TB-1917-04b

The Builder Magazine

April 1917 – Volume III – Number 4

THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY

Part 2


Continued from Part 1



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

THE FOUR HIRAMS OF TRYE

By Bro. A.S. Macbride, Scotland

II. The Two Artisans1 Called Hiram

IN the traditions of Masonry connected with the M. M. degree, the central figure is that of "Hiram Abif." A martyr to fidelity and honour, his memory has been held sacred by the Craft. Yet, historically, there is very little known of him. By many, if not by the most, of those who troubled themselves to think on the subject, the traditions regarding him, until recently, were considered to be mythological legends similar to those on which the ancient mysteries were formed, and altogether devoid of truth. The fact that in the Biblical accounts of the building of King Solomon's Temple there is no mention, nor apparently the smallest hint, of his death, has been accepted as a proof that he did not die, during the building of that structure. Dr. Oliver, the well known Masonic writer, evidently considered the tradition of his death as mythical, for in the "Freemason's Treasury," Lecture XLV, he says: "It is well known that the celebrated artist was living at Tyre many years after the Temple was completed."

But let us examine the Biblical narrative a little more closely than we have hitherto done. Assuming for the time being as correct, the generally accepted belief that only one artisan of the name of Hiram, or Huram, is mentioned in that historical account of the building of the Temple; we are immediately confronted with three contradictions demanding attention. These are:

  1. in the descriptions of his parentage;
  2. in the descriptions of his qualifications;
  3. in the periods named of his arrival at the Temple.

In the first place then, let us look at

The Descriptions Of Hiram's Parentage

In 2 Chron. H. 14, Hiram is said to be: "the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan." In I Kings VII. 14, he is described as: "the Son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali." Now, no man can have two mothers, and no mother can belong to two tribes. On what supposition then, can these two differing descriptions be reconciled? Is it some mistake as to the tribe to which the mother belonged? With writers unacquainted with the tribes of Israel, or of the peculiarities of Hebrew history, that might be. But the writers of the books of Kings and Chronicles had an intimate knowledge of all these things, and we can scarcely suppose for a moment any such mistake.

The tribe of Dan occupied the hilly country in the immediate neighborhood of the Philistines and Samson the celebrated warrior and patriot was of that tribe.

Unable to subdue the Philistines the Danites, after the death of Samson, migrated to the plains of the upper Jordan around the city of Laish, which was then the granary of Sidon. Their proximity to Tyre, no doubt, resulted in intermarriages with the Tyrians; and hence, there would be nothing very remarkable in "the Son of a woman of the daughters of Dan," being a famous artisan of Tyre.

The tribe of Naphtali were located in the mountains on the northern border of Palestine; and from their nearness to Tyre and the necessities of trade from the sea-coast, they had regular intercourse with the Tyrians, and intermarriage would, consequently, more or less result. Thus there seems nothing extraordinary in the recorded fact, that a Tyrian artisan was "the son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali."

There is little likelihood that, in either of these two cases, the writer of the book of Kings, or the writer of the book of Chronicles, would make any mistake in the matter of lineage; for on this point the Hebrew writers seem to have been very particular. The fact that in both instances the father is not mentioned, adds weight to the correctness of the description of the mother; and, if there was only one artisan of the name of Hiram at the building of the Temple, we have before us the insuperable difficulty of believing that he had two mothers.

Let us now pass on to consider, in the second place;

The Descriptions Of Hiram's Qualifications

In 2nd. Chronicles II. 14, Hiram is described as: "Skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; and also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device." In 1st Kings VII. 14, he is called: "A worker in brass, and he was filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass." Now, just think for a little on these two descriptions. The one is skillful to work metals – gold, silver, brass and iron; also stone and timber. In weaving and in dyeing, in engraving and in every device, he is an expert. He is an all around architect – a marvel, a genius, a man of large experience and, no doubt, of ripe years, whose fame would be sure to go down the ages. The other is merely a worker in brass – no doubt a man of good parts, but limited in experience and knowledge – probably young in years, and, according to the description, as yet only a worker in brass. This statement that his craftsmanship is confined to brass is most carefully noted by the historian, for it is reiterated in the description. He says: "A worker in brass filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass," He repeats the words "in brass," as if he was afraid that the individual he was describing might be mistaken for some other person of the same name, also celebrated as an artisan and a worker, at the building of the Temple.

Considering these two descriptions, is it reasonable to believe that they refer to the same individual? They are not loose, nor in any way vague. On the contrary, they are very precise and detailed, and no one reading them, without prejudice, would imagine them to refer to the same artisan.

We now come to our third point, viz:

The Periods Named Of Hiram's Arrival At The Temple

In 2nd Chronicles II. 13, before the work of the Temple was begun, Hiram king of Tyre in his letter to Solomon says: "And now I have sent a cunning man endued with understanding," etc. In I Kings VII. 13, after the house of the Lord and the house of Solomon had been built, we are informed: "King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." In the one statement we are told that before the house was built a skillful man was sent to King Solomon by Hiram King of Tyre; in the other that after the house was built Solomon "sent and fetched" Hiram out of Tyre. These periods were twenty years apart; for the house of the Lord took seven years, and the house of Solomon and the courts of the Temple other thirteen years in building.

To understand the biblical narrative properly one has to keep in view that there are several "finishes" mentioned, and that these refer only to certain parts of the work at the building of the Temple. The first "finish" is mentioned in I. Kings VI. 9: " So he built the house and finished it" – that is the mason-work, or shell of the building. Then comes the second part of the work, consisting of the carpenter-work of the roof, and of the chambers around about, as stated in verses 9 and 10; and in verse 14, the narrative goes on to say: "So Solomon built the house and finished it." The third part of the work described, consists of the decorations – the gold plating and gilding. Verse 22 says: "And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house." The fourth part of the work is stated to have been the internal fittings and carvings of the house, and the building of the inner court, and the whole is summed up in verse 38, as follows: "And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eight month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it."

So far as we have followed the narrative, the house itself, in its plan and embellishments, has been finished; but the Temple is still far from being completed. The outer courts and the houses of the king, with all their magnificence and ornamentation; the pillars of the porch, and the altars and utensils of the inner court, have not yet been begun. These were to take other thirteen years to construct and finish. In the meantime, let us go on. The house of the forest of Lebanon, the porch of judgment, Solomon's Palace, the palace for Pharaoh's daughter, and the great court; had all just been built when the sacred narrative is abruptly interrupted by the statement: "And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." All the work of building proper had been completed, but many things had yet to be done before the sacrifices and magnificent services of the Hebrew religion could be begun and maintained at the Temple. But, if Hiram was sent by the king of Tyre before the work was begun, why did Solomon, at this particular stage, need to send and "fetch" him out of Tyre ? Had he gone back to Tyre after some years of laborious work, and was he again needed to complete the building? There are one or two objections to the idea. If he did return to Tyre, we would naturally expect the historian to give us some indication of his having done so. But, search as we may, there is not the smallest hint, or indication of that. All writers on the subject, differing as they do on many points, agree that Hiram had the superintendence of the work at the building of the Temple. Is it likely then, that he could have gone back, while the work was unfinished? The time necessary for such a journey in those days would have so interfered with the progress of the building operations that we are scarcely entitled to assume such a thing, unless on something approaching substantial grounds. The custom then, and for many centuries afterwards, with artisans such as Hiram, was to make their home for the time being wherever their work was. Building operations in connection with temples were necessarily of long duration. In the present case they had probably already stretched over fifteen years. The building of the holy house had occupied seven years, and the royal houses and the courts were finished, so far as mason and carpenter work were concerned; and, as they occupied thirteen years to complete, we may safely estimate that at least eight of these thirteen years had already passed when "Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." In all probability then, Hiram had already spent thirteen years in Jerusalem and, if alive, was still there. If that was so, why and wherefore did Solomon need to send and fetch him out of Tyre? So far as all the records go, the periods named of Hiram's arrival at the Temple are not consistent with the course of events, and are contradictory to each other; so long as we assume there was only one Hiram engaged at the work of the Temple.

These three contradictions as to the Parentage, Qualifications, and Period of arrival at the Temple, which we have now been considering, must apparently remain inexplicable, unless on the natural and, at present, the only reasonable explanation that there were two artisans of the same name, engaged at the work of that famous structure. This hypothesis reconciles those contradictions, makes clear the biblical narrative, explains certain hitherto unintelligible statements, and lends corroborative testimony to the truth, in its substance, of the Masonic tradition of the death of Hiram Abif. In the light of this hypothesis let us now review the whole circumstances mentioned in the sacred narrative.

The first Hiram is "the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan," and arrives at the beginning of the building of the Temple. He is an all around artisan, skillful to work in stone, timber, gold, iron, etc. He superintends the building operations. It is a task of no common difficulty. A great Temple has to be built on the top of a rugged hill, almost entirely surrounded by sharp precipices. Immense walls, the lowest of which is to be 450 feet high, have to be reared up in the valley out from the precipices, and the intervening space has to be filled up with earth in order to make room for the Temple with all its courts and palaces on the top. This work has to be done under the peculiar conditions that neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron is to be heard in the main structure, that is the sanctuary; while it is being built. All this would require great skill, knowledge and experience. Stonework, timber-work, and metal-work of various kinds have to be executed. The Sanctuary has to be covered inside and outside with gold. Great curtains, with cherubims and other devices, have to be manufactured. Carvings on stone, and on timber; engravings on gold and silver; have to be done, and done in the highest and most skillful manner possible. The work is not only stupendous in its nature; it is also magnificent in its character. Well, the years pass on and, at the seventh, the house of the Lord and the inner court have been built. Then began the work of the outer courts and the royal palaces. These, while parts of the Temple scheme, were not considered as parts of the sanctuary, and hence, sacred silence was no longer a necessary condition. All was now bustle. The sounds of hammer and chisel, and the stir of toil filled the air, while the great courts and palaces were gradually erected. Other eight years passed in this work, and Hiram the first, with his wonderful genius and skill, built a structure whose fame has been echoed down through the long corridors of Time. Now it is at this stage that Hiram the first disappeared and Hiram the second, "the son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali" came into view. Everything, except the molten brass-work, has been done. Why did Hiram the first not do it? That he was perfectly capable, there can be no reasonable doubt. Why then, did Solomon need to send for Hiram the second to do it? It is evident that Hiram the first was no longer available. Why? Neither scripture narrative nor profane history, so far as we can trace, give any answer to this question. But the traditions of Masonry supply a very clear and natural answer. Hiram the first was dead, and hence Solomon sent and fetched Hiram (the second) out of Tyre, to finish the work. Everything had been completed except the brass-work. and Hiram the second is described specially as "a worker in brass." Five more years passed and the final finish of the Temple came. The mighty brass pillars – the casting of which was a wonderful achievement – the various altars and utensils, the golden candlesticks etc., were all made and put in their places and, with full pomp and sacrifice, Solomon dedicated and consecrated the house of the Lord.

