referred to in these pages, (Vol. 1, p. 309) entitled "The New Infinite and the Old Theology," by Prof. Keyser of Columbia University.

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"Worthy And Well Qualified"

A brother writes to say that, taking note of the article in The Builder, (Vol. 1, p. 77) telling of the custom of Arcana Lodge No. 87, of Seattle, Washington, of sending a letter to petitioners, its intent being to discover, as far as possible, their internal qualifications, his Lodge adopted the custom. For so doing the Lodge was called to account, or at least criticized, by the Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the jurisdiction. The basis of the criticisms was that it was soliciting, both high officials having gotten the erroneous idea that the letter was sent before the candidate has petitioned. Had that been the case, it would have been soliciting. But neither in Arcana Lodge nor in the Lodge criticized was the letter sent until after the man had actually petitioned. Well, even Homer nods, and the lectures which the two grand officers saw fit to deliver, while wise enough after their kind, were wide of the mark. We are glad to have the matter called to our attention, lest perchance others may have received the same wrong impression. This Society does not endorse soliciting – far from it – but it does insist that Lodges should take every care in selecting material out of which to make Masons, enquiring as to their internal qualifications, which after all, are of chief importance. Too many men enter the order for reasons other than the best and highest, caring little for the real reasons why a man should wish to be a Mason – and for such we have no room.

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"The Secrets Of A Master Mason"

My Dear Newton: – I notice your information on ciphers and rituals in the November number, and am moved to ask a question or two to get a basis for an argument. (1) Does Masonry intend to perpetuate any method which wastes time and results in inaccuracy? (2) Is the phrase "secrets of a Master Mason," or an equivalent, a technical phrase, with a meaning which goes back over the whole of the last two hundred years or more? (3) Are the "secrets of Masonry" uniform throughout regular Masonry? (4) Does the phrase, "secrets of Masonry," antedate the days of formulated rituals, oral or printed?

If you had asked us in Indiana back in 1891 whether we used rituals, ciphers, &c., we would have answered you, officially, "No," because we had as severe an edict or law against their use as could be formulated; and yet in 1891, when asked whether Lodges and individuals were using them, 98 per cent of our Lodges reported that our law had been abolished by use, so we abolished the law formally as it had been abolished in practice but our ritual satisfies our conception of an obligation which is often supposed to bear upon the subject.

One jurisdiction passed a resolution threatening to sever fraternal relations with all jurisdictions which used rituals in any form and sent me a copy while I was Grand Master. Two or three practical questions are involved:-

  1. The oral method of teaching the ritual is a double waste of time over the ritual method.
  2. Inaccuracy results through the oral method.
  3. The oral method develops some contempt for law in the user of a ritual in secret.
  4. The oral method of instruction inevitably must develop an office-holding machine to some extent.
  5. The oral method causes men to take time from their usual vocations while the ritual method permits them to use their spare, odd moments, which is an example of efficiency.

You are adhering admirably to your original purpose and analysis in the conduct of The Builder. Certainly, for its purpose, it has eclipsed all Masonic Magazines and has passed the expectation of its most sanguine friends, I should think, when it secures 14,000 subscribers so early.
Yours fraternally, Chas. Mikels, Indiana.

P. S. I am not desirous of being in print and vet I want YOUR views, and not of anybody else, through The Builder.

Here is that picturesque and delightful Hoosier at it again, trying to prod us with all kinds of questions and smoke us out of a hole. Well, a more lovable man does not live anywhere, even in Riley-land, and our private opinion is that when the Lord made him he did not do anything else that whole day. But this is not answering the questions which he trots out single-file, double-file, and four-abreast. The first list has to do with a fact of history, the second with a matter of policy, and both together bring forward a question well worth discussion. All will agree, we take it, that Masonry does not intend to perpetuate any method which wastes time and results in inaccuracy and inefficiency. Well, now we are down to business. (1) The phrase "secrets of a Master Mason," or its equivalent, does have a distinct meaning running back at least to the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of England, and those secrets are quite uniform throughout regular Masonry. Indeed, we may trace them further back still – for in the Old Charges of Craft Masonry the initiate was obligated to keep the secrets of the Craft, by his honour as a man on the "contents of this Holy Book." What were those secrets in the olden time? They included the technical secrets of his art – which have become symbolical secrets to us – and the signs and tokens by which he made himself known as a Master Mason when he went a-journeying. Those secrets protected both the artist and his art. What are the secrets of a Master Mason now? Not the wise and noble truth which the Order teaches. Our fundamental principles are the common possession of thinking men and are the foundations of the higher human life everywhere. No, what is secret in Masonry is not the truth which it teaches, but the method by which it teaches it – its ceremonial and symbolism, and the signs and token by which it protects the privacy of its Lodge room that it may teach more impressively. Also, those signs and tokens serve as a cover under which charity brotherliness. and the busy heart of love can work without ostentation – enabling us to serve a brother in perplexity or need without wounding a heart already sore. Therefore, if those secrets were surrendered, something beautiful and fine would be lost.

