The Builder Magazine

April 1917 – Volume III – Number 4


Part 1

Continued in Part 2

.xx Next Month: May 1917
Previous Month: March 1917www General Index


(Announcing a Monthly Department of Personal Opinion on Present-day Masonic subjects)

Edited by Bro. Geo. E. Frazier

President, The Board of Stewards)

RESULTS speak louder than words. In reviewing the first two years of the Society, the Board of Stewards have been especially impressed with its loyalty to its original ideal, the character of its membership, and the increasing use now being made of its resources. Mere numbers give no adequate idea of its real strength, but it is surely significant that the Society has enlisted the interest of fourteen thousand Masons in two years. Its members include not only the rank and file of the Craft, but a large percentage of the leaders and students of Masonry in America, and not a few representative scholars from abroad. Indeed a list of the present members of the Society in any state shows a striking combination of the veteran Masonic leaders and the progressive young men of the jurisdiction.

Naturally the high character of the membership is making itself felt month by month in the contents of The Builder, whose leading articles provoke a wide response both in the Society as well as in the Masonic press of the country. This response finds expression in the correspondence column of The Builder, which increases in interest and value with each issue, and also in answer and comment direct from individual members. Because of the directness, vitality and far-reaching interest of this response, the editor has taxed the limits of space devoted to it, often withholding new articles to make room for letters of reply or elaboration not infrequently as instructive as the original article. Fortunately this demand has been met in part by the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, edited by Brother Clegg, which is now an added and invaluable monthly feature. The Board of Stewards is in entire sympathy with the Study-Club movement, and wishes to make all possible provision to facilitate its growth and advancement.

All of which shows a very real and vital interest in the study of Masonry, and the development of our work so far reveals the wide range of Masonic activities – as a glance at the Index of the first two volumes of The Builder will make plain. We have, then, a trinity of working tools. First, we have fourteen thousand leading Masons who are reading The Builder, and the number is rapidly growing. Second, we have a hearty response from our members not only in appreciation, but in comment, criticism, and practical suggestion looking to the application of Masonic study to everyday life. Third, we have a list of contributors of serious articles which embraces the names of many of the finest Masonic students at home and abroad. Surely all this is as much an evidence of the strength and virility of Masonry as beautiful temples, the perfect exemplification of the ritual, or large numbers of candidates, excellent as all these are.

Your Board of Stewards has, therefore, felt the need of adding a department to The Builder that will bring the experience and special information of its past and present contributors to bear on present-day Masonic problems. We have accordingly established a department of personal opinion, which will appear monthly commencing with an early issue. This department will be edited by the President of the Board of Stewards, and he will invite contributions to the department each month from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to the magazine. At least four and not more than six such expressions of personal opinion will make up the department for each month. In order that opinions may be compared and opposite viewpoints fully considered the President will announce a subject for each month in the form of a query. Some possible subjects are:

  • Shall Masonic lodges encourage the formation of local Masonic clubs for social purposes?
  • Shall American Grand Lodges unite in a National Grand Lodge?
  • Shall lodge dues be increased to cover the financial support of Masonic charitable institutions?
  • Shall Masters and Grand Masters be elected from the floor without regard to service in subordinate offices ?
  • Shall present Masonic orders favor the promotion of new systems of Masonic or quasi-Masonic degrees ?
  • Shall Lodge officers be financially interested in the sale of Masonic supplies ?
  • Shall Masonic lodges appoint committees to investigate the non-sectarian administration of the public schools ?

You are asked to read over again the typical subjects just given. Please note that they are subjects actively discussed in the official correspondence of practically all grand lodges. They are live topics on which Masons have opinion, and on which Masonic judgment must be passed. The subjects do not involve the discussion of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices.

The subjects given are intended merely to sketch out the possibilities of this department. Each member is earnestly invited to suggest other and better topics. Please remember that the department is not open to discussion on international policies or on religious organizations or on sects, cults and theories of personal application. The department is for the expression of personal opinion by our own former contributors on subjects that are alive in the administration of the Masonry of today.

The contributing editors of this department of personal opinion assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Each opinion must be expressed in one paragraph of not more than six hundred words. All those who have contributed articles to The Builder are invited to become contributing editors. The list will grow as all new contributors to The Builder will also become contributing editors to this department of personal opinion. Please note carefully that this department offers the only vehicle in Masonry for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students as to present-day Masonic problems. With this in mind one can readily appreciate the possibilities before us for constructive thinking of a high order.

The Correspondence department of The Builder will be continued and will afford each member of the Society an opportunity to reply to any expression of opinion that he finds of especial interest. It is the hope of the Board of Stewards that this new department may stimulate many Masons to Masonic inquiry that will in turn lead them to contribute articles to The Builder, and to join our list of Contributing Editors
Geo. E. Frazer, President of the Board of Stewards.

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Above all, that I may not be a coward! That I may have courage to be unmoved by the uncertainties of life, and without dread of loss, whether of friends, of health or of fortune: That I may come with a firm and tranquil mind to the work of this day, fearing nothing – ready to meet bravely failure or deprivation.

That I may bring to the day's efforts, good humor and a cheerful regard for all with whom I may come into contact: That I may not judge others hastily or with bitterness.

That I may not be grasping, but content with a fair share of this world's goods, willing to let others have theirs: That I may be diligent in the performance of duties and cheerful in manner: That I may be earnest in pursuit of the right.

That I may stand with open mind ready to receive the Truth in small affairs and in large – whether in learning new and better methods or in receiving that philosophy necessary to a brave, tranquil, well-poised, well-harmonized life.

John Brisben Walker (Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association)

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By Friedrich Schiller, Born Nov. 10, 1759

There are three lessons I would write,
Three words as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the hearts of men:
Have hope. Though clouds environ now,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow,
No night but hath its morn.
Have faith. Where'er thy bark is driven –
The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth –
Know this – God rules the hosts of heaven,
The inhabitants of earth.
Have love. Not love alone for one,
But, man as man thy brother call,
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.
Thus grave these lessons on thy soul –
Hope, Faith and Love and thou shalt find
Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.

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By The Late Bro. Wm. A. Paine, Jamaica

Paine, William A., of English parentage, date of birth unknown; a man of business and a gentleman of the old school; Master of King Solomon's Lodge, Kingston, Jamaica, also a Royal Arch Mason; lost his life in the earthquake disaster at Kingston, Jan. 14th, 1907. He was a man of noble character, of winning personality, learned in the lore of Freemasonry, devoted to its service, and a pioneer in his jurisdiction in the cause of Masonic study. The essay here published is of unusual value for its wide research and its clear reasoning; and while all of its readers may not agree with the position taken, they must reckon with its argument opposing the Jewish claims of Masonic origin.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT (For the above information and photograph, and for Brother Paine's thoughtful paper herewith begun, we are indebted to our Brother Member, E. T. Skinkle, 33d, of Chicago.)


IT is necessary that we look at this important and instructive factor in the system of Speculative Freemasonry from two separate and distinct points – the positive and the negative.

The positive asserts itself from the fact that Solomon's Temple, the traditions connected therewith, and prominent Jewish Scriptural characters, are very extensively introduced; and, in fine, that the Jewish Ceremonials and Types are considerably availed of as the foundations on which the three Craft Degrees have been erected. With a limited knowledge of the origin and history of the Ritual, and of the Symbolism in Freemasonry, it is not to be wondered at that a very large proportion of Masons consider they are orthodox in holding the opinion that Solomon, King of Israel, and the two Hirams, were Freemasons, and that Speculative Freemasonry originated at the building of the First Temple. I need hardly say that it is only natural every Jewish Mason should hold firmly to such a view.

The negative side of the question is this: – "That Hiram Abiff was not slain. Solomon and the two Hirams were not Masons, and that Freemasonry did not originate at the Temple." And as I shall be able to show that we have Masonic history to support this negative, and that we have only to deal with a series of interesting and instructive legends, the sooner we recognize and admit the same, by placing the Temple and the Jewish characters connected therewith under the legitimate and intelligent classification, – allegory. The sooner we seek for the origin of the Legend of the Temple, and the period in the history of Freemasonry, when it was introduced, the earlier and the better shall we be able to understand really what Speculative Freemasonry is; or, as in the words of one of our important charges, "Be the better able to distinguish and appreciate the connection of our whole system, and the relative dependency of its several parts."

If so great a Masonic student as Dr. Oliver, in his early career, believed literally all that had been told him in the Lodge Room, is it to be wondered at that the like erroneous view still exists? The Doctor's experience can be best given in his own words: "The Legend of the 3d when given as a naked and unexplained fact, and recited with all the solemnity of truth, 99 out of every 100 candidates believe it implicitly, and would esteem it a casus belli if any one were to express a doubt respecting the most improbable particulars which it professes to record; and when I was first initiated at an early age, I confess that such were my own impressions."

Ragon, who died in 1866, and was considered one of the ablest of French Masonic writers, thus refers to the 3d: – "All the fables which are introduced to excite the wonder and astonishment of the Neophyte, and repeated as undoubted facts as preserved by an ancient and accredited tradition, may be termed fanciful monstrosities, because the Holy Scriptures tacitly disprove them, for they contain no reference to the circumstances which constitute the Legend."

Grand Master Dalcho, in one of his orations, says: "I candidly confess that I feel a great degree of embarrassment, while I am relating to Ministers of God's Holy Word, or to any other gentlemen, a story founded on the grossest errors of accumulated ages; errors which they can prove to me to be such, from the sacred pages of Holy Writ, and from profane history; and, that too, in a minute after I have solemnly pronounced them to be undeniable truths, even by the Holy Bible on which I have received their obligation."

Oliver says also, on the same subject: "It is indeed indefensible as a sober matter of History, and the most rational application of it, which the W. M. could make at the conclusion of the ceremony, would be – to explain to the Candidate, that the drama in which he has sustained so conspicuous a part, is merely symbolical; and, then subjoin the reference. This course would be plausible, and prevent the Candidate leaving the Lodge, either with a fallacy on his mind, if he believes it to be true, or with a conviction that a clumsy and unworthy imposition has been practiced on him; which, from a better knowledge of the facts, he at once repudiates with a combined feeling of pity and disgust."

Such being the opinions of eminent Masonic writers, printed and published for the instruction even of entered apprentices, let us then ascertain the true definition as given by Oliver and others. "Freemasonry is confessedly an allegory, and as an allegory only must it be supported, for its traditional history admits of no palliation. Whoever would remove Freemasonry out of the category, as an allegorical institution, might as well destroy its existence; for in no other character would it be able to hold its own. It is one consistent and intelligible assemblage of symbols, and any attempt to explain it, by reference to facts, is sure to fail: instead of a clear, beautiful, and harmonious system connected in all its parts, a distorted caricature will be produced without a single redeeming trait of character."

Dalcho, holding similar views, says in addition: "Neither Moses, nor Solomon, nor Joshua, nor the two Hirams, nor the two Saints John belonged to the Masonic Order. It is unwise to assert more than we can prove, and to argue against probabilities. There is no record, sacred or profane, to induce us to believe that Masonic these holy and distinguished men were Freemasons. To assert which may make the ignorant stare, but will rather create the contempt than the admiration of the wise – let Freemasons give up their vain boastings, which ignorance has foisted into the Order, and relinquish a fabulous antiquity, rather than sacrifice common sense."