In this way, on the assumption that there were two Hirams engaged at the work of the Temple the sacred narrative is clear and coherent; and the seeming inconsistencies and contradictions we have referred to, disappear.

But there still remain one or two passages in the narrative which puzzle us. In I. Kings VII. 45, we read: "And the pots and the shovels and the basins, and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass." In II. Chronicles IV. 16, after ascribing as in the book of Kings, the various things made by Hiram – the pillars, the bases, the layers, and the sea with twelve oxen under it – we read: "And the pots also, and the shovels, and the flesh-hooks and all their instruments, did Hiram, his father make to king Solomon, for the house of the Lord, of bright brass." Here we have evidently a parenthetical remark interjected by the writer of the narrative with the object of making plain to the reader some fact which would be otherwise obscure. The words "of bright brass" arrest our attention. What do they mean? They evidently want to emphasize that the pots, shovels, and all the work of brass done by "Hiram, his father" were of bright brass that is, malleable brass; while the pillars, the bases, the lavers, as mentioned in the context were of cast brass. This distinction is associated with the words "his father." Whose father could it be, but the father of the person whose work is being described ? In verse II of the last mentioned chapter in Chronicles, we read: "And Huram made the pots and the shovels and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for King Solomon for the house of God." Now, according to Hebrew scholars the words here translated "Huram" in both instances, are distinct, and different in the original. In I. Kings VII. 40, our translation should read: "And Chirom made the layers and the shovels and the basins. So Chiram made an end of doing all the work, etc.": and in II. Chronicles IV. 11, it should read: "And Chiram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon" etc.

In view of the distinction in the names, and of the apparent parenthetical character of the 45th verse in I. Kings VII. and of the 16th verse in II. Chronicles IV., the reading of the sacred narrative appears to be as follows, beginning at I. Kings VII. 40:

"But Chirom made the lavers and the shovels and the basins, and Chiram made an end of the work that Chirom was to have made king Solomon for the house of the Lord: the two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and the two net-works, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; and four hundred pomegranates for the two net-works, even two rows of pomegranates for one net-work, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that were upon the pillars; and the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases; and one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea: – but the pots and the shovels, and the basins; and all those vessels which Chirom made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass."

In the same way beginning at II. Chronicles IV. 11, we would read: "But Churam made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins; and Chiram finished the work which Churam was to have made for king Solomon for the house of God – to-wit: the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars. He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases: One sea and twelve oxen under it; But the pots, and the shovels and the flesh-hooks, and all the instruments which Churam, his father, did make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass."

This reading of the narrative, seems to us, the only one that gives any appearance of consistency and plain sense. The repetition of the name "Hiram" in I. Kings VII. 40, and its use in verse 45; the repetition of "Huram" in II. Chronicles IV. 11, and the words "Huram his father" are all inexplicable and confusing, as they stand. The explanation that makes everything plain and clear is that Hiram the son made the pillars, the lavers, etc., of cast-brass, and that Huram his father made the pots, basins, etc., of bright or malleable brass. In this view the words "his father" (in the original "Abif") is rendered quite natural and intelligible, and accords with Masonic tradition.

In all the variations of the Masonic traditions, the Hiram whose death occurred immediately preceding the completion of the Temple is named "Hiram Abif." This designation becomes significant only in view of the fact that another Hiram, his son, also superintended at the building of the Temple and finished the work which his father would no doubt have finished had he lived a few years longer. Why should the designation "Abif" have been given if there was no other Hiram engaged at the Temple? It surely. indicates not only another Hiram, but also that the other was the son of the Hiram so named.

The Hiram whom Solomon "fetched out of Tyre" is described as the son of a widow. This description accords exactly with the theory now advanced. If Hiram Abif was dead and his wife alive, his son Hiram would naturally be the son of a widow.

The expression "sent and fetched" is peculiar and is also perhaps very significant. It seems to indicate in all probability that the King Solomon sent an escort for Hiram. Our Rev. Brother Rosenbaum thinks this was to protect him from his father's enemies. With this we can scarcely agree. These enemies were all too insignificant to demand for him a royal escort. Ordinary guards as was usual for travelers, would have been sufficient so far as safety was concerned. A royal escort was, and is a mark of honour and it seems much more probable that this respect was shown to the son, in honour of the fame and memory of the father.

This theory of the two Hirams-Artisans at the building of the Temple also harmonizes with the statement made by Dr. Oliver to which reference has already been made, viz: "It is well known that the celebrated artist was living in Tyre many years after the Temple was completed." This statement has been used as an argument against the truth of the Masonic tradition regarding the death of Hiram. But if there were two Hirams the statement of Dr. Oliver and the tradition of Hiram's death may both be true. Hiram the son may very probably have returned to Tyre and lived, let us fondly believe, many years the worthy son of a noble father.

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TO A SKELETON [A Poem]

The MS. of this poem was found in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, near a perfect human skeleton, and sent by the curator to the Morning Chronicle for publication. It excited so much attention that every effort was made to discover the author, and a responsible party went so far as to offer a reward of fifty guineas for information that would discover its origin. The author preserved his incognito, and, we believe, has never been discovered.

Behold this ruin! 'Twas a skull,
Once of ethereal spirit full,
This narrow cell was life's retreat;
This space was thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot;
What dreams of pleasure long forgot?
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear
Have left one trace of record here.

Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye;
But start not at the dismal void.
If social love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed -
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.

Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue;
If falsehood's honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke -
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When time unveils eternity!

Say, did these fingers delve the mine,
Or with the envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear a gem
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on wealth and fame.

Avails it whether bare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of ease they fled,
To seek affliction's humble shed;
If grandeur's guilty bride they spurned,
And home to virtue's cot returned -
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MAUNDY THURSDAY

By Bro. Frank B. Gault, Washington

MASONIC observances and ceremonies are founded upon authentic history or upon legends and traditions our race cherishes with unremitting fervour. In our recurring commemorations of these time-honoured events we, in an appreciative way, reengage with those ancient worthies in their notable contributions to human welfare. Thus the Maundy Thursday feast reminds us of the closing scenes of the earthly career of the Saviour of the world. Yea, more, for by our recurring celebrations of this mystic banquet we perpetuate and we accentuate the greatest world-lesson that ever fell upon the ears of our common humanity for inspiration and guidance. The outlying incidents may be briefly told.

Our Lord was reaching the culmination of his week of passion. A few days before he had entered Jerusalem in triumph amid the waving of palms and the glad acclaims of an expectant populace. The people looked for a king. Our Lord was truly to found a kingdom but it was to be a spiritual kingdom, investing man with a new worth and dignity. Peace on earth, social equality, liberty of conscience, and the worth of the common man were to be ruling virtues in this new order of human affairs.

It was Thursday "Green Thursday," the Middle Ages called it. Approaching night had thrown its lengthening shadows o'er the Judean hills. The Son of Man, accompanied by the Twelve, leaving the little city of Bethany, passed over "Olive's brow" to the upper room in the city of David where, by prearrangement, the great Jewish feast of the Passover was to be celebrated. It proved to be the first Maundy Thursday feast, now so happily known as the "Mystic Banquet."

In that land the host met his guests with a laver of water that they might bathe their feet after laying aside their sandals, a most welcome attention after travel upon the dusty roads. This service was committed to slaves. Upon this occasion there being no host, provision for this refreshing act had been omitted. Observing this our Lord arose and in simple but gracious manner washed the feet of his disciples not, however, without some earnest protests.

Thus was exemplified in unaffected sincerity and modest condescension the most impressive lesson in human service and social democracy the race ever received. In thus bestowing upon his disciples this omitted act of hospitality, although the courtesy of menials, the Lord gave mankind an object lesson for all time which means that he who rules must himself serve. Let us in this festal hour hearken unto this effective lesson, centuries old, though too often neglected, that all must serve. It is not the obeisance of the inferior to a superior; not a mercenary hope of reciprocal gain; but the mercy that is unrestrained. Our civilization is based upon this principle. Our firesides, our schools, our hospitals, our neighbourliness, our democracy itself, rest upon this law of human relationship – we serve each other and together we are servants of the common good. However humble that service, if it is needed, it must be rendered freely and joyously.

This simple ceremony concluded, our Lord, turning to his disciples, said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." Here is the motive of the service – love, good will to men, sympathy, devotion to well being, lending a hand.

Of kindred origin with the word commandment is mandate, mandatory and mandamus. These words, indeed, are identical. The day of the command, the Thursday of the commandment, the mandate Thursday, and we have Maundy Thursday.

The literal and formal observance of the washing of feet in a public manner by church and state officials has long existed. The emperor of Austria, the king of Bavaria, and the czar of Russia are notable examples. Usually the twelve oldest men in the realm are selected and the sovereign through servants, performs the ablution. Sometimes prelates of the church select twelve very poor men for the rite.