(2) The second list of questions form a telling indictment of the system of oral teaching in Masonry, and it is about as strong as it can be made. Why, he even intimates that it results in "an office-holding machine to some extent." Think of that! And he a Past Grand Master, too! What is this world coming to, anyway? Well, for sake of argument let us admit every item of the indictment, what then? Is there no other side? We think there is. What is efficiency in the teaching of Masonry? Surely it is something more than accuracy of the letter, valuable as that is. It is also the communication of a spirit, and we submit that this highest and most precious result is better achieved by oral instruction. It goes deeper, it stays longer, it touches parts of our nature which are not reached by decoding a cipher. For example, we were instructed in Masonry by a noble and gracious man to whom Masonry meant very much – long since gone to join the white and silent people we call the dead – but the impress of his spirit lingers still. He gave us something which no book can give, because the finest truth is communicated only through personality – it passes silently, mystically, from soul to soul. It is so in all education. The best thing a lad gets at college is not from books, but from his contact with strong men – as when Garfield said that the best university would be to sit on one end of a log with Horace Mann on the other end. Inaccuracies may be corrected, but we cannot think that the hours which we spent in fellowship with the gracious man who instructed us in the days that come not back, were wasted. Never! Perhaps we are sentimental. If so, we are glad of it. But we do feel, Brother Mikels, that to abandon the oral teaching of Masonry would mean the loss of something unique, particular and fine, and we know of nothing to take its place. In other days it required some courage to be a Mason, and those old pioneers who faced obloquy for their Masonic faith and fellowship, knew what they were about when they took no risks of having their sacred secrets violated, but kept them warm and tender and true, passing them from mouth to ear adown the years! After all, it is only a question of the best way of doing what we all want to do in the best way, and no one is more eager, more earnest or more intelligent in our common quest of the wisest and best way of making Masonry effective for its high ends, than Brother Mikels himself.

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"Tidings From The West"

By the kindness of a Brother who omits his name, we have the following brief sketch of pioneer Masonry in California, as it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle; showing how, when the star of empire took a due westerly course, Masonry followed it helping to lay the foundations of society and the state in the land of the Golden Gate. It is an interesting glimpse of days gone by, worthy of reading and preserving:

The history of Masonry in California dates ' back to "the days of old, the days of gold, the days of '49." To one uninitiated, the study of this history reveals facts of considerable interest. The archives of the Free and Accepted Masons show that Peter Lassen, a doughty pioneer, from whom Lassen peak and Lassen county derive their names, was the man who brought the charter (overland from Missouri) for the first Masonic lodge to be established in California. Lassen was born in Copenhagen Denmark, August 7, 1800, and he was one of a small party of Argonauts who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1839. By occupation he was a blacksmith.

In company with a number of his immigrant friends, including Wilham Wiggins, David Dutton, John Stevens and John Wright, he took a small vessel to Bodega, where Vallejo attempted to prevent their landing. They landed, however, and wrote to the American Consul for passports, stating that if they did not receive them they would take up arms in their own defense. This attitude preserved the day for them. Lassen settled at the foot of the Sierra, in the northern part of the Sacramento valley.

He become owner of what was known as "Lassen's ranch." It is not asserted that Peter Lassen was the first Mason who journeyed into California, but undoubtedly he was one of the first of the disciples of the Widow's Son who set foot upon California soil. It is quite probable that among the first party of white men who entered the Golden State there were Masons, but to identify them has been a well-nigh impossible task.

In the Reed-Donner party, many of which perished upon the lonely summits of the Sierra, there were Masons. This was in the winter of 1846-47. The record seems to fix the date of the arrival of Lassen in the State of California some time during the year 1840. He applied for citizenship in 1841. From time to time brethren of the Masonic craft met at Lassen's ranch The nearest Grand Lodge of the order at that time was situated in Missouri.