I invite your attention to the consideration of this fabulous antiquity as applicable to Solomon's Temple. Locke, the philosopher of the 17th century, and whom we know was a Freemason, says: "Religion is the only tie which will bind men, and where there is no religion, there can be no Masonry." Max Muller asks us to bear in mind – "That without a belief in a personal immortality, religion surely, is like an arch resting on one pillar, or like a bridge ending in an abyss ;" and Bulwer Lytton truly adds: "Though all the world were carved over, and inscribed with the letters of divine knowledge, the characters would be valueless to him who does not pause to enquire the language, and meditate the truth." These three quotations supply religion, immortality, symbolism, a most appropriate triad, pointing to the pillars of wisdom, strength, and beauty: for wisdom abides in the man, who, with revealed religion as his guide, is strengthened in his belief in immortality, by recognizing the beautiful symbolism of Freemasonry, by which it inculcates so important a dogma.

Dr. Oliver considers that wherever and whenever the true God was worshipped, in the midst of idolatry, as in the time of Israel's apostacy under Ahab and Jezbel, that such worshippers of Jehovah were the representatives of ancient speculative Freemasons, and therefore he adds, at the erection of the First Temple, the Jews represented the pure speculative element which, joined to the Tyrian pure operative Masonry, was the first combination of speculative with operative. This can only be viewed at the most as merely sentimental – nothing historical as bearing on the point that either the Jews were architects, or that Solomon and the two Hirams were Freemasons. Nor can any such sentimental amalgamation of the Jew and Tyrian, at the first temple, be urged as analogous to the combination of Pagan and Christian architects in the time of Constantine the First at Byzantium, or of Romanist and Protestant architects in the 17th century under Wren at the erection of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Findel, that great German Masonic writer, entirely ignores Jewish origin and Temple traditions, and although admitting much that is historical, is only willing to trace Freemasonry from the German Gilds of the middle ages. Fort, a renowned American writer, admits Jewish influence not Jewish origin, but that influence as of a period long subsequent to the Second Temple, for he commences his line of argument at the early Byzantium period of architecture.

Woodford, Past Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge of England, and equally a writer of note, considers "our present speculative system, in its modern development, as undoubtedly lineally and archaeologically the successor of the Gild Fraternities of the operative Masons, but he asks 'whence did the Gilds obtain the Masonic legends?' and he adds, I am not inclined to give up the legend of the temple, or even a connection with the ancient mysteries altogether."

Mackey, the American Masonic writer, referring to the 3rd degree, says, "When I speak of the antiquity of Freemasonry, I must say, if I must respect the axioms of historical science, that its body came out of the middle ages, but that its spirit is to be traced to far – remoter periods, for Freemasonry is the successor of the Building Corporations of the middle ages – and through them with less certainty, but with great probability of the Roman Colleges of Artificers – its connection with Solomon's Temple as its birthplace may have been accidental or a mere arbitrary selection of its inventors, and bears therefore only an allegorical meaning. The Temple of Solomon has played an important part in Freemasonry. Time was, when every Masonic writer subscribed to the theory that Masonry was there first organized, that there Solomon and the two Hirams presided as Grand Masters, initiated the symbolic degrees and invented the system of initiation, and that – from that period in unbroken succession and unaltered – form has it passed to us, down the stream of time." But Mackey goes on to say, "The modern method of reading Masonic history has swept away this edifice of imagination as efficiently as the Babylonish King demolished the structure itself, upon which it is founded. No writer who values his reputation as a critical historian would now attempt to defend the theory that Masonry originated at the building of the First Temple."

Findel, Fort, Mackey – three of as great celebrities in Masonic literature as are to be found entirely ignore the Jewish origin; and if we bear this in view, together with the other important fact, that Freemasonry is only a beautiful system of symbolism and allegory, we cannot but admit that the Rabbi Mamonides' Commentary on the Legends of the Talmudists is very appropriate, and a fitting Commentary on the Symbolism of Freemasonry. His words are: "Beware that ye take not the words of the wise men in their literal signification, for this would be to degrade and sometimes to contradict the Sacred Doctrines. Search further for the hidden sense, and if you cannot find the kernel, let the shell alone, and confess you cannot – understand it."

(To be continued)

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By Bro. H. A. Kingsbury, Massachusetts

Kingsbury, Harold A.; born, Westfield, Mass., August 27, 1882; graduate in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., 1907; graduate in Law, National University, Washington, D. C., 1910; graduate in Patent Law, George Washington University, Washington, D. C., 1911; Member of Bar of District of Columbia; Member of Bar of Supreme Court of United States; Assistant Examiner U.S. Patent Office, 1908-1912; at present, Assistant Patent Counsel, The New Departure Mfg. Co., Bristol, Connecticut; Washington Centennial Lodge No. 14, Washington, D. C.; Mount Vernon Chapter No. 3, Washington, D. C.; Scottish Rite Bodies, 4d to 18d, Springfield, Mass.; 19d to 32d, Massachusetts Consistory, Boston, Mass.

IN the case of many of the symbols used in Masonry it almost seems as though the ritual writers must have followed the rule, "The importance to be given a symbol in the ritual should be inversely proportional to the real importance of that symbol." Particularly does this rule seem to have been applied to the case of one of the Jewels of the Lodge – the Perfect Ashlar or Perfect stone Cube. For this symbol, though casually dismissed with but two or three brief sentences in the monitorial instructions, is, in reality, of very considerable importance and interest and deserving of the careful attention of the Mason.

The Perfect Ashlar is one of a group of three Jewels. Thus the symbol calls the Mason's attention to one more of the many (not less than twenty) references, in Craft Masonry, to the number Three – the most significant of all the numbers (unless it be Seven) held in veneration in nearly every ancient system of religious philosophy, and even having, in some of those systems, notably that of Plato, the importance of a symbol of Deity.

Stone, the material of the Perfect Ashlar, was considered of great importance in many of the ancient religions and, indeed, in some was worshipped. Stone worship existed among the early American races. There is good reason for believing that the Peruvians worshipped stones, as the protectors of their crops. The Greeks originally used unhewn stones to represent their deities. The Thebans represented the god Bacchus by a stone. In the Kaaba at Mecca is a stone, Hajar al Aswad, which was worshipped by the ancient Arabians and which present-day Mohammedans regard with veneration. The Druids represented their gods by stones.

Stone is so evidently the symbol of Permanency, Faith and Trust that it seems almost unnecessary to cite examples here. But any one familiar with his New Testament will recall the incident of the giving of the name Cephas, or Peter, meaning a stone, to Simon, who stood for the permanency, faith and truth of the Early Christian Church, and will recall that Christ said, "Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my Church."

The cubical form of-the Perfect Ashlar serves to further identify it as the symbol of Permanency, Faith and Truth as the Cube, from the time of the Ancients has had this significance. We have an example of it in Revelations (XXI, 16) where the New Jerusalem is described as having its length, breadth and thickness equal, each to the other, giving, of course, a cubical form to the city.

The fact that Masonry uses a hewn, rather than an unhewn stone, for symbolizing Truth, furnishes an interesting example of the ways in which the introduction of (comparatively) self-evident conceptions derived from Operative Masonry has worked, in some instances, curious changes in the more abstruse symbolistic systems which Masonry has, apparently, inherited from the Hebrews and the Egyptians. That is, in the Masonic system, following at this point suggestions from Operative Masonry, the hewn and perfect condition of the Perfect Ashlar is understood to emphasize and make yet stronger the symbol's reference to Truth, whereas in the symbolistic systems of the Hebrews and the Egyptians a rough, unhewn cubical stone was considered to symbolize Truth and a perfect, hewn stone was understood to symbolize Falsehood.

However interesting and important the various other symbolic significances of the Cube may be, the symbolic suggestion that perhaps most concerns the Mason of today, and particularly the American Mason of today, is this: – The Cube is the symbol of the state and it is placed in the Masonic Lodge to constantly remind the Mason, of the State, or political structure, of which he forms a part, and to recall him to those duties which he, a citizen, owes to that State.

If one views a cube with his eyes slightly above the top of it, and opposite one of its vertical edges, he will find that, as indicated in the figure, there are three faces visible, and three invisible, to him. The three visible faces symbolize the three departments of the State, the Legislative, which makes the laws, the Judicial which interprets them, and the Executive which executes them. The three invisible faces symbolize the invisible soul of the State, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. As these three invisible faces are necessary to complete and make stable the Cube so are Liberty, Equality and Fraternity necessary to complete and make stable the State.

The Perfect Ashlar, in its character of a symbol of the State, represents an ideal to be striven for – the perfect State has not yet been finally developed. But, upon his first entrance into Masonry, the Mason is presented with Working Tools with which to shape and to gauge his work – the Gavel, symbolizing Force, and the Gauge, symbolizing Rule or Law. And the Perfect Ashlar reminds the Mason that his entered apprentice's Working Tools are given him to use and that it is for him, a citizen, to apply them, using Force, properly held in restraint by Rule or Law, to, so far as in him lies, make his ashlar a Perfect Ashlar and his state a perfect State.

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Destruction has its millions within its awful thralls;
To do its bidding night and day, and mandate all its calls.
Another host in other parts Construction does employ;
To build our homes and cities fair, and all that we enjoy.

Construction and destruction have been fighting hand to hand
Since this old world began to turn, and neither rules the land.
But what construction does today to build in modern ways
Destruction lays in desolate waste in future struggling days.

One hand can swing the mighty sword, and in its awful swath
The lives of millions fall like grain – why reckon up the loss?
But two hands do the building as we raise the wall again;
Two hands bind up the wounded, and two hands construct again.

One hand can raise the fire-brand from the smouldering coals of hate;
Two hands must stop the raging flames before it is too late.
One hand can give the signal for the largest guns to boom
Two hands must raise above the dead the flowers into bloom.

Two hands can build with stone on stone the highest wall that's laid;
One hand can burst the fatal shells, and debts alone are made.
One hand may wield destruction as it goes along life's path;
Two hands must do the healing, as we reap the aftermath.

Why not use the brick and mortar, not the rifle and the sword?
Why not use the trowel and level, at Construction's signal word?
Why not use the square and plumb-line as we raise our friendships kind?
For destruction's not external until cherished in man's mind.

What's within brings forth the harvest; thoughts rethought make up the seeds;
That same harvest may be useful, or a useless growth of weeds.
Why delay internal plantings when destruction's passions yield?
Go into internal pastures; there prepare the fertile field.

There prepare it for the planting, like a garden fair to see;
Sow it, watch it, tend and weed it, 'til from weeds the ground is free.
By and by the crop grows stronger, and no weeds can therein grow;
For the harvest forth is coming – a repayment for the sow.

By destruction things are severed from their proper place in life.
By construction brought together; fitted 'gainst a social strife.
By destruction strong connections are at once asunder torn;
By construction once well welded – and redone by son unborn.

When our lives are in their fittings and each unit has its place
The design has form and beauty which the artist's brush would trace;
With the back ground and perspective, and our hopes the foreground fill -
There's construction in the picture; beauty through the artist's will.

Faith it takes for all construction; faith it takes to plan to do;
Faith it takes at the foundation, and to see the matter through.
Faith it takes when all's destruction to rise up and build some more;
Faith it takes when broken idols lie upon the tiled floor.

Hope in all constructive action is the active force to move.
Faith is passive in the planning, and the two, resultants prove.
Hope moves faith into an action which before was in the breast,
And the two are both constructive counting for the very best.

The resultant is construction, in both matter and in mind;
Putting useful things together which apart, serve not mankind.
Two hands, with a mind and feeling make for charity and love
They produce the world's resultant guided by a Force above.
By Geo. N. Foster, Lincoln, Nebr.

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Justice is as strictly due between neighbour nations, as between neighbour citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang, as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang of robbers.
– Franklin.