This incident and the new commandment afford many candid variances of opinion as to important features, but these must not be obscured by the imperative lesson, – our obligations to our fellow man regardless of race, status or creed. The attitude toward humanity exemplified at that Passover feast two thousand years ago is our challenge. Democracy must be the ruling principle in the world, and humanity our service, aristocracy, royalty, dynasty, imperialism, undeserved privilege, and "man's inhumanity to man" must cease to disturb and destroy. The sorrows, the distresses and the enmities of today show that the incident and the commandment of that far-off first Maundy Thursday feast can not too often be impressed upon a chaotic and unhappy world.

The democracy of service and the service of democracy are the hope of mankind.

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THE WORK OF A MASON

The work of the Freemason is the important work of life. It involves the development of his body so that he may be the better enabled to support himself and family; the development of his mind so that he may be enabled to think and act intelligently and rationally; the development of his soul so that he may gradually evolve into that more perfect condition – the Master.
– W. L. Sharp

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THE MASONIC COMPEERS OF WASHINGTON

By Bro. Frank E. Notes, Wisconsin

GREAT exigencies and great occasions give birth to great men, and many a man who under ordinary circumstances would not rise above mediocrity, has, under the spur of great demands, become really and truly great.

There is always a tendency to make heroes of those who took prominent part in the birth of the Nation; but when all allowances have been made, the fact still remains that in proportion to numbers the years preceding and following the organization of our National government produced more men of courage, ability and true patriotism than any other period in our history, not even excepting the years of the Civil War.

Among the colossal figures that stood out prominently in those trying years, the Masons of revolutionary times, the Masonic Compeers of our immortal Washington, are justly entitled to have their names written high on the pillars of worldly fame.

There is an unwritten history of the silent but patient influences of Masonry in producing the various political associations of that period, and the mighty brotherhood of Masonry, ever the friend of liberty, was omnipotent for good.

While there were doubtless transient meetings of Masons in different American colonies from time to time late in the seventeenth and early in the eighteenth centuries, it was not until about the time of Washington's birth that the workings of the order began to assume definite shape and the written records of Masonry in America commenced. In April, 1733, Lord Montagu, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, appointed Henry Price as "Provincial Grand Master of New England and dominions and territories thereunto belonging." Organizing the Grand Lodge in July of that year,. he granted a charter to eighteen brethren in Boston to form "First Lodge," a name maintained till 1783 when it was changed to St. John's Lodge. If Washington was the "father of his country," Henry Price was in a like sense the father of American Masonry. In the following year, 1734, his authority was extended to the whole of North America and he granted warrants to brethren for lodges at Philadelphia, Pa., and at Portsmouth, N. H.; and in December, 1735, for one at Charleston, S. C.

Prominent in the early history of the country was the Randolph family of Virginia. Peyton Randolph was the first president of the Continental Congress which convened in 1774. He was also the last provincial Grand Master in that colony. In 1778 an Independent Grand Lodge was organized in Virginia and Edmund Randolph, nephew of Peyton, became its Grand Master in 1786. He was also Governor of Virginia the same year and in 1787 was a member of the convention that drafted the Federal Constitution.

In 1787 an independent Grand Lodge was formed in Georgia and Gen. James Jackson became its Grand Master. Distinguished in his state for military valor, he was also, in 1788, its first elected Governor.

In the same year the Grand Lodge of South Carolina was organized and in 1790 Gen. Mordecai Gist became its Grand Master.

North Carolina organized its Grand Lodge in 1787. Richard Caswell, who was the first elected Governor in that state and who served as such in 1776, '77, '78 and '79, and again in 1787, was the second Grand Master in 1788. Also in national affairs he was prominent in the Continental Congress and as a member of the Constitutional Convention. Another prominent Mason in that state was Wm. R. Davie, Governor in 1798 and Grand Master in 1790.

The first Grand Master of Connecticut was Pierpont Edward in 1790. He was a son of the famous divine, the Rev. Jonathan Edward, one of the early Presidents of Princeton College.

Gen. John Sullivan was Governor of New Hampshire from 1786 to 1790. During his last term a Grand Lodge was organized in that state and he was its first Grand Master. Gen. Sullivan is noted for the splendid campaign he made in 1779 against the Six Nations of Indians who were fighting with the British troops.

Gen. Rufus Putman was prominent in Massachusetts, went to Ohio late in the eighteenth century and became Grand Master in that state in 1808.

There were many other prominent men who were Masonic Compeers of Washington, but the list is too long to dwell upon.

How many Masons are familiar with the part that Masons played in the Boston Tea Party? It was on the evening of the 18th of December, 1773, when a party of Masons, mostly members of St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston, assembled for the purpose of protesting against the iniquitous tax on tea. Samuel Adams is said to have been a member of that party. Gen. Warren, the first prominent martyr to the cause of American Independence and once Grand Master of Massachusetts, was a member of that party. Paul Revere, celebrated for his famous ride before the battle of Lexington, at that time Junior. Warden of the Lodge and afterwards Grand Master, was a leading spirit among the resolute Masons who emptied the tea into Boston harbour.

While much of the specific wording of the Declaration of Independence is credited to Thomas Jefferson, Masons were the leading spirits in the movement. Almost simultaneously and perhaps not knowing of the other's action, Samuel Adams in Massachusetts and Richard Henry Lee in Virginia wrote vigorous protests in 1774 against the tyrannous acts of the English government. It was Lee who in the Constitutional Congress, June 12, 1776, made the motion that the colonies were and of right ought to be free and independent.

The battle of Lexington was the result of an attempt on the part of the British soldiers to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams as arch traitors, but they were warned and escaped to Philadelphia. Of the fifty-six members of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence, twenty-two are known to have been Masons and quite a number of others are believed to have been members of the order, but the imperfect records of those days leaves a doubt as to their membership. Of the committee of five appointed to prepare the Declaration, three, viz: Sherman, Livingston and Adams, were Masons. John Hancock, who was the president of the Congress, was the first Mason to affix his signature. He was afterwards for thirteen years Governor of Massachusetts. Of the first eight signers of the declaration, seven were Masons. The Masons were the head and front of the movement.

Besides Hancock and Adams, the following Masons signed the Declaration:

Josiah Bartlett, first to vote for and second to sign. He was at first a prominent physician, afterwards a lawyer and for six years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and the first Governor of that state. He was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1798.

William Whipple, born in Maine two years before Washington, prominent as a lawyer and a Judge of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire for three years.

Matthew Thornton, born in Ireland in 1714 and an advocate of ability; for six years a member of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.

Robert Treat Paine, born the year before Washington in Boston; was for fourteen years a justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.

Elbridge Gerry, a member of the Constitutional Congress five times, member of the Constitutional Convention, Governor of Massachusetts in 1810-'11 and Vice President at the time of his death in 1814. It was from his work of districting the state that we get the word "gerrymander."

Stephen Hopkins, Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly in 1742 and for several years following, Governor of the state for thirteen years and for several years a member of the Continental Congress.

Roger Sherman, prominent in the legislative affairs of Connecticut, member of the first and several succeeding Continental Congresses, and one of the five members of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Among his distinguished descendants were Senators Wm. M. Evarts of New York and Geo. F. Hoar of Massachusetts.

Philip Livingston, member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, and one of the Committee of five who drafted the Declaration.

Oliver Wolcott, member of the Continental Congress for several years and Governor of Connecticut for eleven years.

Francis Lewis, a native of Wales, who engaged in commerce and amassed a large fortune much of which he spent in the cause of American liberty, was a member of the Continental Congress from New York, in which state he died at the ripe old age of 90 years.

John Witherspoon, a Scottish Doctor of Divinity who came to the Colonies after he had made a reputation as one of the strongest preachers of his age. He became president of Princeton College in 1768 and by his wise administration greatly raised the rank of that institution. Sat in the Continental Congress for three years at a time at two different periods.

Francis Hopkinson, head of the Navy during the Revolution, Judge of the Admiralty in Pennsylvania for ten years to 1789 and then, as an appointee of President Washington, a United States Judge till his death in 1791.

Lewis Morris, a wealthy resident of New York who risked his fortune in the cause of liberty and whose large estates were burned by the British in 1776.

Benjamin Rush, the most noted physician of his age, who, with Richard Henry Lee moved the adoption of a resolution for independence early in June, 1776. He was treasurer of the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia from 1799 till his death in 1813. It was after him that Rush Medical College in Chicago was named.

Benjamin Franklin, Grand Master of Pennsylvania in 1784 and the most distinguished diplomat and scientist of that period. George Ross, a judge of the Pennsylvania Admiralty Court who died in 1779.

Richard Henry Lee, who, although a Virginian, took strong grounds against Slavery in 1761. In 1784 he was president of the Continental Congress and was the first U. S. Senator from Virginia. His younger brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, was also a signer of the Declaration.

Benjamin Harrison, four times a member of the Continental Congress, twice Governor of Virginia, and the father of William Henry Harrison ("Old Tippecanoe"), the ninth President.

William Hooper, a native of Boston but a representative for several terms of North Carolina in the Continental Congress. These twenty-two Masonic signers of the Declaration were a sturdy group – men for the most part of great learning and influence. By occupation eleven of them were traders and farmers, eight of them were lawyers, two were doctors and one a minister of the gospel. Seven of them served their states as governors and gave a combined service of 48 years or an average of about seven years each. Seven of them were judges, mostly of the highest courts, and rendered a combined service of 64 years or an average of about 9 years each. Two of them were Grand Masters of Masonic Grand Lodges.

Statisticians tell us that science and modern methods of living have greatly increased the average span of human life in these latter days. But the twenty two Masonic signers of the Declaration, living for the most part under primitive conditions, far outran the average age of their fellows both in those times and now. Only two of them died before the age of 50; twelve of them were over 70 years of age; five of them were over 80, and one reached the age of 90 years; while the average span of life for the whole twenty-two was 70 years. The earliest death among them was in 1779, the latest in 1814. This is a remarkable exhibit of the strength of mind and body of the leading founders of the government of our great Nation.