For the special purpose of obtaining from this body a charter for a lodge in California, the sturdy Dane journeyed overland eastward in 1847. On May 10, 1848, the Grand Lodge of Missouri issued a charter to Saschel Woods, worshipful master; L. E. Stewart, senior warden; Peter Lassen, junior warden; and other brethren, to form a lodge to be known as Western Star Lodge, No. 98, at Benton City (Lassen's ranch), California.

Later in the same year a charter was granted by the grand master of Washington, D. C., for the organization of California Lodge, No 13 (California Lodge, No. 1, of today), in San Francisco. This authorization was issued to Samuel York Atlee, worshipful master; William Van Voorheis, senior warden; Badney F. McDonald, junior warden, and their associates. Van Voorheis failed to qualify, as he decided not to journey to California as he had planned, and Levi Stowell was appointed in his stead.

Forty-four Masons were present at the organization of Calfornia Lodge, No. 13, November 17, 1849. In April, 1850, the grand lodge of California was organized in Sacramento by representatives of the three lodges then existing in the state – California, No. 13, San Francisco; Western Star, No. 98, Bento City, and Connecticut, No. 75, Sacramento. Two lodges under dispensation were also represented – New Jersey of Sacrament and Benicia Lodge of Benicia.

The first grand lodge officers were: John D. Stevenson, grand master; John A. Tutt, deputy grand master; Caleb Fenner, senior grand warden; Saschel Woods, junior grand warden; John H. Gihon, grand secretary.

From all accounts it seems that Pioneer Lassen was an individual who possessed an enterprising and energetic spirit. A history of the early days relates that in 1856 Lassen was at the head of a movement organized in the Honey Lake section of the country, east of the Sierra Nevada, to form a new territory to be called Nataqua, a name which, as they said, meant "Woman.“ Lassen was elected president. His strong ally was Isaac Roop. Their scheme fell through, however, and gallant as they were, they never were able to put "Nataqua" on the map.

Lassen's death was sudden and violent. He was murdered by Indians out in the wilderness near Honey lake in the year 1858. The first Masonic hall in San Francisco was situated above an auction shop at 247 Montgomery street. In 1849 the influx of pioneers brought many hundreds of Masons into the city. New lodges were formed and some years later plans for a splendid temple were prepared.

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A Program Of Study

(Several Brethren have sent us copies of a three-year course of Masonic study, prepared and recommended by the Librarians of the School of Instruction, of Germantown, Pennsylvania, asking our opinion of it. For ourselves we think it very suggestive albeit we are puzzled to know why our little book, "The Builders," is placed in the second year of the course, and in the list of poetry and romance! No matter; our Brethren "meant well," which is the meanest thing we can think to say to get even with them at present. Seriously, we feel sure that for young men making their first start in Masonic study, the course as recommended is rather heavy and ill-arranged – more suitable, in fact for Brethren who have made more than a beginning in such studies. We think it better to begin with books of a simpler sort, advancing as interest and inclination direct to the weightier problems and more difficult discussions. However, we are glad to reproduce the course suggested by our Pennsylvania Brethren, at the same time granting them all due forgiveness for the way in which they treated our modest little book.)
– The Editor.

Every Masonic student should have the Holy Bible, Mackey's Encyclopedia and an up-to-date dictionary, and be a regular subscriber to one or more Masonic Magazines, The Ahiman Rezon Digest of Decisions and the By-Laws of your Lodge. The Grand Lodge Report should be referred to for all decisions since the Digest was issued in 1913.

First Year


  • Gould's Concise History of Freemasonry
  • Armitage's Short History of Freemasonry.
  • Pennsylvania Freemasonry.
  • Vol. 1 – G.L. Reprints.
  • By Judges Arnold, Orlady, Barrett and Williams.


  • Mackey's Masonic Symbolism.
  • Stewart's Symbolic Teachings.


  • Buck's Mystic Masonry.
  • Morgan's Lessons Taught in Freemasonry.


  • Mackey's Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence.

Second Year


  • Stillson and Hughan's History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders.


  • Oliver's Signs and Symbols.


  • Fellow's The Mysteries of Freemasonry.
  • MacBride's Speculative Masonry.


  • Look's Masonic Trials.


  • Pike's Poems.
  • Boutelle's Man of Mt. Moriah.
  • The Builders – Newton.

Third Year


  • Gould's Larger History (4 volumes.)
  • Mackey's Larger History (7 volumes.)