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By Bro. Roscoe Pound

Dean, Harvard College Of Law


At the outset we may well ask ourselves why do we say Masonic Jurisprudence? Why not simply Masonic Law ? Is there a science of Masonic law as distinct from Masonic law itself? For in its original and etymological meaning and in the best usage, jurisprudence means the science of law. It is true there are two other uses of the term. The French use it to mean the course of decision in the courts as contrasted on the one hand with legislation and on the other hand with doctrine or the consensus of opinion of learned writers and commentators. To some extent this French usage has been received with us, particularly in the phrase "equity jurisprudence," signifying the course of decision in Anglo-American courts of equity, which has gained currency through the classical work of Judge Story. But it must be obvious that Masons do not employ the word in this sense. Although the course of decision in Masonic tribunals in the form of rulings of the Grand Masters and action of Grand Lodges thereon and of review of trials in or by Grand Lodges, is an important form of Masonic law; it furnishes but a part, and relatively a modern part, of the materials of what we are wont to style Masonic jurisprudence.

By a not unnatural transition from the French use of the term it has come to be used also chiefly in this country, simply as a polysyllabic synonym for law. Medical jurisprudence, for the forensic applications of medicine, has much vogue. Dental jurisprudence for the law of interest to dentists, engineering jurisprudence for the law of interest to engineers, architectural jurisprudence for the law of interest to architects, are heard occasionally. These seem quite indefensible. But even if they were not to be critized, they would not warrant Masonic jurisprudence, for the latter term calls to mind not that part of the general law of the land which has special interest for the Mason, but the internal law of the fraternity itself. We come back, therefore, to our question whether Masonic jurisprudence is simply a grandiose name for Masonic law or whether, on the other hand, there is a science of Masonic law distinct from the law of each Masonic jurisdiction? Is there, in other words, an organized body of knowledge above and behind each particular local Masonic law upon which the latter rests as fully and truly as the particular legal rules of one of our commonwealths rest upon the principles of general legal science and the principles of Anglo-American legal tradition? For the moment I shall assume that there is, and my purpose in this course will be, not to expound dogmatically the rules of Masonic law which obtain here or elsewhere, but to show, if I may, that there is a science of Masonic law, to examine its material and its methods, and to set forth its principles.

In studying the law of politically organized society we say that it may be expounded dogmatically, that is, the content and application of its several rules and principles may be investigated and set forth, or it may be studied by one of the methods of jurisprudence – analytical, historical, or philosophical. In truth dogmatic study is of little value except as it makes use of and rests upon these methods of legal science. They justify themselves in the end by making for effective understanding and criticism and improvement of the law of each state. But they are methods of legal science generally, while the dogmatic method is applicable not to jurisprudence but to a particular body of law. We may study a particular body of law analytically, that is, we may investigate the structure, subjectmatter and rules of a legal system in order to reach by analysis the principles and theories which it logically presupposes, As a method of jurisprudence, however, the analytical method is comparative. It involves a comparative study of the purposes, methods and ideas common to developed systems of law by analysis of such systems and of their doctrines and institutions in their matured forms. Again, a particular body of law may be studied historically. That is, investigation may be made of the historical origin and development of the legal system and of its institutions and doctrines, looking to the past of the law to disclose the principles of the law of today. But here also, as a method of jurisprudence the historical method must be comparative. lt involves a comparative study of the origin and development of law, of legal systems, and of particular doctrines and institutions in order to draw therefrom universal principles of legal science. Finally, a particular body of law may be studied philosophically. That is, investigation may be made of the philosophical bases of the institutions and doctrines of a legal system in order to reach its fundamental principles through philosophical speculation. When this method is pursued comparatively and the philosophical basis of law generally and of general legal institutions and universal legal doctrines is sought, in order to reach universal principles, the philosophical method becomes a method of jurisprudence. Formerly these three methods, the analytical, the historical and the philosophical, contended for the mastery. Today we recognize that no one of them is self-sufficient and that jurisprudence must employ each of them in order to achieve a well-rounded science.

If we apply these ideas to Masonic law, we may say that a dogmatic exposition of the law of any jurisdiction would, indeed, very likely be profitable. But it would be relatively of little value, certainly of little permanent value, unless it made use of and rested upon the analytical, the historical and the philosophical methods. Moreover these methods should be developed comparatively, as methods of a Masonic legal science, if they are to give their best results. On the other hand these methods are not pursued for their own sake. In the end they must justify themselves by making the law of each Masonic jurisdiction more scientific, better organized, more easy of comprehension and of application and more effective for the purposes for which it exists. Unless he can give us principles of systematization, of criticism and of improvement in those parts of our law which are subject to change, the jurist has no claim upon the attention of a craft of workmen.

Another preliminary question confronts us. How far are we justified in speaking of Masonic law? Is the body of rules to which we give that name law in any proper sense of the term? Are we warranted in applying to it the methods and in attaching to it the ideas which are appropriate when treating of the law of politically organized society ?

There are three common uses of the term "law":

  1. Law as used in the natural and physical sciences;
  2. natural law or law of nature as the term has been used by writers on ethics, politics and the philosophy of law;
  3. law in the juridical sense.

In the sciences, law is used to mean deductions from human experience of the course of events. Thus the law of gravitation is a record of human observation and experience of the manner in which bodies which are free to move do in fact move toward one another. Similarly Grimm's law in philology is a record of the observations of philologists as to the manner in which consonantal changes have taken place in the several Aryan languages. By natural law ethical, philosophical and political writers mean the principles which philosophy and ethics discover as those which should govern human action and the adjustment of human relations, and hence as those with respect to which obligatory rules of human conduct ought to be framed. Law in the juridical sense is said to be the body of rules, principles and standards recognized or enforced by public or regular tribunals in the administration of justice. Obviously there is an idea in common here, namely, the idea of a rule or principle, underlying a sequence of events, whether natural or moral, or judicial. In this wide sense, therefore, we may speak of the rules or principles which underly a sequence of events in a fraternal organization as law, just as we should so style the rules or principles underlying a sequence of events in a political society. But this wide use of the term law has been the subject of much objection and much dispute and we may put ourselves on firmer ground by looking at certain analogies between the rules which govern the decision of controversies and the adjustment of relations in a politically organized society and those which govern disputes and adjust relations in religious organizations and in fraternal organizations.

At bottom we must rest the whole structure of state and law upon the hard fundamental fact that in a finite world, human demands are infinite. If there were enough material goods to go around and enough room so that each of us might move in the widest orbit his fancy could picture or his desires could dictate without coming into collision with his fellow men, we should not need any elaborate system of balancing conflicting interests nor any elaborate machinery for putting into effect the standards for delimiting and enforcing interests which result from such balancing. Unhappily the material goods of existence do not suffice to give to each everything which he may claim or which he does claim. Hence to conserve the values of life and to eliminate waste men organize themselves and organize or invent rules and standards and principles by which to eliminate waste and make the available stock of values go as far as possible. In the beginning these organizations are simply groups of kindred. Presently religious and maternal organizations develop. Subsequently political organizations arise. In time trade and professional associations are added. All these seek in one way or another to secure to men values which might otherwise be dissipated. They have their justification in the necessity of conserving what would otherwise be lost in the struggle of individuals to satisfy infinite claims upon a limited store. Accordingly, if we look for a moment at the state, we see that it eliminates waste by means of the law in several ways. For one thing it furnishes a rule of decision in case of dispute and thus obviates resort to private war when controversies arise. One has only to consider what happens today in case of an industrial dispute in order to see what this means.

In an ordinary dispute between man and man today we have a measure of conduct which is ascertainable within reasonable limits in advance. If the dispute becomes acute, one party or the other may summon his adversary before a public tribunal and may have the dispute adjudicated upon the basis of settled rules, according to a settled procedure, and with reference to settled modes of redress. When the judgment is pronounced, it is not optional with the defeated party to adhere to it or not. The whole power of the state is behind it and the force of organized society may be invoked to carry it out. In an industrial dispute on the other hand, we have no clear measure of conduct. Each party is referred to his individual sense of fairness and to the general sense of fairness of the public at large. But in a highly diversified community in which groups and classes with apparently divergent interests understand each other none too well and have conflicting ideas of justice, general public opinion is seldom sufficiently definite and consistent to serve as a restraint upon the partisan notions of justice entertained by the contending parties and hence is left to be the judge of its own case. With no clear predetermined measure of adjustment of such controversies, with no settled mode of procedure, with no settled mode of redress and no strong, permanent tribunal, backed by the moral sense of the community, long tradition, and the force of the state, to pronounce and give effect to a judgment, there is no way to satisfy or to coerce the disputants and in practice, as like as not, the interests of each and the interests of society suffer equally. Society struggles to maintain its interest in the general security and to prevent waste under such circumstances by seeking peace at whatever sacrifice. It is not a question of equal and exact justice. The paramount demands of peace and good order are to be met first. The policy is not "let justice be done though the heavens fall," but "peace at any price." Hence society endeavors to put pressure upon the disputants, directly, indirectly, openly or covertly, to submit to arbitration and to abide the award. A public service company may be threatened with forfeiture of franchise. A private owner may be threatened with extra-legal sequestration of his property. Both parties may be threatened with a report as to the causes of the dispute and the issues involved to be made public after an official enquiry. Press, pulpit and platform may exhort and rebuke. Thus in one way or another a compromise or an arbitration may be brought about. But when such a result has been achieved, no guide has been provided for the next dispute. No precedent has resulted. Nothing has been accomplished beyond averting or terminating a condition of private war in that one case. The whole process is crude and wasteful. Every time that this happens we act over again the inception of law. The Roman magistrate who stepped between the contending litigants and called out, "Let go, both of you," the praetor who pronounced the interdict, "I forbid that violence take place," and the indirect devices whereby a case for arbitration was formulated, not upon direct statement of their claims by the parties but through indirectly inducing or coercing a reference or an arbitration, testify to a general condition of which the special condition that obtains in a modern industrial dispute is perhaps the last remnant. By furnishing a rule for decision and by furnishing a guide to conduct the law enables society to reconcile conflicting interests, to conserve values and to eliminate waste.

This same problem of reconciling conflicting interests, of conserving values and of eliminating waste arises in every group – in religious and fraternal organizations no less than in political organizations. And it is met in the same way. By slow and painful development of customs through experience, followed by deliberate formulation of rules invented for the purpose, men select out of the great mass of possible claims those which seem to call most urgently for security, define them, weigh them against other recognized interests and devise means for giving them effect. This process of recognizing, delimiting and securing interests when carried on by a political society is called lawmaking and the rules and standards of conduct and rules and principles of decision thereby set up are called law. In like manner the rules and standards of conduct and the rules and principles of decision developed or devised to secure interests and conserve values In the universal medieval church are called the canon law. No less justly may we apply to the rules and standards of conduct and the rules and principles of decision evolved or devised to secure interests and conserve values in our universal fraternal organization the name of Masonic law. For if it is said that we cannot enforce our law as the state enforces its law – that the sheriff and his posse looms in the background of the latter while the former is but hortatory – the answer must be that our law has behind it the same sanction that was behind the law of the medieval church, namely, excommunication and that this is essentially nothing else than the sanction of the earlier stages of the law of politically organized society – namely, outlawry. The group in each case casts out the individual who, through defiance of its law threatens a waste of the values which it seeks to secure.