They did their work well and were an honour not only to themselves, their families, their communities, their states and the Nation, but they honoured the great brotherhood to which they belonged and were among the noblest representatives of true Masonry, which has always stood for the highest patriotism. Of them may well be said,

When mature growth had marked their manly brows,
They sought our altar and they made their vows –
Upon our tesselated floor they trod,
Bended their knees and placed their trust in God.
Through all their great and glorious lives they stood
As true, warm brothers, foremost e'er in good;
And when they died, amid profoundest gloom,
Their mourning brethren bore them to the tomb."

Upon their coffins were the aprons placed
Of Masonry, which through their life they graced.
The profound gratitude of men unborn
Will follow them until the dawn of morn
When Nations, true to Christian brotherhood
Shall nevermore shed unprotected blood.
When Peace, the angel guest of heaven divine,
Brings greatest happiness to all mankind.

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LINCOLN [A Poem]

Would I might rouse the Lincoln in you all,
That which is gendered in the wilderness,
From lonely prairies and God's tenderness.
Imperial soul, star of a weedy stream,
Born where the ghosts of buffaloes still dream,
Whose spirit hoof-beats storm above his grave,
About that breast of earth and prairie-fire –
Fire that freed the slave.
– Vachel Lindsay

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LET THE LIGHT SHINE

The essence of Free Masonry is light. Its function is to illumine. To be sure Masonry has its secrets and mysteries, but so has sunlight. The one may be understood by the adept as the other has been analyzed by the scientist. Opaque objects on the earth cast shadows and in the movements of the planets the sun becomes eclipsed. So in Masonry there are emblems of darkness and ceremonies wherein light is extinguished; but these are only for contrast. Light, ever increasing light, is the ideal.

And yet there are dimmers in the Masonic World. A lodge is such if it fails to illumine, and so is a Mason who does not let his light shine before men. Such lodges and such brethren are like opaque objects in nature. Light either does not permeate them, or if it does, it stays there instead of shining through or being reflected by them. They not only shut ofl light from others, but really stand in their own light; for if a lodge would flourish, or if a brother would get for himself the best that Masonry can give him, that lodge and that brother must let the light shine, not within only, like an electric light with dimmers on, but through them and from them out into the world upon human institutions and upon humanity outside the Craft.

The final test of Masonry is its altruism, what it accomplishes, not for itself and its votaries only, but for humanity; and he is the best Mason and does the most for his lodge and the advancement of the Order, who most carries out into the business, political and social world, the light with which he himself has been illuminated in the lodge room, and who most lets that light shine, through his beneficent words and deeds, for enlightenment and enlivening of his fellow men.
– Calvin Graves Greene, 33d Hon.

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THE THINGS I SHARE [A Poem]

I thank Thee, Lord, for strength of arm
To win my bread,
And that, beyond my need, is meat
For friend unfed:
I thank Thee much for bread to live,
I thank Thee more for bread to give.

I thank Thee, Lord, for snug-thatched roof
In cold and storm,
And that beyond my need is room
For friend forlorn:
I thank Thee much for place to rest,
But more for shelter for my guest.

I thank Thee, Lord, for lavish love
On me bestowed,
Enough to share with loveless folk
To ease their load:
Thy love to me I ill could spare,
Yet dearer is Thy love I share.
– Robert Davis

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EDITORIAL

Hail! Columbia

SLOWLY our Republic is being drawn into the vortex of world-war, which it cannot much longer honorably avoid. Indeed, by the time these words are read it may already have made the plunge, taking up its great white sword in behalf of the humanity of the nation and the humanity of the world. Peace without victory, peace at any price, are becoming increasingly impossible in theory and in fact. They are not just who will not fight for justice; and there is one thing better than keeping the peace – that is having a peace that is worth keeping.

No nation can turn hermit and live apart from the world, shut in by a narrow, selfish nationalism. The world is too small, too closely bound together, too delicately organized. In 1870 England held aloof and saw France crushed, but she prepared disaster for herself. This lesson is for us, because we have behind us three generations of national isolation, and that policy is now obsolete. It is not whether America shall enter the war – that hangs in the balance – but whether she shall enter the world, not for conquest but for co-operation, for service, for sacrifice, if need be, in behalf of a common civilization.

Some things there are more precious than life, without which life is not worth living – Liberty, Justice, Mercy. If these precious things can be secured by wise delay, by moral power alone, let us give thanks; but if moral power is finally set at naught, let the aggressor meet an invincible defender of humanity! If that issue is drawn, no one need be told where American Masons will stand: they will insist that the flag should stand for the protection of our citizens, and that our citizens stand for the protection of the flag! A little high school girl wrote these words, and through them her gentle hand will touch the heart-strings of thousands of men:

"This is my flag. For it I will give
All that I have, even as they gave -
They who dyed those blood-red bands -
Their lives that it might wave.
This is my flag. I am prepared
To answer now its first clear call,
And with Thy help, oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days seem near.
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the right,
O Lord, let it not fail."

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The New Thinking

Every movement, every institution, has two wings, and must have if it is to fly very far. Time out of mind they have been called the Radical and the Conservative; the one looking to the future, and the other seeking to conserve the hard-won inheritance of the past. Both are needed, but they must be held in balance, each serving the other and working together, else the result will be disaster and wreck. Between those who will let nothing alone, and those who will allow no change at all, there is a middle path of cautious and reliable progress. If we do not conserve what we have gained, we cannot improve it. Nor can we really conserve it without improving it. But we must have not only the wish but the ability to improve, else we shall lose what we have while blunderingly trying to get what we want.

Now these principles apply equally to Masonry, and ye editor confesses that he is a radical in heart but a conservative in thought, having the disposition to improve and the desire to conserve, seeking, as John Bright was wont to say, to "make the past glide easily into the future." For that reason, he would have Masons be doers as well as dreamers, conservatives but not mere preservatives, and radical without being revolutionary – in short, Builders and not mere Agitators. For the same reason he is ready and willing to listen to Brethren of the radical wing of the maternity, who are making themselves heard of late, assured that they ought to be heard because they have something to say, as witness the following words from a letter before us:

"How can the Society undertake a progressive study of Masonic fundamentals with its back turned to the future ? The facts are, Brother, the Society has not dared to touch on a single vital issue before us. While it may be a subject highly interesting to a close student, you would hardly admit that a controversy over some technicality in the records of the Mystics of the Middle Ages is a matter of vital importance to us here in the flesh and blood now. I am a radical in thought, and although as were promised that a circle would be drawn that would include all, we find that the promise has not been fulfilled. If the motive back of the formation of the Society visas the hope of diverting a rapidly growing radical sentiment into conservative channels, I will admit that in part you have succeeded. But the tide will turn and you will soon have to take cognizance of the radical wing of the Society. Among the present-day subjects of vital interest to the Craft are the following:

Universal military training, would it be used to defeat or to aid Masonic Brotherhood ? Famous Masons who are working for a league to enforce world-peace. Are Masons neglecting the public schools, if so what will be the ultimate result? President Wilson’s challenge to the liberals of the world on world peace, is it a challenge to Masonry or Democracy? What is Masonry doing today to uphold the right of free speech, free press, and free public assembly ? Where must Masonry stand tomorrow on present-day subjects, if its future is to be as honourable as its past? Is Masonry an institution with definite objects in view; if so, what are they? Is Masonry merely a set of rules for individual conduct? Can Masonry squarely turn from its age-old admiration of its past and resolutely face the problems of the future? Shall Masonry organize to combat the growing influence of Romanism in American politics? Can Masonry afford to allow its membership to form its opinions from a controlled press ?

But I hear you saying that these are political, moral and economic questions, and have no part in the program of Masonry, nor are they proper subjects for discussion in our journal. If this is your thought, Brother, then I ask you where under high heaven can a poor soul go for reliable information? Far be it from me to detract from the glory of Masonry's past, but I am interested more in a glorious present and a bright and shining future. Before the coming of the Builder, recent Masonry was like the Chinese Empire, great in bulk, unwieldy, self-satisfied and with no particular object in view worthy of its manhood or traditions."

Here is the typical radical – God bless him – eager, utterly sincere, impatient, a pace-maker but not a peace-maker, who would transform the Masonic Lodge into a debating society, and so upset things that it would take a generation to set them right. We respect his motive – even if he suspects the motive which prompted the founding of this Society; we admire his idealism and enthusiasm; but we cannot agree with his method. And, after all, it is all a matter of method; since all of us want to do what is wisest and best, making the present worthy of the past and prophetic of the future. Of course our Brother exaggerates, after the manner of his clan, leaving the impression that our present studies are devoted to untangling the technicalities of the Mystics of the Middle Ages. But if he thinks that honorable past of Masonry, to which he wishes us to be true, was made by methods such as he recommends, he had better look into the old records a little.

Far, very far from it. Had our fathers followed such leadership, there would be no Masonic Lodge today, or else it would be only an indistinguishable atom in a welter of partisan feud. Suppose the church should open its pulpit to issues such as our Brother outlines, it would become a place not of devotion but of debate, and injure its influence – as, indeed, it has done in so far as it has followed this program. No more can the Masonic Lodge commit itself to such a program, unless it wishes deliberately to invite destruction. What then shall we do? Ignore present-day issues, turn our back upon them and leave them to be fought out in the spirit of feud ? Not at all. Masonry, as an organized body, cannot deal with issues of this sort, but Masons can. And it is the mission of Masonry so to train men in the spirit of truth, righteousness, human sympathy and social obligation that they will face and solve such questions in a spirit of justice, wisdom and truth !