  • Bromwell's Masonic Restorations.
  • Pike's Lectures on Symbolism.


  • Adam's House of Hidden Places.
  • Buck's Genius of Freemasonry.
  • Pike's Morals and Dogma.


  • Lockwood's Masonic Law and Practice.
  • Lawrence's Masonic Jurisprudence.
  • * GENERAL**
  • Morris' Poetry of Freemasonry.
  • Jewels of Masonic Oratory.
  • Lights and Shadows of the Mystic Tie.


  • Hughan – English Rite of Masonry.
  • Robertson – The Cryptic Rite.
  • Addison – Knights Templar.
  • Sherman – Brief History of the A.A.S.R.
  • Upton – Negro Masonry.
  • Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
  • (See indices for Lectures.)
  • Wright – Indian Masonry.
  • Skinner – The Great Pyramid.
  • The Great Work. (Chap. 4.)

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Uniform Work

Dear Sir and Brother: Apropos of article on Uniform Work in November, 1916, number, you state that in Pennsylvania the work is uniform and communicated by District Deputy Grand Masters and that cipher keys are prohibited. You are correct in that the work is uniform and cipher key is prohibited, but although Section 11 of Article XII of the Ahimon Rezon of 1915, covering powers and duties of the District Deputy Grand Masters states: "It shall be the duty of each District Deputy Grand Master to visit the Lodges in his district; inspect their labours, and inquire into their condition and proceedings; give them Masonic advice and instruction; and report annually to the Grand Master the state of the Lodges in his district, and all that he shall have done therein," much of the instruction is done in Schools of Instruction of which there were sixteen listed in Manning's Masonic Register of F. and A. M. for the State of Pennsylvania for 1916, published by W. A. McCalla, 237-9 Dock St., Philadelphia, by permission of the R. W. Grand Master, under Article XVII, Section 25, page 56, of the Ahimon Rezon, 1915. The principals of these schools are directly appointed or approved by the Grand Master and are answerable only to him for the instruction imparted. My own school, Germantown School of Instruction in Symbolic Masonry, has been so organized since 1891, was reorganized in accordance with the system of the Temple School (Philadelphia Masonic Temple) in January, 1898. We have members from 20 or 30 Lodges within ten or fifteen miles of the school.

In the Grand Lodge address of R. W. Grand Master Bro. J. Henry Williams in 1913, he said: "The value of the Schools of Instruction can hardly be estimated in the work of teaching the ritualistic part of our work. Capable and efficient instructors may be had for the asking, without money and without price… Ritualistic teaching is very important with us, in that we have not, nor do we recognize or permit the use of printed or written lectures, monitors, or keys. Our work is communicated from one to the other, and its purity is a striking proof of the correctness of our system. None may plead ignorance when so many are willing to help others to acquire the work of this Jurisdiction.'

The Germantown School membership is entirely of Master Masons. Initiation, or entrance fee $2.00; annual dues $2.00, payable semi-annually. The Secretary and Tyler alone are paid for their services, many others are made life-members or honorary members, which life-membership as per Article VI of Section 3 of the Rules, is either $12.00 or $6.00 (see also Sec. 5 of Article V. as to honorary membership). Note that these rules, copy of which is enclosed, were approved by the R. W. Grand Master and the amendments, etc., by the R. W. District Deputy Grand Master.
Fraternally, Arthur H. Vail, 125 West Chelton Ave., Germantown, Philadelphia, Penna.

P. S. I find the following in the Digest of Decisions of the Grand Lodge and Grand Masters, A. D. 1912, corrected to January, 1916:

No. 369. Instruction. In the matter of giving Masonic instruction, two things are of primary importance; first, that the instructor is in possession of the authorized work of the Craft and imparts instruction by the authorization of either the Grand Master or District Deputy Grand Master; and, second, that such instruction is given, if possible, in a Lodge room, or if it be a number of miles distant, then in some secure place, retired from observation, every precaution being taken to exclude eavesdroppers from proximity to the place. – McCalla, Feb., 1890, L.B. 12, p. 321.

No. 830. School of Instruction. There can be no lawful "School of Instruction" in Masonry unless it be expressly authorized by the Grand Master. – Mitchell, Mar. 10, 1885, L.B. 9, p. 706. Mitchell Feb. 2, 1886, L.B. 10, p. 53.

No. 882. Work. None but the authorized work as taught in the Temple School of Instruction, is permitted in this Jurisdiction. – Brown, Pro. 1904, p. 220.