Assuming, then, that we are justified in speaking of Masonic law, what are the component parts of our Masonic legal system; what are the jural materials with which the Masonic lawyer must work ? I venture to distinguish three types of rules: (1) The landmarks; (2) the Masonic common law; (3) Masonic legislation. I cannot deny that in so classifying the jural materials of Masonry I am influenced by our Anglo-American distinction of constitutional rules, common law and legislation. And one should not turn to such an analogy hastily or unadvisedly. For I shall endeavour to show in another connection that Masonic jurisprudence has suffered in this country from overzealous attempts to mould our law by the analogies of the political law of the time and place and from the hasty assumption that our American legal and political institutions might be relied upon to furnish principles of law for a universal fraternity. Nevertheless the craft has engaged the hearty service of great lawyers for at least two centuries and the revival from which we date the Masonry of today took place in a time and in a country in which certain legal and politic ideas were universally entertained and were almost taken to inhere in nature. Hence we have more than analogy – we have, if not a causal relation, at least a relation of great influence.

Presupposing this three-fold division, we have first, the landmarks, a small not clearly defined body of fundamentals which are beyond reach of change. They are the prescriptive or unwritten constitution (using constitution in the purely American sense) by which every thing must be judged ultimately and to which we must all conform. Second, we have Masonic common law – the body of tradition and doctrine, which falling short of the sanctity and authority of the landmarks, nevertheless is of such long standing, and so universal, and so well attested, that we should hesitate to depart from it and are perforce wont to rely upon it whether to apply our own law or to appreciate the law of our neighbors.

These first two elements of Masonic law rest in tradition and in doctrinal writing. They take the form of: (a) Tradition – the mode of conducting Masonic affairs which has been handed down from master to master, from lodge to lodge for centuries and embodies the experience of countless sincere, zealous, well-informed brothers; (b) treatises, of which Oliver's Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence and Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence are the best types; (c) decisions of Grand Masters and review thereof by Grand Lodges, recorded in the published proceedings of Grand Lodges, chiefly in America; and (d) reports of the committees on correspondence of our American Grand Lodges, in which the decisions in other jurisdictions are reviewed and criticized and a comparative and universal element is introduced which is of the highest value to the Masonic jurist. These committees on correspondence have been much kicked at and it cannot be denied that the work of some of them at times has been crude. Yet for the present purpose their work has been invaluable. No one who has studied Masonic jurisprudence attentively can fail to testify to the unifying force exerted by these committees. The stimulus of their criticism, even when ill directed has made our local Masonic jurists pause to think of the rest of the Masonic world; it has exerted the scientific influence which is always involved in comparison; it has worked everywhere for universality in our welter of independent local jurisdictions, each ambitious to make its own law.

The two main elements just enumerated make up the unwritten law of Masonry. A third element, namely, Grand Lodge legislation, of which our American Grand Lodges have been exceedingly prolific, constitutes the written law of Masonry.

A moment's digression is required to explain these terms. As soon as legal systems attain any degree of maturity, they are made up of two elements: A traditional element and an imperative element. Following the Roman jurists, the traditional element is generally known in jurisprudence by the name of the unwritten law – jus non scriptum – and the imperative element by the name of the written law – jus scriptum; not that we do not find the principles and rules of each today only in writings, but because the latter was deliberately and authoritatively reduced to writing at its inception.

Our main interest is in the unwritten law – the traditional element – which, except as local decisions interpret or apply local legislation, proceeds or purports to proceed on universal lines and is or seeks to be in principle permanent and general, even as legislation is ephemeral and local.

Let me develop this point a bit. As has been said, a developed legal system is made up of two elements, a traditional element and an enacted or imperative element. Although at present the balance in our law is shifting gradually to the side of the enacted element, the traditional element is still by far the more important. In the first instance, we must rely upon it to meet all new problems, for the legislator acts only after they attract attention. But even after the legislator has acted, it is seldom if ever that his foresight extends to all the details of his problem or that he is able to do more than provide a broad, if not a crude outline. Hence even in the field of the enacted law, the traditional element of the legal system plays a chief part. We must rely upon it to fill the gaps in legislation, to develop the principles introduced by legislation and to interpret them. Let us not forget that so-called interpretation is not merely ascertainment of the legislative intent. If it were, it would be the easiest instead of the most difficult of judicial tasks. Where the legislator has had an intent and has sought to express it, there is seldom a question of interpretation. The difficulties arise in the myriad cases with respect to which the law maker had no intention because he had never thought of them – indeed perhaps he could never have thought of them. Here under the guise of interpretation the court, willing or unwilling, must to some extent make the law, and our security that it will be made as law and not as arbitrary rule lies in the judicial and juristic tradition from which the materials of judicial law-making are derived. Accordingly the traditional element of the legal system is and must be used even in an age of copious legislation, to supplement, round out and develop the enacted element, and in the end it usually swallows up the latter and incorporates its results in the body of tradition. Moreover a large field is always unappropriated by enactment, and here the traditional element is supreme. In this part of the law fundamental ideas change slowly. The alterations wrought here and there by legislation, not always consistent with one another, do not produce a general advance. Indeed they may be held back at times in the interests, real or supposed, of uniformity and consistency, through the influence of the traditional element. It is obvious, therefore, that above all else the condition of the law depends upon the condition of this element of the legal system.

Another feature of the twofold composition of developed legal systems is of no less importance. The traditional element rests at first upon the traditional mode of advising litigants on the part of those upon whom tribunals rely for guidance or upon the usage and practice of tribunals. Later it rests upon juristic science and the habitual modes of thought of a learned profession. Thus the ultimate basis of its author;ty is reason and conformity to ideals of right. On the other hand the imperative element rests upon enactment. It rests upon the expressed will of the sovereign. The basis of its authority is the power of the state.

The parallel with Masonic law is exact. With us, the most important of our jural materials are in the traditional element.

First, we must rely upon the traditional element to meet all new problems, and the normal course of growth in Masonic law is:

  1. A new application of a traditional principle by the decision of a Grand Master;
  2. review thereof in a Grand Lodge;
  3. comment thereon by the various committees on correspondence;
  4. the growth of a consensus of opinion on the subject among Masonic jurists; and
  5. incorporation in some text book of Masonic law or in declaratory legislation.

Secondly, we must rely on the traditional element to fill all gaps in Masonic legislation. Thirdly, we must rely on it to interpret legislation and to develop legislation. Fourthly, above all, as we are a universal institution and ought to legislate cautiously, we must rely on the traditional element to furnish the principles of legislation and a critique of legislation. We are not like a political organization- -mere will has no place in any theory of Masonic law-making.

Accordingly it is of the first importance to have a theory of the unwritten law of Masonry and an organized, systematic science of this traditional element of our law – in other words, to have a science of Masonic jurisprudence.

What are the data of this science ? What are the materials which we may use in constructing it?

I take it they are five:

(1) History;
(2) general Masonic tradition;
(3) philosophy;
(4) logical (or systematic) construction on the basis of history, philosophy and tradition; and
(5) authentic modern materials of Masonic common law.

Let me take these up in order. First as to history. Here there are two questions: (a) What materials does Masonic history furnish which are important for Masonic jurisprudence; (b) what is the function of history in Masonic jurisprudencc how and for what purpose should we use history in this connection ? On such an occasion one can only speak summarily. In a few words, the historical materials which are important for the Masonic. jurist seem to be five:

  1. The manuscript constitutions of British Freemasons – a series of manuscripts the oldest of which go back to the fourteenth century, which are the foundation of authentic Masonic history. These are of especial importance on the subject of the landmarks. Thus, when we trace in the manuscripts the old charge to be true to God and holy church and the new charge of 1738 that if the Mason understands his art aright he will never be a stupid atheist, history reinforces the tradition contained in the master's obligation.
  2. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century notices of English Masonry prior to 1717. From these materials we are able to see how Masons met and what they meant by a lodge prior to the rise of Grand-Lodge Masonry and are enabled to distinguish between the landmarks and the common law as to Masonic organization.
  3. Old lodge records in England and Scotland. These also throw great light upon the organization of the Craft prior to 1717. When we find presidents and wardens and deacons as the highest officers of lodges, we see again what was from the beginning and what is simply common law.
  4. Eighteenth-century writers who had or purported to have access to traditions current among Masons at and prior to the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and to old manuscripts not now extant. Even if some or much of the information which they purport to give on the basis of such traditions and such manuscripts is apocryphal, it has entered into the stream of subsequent Masonic tradition and may not be overlooked.
  5. Grand Lodge records, beginning in England in 1723, which show the settled practice of the formative period of Masonry as we know it today.

Of these five classes of historical materials, the fourth calls for some special notice. It is made up of three well-known books which have exerted an almost controlling influence upon our ideas of Masonic history and have largely determined Masonic tradition. These books are: Anderson's Constitution (1723, second edition 1738), Preston's Illustrations (1772) and Dermott's Ahiman Rezon (1756, second edition 1764). It would be out of place to attempt an appraisal of their historical value here. Moreover the thorough-going critique of Gould, which has definitely overthrown much which had long been accepted on the authority of these books has not wholly destroyed their importance for Masonic jurisprudence. As Hobbes puts it, "authority not truth makes the law." It may well happen that historical mistakes may become fixed in the legal fabric. For example, Lord Coke very likely erred in much that he laid down in his Second Institute as to the history of our Anglo-American constitutional doctrine of the supremacy of law. Yet his writing is the foundation of our public law and his results have amply justified themselves. It is no fatal objection in practical affairs that the conclusions must sustain the premises. Hence if Anderson and Preston and Dermott cannot be vouched for landmarks, they must be read diligently in order to reach the sources of much of our Masonic common law.

Let us turn now to the other question, what are the uses of Masonic history ? One use is to correct tradition, as for example, in the case of the apocryphal long list of royal and noble Grand Masters. Another is to hold philosophy in bounds, as for example, in the case of the controversy which raged once in one of our American Grand Lodges as to the wearing of white gloves, on the theory that gloves were unknown at the time of the building of the temple, or, again, in the rejection of the letter G on philosophical grounds by another of our Grand Lodges. Another use is to test doctrinal (systematic, logical) exposition, as in the case of Mackey's twenty-five landmarks. But this correction by history should not be pressed too far. It should not be used as the basis of rejecting settled Masonic common law, shown by universal practice since the end of the eighteenth century. For example, nothing is better settled than the doctrines of territorial jurisdiction in Craft Masonry and the impropriety of invasion of jurisdiction. If there are no landmarks here, there are settled principles of Masonic conflict of laws which are a part of the universal law of the Craft.

Our second main source of law is tradition. Today this is set forth in the form of doctrinal exposition and Grand-Lodge decision. Much of it is declared by Grand-Lodge legislation. It is of the highest value in fixing the principles of Masonic common law. But elsewhere it is dangerous. It must always be corrected by careful historical consideration of whether the tradition in question is authentic, immemorial and pure.

Our third main source of law is philosophy, that is, deduction from principles found by philosophical study of the ends and purpose of Masonry – for example, deduction from the principle of universality, from the principle of organization of moral sentiments of mankind, from the principle of furthering human civilization. It may be compared with the metaphysical method in jurisprudence which seeks to deduce all legal rules from or correct them by a fundamental principle of human freedom. Philosophy is chiefly useful as a check on Masonic history. For example, if one were to look only to history, he might make a strong argument that the dinner or banquet following the work on important occasions was a landmark. Certainly as far back as we have accounts of Masonic work we find the brethren sitting about the board in this way. But consideration of the purposes and ends of the order shows us at once that we have here but an incident of ordinary human social intercourse. So in the case of the objection to white gloves above referred to. The Masonic philosopher perceives at once that we have here a traditional symbol and that purely historical considerations cannot be suffered to prevail.

Our fourth main source of law is logical construction. It has the same place with us as juristic science has in the law of the state. It is of the first importance if the data are sound and are well used. Mackey's famous text book of Masonic jurisprudence (1859) is still the best example of the use of logical construction.