Once for all ye editor stated his position in respect to this whole matter in "The Builders," (pp. 244-250) and he sees no reason to alter it by one iota; but instead all the more reason to insist upon it, with due regard for his Brethren who disagree. He feels profoundly in the matter, not because he is indifferent to the living issues of this dark and troubled time – God forbid – but just because the tendency which our Brother voices, now becoming clamorous, means the overthrow of the Order. Speaking plainly, yet kindly, he is frank to say that if such a program were adopted by the Masonic Order he would leave it instantly, and he would be followed by the vast majority of its members. It would no longer be the Masonry he loves and seeks to serve, but something so utterly unlike the Masonry whose past is honourable, and so alien to its spirit, as to be its enemy. So may it never be, while grass grows and the sun shines !

Masons may form groups, if they like, and discuss the questions which our Brother suggests, and others of a sort similar; but the Fraternity cannot indulge in such debates without disaster. In saying this we are thinking far ahead to a time when the noises of today shall have followed the feet that made them into the Silence remembering, too, the wisdom of our fathers which has approved itself by results. Our Brother thinks we have drawn a circle too small to include him in its embrace. No, no, it is the other way round. Somehow, in thinking of this matter, we recall the words of Browning:

"Oh if we draw a circle premature,
Heedless of far gain,
Greedy for quick returns of profits, sure
Bad is the bargain !"

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Spiritual Masonry

From Brother Oswald Wirth, of Paris, comes a very gracious letter, not only expressing appreciation of the work of the Society and its journal, but suggesting that it be made international. He is the editor of Le Symbolisme, and he gives a hint of the difficulties that beset him in publishing a Masonic journal under pressure of war conditions in France. Indeed, Le Symbolisme is suspended temporarily, owing to financial perplexities, but we trust that dawn will come soon, and that its gentle labors may be resumed. The following excerpt, as setting forth a more spiritual ideal of Masonry, may be of interest and profit to our readers:

"Since 1717, our Order has been especially ceremonial; the material, external side has been too predominant. It is not right to be contented henceforth to practice Freemasonry ritualistically; we must come to comprehend it, to possess all the intelligence of it. It is therefore no longer for men to wish to associate together, pay their dues, and bear the symbols by which we must address ourselves, but to have intellects capable of comprehending our philosophy. I am formulating no criticism in regard to Masonic bodies, and I do not wish to interfere, at least not directly, to reform them. That which interests me is the eternal wisdom to which the symbolism makes allusion. It is necessary to revive this wisdom, while searching everywhere for the remnants of its symbolic corpse. This is the task to which I have assigned myself; but when I have tried to communicate to others the fruits of my researches, I have found that Freemasons often show less receptivity than the profane. Having been consecrated and initiated, and placing there the value of Freemasonry, they believe too easily that they have nothing more to learn. This experience decides me to propagate a Masonry of the spirit independent of Masonic bodies.”

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If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say give them up, for they may be all you have; but conceal them, like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of other mender.
- R.L. Stevenson

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THE LIBRARY

Life After Death

DEAR EDITOR: – In the list of books received by The Builder, I note the work of Sir Oliver Lodge, entitled "Raymond, or Life After Death," purporting to give the communications received from his son who was killed in Flanders. Remembering what you said about "Patience Worth," I have a keen curiosity to know what you think of this book. I venture to transcribe the following words written by William Dean Howells thirty-five years ago, in his story, "The Undiscovered Country," and quoted in the March Atlantic Monthly, fearing that you may have missed them. Speaking of spiritualism and its materializations, he says:

"All other systems of belief, all other revelations of the unseen world, have supplied a rule of life, have been given for our use here. But this offers nothing but the barren fact that we live again. It is as thoroughly godless as atheism itself, and no man can accept it upon any other man's word, because it has not yet shown its truth in the ameliorated life of men. As long as it is used merely to establish the fact of a future life it will remain sterile. It will continue to be doubted, like a conjuror's trick, by all who have not seen it; and those who have seen it will afterwards come to discredit their own senses. The world has been mocked with something of the kind from the beginning; it is no new thing."

I do not say that this expresses my view of the matter. In fact, I do not say that I have any view, preferring to keep an open mind, and being deeply convinced of a future life on other grounds. Perhaps such a matter has no place in our journal, but if it has – and I recall your saying that Masonry is concerned with all things human – some of us would be glad to know your thought. Fraternally.
- T.J.L.

My Brother, we live in dark and terrible times, and the Unseen World seems very near, its gates thronged by a host no man can number of the bravest and the best who are giving their lives for the things that make life dear. Death, so multitudinous and overwhelming, has brought immortality to light. For many, as for Sir Oliver Lodge, its silence is broken by the accents of familiar voices – as in a cablegram that lies before us, signed, "A Mother of Five" – and for all the assurance is doubly sure that "Life is ever lord of Death and Love can never lose its own." The book by Sir Oliver Lodge is noble and notable, not only for what it recites but for the dignity, restraint and austere care of the recital. As he says in the preface, only his sympathy with the appalling premature and unnatural bereavement due to the war would have induced him to remove the veil from his own private grief, and he writes in the hope that his words may help to heal hearts wounded by the deep stab of war and death.

The book is divided into three parts: the first of which tells the brief life of a boy, his letters home from the front, his death on the field of honour – a pitiful page by his mother, and a memoir by his brother. The second recites the messages supposed to have been received from him after his death, telling, in his characteristic manner, of the after life, trying to make its conditions real to his friends; of his interest and solicitude for them, with many touches as beautiful as they are tender. The third part is a discussion by the father of the meaning of it all – a majestic piece of writing, in which the mind of the scientist masters the heart of the father, making him critical of evidence, careful of fact, and doubly cautious because his heart is involved. Altogether it is a book to make one pause and ponder, and does not at all come under the category described in the words of Howells thirty-five years ago; because it is the work of a great man of science, and because the whole question is looked at in a different light now than then.

Personally, we are in much the same case as Brother Liggon, wishing to keep an open mind and a tender heart – not mistaking sentiment for substance, fancy for fact – and, like him, utterly convinced of eternal life on other grounds. Nevertheless, we confess that this book has been a great inspiration, in that it has helped to make the unseen world more real, more human, and has touched it with light and color and joy. Certainly it makes it something more than a "barren" fact, and that means very much to such as wait for those who return no more. Of Patience Worth we said that, while we were unable to say whether her stories and songs were revelations of the unseen, they were worthy of being such, alike for their beauty and grace. And we say the same of this book. If it deals at times, in matters seemingly trivial, we remember that they are the best kind of personal identification even in a court of law, and not less so in the Court of the Dead.

Nor can we agree with Howells that such communications, as they are now reported and studied, are "sterile" of influence and furnish no "rule of life." What it means to have a real assurance – to be triumphantly convinced – of the deathless life may be seen in the life of Frederick Myers, who, by way of scientific psychic research, came to certainty about it. The result was not simply a transformation, but a transfiguration. He seemed to have a new character, a new personality – as William James has told us. A passionate, disdainful impatient unhandy man, became tender sympathetic endlessly patient and above all, radiantly happy: and the fortitude of his last days, amidst atrocious sufferings touched the heroic. No, it does not delete life, but adds a new hemisphere to it.

Such thoughts are surely timely in a world of griefs and graves, and the more so on the eve of Easter day, when millions of men, women and little children find their way to the House of Hope – in quiet country meeting-houses, in old ivy-covered chapels, in stately cathedrals – to renew the ancient expectation of their race. Happy are those to whom it is given to see that there is no future life, but that life is one here and hereafter – a vision of love, comradeship and character – and that death is a shadowy gate through which we pass out of phantoms into reality, out of darkness into light !

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The Eastern Star

A new and elaborate "History of the Order of the Eastern Star," by Mrs. Jean M'kee Kenaston, of the Grand Chapter of South Dakota, lies before us. Taking as her motto the saying of Lord Acton, that "history, to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not opinions," the author has done a very careful piece of work worthy of the great Order whose story she tells with interest and charm. She has endeavoured to perform two duties: first, to interest her readers in the records and achievements of those honored women and men whose acts combined to make possible the greatest fraternal organization of women; and second, to produce some evidence of the value and useful character of the Institution – that its claims for Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness may be the more readily seen and appreciated.

The work is well written, and informed by a noble spirit, including a sketch of the origin of the order, a biography of its founder, Dr. Morris – one of the best we have seen – the history of the General Grand Chapter, and brief accounts of the Grand Chapters of the States, as well as foreign Grand Chapters. To which are added the Mosaic Book, the Manual of the Eastern Star Degree, the Book of Instructions, and the Rosary of the Eastern Star – making the volume as nearly complete as it could well be. The work is a distinct achievement in Masonic research, a real addition to our literature, and we congratulate the author and the Order, the while we most heartily commend the volume to our Members. The book is neatly printed and well illustrated.

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"You In America"

As an example of noble writing, as an example of the spirit in which the men of Europe lay aside their dreams for the bitter reality of war, we venture to reproduce the following preface to "The Last Book of Wonder," by Lord Dunsany, of England. The dreams of this book will grow more real as the memory of the Europe of today fades. Our hope is, that out of the "burning house" not only his dreams, but the man himself will be saved to give us more books of beauty, to cast upon us the spell of his charms.

I do not know where I may be when this preface is read. As I write it in August, 1916, I am at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry, recovering from a slight wound. But it does not greatly matter where I am; my dreams are here before you amongst the following pages; and, writing in a day when life is cheap, dreams seem to me all the dearer, the only things that survive.

Just now the civilization of Europe seems almost to have ceased, and nothing seems to grow in her torn fields but death; yet this is only for a while and dreams will come back again and bloom as of old, all the more radiantly for this terrible ploughing, as the flowers will bloom again where the trenches are and the primroses shelter in shell-holes for many seasons, when weeping Liberty has come home to Flanders.

To some of you in America this may seem an unnecessary and wasteful quarrel, as other people's quarrels often are; but it comes to this, that though we are all killed there will be songs again, but if we were to submit and so survive there could be neither songs nor dreams, nor any joyous free things any more.