No. 899. See that your Lodge is at all times kept tyled while rehearsing the work, and allow no one to enter or retire during the progress of the work. – Day, Feb. 25, 1884, L.B. 9, p. 263.

No. 905…. Meetings for instruction may be held in the Lodge room, or a room adjacent, where entire secrecy can be maintained, but such meetings should not be held on Sunday. – Orlady, Pro. 1908, p. 172.

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Detroit Lodge, 1799

(By the kindness of a Member of the Society, we have the following correspondence showing that a Masonic Lodge existed in Detroit, Michigan, as early as 1799, and probably as early as 1760. It was no doubt organized by the officers of the English troops which came to Detroit. Further facts about that Lodge, if they are to be had, would be of interest to the Society.)

Quebec, 30th May, 1799.

Worshipful Sir:

By the Winter Express I acknowledge Receipt of your Correspondence up to the 27th of December last and then promised to forward you as early as possible the Determination of the Grand Lodge on the Differences existing between your Body and several of its members.

Soon after your papers arrived they were referred to the Stewards Lodge: this consists of the Grand Warden, Treasurer and Secretary and the Masters of the respective Lodges in Town. Their Business is to revise and digest all matters relative to the Craft prior to their being laid before the Grand Lodge where they again have a Hearing, but in a more numerous assembly.

At our last Quarterly Communication the 2d of March the Matter was finally decided and herewith you have Extracts of the Minutes which I hope will satisfy all parties; from your representation of Mr. Curry's extraordinary Behaviour, it was impossible to do less than expel him – Brothers Eberts and May appearing in another Light – it was thought proper to give them an Opportunity of rejoining – the latter under the Restriction of the Resolves as from your own Account he has been a worthy Brother and has repented himself of his Errors.

Upon the whole should the Grand Lodge have not met the Opinion in every respect of No. 10 they must make Allowances for the Difficulties attending upon Decissions where the Evidence is exparte.

I remain Worshipf
Yr. Obedt. & very Hble. Servt.
(Signed) Wm. Lindsay
Gr. Sy. of L.C.

The Worshipful Br. James Donaldson
Master of Zion Lodge No. 10

Grand Lodge of Lower Canada
In Quarterly Communication
Quebec 2d March, 1799.

The Grand Secretary having delivered the Report of the Stewards Lodge on a Reference relating to the Expulsion of several Brethren of Lion Lodge No. 10 and this Grand Lodge having maturely considered the same and having again revised the papers transmitted by that Body – finally -

RESOLVED – That Peter Curry late a Member of No. 10 be expelled from the Society and his Expulsion be reported to all Lodges in Correspondence with this Grand Lodge.

That Brother Herman Eberts was free to quit the Lodge when he pleased, but as it appears he withdrew at a time when the Harmony of it was Distracted – The Grand Lodge recommend his being readmitted -

That in Consequence of Lodge No. 10 having attested the former examplary and Masonic Conduct of Brother James May – this Grand Lodge recommend that he be readmitted but he shall prior to his readmission make such apollogy to No. 10 as the Members thereof shall deem sufficient for having wrote his letter of the 10th last to Brother James Donaldson Master of that Body, Certain parts of which Letter contains Unhandsome and improper Language, tending to throw an Odium on their proceedings.

A true Extract
(Signed) Wm. Lindsay
Grand Secretary of
Lower Canada

Minutes of Examination of Facts mentioned in Brother May's Letter of the 29th of May, '99. to Brother Donaldson – Ordered by the Body to be examined by us as a Committee.

Q. Who gave the Information or exposed that one of the Body had reported your expulsion?"

A. Brother Eberts, and that it was Bro. McNiff who had reported it.

Q. Who the persons were who have defam'd your reputation ?

A. Brothers Powers, Freeman and McNiff.

Q. Why, and on what good grounds you have reflected on Brother Donaldson Master tor appointing Bro. McNiff on the Committee of Emergency the 25th of Augt. 1798, and on Brother Wheaton for his Incapacity in that Business.

A. That in the imputation to Bro. Wheaton I was mistaken and unjust but to Bro. Donaldson not so.

Report of the Committee That from the matter contained in the above imputations against Bro. McNiff in our opinion require that he should be specially summond to attend the Body to answer to the facts which Bro. May has promised to Evince by sufficient proof and that copy of those Minutes and Reports should be sent to Brothers May & McNiff in order that they may attend and give the satisfaction due to the Body, That Brother May be ready to make the acknowledgements to the Body which the Sentence of the Grand Lodge requires.