The fifth main source of Masonic law is to be found in authentic modern materials of Masonic customary law and in settled Masonic usage since the last half of the eighteenth century. Indeed the general principles of this settled usage have all but the force of landmarks. Thus Mackey recognizes: (1) Landmarks; (2) general laws or regulations; (3) local laws or regulations. Here the second is substantially what I call Masonic common law and the third what I call Masonic legislation. Mackey says of the second: "These are all those regulations that have been enacted by such bodies as had at the time universal jurisdiction. They operate, therefore, over the Craft wheresoever dispersed; and as the paramount bodies which enacted them have long ceased to exist, it would seem that they are unrepealable. It is generally agreed that these general or universal laws are to be found in the old constitutions or charges, so far as they were recognized and accepted by the Grand Lodge of England at the revival in 1717 and adopted previous to the year 1726." This would receive Anderson's first edition without question as a conclusive exposition of the principles of the traditional element. Today it is clear that we cannot accept it. But the idea at the bottom of Mackey's system is sound.

I take it we must distinguish two things. (a) We may perceive certain settled principles adhered to by all regular and well-governed lodges since the last quarter of the eighteenth century. For example, with one exception it has always been recognized that at least three lodges are required to set up a Grand Lodge. But we must be cautious here. It will be noticed that Mackey assumes that fluidity is at an end by 1721. We cannot accept this proposition. We must recognize a great deal of fluidity till much later. But Ma,sonry is not bound to retain forever the fluidity of the first half of the eighteenth century. (b) Next we must differentiate from the principles themselves the development of these principles (i) by logical deduction and juristic speculation, and (ii) by judicial empiricism in the decisions of Grand Masters and the review thereof by Grand Lodges.

The latter is almost wholly American and much of it is worthy to rank with the best achievements of legal development in any political organization. If the law of the medieval church became for a time the law of the world and gave ideas and doctrines to the law of the state which are valuable for all time, it is not at all impossible that our universal organization, coming much later to the work of law-making, may in its turn develop legal ideas of universal value and thus contribute indirectly to the furtherance of civilization while contributing directly thereto in its ordinary work.

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By Bro. Geo. W. Warvelle, Illinois

I CONTINUE to hear complaints from certain quarters concerning the wasteful extravagance in the matter of refreshments, together with suggestions as to the good that might be accomplished if the money so expended were applied to works of charity and pure beneficence. But, notwithstanding these oft repeated admonitions from those who stand on the watch towers of Zion, the Craft jogs along in the same old way and the banquet is still a potent factor in Masonic life. And yet, this is strictly in keeping with the old precedents; a faithful adherence to the old landmarks.

Freemasonry, in its inception, was strictly a convivial institution, all reports to the contrary notwithstanding. In later years it took on liturgical features, but the old customs, in large measure, were continued and in modified forms are still practiced. The custom of "refreshment" may be traced back to the mediaeval Gilds, while the oldest records of the Masonic Fraternity, as a speculative society, contain references to the feasting (including drinking) at the craft meetings.

The seventeenth century has left many authentic references to the conviviality which characterized the meetings in those days. Thus, Plot in his history, when alluding to the Masons, says: "When any are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodge as they term it in some places) and entertain with a collation according to the custom of the place; This ended, they proceed to the admission of them." Plot was not a Mason. Ashmole, in his diary, notes a meeting he attended at London in 1682. Of this he says: "We all dined at the Half-moon Tavern in Cheapside, at a noble Dinner prepared at the Charge of the new accepted Masons." And so, it will be seen that from very early times a feast was an important part of a Masonic meeting.

It has been suggested, by some of the English scholars, that this custom of a feast originated in the actual necessities of the occasion; that many of the members of the early lodges came long distances to attend the meetings and frequently on foot. Hence, it was necessary that they should be provided with refreshment of some kind either on their arrival or before setting out on their return journey. You will see, therefore, that the J. W.'s call to refreshment was not an empty formality in those days.

It would seem that in the old days the feast always preceded the work, a custom that has not yet died out in England. And as in nature the tendency is to constantly revert to earlier types, so in human institutions we may observe the same phenomena. In many localities the six o'clock dinner has taken the place of the eleven o'clock banquet, while the old-time flow of post prandial oratory has been eliminated. This was the custom of the Grand Lodge of England far into the historic period, as witness the minutes of the "assembly and feast" at Stationers Hall on June 22, 1721, when "after Grace said, they sat down in the antient manner of Masons to a very elegant Feast, and dined with Joy and Gladness." After this followed the regular business, and then the Grand Master ordered the Warden "to close the Lodge in good Time."

But the banquet is too firmly entrenched to be obliterated by any shell fire the disciples of the new thought may pour upon it. The Freemasons are still, even as in the old days, a social brotherhood and the customs of the fathers will long continue, notwithstanding the edict "The Banquet must go." From the dawn of history we may find the custom in connection with fraternal societies. It is not peculiar to Freemasonry. In fact, our Masonic ancestors simply borrowed the custom from those who preceded them. Long years ago, in ancient Greece, the banquet followed the initiations into the mysteries, as witness the following, which I quote from the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius:

"All the uninitiated having been sent away, the priest clothed me in a new linen garment, and, taking my hand, let me into the penetralia of the sanctuary. You will perhaps, ask, studious reader, and be anxious to know, what was then done. What was done, ask you? I would tell, if it were lawful to tell; thou shouldst know, if it were lawful for thee to hear. But I will not detain in long suspense you, who are, perchance, in a state of suspense with religious anxiety. Hear, therefore, and believe, for the things I narrate are true. I approached the confines of death, and, having trod the threshold of Proserpine, I was earried back through all the elements. At midnight, I beheld the sun glittering with clear light; l approached the gods of Hades and of Heaven, and adored them face to face. Thus have I related to you things, which, although heard by thee, thou canst not know… After this, I celebrated a most cheerful banquet in honor of my birth day into these rites; pleasant was the banquet and lively the entertainment."

I direct your special attention to the closing lines of the above paragraph. They simply show that mankind and human nature are much the same in all ages and all lands.

A few years ago Admiral Dewey is reported to have said, that he attributed his robust health and length of days to these facts: that he had entered the navy and kept away from public banquets. Perhaps all of us cannot take the first part of his prescription, and perhaps also, the real worth lies in the latter part of it. Certain it is, that while the 12-inch gun may have slain its thousands the deviled crab and the overripe lobster have laid low their tens of thousands. It is not given to all of us to die in behalf of a great cause. In fact, few of us care to die. But everyone is privileged to incur indigestion and other gastronomic ills, and this privilege the most of us insist in availing ourselves of with remarkable persistence.

It is said, however, that the fatalities which mark the history of public feeding do not constitute its worst reproach; that the greater harm consists in the undigested ideas which every well regulated banquet is bound to liberate. Bad food and poor talk make a combination that is fatal to the soundest human system. Thus is it written:

Avoid the groaning board, my son,
The devilled crab, the Melbaed peach,
But, deadliest of all, avoid
The after-dinner speech.

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Does the square that you wear mean the test by your God
Of the work that you do, and the word that you speak,
Of the will of your mind, the thought of your heart,
Of the Past that is gone, of the Future you seek?

The Compass you wear, does it mean that you move
Within the true bound appointed and sure,
Restricted desire, pleasure defined,
A yielding of self to the bonds that endure ?

The Triangle too – great emblem of Him
Who is Maker, and Master, Beginning and End, –
Do you wear it to show that He is to you
The Source and the Aim that all others transcend?

What means the gold trowel that hangs at your chain ?
Does it tell of the mortar of Love that you spread?
Of the joint well cement with fine brotherly love?
Of the stones that now lie in the well-mortared bed?

If 'tis not so, then take the poor jewels away;
Yourself and the others you meet on your way
As meaningless lies which none ever believe.
John George Gibson

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By Bro. Arthur Edward Waite, England

IT is said that in or about 1879, several Chapters under the obedience of the Supreme Council of France, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, revolted from that authority and re-incorporated themselves as La Grande Loge Symbolique de France. The rebellion, as usual, was fomented by the Grand Orient.

It is impossible from the confused evidence to decide what Degrees were conferred by the new body, but they were probably the Craft Grades only and not the High Grades of the Scottish Rite. The central body appears to have governed Lodges and not Chapters.

One of the separated Lodges, the nature of whose dissatisfaction is shown by its title of Les Libres Penseurs, held its meetings at Pecq, a village in the department of Seine et Oise.

This Lodge on November 25, 1881, proposed that Mlle Maria Deraismes, a writer on humanitarian subjects and the rights of women, should be admitted to Freemasonry.

The proposers were the W. M. Hubron and six other Master Masons. The initiation took place on January 14, 1882, in the presence of Brethren drawn from all parts. From her subsequent history, the candidate must have been also passed and raised, but there are no particulars in the sources to which I have had access.

The Lodge was suspended, but whether by the authority which it had helped to create, by the Supreme Council, or by the Grand Orient, does not appear.

On March 14, April 1 and April 4, 1893, Mlle Deraismes, acting under the influence of a certain Docteur Georges Martin, was concerned in the initiation, passing and raising of 17 candidates. The information does not say whether they were women only or members of both sexes, but the former probably.

Some kind of Temple was founded about the same period, place not indicated; a Constitution was framed; and an androgynous Masonic body thus came into existence, under the title of Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise, being identical with that of the Schismatic body already mentioned.

Its one Lodge at the moment was called Le Droit Humain and that which it communicated was termed Universal Joint Freemasonry.

In 1900 the Lodge in question adopted the 30 Degrees superposed on the Craft Grades by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

This was brought about by the intervention of French Masons said to be in possession of the 33rd Degree.

In 1903 there were centres at Benares, Paris and London.

At the same period Joint Freemasonry in the British dominion is stated to have used a Craft Ritual appertaining to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

The movement seems to have spread from France to India and thence to England.

The title in the British dominions was altered from Joint Freemasonry to Co-Masonry about 1905.

The first English Lodge was called Human Duty and is, I infer, number 6 on the Roll.

In 1908 there was a feud in London, which has resulted in the foundation of an independent branch, the reason being that the original body, under Annie Besant and her vice-regents, constituted an automatic and irresponsible headship, in opposition to Masonic principles.

The English Ritual used by Universal Co-Masonry has been printed and had reached a second edition in 1908. It is called The Dharma Working of Craft Masonry, Dharma being the title of the Lodge at Benares.

The Ceremony of the Installation of the Worshipful Master and the Investiture of Officers has also been printed.

In the Ritual of the Three Degrees the variations from our own form are at once numerous and slight, but there are also certain new things introduced.

Some of them may be tabulated as follows:

  • The W. M. is called throughout the Right Worshipful Master, following the Scottish fashion.
  • The rubrics are much fuller.
  • The Entered Apprentice is taken three times round the Lodge and is brought back on each occasion to the centre.
  • The second circumambulation is opposite to the first, or against the sun; the third is the same as the first, or with the sun.
  • In the Second Degree, after the usual circumambulations, the Candidate is placed in the centre and passes through five stages or experiences, corresponding (1) to work on the rough stone; (2) the arts; (3) Sciences; (4) the Humanities, and (5) apparently rest after work, with the idea of work to follow.
  • In the Third Degree the Obligation is shortened and certain significant covenants are not found, presumably because women take it. The wording also differs.
  • The wording differs throughout in many places and some of the prayers are changed.

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Thou art what we are; Thou art what we do; Thou art what we say. Thou art all things, and there is nothing which Thou art not. Thou art that which is made and all that is not made.
– Egyptian Scriptures

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Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg,

Caxton Building, Cleveland Ohio


By Bro. Robert I. Clegg

If we may properly assume that the officers of the Lodge form the machinery of Masonry, the means to make its labour most useful and efficient, the power plant of the institution; then the Master is the governor or regulator, the very spark-plug of the motor. Upon him rests responsibility for the rate of progress, the dignity of the work, the spirit of the labour. With him much may be done, without him all is undone.