And do not regret the lives that are wasted amongst us, or the work that the dead would have done, for war is no accident that man's care could have averted, but is as natural, though not as regular, as the tides; as well regret the things that the tide has washed away, which destroys and cleanses and crumbles, and spares the minutest shells.

And now I will write nothing further about our war, but offer you these books of dreams from Europe as one throws things of value, if only to oneself, at the last moment out of a burning house.

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Albert Pike's Letters

By the kindness of Brother J. H. Tatsch, of Spokane, we have a copy of a letter written of Albert Pike, which he found some time ago in Goddspeed's Bookshop, Boston. It breathes a spirit which endeared Pike to those who knew him, showing the personal side in a way not always brought out in our usual conception of the man. Brother Tatsch suggests that we make request for copies of other letters by Pike, believing that such a request might bring to light, from unknown places, much of value to the Craft. We made such a request in one of the earliest issues of The Builder, but gladly renew it, hoping that the prophecy may come true. The Society is anxious to collect all possible material about Albert Pike, and we are sure that our Members will assist in every way. The letter referred to was addressed to Brother R.S. Spafford, in 1878, and is as follows:

My dear Friend: – I thank you with all my heart. Simple words are the best. I am greatly touched by your kind words; and the poems come to me as a voice from the old State which I left near forty-seven years ago, not unkindly remembering me, now. I live here and rarely go out. Gout has lessened by locomotive powers and my inclination to move. If you can get about "fluently" come and see me. Please present my very kind regards to Mrs. Spafford, and for her and yourself accept all manner of good wishes, and especially that this New Year may prove a happy one for you both, until her latest breath.

Faithfully your friend and brother,
Albert Pike.

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BOOKS RECEIVED

  • History of the Eastern Star, by Mrs. J. M. Kenaston. Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. $2.50.
  • Ancient Times, a History of the Early World, by J. H. Breasted. Ginn and Co., New York. $1.50.
  • Lincoln's Cooper Institute Speech, by H. B. Rankin.
  • Valley Forge Revolutionary Encampment Commission, by J. H. Fort.
  • Installation Address, by B. H. Saxton, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
  • War the Cross of Nations, by L. Swetenham. Robert Scott, London.
  • The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, by J. M. Whistler. New Edition. London. $4.00.

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THE QUESTION BOX

The TK.

Dear Brother: – As a member of the Craft, I am enclosing a brief letter herewith sent me by the Indo-American Book Co., which explains itself: "The Harmonic Series, complete in three books, are now out of print, and cannot be furnished. They were discontinued because some of the claims set forth therein have been found to be untrue." Can you please inform me as to which of the claims as set forth in those books have been found to be untrue? Judging by the trend of this letter, it seems plain that thousands of Masonic Brethren have been imposed upon. I shall be under obligations for any information.
- O.B.S., Georgia

Thereby hangs a long tale, which we were familiar with at the time we were writing replies to the dear Brethren who thought us stupid and unspiritual because we did not accept the claims and theories advanced by the TK. (The Builder, Vol. I, pp. 118, 143, 163, 181, 203-206). Fortunately, we could not tell it then, and it would serve no good purpose to recite it now. Let us be kind; it is a case calling less for censure than for the sweetest charity which our Order has taught us to cultivate.

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The Contract

Some time ago you referred, in an address, to a statement by Edmund Burke which you said had long been the basis of all your political thinking, and that you first heard it used by the late Senator Hoar in a Lincoln-day address in Boston seventeen years ago. I see that you refer to it again in one of the sermons preached in the City Temple last summer, in the volume entitled "An Ambassador," but you do not give it in full – at least I infer that it is only reference. Will you please give it in full and tell me where I may find it in the works of Burke?
- A.W.P., Michigan

It is indeed a remarkable utterance, and may be found in "Reflections on the French Revolution," by Edmund Burke – Bohn Library Edition of Works of Burke, pp. 368-9 – and is as follows: "Society is indeed a contract. It is to be looked upon with reverence, because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primaeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place."

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Prayer-Chains

Perhaps half a hundred Brethren have sent us the following prayer, saying that it had been sent to them with the request that they send it on to nine Brother Masons, forming an endless chain of prayer: "O Lord, I implore Thee to bless all mankind. Bring us to Thee, keep us to dwell with Thee." So far, good; it is a brief, wise, and universal prayer, like a line caught from a vast litany of humanity. But the usual form of the letter adds that this prayer was sent by all Masons in the olden time and that all who wrote it would be free from calamity, and that those who did not pass it on would be in danger of misfortune. What a pity to spoil the beauty of it all, breaking the links which Tennyson said bind us as with "chains of gold about the feet of God," with such a bribe and such a threat. It becomes a matter of luck, like wearing a rabbit-foot, or some other token handed down from old time magic – whereas prayer, if it has any meaning, much less worth, is a wish sent Godward, a law of life. Over gainst this superstitious notion of prayer set the noble words of George Meredith, in "Beauchamp's Career," and write them in your heart:

"He who has the fountain of prayer in him will not complain of hazards. Prayer is the recognition of laws; the soul's exercise and source of strength; its thread of conjunction with them. Prayer for an object is the cajolery of an idol; the resource of superstition. There you misread it. We that fight the living world must have the universal f or succour of the truth in it. Cast forth the soul in prayer, you meet the effluence of the outer truth, you join with the creative elements giving breath to you. Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered."

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Manual Of Masonry

Brother Editor: – I am anxious to find a manual of Masonry that will cover each degree and each rite briefly, with such information in general as an ill-read Mason would like to find in a small space, and would be obliged if you will cite me to such a book, if there is any.
- R.P.H., Ohio

Ye editor has long wished to write such a book as you here ask for, but he fears that it will be among his lost and broken dreams. As it is, the best book of the sort, (so far, is "The Problem of Masonry," by J. G. Gibson, whose articles our readers have enjoyed. It is brief, comprehensive, accurate, and written in a style simple, lucid and singularly happy in its light and easy grace; the late Brother R. F. Gould furnished an introduction, in which he commended the book most highly. It contains a sketch of the history of the order, a chapter on each of the first three degrees, on each of the several rites, with much else which every Mason wishes to know. It is an English book, and will be difficult to obtain for a while, unless copies can be found in this country.

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War Literature

Brother Editor: – Perhaps you do not know it, but many ladies also read The Builder, and I, for one, very much enjoy it. We read it aloud in our family circle. Some of us would like to know what you think are the best books which the war has produced, if that is not too big a question.
- Mrs. I.B.N.

So far there have been over three thousand books published about the war and that is only the beginning. For generations new books will be appearing, and even then the whole story will not be told – nor the half of it. Histories, biographies, memoirs, arguments, state documents, poems, stories – there will be a stream of them swelling into a flood. We can name only a few. The "Ordeal of Battle," by Oliver, is a very strong book, having one of the finest prefaces ever written; while "The War and Humanity" by Beck, shows what an American thinks of the vast tragedy – a brilliant book it is, too. "Mr. Britling Sees it Through," by Wells, is one of the best war stories behind the lines, showing the shock, the awakening, – both spiritual and political – in England; also the enthusiasm of the author over his own discovery of religion. "Mademoiselle Miss," made up of letters from an American girl serving with the rank of Lieutenant in a French Army Hospital at the front, is a book to stir the heart to the depth; and So is "My Home on the Field of Honour," by Huard. One of the most brilliant series of sketches is "Men, Women and Guns," by "Sapper," matched by "A Student in Arms," by Hankey – this last notable for its glimpses of the religious aspects of the war. In poetry there are the songs of Rupert Brooke, Emile Verhaven of Belgium, Oxenham, and not least of all our own Alan Seeger, who fell in Flanders on July 4th, 1916 – nor must we forget Cunliffe's collection of "Poems of the Great War." But, my dear friend, much of the deepest and most heart-gripping literature of war will never find its way into books, as for example the following letter of a French soldier to his wife, found on his body after battle, which you cannot read aloud in your home without choking:

"My Darling:

"I am writing this letter to you in any event – for one never knows. If it reaches you it will be that France will have needed me unto the end. You must not weep, for I swear to you that I shall die happy if I need to give my life to my country.

"My only care is the difficult situation in which you will find yourself – you and the children. How can you provide for yourself and the babies ? Happily you can count upon your former profession of teaching and the full assistance of all my people. How I should like to feel sure that some arrangement will be found.


Discusses His Children

"As to the education of the little ones, I am not worried. You will know how to direct it as well as I. I hope that they can create for themselves an independent position as I had hoped to assure for them had I lived. Kiss the dear little ones for their father; tell them that he has gone on a long, very long, journey without ceasing to love them; to think of them and to protect them from afar. I should like to have Cotte at least remember me.

"There will be the baby whom I shall not have known. If it is a boy, my wish is that he should be a doctor, unless after the war France still has need of officers. You will tell him when he is old enough to understand, that his papa gave his life for a great ideal – that of our country reconstructed and strong.


"Don't Blame France"

"I think I have written the most necessary. Good-by, my darling, my love. Promise me not to bear a grudge against France if she has asked my life. Promise me to console papa and mamma and to tell the little girts that their father, however far he may be, will never cease to watch over them and to love them.

"We shall find ourselves one day reunited, I hope, near Him who guides our lives and who has given me, near you and through you, such happiness.

"Poor darling, I have not even time to think long of our love, so great, however, and so strong. Good-by, the long goodby, true one. Be strong. Your JEAN."