(Signed) Hugh Heward P. Master.
Lewis Bond Treasurer.
James M. Downall

D.Etroit 7th Augt. 1799.

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David Vinton

Dear Brother Newton: In your March, 1915, number of The Builder you had a very interesting article entitled "Solemn Strikes the Fun'ral Chime," in which reference was had to the author, David Vinton. I, and I fancy many Masons, would like to know more of Brother Vinton, and it is probable that some of your readers may be able to finish out some of his history not given in the inclosed excerpts from the Proceedings of the Grand Lodges of North Carolina and Rhode Island, and the minutes of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4 of Providence, Rhode Island, of which he was a member. He appears to have been the victim of unjust aspersions on his character, and it may be the story of his having died a drunkard and buried without the benefit of Masonic service, is untrue.
Fraternally yours, John Whicher, Grand Sec'y, California.

(Proceedings Grand Lodge of North Carolina, December 9, 1820)

The M. W. Grand Master read a letter from the Grand High Priest of the Grand R. A. Chapter of the State of Virginia, respecting the character and conduct of Mr. David Vinton.

(Same body, December 1, 1821)

The Grand Master called the attention of the Grand Lodge to a letter of enquiry, from Mount Vernon Lodge, of Providence, Rhode Island, respecting the denunciation of David Vinton, a member of that Lodge, by this Grand Lodge, which, on motion of Brother Smith, was referred to a committee, consisting of Brothers Jas. S. Smith, William Boylan, Thomas Henderson, Jesse A. Dawson, and M. W. Campbell.

(December 4, 1821)

The committee to whom was referred the communication from Mount Vernon Lodge, Providence, Rhode Island, relative to the un-Masonic conduct of David Vinton, by their chairman, James S. Smith, submitted a report, with the Lodge concurred, and ordered that the Secretary send a copy thereof to Mount Vernon Lodge.

(Proc. Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, May 28, 1821)

Resolved, the Grand Secretary communicate the proceedings of the Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of North Carolina, respecting the expulsion of David Vinton for un-Masonic conduct by their Grand Lodge, to the Master of Mount Vernon Lodge (the said Vinton being a member of his Lodge) and that he lay the proceedings before his Lodge at their next meeting, and inquire into the proceedings and make a report of their doings to this Grand Lodge.

(June 25, 1821)

A report of the proceedings of Mount Vernon Lodge respecting David Vinton received and the consideration postponed until the next Quarterly Communication in August next.

(February 26, 1822)

The W. Master of Mount Vernon Lodge made a report that said Lodge had investigated into the conduct of David Vinton.

On motion made and seconded, Voted Said report be received and a copy of the proceedings ordered on file.

(June 24, 1823)

The W. Master of Mount Vernon Lodge informed the Grand Lodge he noticed by the report of expelled Masons by the Grand Lodge of New York, it was stated David Vinton is expelled by Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4, in this State, which being an error, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, that the Grand Secretary be instructed to inform the Grand Lodge of the State of New York that Brother Vinton is not expelled from Mount Vernon Lodge aforesaid and that this resolution be communicated to the several Grand Lodges in the United States.

Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4, F. & A. M.

Providence R. I., July 9,1916.

John Whicher,
Grand Secretary.
Dear Sir and W. Brother:

Owing to the illness of our Secretary, R. W. Bro. Chas. B. Manchester, I am answering your enquiry of June 13th regarding one of our old members, David Vinton, and I trust from the copies of our records herewith inclosed you will get the information sought.

Respt. and Fraternally yours,
William S. Greene,
W. M. Mt. Vernon No. 4,
358 Potter ave., Prov., R. I.

(Copy of the minutes of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 4, F. & A. M., Prov., R. I.)

June 5th, A. L. 5821. Resolved, that the Grand Secretary communicate the proceedings of the W. Grand Lodge of the State of No. Carolina respecting the expulsion of David Vinton for un-Masonic conduct by their Grand Lodge, to the Master of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4 (said Vinton being a member of his Lodge) and that he lay the proceedings before his Lodge at their next meeting and enquire into the proceedings of their doings to this Grand Lodge. (Above is a true copy of a communication rec'd from G. L. by Mt. V.) The charges against David Vinton as communicated by the Grand Lodge are selling manuscripts of the Masonic lectures, and conferring the Mark and Past Master's degrees without any authority to do so, and pocketing the fees, and stating to subordinate Lodges that he had authority from the Grand Lodge which he had not.