Of necessity, therefore, he must be obeyed and he ought to be worthy of such obedience. So it was of old. Let us turn to that ancient account of bygone laws and read from the White Book of the City of London of what in those days of the past they esteemed due and right from the members to the officers of the "mysteries," the gilds of the Masons and the other operative and speculative crafts seven centuries ago.

Of The Penalty For Rebelling Against The Masters Of The Mysteries

"Item, it is ordained that all the mysteries of the City of London shall be lawfully regulated and governed, each according to its nature in due manner, that is no knavery, false workmanship, or deceit, shall be found in said mysteries, for the honour of the good folk of the said mysteries, and for the common profit of the people. And in each mystery there shall be chosen and sworn four or six, or more or less, according as the mystery shall need; which person, so chosen and sworn, shall have full power from the Mayor well and lawfully to do and perform the same. And if any person of the said mysteries shall be rebellious, contradictory, or fractious, that so such persons may not duly perform their duties, and shall thereof be attainted (convicted), he shall remain in prison, the first time, ten days, and shall pay ten shillings for such contempt."

It was further provided that on a second offence he should go to prison for twenty days and pay a fine of twenty shillings, and on a third offence he paid thirty shillings and was imprisoned thirty days, and so on for every further case of the like wrong doing.

Why were the authorities so very clear and helpful in stating what the City officials held proper to be done in supporting the hands of the respective Masters ? It is not necessary to guess at the motives behind their action. We can find them on record in the very same code of laws. In the introduction to an ordinance relating to the admission of members to these gild bodies, we note: "Because as well as in times past, out of memory, as also in modern times, the City aforesaid is wont to be defended and governed by the aid and counsels as well of the reputable men of the trades merchant as of the other trades handicraft; and from of old it hath been the usage, that no strange person, native or alien, as to whose conversation and condition there is no certain knowledge, shall be admitted to the freedom of the City, unless first, the merchants or traders of the City following the trade which the person so to be admitted intends to adopt, shall be lawfully convoked; that so, by such his fellow citizens, so convoked, the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, being certified as to the condition and trustworthiness of the persons so to be admitted, may know whether such persons ought to be admitted or rejected; – the whole community demands, that the form aforesaid, so far as concerns the more important trades and handicrafts, shall in future be inviolably observed, that so no person in future may against the provision aforesaid be admitted to the freedom of the City."

There indeed are the reasons why any city or community might well have a lively interest and a friendly confidence in the long-established practices of such an institution as ours, and to rely upon the aid and the counsels of good men and true assembled lawfully and governed wisely by competent officers.

From the same source as the foregoing quotations we take the approved obligation prescribed for the officers of the old gilds.

Oath Of The Masters And Wardens Of The Mysteries

"You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall overlook the art or mystery of Masonry, of which you are Master, or Wardens, for the year elected. And the good rules and ordinances of the same mystery, approved here by the Court, you shall keep and cause to be kept. And all the defaults that you shall find therein, done contrary thereto, you shall present unto the Chamberlain of the City, from time to time, sparing no one for favor, and aggrieving no one for hate. Extortion or wrong unto no one, by colour of your office, you shall do; nor unto anything that shall be against the estate and peace of the King, or the City, you shall consent. But for the time that you shall be in office, in all things pertaining unto the said mystery, according to the good laws and franchises of the said City, well and lawfully you shall behave yourself. So help you God and the Saints."

Today the Master of a Lodge also promises faithfully and impartially, to the best of his ability, to perform all the duties belonging to the office to which he has been elected; that he will conform to the "constitution, laws, rules, and regulations" of the Grand Lodge and will enforce a strict obedience to them. He is likewise at installation required to give his assent to the old charges pertaining to the position of Master. These are in general the following:

"You agree and promise to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law; a peaceable citizen, and to cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which you reside; not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature; pay a proper respect to the civil magistrates, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honourably by all men; hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the institution of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations, and to submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren, when convened, in every case consistent with the constitutions of the order; to avoid private piques and quarrels, and guard against intemperance and excess; cautious in carriage and behaviour, courteous to your brethren, and faithful to your Lodge; to respect genuine brethren, and to discountenance imposters, and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry; to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and propagate the knowledge of the art; to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed, and strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or general assembly of Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and ground-work of Masonry; that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry; to make a regular attendance upon the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay attention to all the duties of Masonry, on convenient occasions; that no new Lodge shall be formed without permission of the Grand Lodge; and that no countenance be given to an irregular Lodge, or to any person clandestinely initiated therein, being contrary to the Ancient Charges of the Order; that no person can be regularly made a Mason in, or admitted a member of, any regular Lodge, without previous notice, and due enquiry into his character; that no visitors shall be admitted into your Lodge, without due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their having been initiated into a regular lodge."

Various implements of Masonry are at the same time called to the Master's attention. Among them are the Holy Writings, the Book of Constitutions (Masonic Code), and the By-laws of his Lodge. Of these he is thus admonished:

"The Holy Writings, that great light in Masonry, will guide you in all truth; it will direct your path to the temple of happiness, and point out to you the whole duty of man.

"The Book of Constitutions you are to search at all times. Cause it to be read in your Lodge, that none may pretend ignorance of the excellent precepts it enjoins.

"You will also receive in charge the By-laws of your Lodge, which you are to see carefully and punctually executed."

Several symbols, as the Square, the Compasses, the Rule, and the Line, are at the same time used to impress upon the Master's mind with renewed force on this solemn occasion the principles of morality, the just limit of desires, the eminence obtained by merit, the upright walk in the path of virtue, and the standards of rectitude. Upon the Master is especially placed the duty of diffusing light and instruction to the brethren of his Lodge.

Having selected and installed the Master, a brother "of good morals, of great skill, true and trusty, and a lover of the whole fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth," we may indeed further fairly assume that he will "discharge the duties of the office with fidelity."

The Worshipful Master

The prerogatives and duties of the Worshipful Master are many and various. His very title, quaint and old, throws a flood of light upon his place and power. Master he is truly, but much more than a mere ruler. "Worshipful" means one worthy of honor deserving of respect and deference. For many hundreds of years it has been employed toward those attaining high position in English civil life. Magistrates are still so addressed in that country; their "Your Worship" being equivalent to our "Your Honor," and meaning no more or less. To many of our brethren it may strike upon the ear at first as savoring of irreverence the misuse of a word commonly employed for religious purposes only. But to us it has no such significance. We so designate the officer so addressed because it is he who holds greatest preferment in the Lodge and thereupon we continue in speaking to or of him to use that subtle word of distinction implying the very aristocracy of pure personal worth and mental merit among his skilled fellows.

From the decision of the Master there can be no appeal save only to the higher body; he can invite any member to preside over his Lodge; he can issue a proxy to any member to represent him at the Grand Lodge Communication; at the Communication of the Grand Lodge he is independent in action – voting as he pleases irrespective of any action taken by his Lodge; he alone is the judge as to convening and opening Lodge and of the conduct of its business; he determines when special communications of his Lodge shall be held and what shall be done therein; he may cut short discussion on other business at any time and close the Lodge; he controls the admission of visitors; his permission is essential, whenever he is present, to the admission of members and candidates; he has charge of the charter or warrant; he appoints whatever officers are appointed and he may install all the officers whether elected or appointed if so he chooses; in the absence of an officer he appoints the substitute; he announces the result of balloting and elections; he appoints all committees; and while this is seldom insisted upon he has from of old the privilege of being present at the meetings of all committees and of presiding over them at his pleasure – following the ancient practice recorded by Anderson nearly two centuries ago that wherever Masons congregate together the Master is entitled to govern and direct their labors on all Masonic matters; he may vote and also cast another vote in the event of a tie but this is not universal though of ancient usage; he is immune from trial by his Lodge; he decides points of order without appeal permitted to Lodge, and he presides at trials and determines questions of law.

Before the installation of the Master-elect it is no means uniform in the several jurisdictions. usually required that he shall have received the Past Master's degree.

The Senior Warden

In the absence of the Master the Senior Warden governs the Lodge; in the presence of the Master the Senior Warden assists him in the Lodge government. At the Communication of the Grand Lodge the Senior Warden is one of the three officers, Master, Senior and Junior Wardens or their proxies, charged with the duty of representing the Lodge.

In 1721 we find that the regulations specified that "In case of death or sickness, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before. For the absent Master's authority reverts to the last Master present, though he cannot act till the Senior Warden has congregated the Lodge."

Under some foreign Constitutions it is the case that among the sitting officers of the Lodge is the Immediate Past Master and upon him devolves the duty of taking up the work in the absence of the installed Master of the Lodge, the Senior Warden assembling the Lodge but the I.P.M. assuming the East for all ritualistic and monitorial purposes while the Senior Warden is in charge of other matters. With us there is not that established method. The Master being absent the Senior Warden takes his place and calls to his assistance whatever help he may find is requisite in conducting the affairs of the Lodge, opening and closing and performing all other functions as if he be indeed the Master of the Lodge.

The Junior Warden

The Junior Warden is presumed to have especial control of the brethren at refreshment, as the Senior Warden is assumed to be in charge of the Craft when at labor. These changes of control within the Lodge are signified by the position of the columns placed at the respective stations of the Senior and Junior Wardens. When the Master and the Senior Warden are absent or incapacitated in any way, the Junior Warden succeeds to the position in direction of the Lodge.

Let it here be stated that the several officers of a Masonic Lodge do not in the event of any vacancy each move up one station or position. The various officers remain as they were, as far as this is practicable, and the vacancies are filled for the time by appointment.

One of the prerogatives of the Wardens that they share with the Master and Past Masters is that of being eligible to election to the East.

In the absence of the Master and the two Wardens a Lodge can only be opened and transact business by special dispensation.

Mention has been made of the Master making appointments. It was one time the custom, (which yet prevails in some jurisdictions) that the Senior Warden appoints the Junior Deacon, and the Junior Warden in turn appoints the two Stewards. Custom as to the election and appointment of the respective officers is by no means uniform in the several jurisdictions.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer is the banker of the Lodge and has nothing to do with the collections which are made by the Secretary and duly turned over to him. Of the receipt of these monies he must make due entries and pay them out only on the order of the Master and with the consent of the Lodge. Worth while is it to note here that the old custom of the Grand Lodge of England provides for the election only of the Master and the Treasurer, all other officers being appointed by the former. Evidently the idea behind this practice was to avoid any appearance of collusion between the two officers and to make each of them all the more directly responsible to the electing body, the Lodge. Bonds are commonly and should always be exacted of the Treasurer for the faithful performance of his duties. An honest man as Treasurer will not object to every safeguard being thrown about and around his financial relations to his Lodge.

The Secretary

The Secretary receives all money due to the Lodge and pays them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor. He also observes the proceedings of the Lodge and makes a suitable record of all things proper to be written. Both the Secretary and the Treasurer make an annual report to the Lodge and the former is as a rule also required to transmit this and a copy of the membership roster with all other desirable particulars of the work done to the Grand Secretary at such dates or times as the laws of the Grand Lodge require. The Secretary is indeed the recording, the corresponding and collecting agent for the Lodge. From him proceed all the summonses for meetings, regular or special. All dimits, diplomas, and communications are issued by him. He is in charge of the seal and the archives. In common with the Treasurer he submits his books and Lodge property to the examination of a committee at such stated intervals as the by-laws or the pleasure of the Master may dictate.