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The Inquisition

Brother Newton: – You have several times recommended Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, and I should like to know what you think of the article on the Inquisition. To me it seems a lame and miserable apology for an institution infernal in the extreme. Two sentences made me mad in six spots at once: "The tribunal of the Inquisition conformed to a very high ideal of justice." And this: "Taking everything into consideration we may hold that the institution and workings of the tribunals of the Inquisition were the means of real social progress." Surely that is the limit.
- G.W.L., Nebraska

//We do not remember to have recommended the Encyclopedia as a whole, but only certain articles in it, notably the one on Freemasonry and the one on Circumambulation; but we do say that it is a great work, notwithstanding the article complained of. It was the policy of the editor, Dr. Hastings, to entrust articles to men of the communions most concerned, and so he selected Dr. Vacandard to write on the Inquisition. The article is indeed an unconvincing defence, but it is interesting as showing – what is repeated in regard to the atrocities of the present war – how far a man will go in defence of a thing which it suits his interest or purpose to explain away. He goes to great length, even making such use of Lea's classical "History of the Inquisition" as to misrepresent him utterly – actually garbling his words and twisting them every kind of way. It is absurd to say that the evils and iniquities of the Inquisition were incidental. They were inherent in the very genius of the institution, and foreknown – as, for example, in the Bull of 1256 which authorized Inquisitors to absolve each other, making a closed corporation of grime. The final verdict of Lea (111, p. 650) is overwhelming, when he says that the Inquisition "introduced a system of jurisprudence which infected the criminal law of the lands subjected to its influence, and rendered the administration of penal justice a cruel mockery for centuries. It furnished the Holy See with a powerful weapon in aid of political aggrandizement, it tempted secular sovereigns to imitate the example, and it prostituted the name of religion to the vilest temporal ends. It stimulated a morbid sensitiveness to doctrinal aberrations until the most trifling dissidence was capable of arousing insane fury and of convulsing Europe from end to end. On the other hand, when atheism became fashionable in high places its thunders were mute." That does not read like a description of a benign institution, or one that made for social progress. We could go into detail? but we are soon to publish an article in three parts describing, in cool fact, first, the organization of that infernal machine; second, its procedure; and third, its attempt to destroy Masonry.

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The Resurrection

Brother Editor: – I do not want to seem to "butt in" and raise a row, but do you understand that Masonry teaches the resurrection of the body ? I have often thought of this, but never had the nerve to ask anyone. So there now, throw this in the waste basket, if you want to.
- F.J.D., Minnesota

No; Masonry teaches the immortality of the soul, but it does not specifically affirm or deny the resurrection of the body – leaving that issue for each man to interpret for himself, and so avoid the "row" which our Brother fears. So far as Masonry is concerned, a man may believe in the resurrection of the body or not, according to his faith. Beyond the fundamental truths of faith it does not go – never adventuring into speculative theology which is a breeding place of animosities of many kinds. Personally – and our opinion is worth no more than that of another – we do not believe in the resurrection of the body, as it is, or used to be, held. Nor do we think the Great Light in Masonry teaches it. Certainly St. Paul distinguished very sharply between the "natural body and the spiritual body," and when he spoke of the resurrection of the body he did not mean our body of "flesh and blood," but our personality, the form and spirit of our life. Some of our Brethren may not agree with this, and they are at liberty to disagree and we promise not to start a "rough house."

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CORRESPONDENCE

Hebrew And Egyptian

If there is any one thing I am thankful for it is to have the brethren give us the titles of the books which have helped them on the way to Life and Light. In the last issue of The Builder, Brother Henderson mentions two books I do not have as yet, while in regard to the third I wish you would lose no time in giving us the bill of particulars, plans or specifications to demonstrate that General Pike's volume "Morals and Dogma" needs revision.

As The Builder is a "research" publication may I ask the various brethren to cite authorities for some of their more important statements? For instance: Some time ago I read an article, I think it was by Brother Norwood, in which he stated that the whole of Masonry was comprehended in the stars or the science of astronomy. That bothered me for quite a long time for I hardly knew where to look for the information without writing him. Shortly afterwards, however, I learned of James Morgan Pryse's New Testament Restored. This book gave me a great deal of light on the subject.

In the February issue Brother Norwood has another very interesting article in which he refers to the declarations of early Christian Fathers relative to the pre-existence of Christianity before the advent of the Master. Pryse also refers to the incautious admissions made by early Christian writers regarding this matter but like Brother Norwood does not cite any volume to which we can refer. Fortunately, however, I can appreciate Brother Norwood's statement for the simple reason that within the week I found on the shelves of an old bookshop, an old, badly dilapidated copy of the Rev. Robert Taylor's volume entitled Taylor's Diegesis.

In the same article Brother Norwood states "Egypt has left the records of a Masonry where may be found all our signs and most of our words." Here, too, Brother Norwood should cite his authority. If I had not found Gerald Massey's two volumes, "A Book of the Beginnings," I'd simply have to take his "ipse dixit" and let it go until I ran upon the information in some way or other. That, however, is a haphazard way of development of the craft and I hope we can secure the information which will enable us to grow systematically.

Thinking it might be of interest to some of the brethren I will quote some of the information Massey gives us:

"So Mote It Be" – vol. I, page 178: "The Freemasons make use of a formula "So MOTE It Be," in stead of So Be It, or Amen. This MOTE is purely Egyptian, a rare form of May it be. "MET" is to fix, establish. "MET" is an ejaculation. "MET" means to pronounce conservative formulae. (Pierret "Met") "So Mote It Be," is the conservative formula of the Masons, as it was in Egypt of the Priests."

The same author also gives us a number of Egyptian words with their Hebrew equivalents.

I quote:

Hebrew Egyptian
mmuth, a corpse, the dead, state of dying, dead mum, the dead
msa, a dart mash, an archer
sair, goat ser. goat kind of sheep
mah, the womb ma, the mother
chvt, measuring line kept, measured out
chbq, girdle sevekh, noose, tie, girdle
ab, first ancestor, father ap, first ancestor
bnh, to build, metaphorically to beget benn, engender
chbrth, the coupling point or place of junction; chprth, the mercy seat and place of the two cherubs; in Egyptian arks the two scarabs, afterwards featherwinged Khepr-at, house of the two beetles; the crab constellation, as a place of summer solstice, the point of junction; sign of the god Khepr
mth, a rod, staff, rod that blossomed, branch twig, sceptre, expansion, extension mata, phallus
hah, cry of joy haa, jubilation
shrth, supposed black marble marble pavement tessellated in colours srut, sculpture, carve, engrave tessellated
Succoth-benoth" 2 Kings xvii: 30, supposed image of the Pleiades Sekht, ark. bennu-t, the Phoenix constellation, emblematic of the resurrection
qdm, eastward, Eden, image of the eternal and of the beginning khetam, shut, a circle, closed seal ring with ankh, image of life
qvn, a horn, symbol of male power Ka, karu and karunata male symbols
shba(g), seven – the oath covenant, or binding, is synonymous with number 7 in the Egyptian sefekh as it is in the Hebrew read shevag Sefekh, seven
shphchh, typical maid or handmaiden, one of a family, as if a noun of unity, the concubine or whore sefekh, a goddess, consort of Taht. Her name is number 7. Sefekh is a survival of Khefekh or Khepsh, of the Seven Star,s, who was once the "Living Word," degraded as the Great Harlot
kd, a symbolical pitcher Ecc. XII :6 kat. the womb

The last words "kd" and "kat" are interesting for the reason that the figures of speech in the third degree scripture reading have long been a puzzle to me. This is a clue worth following.

Here is another – relative to the "grasshopper" in the same reading which will be of interest to the Mason who is not satisfied with the superficial explanation so often given of Ecc. XII.

This item is found in Note 84, page 169 of the volume "Talks With Socrates About Life," published by Scribners, 1891. I quote:

"To be closely cropped was regarded in Athens as a badge of slavery, while flowing hair on the other hand was worn only by fops. It was customary for boys to wear their hair long until they were admitted to the rights of citizenship, when it was cut off and dedicated to some deity, generally a river god, although a visit was sometimes made to Delphi for the express object of consecrating this as an offering to Apollo. Upon reaching manhood, they allowed their hair to grow again. Thucydides (1, 6) speaks of the golden clasps, in the shape of grasshoppers, wherewith the Athenians, in the old times before the Persian Wars, were accustomed to fasten their hair in a knot at the top or back of the head."

I think we'll make much greater progress if we can refer to and verify the statements made by other research students instead of having to devote so much of our time to gain the heights they have already scaled. What do you think?

Yours very ,sincerely and fraternally,
John G. Keplinger, Illinois

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David Vinton

In the January number of "The Builder" just received I notice the enquiry of Bro. John Whicher of California, in regard to more light on the life of David Vinton, who is reputed to be the author of our hymn, "Solemn Strikes the Funeral Chime." I do not have access to the previous article referred to in the March, 1915, number, and so do not know how much you may know of him. But my mother was a "Vinton" and I have the Vinton Memorial Volume from which I can give you the following information which may be of interest to you, to him and to other Masons:

The said David Vinton was the son of another David Vinton who was a descendent of one JOHN VINTON, from whom all the Vintons in America trace their descent. The DAVID VINTON, of Masonic note, was born in Medford, Mass., Jan. 6,1774, and married in Providence, R. I., one Mary Atwell who seems to have belonged to a prominent Providence family. Our DAVID, after serving an apprenticeship in Boston at the goldsmith business with David Tyler, went to Providence and established himself in business. He spent his life in Providence, engaged in traffic; not rich but moderately successful. He was quite prominent in the Masonic Fraternity, and compiled and published a volume entitled, "The Masonic Minstrel," (do you know anything about that book?), and according to the book, on a visit to Kentucky on Masonic business, died about 1830 when 56 years of age. His wife was a woman of uncommon powers of mind, and to her energy and force of character we owe the education and training of the children. As early as 1818 Mrs. Vinton wrote a letter to John C. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, and secured the admission of her son David to the Military Academy. Later, two other sons attended the same school. (The rules then were different, and this is the only instance of three brothers attending the same school as Cadets.) After the death of her husband Mrs. Vinton purchased an Estate called "La Plaisance," in Pomfret, Conn., where she died in 1854. Two of the children became prominent clergymen of the Episcopal Churgh. The Rev. Alexander Hamilton Vinton, D. D., was for many years. He was a graduate of Brown University and other schools, and after practicing medicine for a few years, studied for the ministry and was Rector of St. Paul's church, Boston, Mass. Another son was Rev. Francis Vinton who also graduated at Brown; was also for awhile at West Point, and for a while served in the Creek War. Afterwards he, too, studied for the ministry and became Rector of several large Episcopal Churches in Providence, and later of Grace Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1849 he was chosen Bishop of the Diocese of Indiana, but declined the honor. In 1854 he lacked only a few votes of election to the Bishopric of New York, at the election that elected the since famous Bishop Potter to the place. Dr. Vinton was chosen later assistant-minister of Trinity Church, New York, having charge of St. Paul's Chapel in that parish. Yet two other sons of DAVID were prominent in Military circles: John Rogers Vinton, who fell at Monterey, and was very prominently commended by Gerl. Scott for his bravery. He was Brevet Major at his death. Another brother was David Hammond Vinton who was also in the Mexican War as Major of Staff and Quartermaster. One of the daughters was married to Lieut. George Green of the U. S. Army. Truly a remarkable family.