Voted, that a committee be appointed to investigate the conduct of Bro. David Vinton relative to the charges made against him.

Committee, W. Joseph S. Cooke, W. Master Henry Martin, Bro. John Holroyd.

July 25, A. L. 5821. Voted, that the committee appointed to investigate the character of Bro. David Vinton be instructed to write to Franklin Chapter and the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina requesting them to furnish this Lodge with those charges upon which they expelled said Vinton from their Lodges.

Feb. 22, A. L. 5822. The committee to whom were referred the charges exhibited by the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina against Bro. David Vinton, a member of this Lodge, and submitted to you by the Grand Lodge of this State, and who were also instructed to inform Bro. Vinton of the charges against him and also to communicate with Franklin Chapter No. 4, Norwich, Connecticut, from which body Bro. Vinton was said to be expelled, beg leave to report that on the 13th of June last they addressed a letter to Bro. Vinton, but owing to misdirection, or some other cause, it did not reach him until the 25th of December last, as appears by his letter dated the 26th of the same month; that on the 31st of July they made a communication to Franklin Chapter to which they received an answer the 7th of November following. In the month of January of the present year, your committee received through the post office two packets covering a lengthy but highly interesting communication of seventy-three close written pages from Bro. Vinton, accompanied by several letters and documents in defence of his character. Your committee are aware that the nature of their appointment does not require an expression of their sentiments upon the charges exhibited. They do not wish to be thought assuming in this respect. But upon an attentive perusal of the documents forwarded by Bro. Vinton, they cannot forbear expressing it as their decided opinion that the charges made against our brother by the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina and Franklin Chapter, Norwich, are wholly unsupported by evidence. Among the reports circulated to the injury of Bro. Vinton is one that he had left his family and that they were being supported by the Lodge. Brethren, you all know that this report is entirely destitute of truth.

( Signed)
Jos. S. Cooke,
Henry Martin,
John Holroyd

Voted, that a special Lodge be called tomorrow afternoon, the 23d inst. at 2 o'clock, for the purpose of further considering the charges against Bro. Vinton, and his defence.

Feb. 23d. The object of the meeting being stated, proceeded to the reading of the report of the committee … the correspondence and the documents … which being accomplished, and after due consideration, it was

Voted, that this Lodge do disapprove of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina in relation to our Bro. David Vinton, and that we do concur with our committee in opinion that the charges exhibited against him by said Grand Lodge are totally groundless, and that the proceedings of said Grand Lodge are wholly unwarranted.

(Brother Greene adds in a note: "Postage on all correspondence in relation to this investigation was $4.25.)

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"Freemason's March"

Dear Sir and Brother: The "Freemason's March" printed in your October issue is known throughout England as the "Entered Apprentice's Song." In some Lodges under the English Constitution it is invariably sung by the Brethren after an initiation ceremony when the Lodge has been closed.

In the first edition of the Constitution Book (1723) this song is ascribed by Dr. Anderson to "our late Brother, Mr. Matthew Birkhead, deceased. To be sung where all grave business is over, and with the Master's leave."

Since the time of Dr. Anderson another verse has been added as follows:

We're true and sincere,
And just to the Fair;
They'll trust us on any occasion:
No mortal can more
The Ladies adore
Than a Free and an Accepted Mason.
Yours fraternally, C. C. Adams, England.

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"The Honour Role"

Dear Sir and Brother: I was interested to note in a recent issue of The Builder that among the Signers of the Declaration of Independence known or supposed to be Freemasons, was included the name of Francis Hopkinson. I would be greatly interested in obtaining confirmation of this if possible. It is known that Francis Hopkinson's father, Thomas, was Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania in 1736, but I am informed by Grand Lodge Librarian Bro. Julius Sachse, of Philadelphia, that there is no record of Francis Hopkinson's affiliation with the Craft.
Fraternally yours, Francis Hopkinson Coffin, Scranton, Penn.

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Dear Brother Newton: – In an editorial of the October, 1916, Builder Magazine, mention is made of your desire to write a Life and Study of Albert Pike, the great Scottish Rite Freemason. I own a copy of Morals and Dogma and have often wondered why this book was published without an index; a separate index however is on the market which I have incorporated in my copy, thus making the same complete.