The Chaplain

Among the appointive officers is the Chaplain. Upon him rests the duty of performing such parts in our public and private ceremonies as are required. Manifestly Freemasonry pretends not to be a religion but does act as an auxiliary to whatever is great and good, "a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night pointing the way, teaching a gospel of love, leading men to light and life everlasting." To further this practice and profession is primarily the place and function of the Chaplain.

The Deacons

The Deacons have especial duties. The Senior Deacon is the first lieutenant of the Worshipful Master, carrying out his orders in the management of the affairs of the Lodge. The Junior Deacon acts in the same capacity to the Senior Warden. The Senior Deacon is the immediate connecting link between the Master and all candidates, and similarly with all the members and visitors. The Junior Deacon assists the Senior Warden upon the inside of the inner door in guarding the proceedings against the intrusion of all those not qualified to enter. The two Deacons jointly carry out the respective orders of the presiding officer in the proper preparation of the Lodge and its adaptation to the several ceremonies.

The handling of the ballot box, the reception of visitors and their introduction and accommodation, the care of the altar and lights, all belong peculiarly to the duties of the Senior Deacon. None enter or leave, no one opens the Lodge door, no one instructs the Tyler, but with the co-operation of the Junior Deacon.

The Stewards

The Stewards assist the Secretary in the collection of dues and subscriptions, keep track of the Lodge table expenses, see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, that every brother is suitably provided for at the banquets, and generally assist the Deacons and other officers in performing their duties. So substantially has been the labor set for the performance of the Stewards from the days certainly of Preston and of Webb who so record their functions. Yes, it is even older for ten centuries ago in the old Constitutions we note that then "The Steward shall provide good cheer against the hour of refreshment, and each Fellow shall punctually defray his share of the reckoning, the Steward rendering a true and correct account."

The Tyler

The Tyler permits none to pass or repass unless they are fully qualified and possess permission. Upon his early and punctual attendance will depend very much of the success of the Lodge labors. He serves the summonses of the Lodge, prepares the room for the Lodge meetings, lays out the jewels and other requisite items (as gavels and so forth) for the use of the Lodge, and in the anteroom and the preparation room he provides a supply of aprons or whatever else may be required. He is never to open the door from without, nor permit it to be opened from within, without the exchange of the preliminary alarms between himself and the Junior Deacon.


Mackey's Encyclopedia: Seal. Appeal, Right of. Secretary. Oath, Tiler's. Tiler. Obedience. Treasurer. Officers. Wardens. Past Master. Worshipful.

The Worshipful Master's Assistant, by Robert Macoy. "Worshipful" as title, THE BUILDER, Vol. I, p. 96. The Worshipful Master's Assistant, by Delmar D. Darrah.

An Appeal To Our Members

Up to the time this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin goes to press more than 1,000 Lodges and Study Clubs throughout the United States and Canada were considering, or had already gone to work on, our plan for the systematic study of Masonry.

We know there are thousands of other Lodges that would welcome the opportunity to take up this plan if it were presented to them.

But how are we to reach the remaining 13,000 Lodges ?

We should like to be able to do so at an early date as possible in order that they may take up the work before the course is much further advanced.

We have printed in circular form under the heading "1,000 Wide-Awake Lodges" a complete list of suggestions for organizing Study Clubs or introducing the study feature into the Lodges at regular or special meetings once each month.

Will you help us to place this circular in the hands of the officers of your Lodge? Many of them are not members of the Society and we can not reach them except with your co-operation.

Read on page 8 of this Bulletin what a New Mexico Brother has to say anent this movement. Note especially what he says in the fifth paragraph about a brother taking his degrees. Does not this parallel your own experience? You will also agree with what he says a little further on, that there is something in Masonry that most of us failed to get. There is yet time for us to get this "something," and the way to get it is through our Study plan. We shall also be helping each newly-raised Brother in the future in a way that we ourselves were not helped.

A number of interested members have heeded our call to send in complete lists of the officers of their Lodges. This has enabled us to get in touch with these Brethren who might otherwise never have heard of the Society or its work, and as a consequence committees have in a majority of these instances been appointed to put the Study plan into effect.

The fact remains that, numerically speaking, we have as yet only scratched the surface. If our members who are interested in the progress of the Society and its activities in promoting the study of Masonry will lend their assistance very much can be accomplished.

Brethren, the ultimate success of this movement depends as much, if not more, upon YOUR INDIVIDUAL HELP, than the work of Brother Clegg and those of us in the Secretary's office.

Therefore we ask you to lend your aid to this movement by sending in a full list of the officers of your own Lodge, from the Worshipful Master down to the Tiler. Do not depend upon some other member of the Society in your community, but send in the list YOURSELF. We would much rather have the lists duplicated than not to receive them at all.

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By Bro. Hal Riviere, Georgia

(The following article, prepared as an address to a newly-made Entered Apprentice, appeals to the Editor of this Department as peculiarly in harmony with the purposes for which the Department itself is designed. It would seem to be a worthwhile presentation of fundamental facts not now provided for in any Jurisdiction with which we are familiar. That it answers many of the questions asked by Initiates, and at the same time gives the candidate a glimpse of the high idealism of the Fraternity at a time when his mind is most receptive, commends the lecture to us as of great value. We believe that a Worshipful Master who desires to give his candidates the best possible conception of Masonry, could do no better, on the First Degree, than to present this lecture.)

Once upon a time a certain man named Philip, while traveling from Jerusalem to Gaza, came upon a man of Ethiopia, a Eunuch who was an officer in the court of an Eastern queen. This Ethiopian was reading the Holy Scriptures but being of a foreign tongue and unfamiliar with the history of the Scriptures and the idioms and symbols with which they were illustrated, he was not able to interpret what he read to his satisfaction. Philip drew near to him and seeing his perplexity asked, "Understandest thou what thou readest?" The man replied, "How can I understand unless some man shall guide me?" So, my Entered Apprentice Brother, if I should ask you tonight if you understand what you have passed through, you would doubtless reply in the words of the Ethiopian, "How can I understand unless some one shall guide me?" Will you permit me to perform that service for you ?

Masonry, has been defined as a beautiful system of Morality, veiled in Allegory and illustrated by symbols. Now an allegory is a story told to illustrate or convey some truth. Some of the most important truths have been handed down to us through allegories, that being one of the favorite methods the Master used to convey his teachings. It is one of the peculiarities of an allegory that its message may not be understood by all men. One must be prepared within his own mind and heart to receive the truth or else he sees it not. It is only a few of all those who hear who perceive the lesson designed to be taught by the allegory. The great majority, having ears to hear, hear not; having eyes to see, see not the beautiful lesson but hear only a pretty story that interests for a short while and then is lost. But the earnest seeker for truth, he who is duly and truly prepared for its reception, sees beyond the veil of the allegory and perceives the beautiful simple truth which it conceals from the multitude but reveals to the chosen few.

A symbol is a visible sign for an idea. From the earliest dawn of creation, man has realized that there is a Supreme Being, a Creator who is all powerful. Many were the ancient names he bore. As the sun was the most powerful, most wonderful object visible to the primitive peoples, they used it as a symbol of the Supreme Being. The majority, seeing no further than the symbol, worshipped the sun itself; but the learned, the wise, the thoughtful ever regarded the sun as only a symbol of God's power and saw beyond it to the Great Father over all.

So, my Brother, Masonry teaches by allegories and symbols, and it is your part to extract from them the truths that will be of service to you in the building of an upright Masonic character. If you perceive only the stories that Masonry presents to you and do not see deeper into what they are designed to teach, you will miss the best part of Masonry, yet you may comfort yourself with the thought that by far the great majority of Masons are no wiser than yourself. But if by pondering over the allegories and symbols of these degrees you find the hidden truth, a new world of wisdom, strength and beauty will be revealed to you.

In order to understand the symbols of the three degrees it is necessary for you to know that, broadly speaking, Masonry has come from two general sources. One of these was the societies of stone masons who flourished in medieval times, and who were the builders of those great cathedrals that are being so ruthlessly destroyed in France and Belgium today. These societies gradually ceased to be bands of operative workers and admitted men not really connected with the actual work of building. By the year 1717 Masonic lodges had become purely speculative. But the working tools of the operative Masons, the square, level, plumb, rule, gavel, etc., were still retained as symbols to teach important truths in character building. We, as Masons, no longer build temples and cathedrals of stone but we build spiritual temples, temples of character, temples of upright manhood and integrity.

The second great source from which Masonry derived its symbolism was the ancient Mysteries. The relation they bear to our order will be unfolded to you as you advance in the degrees. It is only necessary to tell you here that in every ancient nation that attained any degree of civilization, were secret organizations known as the Mysteries, having initiation ceremonies. These organizations were composed of the wisest men of those nations, and all the higher knowledge of religion, art, and science was taught in them alone. Men waited and laboured for years to become prepared or worthy to be initiated into the Mysteries. It is said that the great philosopher, Pythagoras waited for twenty years to be initiated into the mysteries of Egypt. Moses seems also to have been an Egyptian initiate, while St. John the Baptist came from the Jewish sect called Essenes, which practised the mystical rites. It has been claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was an Essene, his teachings conforming somewhat closely to their practices.

In the ancient Mysteries of India, the candidate might receive the first degree as early as eight years of age. Then began a severe system of mental and moral training to fit him for advancement, for with every degree it was intended that he should attain more of perfection. He was invested with a three-ply cord called the zennar, emblematic of their triune God. From that cord we get our cable tow. The candidate was kept a long time in darkness before taking a degree, to reflect upon the seriousness of the step he was about to take. Truly wanting light, he was taught to worship God as the Source of Light. He was conducted regularly around the room – usually a cave or grotto hewn out of solid rock – passing from East to West by way of the South, his right side being next the altar; the priests chanted, "I copy the example of the Sun and follow his benevolent course." He next made a declaration that he would keep himself pure, that he would be obedient and would maintain secrecy. After that, he was divested of his shoes and clothed in a white linen robe. We read in the Book of Ruth that it was a custom in Israel that, to confirm a contract or agreement, a man took off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor. You see in all these ceremonies, the beginnings of some of our Masonic customs; and with these general principles in mind you are ready to hear an explanation of some of the teachings of the E. A. Degree.

Before initiation, Masonry demands that a candidate be duly and truly prepared. This preparation should be mental and moral as well as physical. Our Order subscribes to no system of religious doctrine, but it requires that every man who presents himself as a candidate for initiation shall declare a belief in one God, all-wise, all-powerful, all-good, who reveals himself to mankind; also teaches that there is life beyond the grave.

The candidate must come of his own free will; must be a man, free born, twenty-one years of age, able to read and write, and his moral qualities must be such as will bear a rigid investigation by a committee of Master Masons appointed for that purpose. Masonry tries to exclude those who come through mere curiosity or through a desire for business or social gain. To be a member of the investigating committee is one of the most serious duties a Mason is called upon to perform, and every candidate deserves careful consideration; even then, many duly and truly unprepared make their way into our lodges.

Masonry invites no man. He knocks at the door of the lodge of his own free will, bearing nothing that will indicate poverty or wealth, rank or station. At the inner door of the preparation room all are equal, and entrance through this door into the lodge room is only granted after the candidate has satisfied all present that he is worthy and well qualified to gain admission, and comes as an earnest seeker for Light and Truth. Gold cannot buy, rank cannot demand; neither can learning guarantee admission unless a reputation for generosity, truthfulness and rectitude of conduct be coupled with it.

Secrecy is the first great lesson of the E. A. degree. This great virtue is necessary in our order so that Masons will appreciate the lessons taught. As a secret shared between two people binds them together, so the secrets of our fraternity bind the Brethren together. If our teachings of beautiful truths were scattered broadcast through the world, they would become commonplace; so they are taught under secrecy, only to those deemed worthy to receive and practice them. Taken with the salt of curiosity and expectation, they are the more readily perceived.