Fraternally yours,
Rev. C. L. Nye, Independence, Iowa

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Lincoln, The Fraternalist

"Many of the best educated men of this and earlier ages never had any extended experience with the schools. A great number of the most religious men, in the history of the progress of Man, have been obliged, for conscience sake, to remain outside the Churches. And we are beginning to learn that one may be a Fraternalist without being a member of a lodge.

In the last analysis it will be found that the Thought, the Life and the Works of the individual count more than the professions. Perhaps no Man of modern times illustrates the principle we present more fully than does Abraham Lincoln. He was educated without the help or the hindrance of the schools. He was intensely religious without being hampered by the limitations of a creed. He was a Fraternalist, "in his heart" without having been brought to the Light through the process of initiation in the lodge.

Lincoln achieved self-control, self-reliance and self-sacrifice – the three great achievements of Man – without any of the "helps" which most of us need, or think we need, for the accomplishment of The Great Work of fitting ourselves for the building of the Temple – that house not made with hands – a perfect Moral Character.

Few, if any, of the Great Masters of Life have been able to evolve within the hampering limits of the institutions of their times. In almost every case they have either developed without the help of institutions or have been ejected from the institutions within which they have begun their struggles for individual perfection. They have usually discovered that the "aids" of institutions were merely crutches to emphasize the infirmities of those who used them. Strong individuals soon learn that they must “tread the wine press alone."

Before the election of Lincoln to the office of President of the United States, he found himself opposed by all of the institutionalists of his day. Almost all of the products of the institutions of "learning" despised him openly. The ministers of the church were against him almost to a man. In reference to this last he says: "Here are twenty-three ministers of different denominations (in Springfield, Ill.), and all of them are against me but three. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian: God knows, I would be one; but I have carefully read the Bible, and I do not so understand this book. These men know that I am for Freedom in the territories, Freedom everywhere as far as the Constitution and; laws will permit; and that my opponents are for slavery. They know this; and yet with this book in their hands in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote against me. I do not understand this."

Later in his experience Lincoln understood. He learned, what all must learn, that Principle is one thing and the institution built up around the principle is another.

So must all of us learn that there is no saving power in lodges, as institutions, but that we shall grow and expand only as we understand the Principle and apply to our Life and Conduct that which is taught by the society, the association, the fraternity, of our own Free-will and accord."

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, just ninety-two years after the Masonic Fraternity began to teach character building and just ten years before the Odd Fellows in America began to establish night schools for the teaching of character formation instead of character reformation. Fifty-five years after Lincoln was born, the Pythians began to establish their schools in the United States for the purpose of helping to restore reason by the process of fraternal education to a nation that had been captured by policy-controlled men, legal-minded men and money-mad men.

Since February 19, 1864, the fraternal orders have increased in the United States from three to over six hundred and some of these fraternal orders have over a million members. Perhaps over 12,000,000 men in the United States now belong to these various fraternal orders which teach men to shun war, hell and politics.

Oriental Consistory Official Bulletin of Chicago of February 12, 1917, had the above contribution on Fraternity and Lincoln. The word "Fraternalist" is substituted herein for the word "Mason" so that it will apply to all fraternities that are teaching Brotherhood.
Joe Beatty Burtt

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Masonry And Its Ideals

Dear Brother: – "Masonry and Its Ideals" – that is the subject, too vast and too profound to be more than indicated in an article of this kind. The ideals of Masonry are co-extensive with the aspirations of men. Whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is manly, this appeals to one who has caught the vision of the spirit of Masonry.

Is it not worth while to pause and consider, and, if possible, to discover what is the one thing, or the several things, the underlying principle, it may be, that has enabled Masonry to survive these thousands of years, not only to survive, but ever to be in the van of the army of progress, civilization and enlightenment; that has caused men, real men, virile men whose names will be remembered and honored as long as history is read or tradition heard to be votaries at her shrine; and that has suffered her to endure more vicious and virulent abuse, calumny and anathemas from ignorance, superstition and blind hatred than any other institution, save one, of which the world's annals tell and yet gloriously triumph ?

The fact that it is esoteric has no doubt been conducive to its longevity, though that would not suffice, and certainly could not explain its remarkable influence and power, because other fraternal orders innumerable have had their secret signs, emblems and words and miserably perished. Some have adopted this outward manifestation of Masonry, and others that, which did not avail to resist the dreadful onslaught of time. The soul of Masonry they did not find; its ideals they did not grasp. Whatever stands the attrition and test of time is grounded on the immutable principles of right and truth.

The history of Masonry is a history of the search for light and truth. Every step of the candidate from the time he first seeks admission until he beholds the last solemn scene is strewn with fragrant flowers of truth. It has been sought at times with patient zeal, and again with the feverish and fanatical enthusiasm with which the ancient alchemists pursued the philosopher's stone, the universal solvent and the elixir of life. And to what end? To teach men to know God and to love the good, the pure and the true. Masonry is non-sectarian, but no atheist can become a Mason; it points to the Supreme Being, and teaches the immortality of the soul, and he who profits by the precepts and spirit of Masonry must be a reverent man.

Masonry is, too, a system of morality, the truths of which are veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Her purpose is to develop character, which, like an unseen garment woven about our souls with invisible fingers from materials of imperishable beauty, sparkling with the light of every virtue, guards us from all dangers and permits us to stand unabashed and unawed in the presence of the forms clothed with the spotless robes of holiness, and to light and show the way of the struggling brother. "Morality is her foundation, Truth and Virtue are her pillars, and Brotherly Love is the High Priest that ministers at her altars." Her basic principle is the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
Elbert Johnson, Miss.

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Detroit Lodge

My dear Brother: – We have in our Lodge Library a pamphlet, the title page of which reads as follows: "Oration delivered at the City of Detroit, to Zion Lodge No. 1 at their request on the anniversary of St. John The Evangelist, December 27th A. L. 5810 by brother Harris Hampden Hickman, published at the request of the Lodge, Pittsburgh, 1811." On the last page of the pamphlet is the following: "The first charter of Zion Lodge was obtained in the year 1764 from an authority in the (then) Colony of New York, and was renewed in the year 1806 by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York."

Officers of Zion Lodge for the year 1811:
W. Sylvester Day, Master.
Bro. Jonathan Eastman, S.W.
Bro. Augustus B. Woodward, J.W.
Bro. Philip Lecuyer, Treasurer.
Bro. James Abbott, Secretary.
Bro. Harris H. Hickman, S.D.
Bro. John Anderson, J.D.
Bro. Andrew W. Vanalstine, Steward.
Bro. George Johnston, Steward.
Bro. John Palmer, Tyler

This book came into the possession of our Lodge in 1816. In two recent numbers of The Builder there have been statements made that the first lodge of Detroit was founded about 1799.

It seems to me that Zion Lodge should get into communication with the Grand Lodge of New York.

Yours fraternally
Wm. M. Simons, Secretary,
Hiram Lodge No. 18, Delaware, O.

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THE APRON LECTURE [A Poem]

Written for and suggested by Dr. Walter C. Miller, J. W., of Webb's Lodge No. 166, Augusta, Ga.

The coming years may bring to you success,
The victory laurel wreath may deck your brow,
And you may feel Love's hallowed caress,
And have withal domestic tenderness,
And fortune's god may smile on you as now,
And jewels fit for Eastern potentate
Hang over your ambitious heart, and Fate
May call thee "Prince of Men," or "King of Hearts,"
While Cupid strives to pierce you with his darts.
Nay, even more than these, with coming light
Your feet may press Fame's loftiest dazzling height,
And looking down upon the world below
You may exclaim, "I can not greater grow !"
But, nevermore, O worthy brother mine,
Can innocence and purity combine
With all that's sweet and tender here below
As in this emblem which I now bestow.
'Tis yours to wear throughout a life of Love,
And when your spirit wings to realms above
'Twill with your cold clay rest beneath the sod,
While breeze-kissed flowers whisper of your God.
O, may its stainless, spotless surface be
An emblem of that perfect purity
Distinguished far above all else on earth
And sacred as the virtue of the hearth,
And when at last your naked soul shall stand
Before the throne in yon great temple grand,
O, may it be your portion there to hear
"Well done," and find a host of brothers near
To join the angel choir in glad refrain
Till Northeast corner echoes come again.
Then while the hosts in silent grandeur stand
The Supreme Builder smiling in command
Shall say to you to whom this emblem's given,
"Welcome art thou to all the joys of heaven.”
And then shall dawn within your 'lightened soul
The purpose divine that held control -
The full fruition of the Builder's plan -
The Fatherhood of God – The Brotherhood of man.
- J. W. Crawford, "Capt. Jack."

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Return to Part 1



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

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