Your desire to write this contemplated and much desired book, should meet with the hearty approval, and especially support, of all the members of the Society, interested in the life of Albert Pike.

Acting on my own suggestion, I am enclosing a descriptive circular of a publication which perhaps you may have overlooked, dealing with Albert Pike's diplomatic work for the Southern Confederacy, also, the following item which I have taken from my copy of BIBLIOTHECA ROSICRUCIANA by F. Leigh Gardner, 14 Marlborough Road, (his present address) Gunnersbury, London, W. Either Mr. Gardner or Mr. Arthur E. Waite could give you information relative to this item.

Page 46. Item No. 317. Pike (Albert), The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry, a thick folio MSS. in the private library of the "Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia." Its date is about 1875. (Footnote, This MMS. has never been published. It contains, in addition to its Masonic work, a great deal of Rosicrucian matter not to be found elsewhere.)

Trusting that these two items may be of some use to you and that you will soon get this very important book on the market, I am
Cordially and fraternally yours, H. L. S., Ohio.

(Many thanks. The volume dealing with Albert Pike's diplomatic work for the Southern Confederacy was noted in these pages at the time of its publication. (Vol. 1, p. 279.) As to the Ms volume by Pike on the Symbolism of the Blue Degrees said to exist in England, we have our doubts. There is such a volume in the vault of the House of the Temple, in Washington – which we have read with joy and profit – but we are quite sure that no copy of it was ever made. There was a volume of lectures, two of them in fact, on Symbolism, so printed as to resemble Ms – this may be the volume a copy of which found its way across the waters. Still, some such volume may exist, for Pike was amazingly prolific and journeyed into many fields of research. We shall welcome any further information about it which any Member of the Society may possess. Unfortunately, we were not able to learn anything about it while in England.)

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A Token Of Memory

Dear Brother: – Referring to that note, "A Token of Memory," on page 348 of the Nov. Builder, you may be interested to know that just such a practice has been followed in Barton Lodge, Hamilton, Canada, for some four or five years past. This is one of the oldest lodges in the Dominion, and recently celebrated its, I believe, 120th birthday.

The same idea had been advocated in Wilson Lodge of this city, also for some time by the present W. M., Wor. Bro. W. H. Black, and it so happened that a P. M. from Barton Lodge was present in Wilson Lodge on one of these occasions and told those present of the custom prevailing in his own lodge. The seed was dropped in fruitful ground, for one of the brethren, now V. W. Bro. R. F. Segsworth, offered to supply the bibles, with a suitable book plate, at his own expense, and has done so for two years.

Enclosed is a copy of the bookplate, and you will note that the inscription is embossed, as well as the decorative heading, not printed merely, so that the gift is not a cheap one. The bible used is bound in flexible leather, and is worthy a place on any reading table.

Wilson Lodge was instituted in 1857 and its present membership is 375, of whom some 29 have gone overseas. To each one of these was given by the Lodge a military wrist watch and a parchment setting forth in the three languages the fact of his Masonic standing, which is enclosed in a water proof envelope.

There is one respect in which, I understand, that Wilson Lodge differs from Barton Lodge with regard to the presentation bibles. With the latter, the Lodge keeps the bibles until the candidate has been raised therein, but in the former he gets his copy when he is initiated, so that in case he has to be passed or raised elsewhere he can still use his bible and have it properly filled in at the time.
P. T. O., Canada. - WILSON LODGE, A.F. & A.M., NO. 86, G.R.C.

This Volume of The Sacred Law was used at the inception into Masonry of Bro…………………………………..

Initiated …. Day of …. 19 …. by Wor. Bro
Passed …. Day of …. 19 …. by Wor. Bro
Raised …… Day of …. 19 …. by Wor. Bro

and it was presented to our Brother on his attaining the Master Mason Degree.


Worshipful Master.

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We would thank Brethren who contribute to The Builder henceforth, if they will be kind enough to send with their articles a brief personal sketch, giving date and place of birth, schools attended, if any – the University of Hard Knocks, if no other – books written, business or profession, and Masonic affiliations. We wish to include such a brief notice with articles hereafter, as we did in the case of Prof. Bingham, for the interest of our readers. Take notice, Brethren, and govern yourselves accordingly.

The Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa wishes to make a collection of articles, books, pictures, relics of Robert Burns, and the Grand Librarian would appreciate the co-operation of the members of the Society. Communications should be addressed to Brother Newton R. Parvin, Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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