Nothing can more torture a man than the pangs of remorse which a guilty conscience can force upon him. Sharp instruments may torture the flesh, but unless the torture be unto death a few short days suffice to heal the wounds and only the scars remain to remind of the agony endured. But the torture of a guilty conscience is not so. Memory of pledges violated, evil deeds done, kind actions left undone comes to us after years have passed; comes as we lie upon our beds and chases "Sleep, tired Nature's sweet restorer" from our eyes, and makes our bed a hell; comes amid our innocent social pleasures and turns our joy to pain; a face, a word or an odour may bring back the hateful incidents of a scene that no subsequent life of purity and holiness and rectitude of conduct can banish from the memory. Brother, guard well your actions, that henceforth no memory of evil deeds disturb your peace or rack your mind and conscience.

We are taught that a Mason should never enter upon any great or laudable undertaking without invoking the aid of Almighty God. In the light of that lesson, prayer becomes a duty as well as the privilege of every Mason. How few understand the nature and effects of prayer. Prayer that has become merely a bed-time custom is not a prayer; it is an incantation to soothe the conscience or satisfy the demands of a habit formed in more innocent and unsophisticated days. The object and effect of prayer are to bring the soul into conscious harmony with the all wise Father, whose laws are true and just and righteous altogether.

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," so says the old song. If that be true, (and who says not?) how earnestly should the compasses be used to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds, so that no unrighteous, no unworthy, no covetous, no licentious prayer insult the Father whose all-seeing eye looks into the innermost recesses of our being. Prayer reveals a man to himself. For what do you pray; on what do you meditate; what thought do you ponder over and keep within your heart? Be sure that it will find expression in your outer life, for "the within is ceaselessly becoming the without." Guard well your thoughts, the source of all your deeds and actions.

The trust of a Mason is in God. But before a man can trust in God whom he cannot see, he must learn to trust in his fellow man who is made in God's image. As you placed yourself in the hands of this lodge and followed your conductors through the ceremonies of initiation, you exemplified your trust in your fellow man. So ever place your trust in God and walk uprightly through life, fearing no danger; know that a man's worst enemy is himself, and that one with God is a majority.

Masonic Light is the object of every Mason's search. That is truly a laudable object. Light, ever and ever more light; from the first faint perception of those Three Great Lights, the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, until he shuffle off this mortal coil, the earnest Mason seeks for Light; seeks in the Holy Bible, that inestimable gift from God to man which is given us as a rule and guide for our faith and practice; seeks in the symbolism of the Square and Compasses; seeks in the great book of Nature; seeks in the hearts and lives of men. If he realize that Masonic Light is a symbol for Truth; if he see beyond the symbol to the Truth itself, comprehending it by the light of knowledge and wisdom, then the full glory of Masonic Light will shine in his heart, and he will go forth to bear the light aloft and let it shine among men.

As the lodge is a symbol of the world, in the circumambulation of the lodge room the candidate symbolizes the progress of a man from ignorance to knowledge, and also the progress of the human race from savagery to civilization. Cares and temptations of business and pleasure throw obstacles in the way of men and of nations, and challenge their capability and integrity. Both individuals and nations must overcome obstacles and demonstrate their right to advance to broader fields of usefulness.

As seen in the West, the light of the sun is ever a declining glory. The East, as the birth-place of the sun and source of light, has always been venerated by primitive peoples. As devout Moslems pray with their faces toward Mecca, the birth-place of their prophet, and as the ancient sun worshippers bowed to the rising sun, so Masons give the highest place to the East, as the true source of all Masonic Light and it is there the Worshipful Master has his station. Hence a Mason travels from West to East on his search for Masonic Light, and hence also the regular upright manner of approaching the East and rendering it due respect.

While demanding that all Masons yield obedience to the tenets of the order, Masonry requires no act or belief that will conflict with any of the exalted duties that a man owes to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself. Reverence for God, patriotism and brotherly love are so frequently inculcated and so forcibly recommended in the lodge, that the Mason who does not practice those virtues is recreant to the trust imposed in him by his Brethren. Truth being the centre of all Masonic teaching and the highest principles of reverence, patriotism and charity being founded on Truth, it follows that he who lives up to the highest principles of Masonic duty will naturally practice all moral, social and religious virtues.

He who is in conscience bound to perform an act, to accomplish a purpose or to keep a secret, is bound by ties though invisible, that are stronger than any bonds that could be forged or contrived by man. The release of the candidate from the last ties that bind him to the world he has left outside the lodge room, coupled with the reception of light is a symbol of a new birth, a birth from the darkness of ignorance and superstition to the light of wisdom, toleration, generosity and all commendable virtues.

Charity should be a distinguishing characteristic of every Mason. It is in the practice of this virtue that man most nearly reveals his kinship to God. Hear Buddha on the charitable man: "The charitable man is loved by all; his friendship is prized highly; in death his heart is at rest and full of joy for he suffers not from repentance; he receives the opening flower of his reward and the fruit that ripens from it. The charitable man has found the path of salvation. He is like the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruit in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so is the joy of him who helps those who are in need of assistance." If the cardinal virtues of Freemasonry, which are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, were practised by all mankind, then charity, as an act of almsgiving, would cease. For ignorance and intemperance and injustice would be banished from the world, and the woes of misery and penury that follow them would then give place to joy. But the poor we have with us always; so, as we administer our charity let us remember that it is not only those who are in straightened financial circumstances who need our assistance, but that the poor in spirit, the despondent, the discouraged may be heartened and lifted up by kind and encouraging words. Let us give bountifully of our love and sympathy to every Brother in distress.

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Have A Question Box In Your Study Club!

Assuming that your Lodge or Study Club has determined to undertake Masonic study on a serious basis, and is working toward our "Bulletin Course," the arrangement of a program, in order to hold its interest, should be given careful attention. We are able to say, from actual experience, that the reading of Brother Clegg's paper, and the supplemental papers which are prepared by the Brethren, should occupy in a formal way, no more than one hour.

Some of the papers will provoke discussion. Others will not, since the material used in their preparation will tell practically the whole story, and the authorities given will only serve to clinch the argument.

In any event, discussion aroused will probably not, on the average, consume more than another half hour. Experience shows that when the Brethren get themselves comfortably seated for Masonic discussion, the formal paper arouses in them an ordinarily latent curiosity. And after the pre-arranged discussion is concluded, more than one of the faces will suddenly light up, and immediately there will come forth some question which has been bothering the Brother. And no sooner will he have propounded his, than someone on the opposite side of the room will remember that he, too, has a question which he has tried to answer, and failing this, to get answered, to no avail.

Here is one of the very best of symptoms. A discussion of these questions should by all means be entered into. Let the presiding officer of the meeting answer them if he can. If none of the committee in charge of the meeting are able to answer them all, have the Secretary take the unanswered questions down. Let the Chairman then parcel out these questions, answers to be brought in at the next meeting. Here are samples of the questions that were carried over in one meeting of the kind:

Why did a Protestant Minister move to take the Bible off the Altar in Lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of France ?

  • What is the symbolic significance of the position of the square and compasses in the Blue Lodge Degrees ?
  • What Grand Lodges does our Grand Lodge recognize?
  • What does the word "Orientation" mean, as applied to Masonic Temples ?
  • What is the present-day tendency in the administration of Masonic charity?
  • What is the significance of "The East" in the Masonic sense ?

These questions (all of them inspired by Brother Clegg's paper on "Foundations and Fundamentals") were carried over to the next meeting. At least six other questions were asked and answered. There were brethren present who rather thought that they could answer some of the above questions offhand, but it was thought advisable to work them up more carefully and give all the best authorities on the subjects presented.

At the succeeding meeting all but one of the above questions were answered, most of them fully and all to the satisfaction of the Brethren present.

Can anyone doubt that this particular meeting was a success ?

Ninety-six per cent. of the Brethren present at the beginning stayed through until after 11:00 P. M., when the meeting closed! Many Lodges will feel that this hour is too late. That may be true. But the fact remains that young men, finding all at once that the study of Masonry, when directed along definite lines, holds a fascination for them, and offers them a welcome diversion from the routine of business cares, will want to stay by it. And they will go out from these study meetings, not only inspired to further work, but actually elated with the opportunity to discover what other men of the Fraternity are thinking. This is as it should be. It brings back the Masonry of other days, when men glorified in its fellowship, using each meeting of the Lodge to ripen the man-to-man intimacy which results in true Brotherhood.

The plan works. It is working in many, many Lodges. It will work in yours. With three or four Brethren willing to make some search – and if necessary research – the full attendance of a Lodge can find themselves absorbingly interested in the discussions that will be born, almost automatically, from the reading of a formal paper.


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In my search through the Masonic exchanges which come to this office, there is no item of news more gratifying than that Clubs for the Study of the Science and Philosophy of Masonry are being formed all over the land.

This is truly the supplying of a "long felt want" and is an augury for better things both civically and Masonically.

It is neither my purpose nor province to be a scold, but in common with many of my Brethren the realization has been painful that we as Masons are not getting the good out of Masonry that we should and we are not giving to the young members that to which they are entitled.

The true story of the average Lodge would read about as follows:

A profane petitions for membership, he is elected, he is given the first and second degrees with little more than the necessary quorum of members present. In order to have a respectable number of Craftsmen present at his raising, the Master orders a "feed," and, to make sure that they will not slip away, he puts on the second section before the feast is spread; then, sad to relate, not more than a handful remain to give the "newly Obligated Brother" a perfunctory congratulation at the close of the Lodge.

Whether they have made a Mason or just a member is not the concern of the majority; nor are they to be severely criticized, for they received the same kind of a welcome from those who preceded them.

In very truth Brethren it is surprising, with the circumscribed opportunities for learning what Masonry really is, that the Brotherhood entertain so high a regard for the order in the abstract. They must instinctively feel that there is a something in Masonry that they have failed to get, and that feeling prompts those who become students to dig out for themselves those beauties, which with a little help from their "better" informed Brethren, could have been acquired in half the time and with more accurate deductions.

The teachings of Masonry are sublime and ennobling, but these teachings must be sought elsewhere and beyond the rituals and monitors of our symbolic Lodges.

The first two degrees are only introductory to the third, and all Masonic students concur that the Master's degree contains the basic principles, and is the "stone of foundation" upon which the entire superstructure of Masonic philosophy has been erected; but how few of us ever realize what that degree really contains.

It does not make the same impression upon any two men, and the exchange of impressions in an hour's fraternal gathering, at the close of the Lodge, or on some other night in each month, would be far more beneficial to Masonry in general and the Lodge in particular than the making of any number of new "members of the order."

It is readily perceived that the organization of these Study Clubs has been undertaken with the determination to stop the trend of making "members" by giving all, present and to come, an opportunity to become Masons in fact as well as in name.

In this work the Fraternity in New Mexico cannot afford to lag behind, for there is as great need of real Masonry here as in any other jurisdiction; and, an appeal is hereby made to our Scottish Rite Brethren to take the initiative in the work of organizing Study Clubs all over the state. You know much better than they know themselves the imperative need for Masonic study by the mass of members with whom you come in contact

These clubs are in no way to conflict with our Scottish Rite Clubs, nor need the Scottish Rite be ever mentioned therein; and yet, your patently superior knowledge of Masonry, acquired in the Scottish Rite, will prove to be a stronger incentive for others to seek what they can there secure than any direct appeal.
– Scottish Rite Bulletin, Santa Fe, N.M.

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Continued in Part 2

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