TB-1917-05b

The Builder Magazine

May 1917 – Volume III – Number 5

THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY

Part 2


Continued from Part 1



.xx Next Month: June 1917
Previous Month: April 1917www General Index

MEXICO – A REPLY TO A REPLY

By Bro. Eber Cole Byam, Illinois

IN replying to the article of Bro. John Lewin McLeish, published in the November, 1916, issue of THE BUILDER, under the title "Masonic Light upon Mexico – A Reply," I find myself compelled to question the authorities cited therein.

As prefacing his article, Bro. McLeish says: "Bro. Byam presents so strong a brief against the Mexican revolution, which he characterizes as an I.W.W. Revolution, incidentally condemning Mexican Masonry and condoning Mexican Catholicism, that I am sorely tempted to plain speaking. Realizing fully our Masonic Doctrine of Tolerance, I shall stress the fact that any allusions herein made apply strictly to Catholicism in Mexico, and I shall support my arraignment by references easily obtainable to those seeking More Masonic Light upon Mexico."

I am sorry that Bro. McLeish did not yield to the temptation to speak plainly; I assure him he would have been listened to with all due respect. I am glad Bro. McLeish mentions our "Masonic Doctrines of Tolerance," and I am prompted to remark that, if Bro. McLeish desires, I will furnish him with a list of recognized authorities on Mexican history and of original documents supporting them.

Bro. McLeish "quotes" Clavigero in his "History of Mexico," as saying: "The Spaniards, in one year of merciless massacre, sacrificed more victims to avarice and ambition, than the Indians during the existence of their empire, devoted in chaste worship to their native gods."

The foregoing words do not appear in the history written by Clavigero. Bro. McLeish found this quotation in "Mexico in Transition from the Power of Political Romanism to Civil and Religious Liberty," by William Butler; and Butler, in turn, refers to Clavigero. This "Clavigero" is the English translation by Charles Cullen, printed in London in 1787, and in the translation by this Englishman we find one of those numerous sources of misrepresentation so productive of injustice and misunderstanding. Cullen could not let pass the tempting opportunity to calumniate the Spaniard, and deliberately interpolated a whole paragraph which does not appear in the original Italian text of Clavigero in the Cesena edition of 1780.

Bro. McLeish, in quoting again from Butler, in reference to the "Laws of Reform," mentions six classes of laws as being the Laws of Reform objected to by the Pope. Reference to page 159 of Butler's work discloses the fact that Butler refers to Austria and not to Mexico; and the quoted "laws" bear no relation to the "Laws of Reform." either in phrasc or intent.

Bro. McLeish quotes from Gutierrez de Lara – a Mexican socialist writer: "In Mexico, on the other hand, the invading Spaniards found not barbarism, but a feudal civilization, private ownership of land in place of communal ownership, and serfdom in place of nomadic liberty."

A. F. Bandelier, a recognized authority, made an exhaustive study of this subject, which warranted him in declaring that: "The notion of abstract ownership of the soil, either by a nation or state, or by the head of its government, or by individuals, was unknown to the ancient Mexicans. Definite possessory right was vested in the kinship composing the tribe; but the idea of sale, barter, conveyance or alienation of such by the kin had not been conceived."

In other words, the system of land tenure was communal. He furthermore finds that "the principle and institution of feudality did not exist in aboriginal Mexico."

As regards the ethics of the Spanish Conquest, when compared with those of present day war methods – Carranza's murderous activities for example I refrain from comment; but if the conduct of the conquerors be compared with the ethics and practices of military operations of contemporaneous Europe, they will not suffer materially. The reference to the branding of prisoners of war, as quoted by Bro. McLeish, would appear as though this practice became an established custom after the Conquest was affected and continued to the time of independence. Here again Bro. McLeish has relied upon Butler and been led astray. The words quoted by Bro. McLeish occur on page 16 of Butler's work and he, in turn, refers to "Wilson's Mexico," page 209, where we find that Butler has not used the words of Wilson at all. Wilson, in turn, quotes from the Lockhart translation of Bernal Diaz (1844). Lockhart uses a Spanish text which in itself is not always in agreement with the original manuscript of Bernal Diaz.

The practice of branding prisoners of war as slaves after the Conquest met with the vigorous protests of the Churchmen and resulted in its early suppression. The practice admits of no defense, but it must be remembered that to the Indians it was a gentle substitute for their own practice of human sacrifice and cannibal feast. The enslaving of the female members of the conquered tribes was also common practice, and these unfortunates were often destined to the altar and the stewpot. One has but to read Sahagun, Duran, Motolinia, The Anonymous Conqueror, The Letters of Cortes, the several native writers with unpronounceable names – Ixtlilxochitl, Tezozomoc, Chimalpain, etc. – and the surviving fragments of Aztec picture writings, to discover the exaggerated hideousness of the Mexican Indian's mixture of war and religion with its attendant human sacrifice and cannibalism. According to their own accounts the Aztecs sacrificed twenty thousand men at the dedication of their temple in 1487, and nine hundred at the dedication of the Great Sun Stones in 1481. Wherever the Spaniards went in their explorations of this land of blood they found ample evidences in sight and smell of this horrible practice. To speak of these tribes, with their straw thatched temples and grotesque images, their one-story houses and primitive surroundings, as possessing a civilization in any respect superior to the Spaniards is the height of the ridiculous.

Bro. McLeish quotes de Lara as saying: "The ignorant priests burned to ashes the invaluable library in the Imperial Palace of the Aztecs." According to the accepted authorities there was no "Aztec Empire," no "Aztec emperor," and, consequently, no "Imperial Palace." Furthermore, Ahuitzotl, who was elected War Chief in 1487 and died in 1502, is claimed by Indian tradition to have destroyed all the picture writings then existing, so that the "invaluable library" must have been created within the twenty years just preceding the Conquest. Personally, I suspect that Ahuitzotl has been maligned and that there were never many more picture writings than what the Spaniards found and preserved. The aboriginal Mexicans, other than signs for names, possessed no means of record beyond drawing a crude picture to illustrate the event. And the native traditions have been voluminously recorded by Mexican Indians who learned to use the Spanish letters, immediately following the Conquest.

Bro. McLeish quotes from his article published in LIGHT for June 15th, 1916, as follows: "Mexico seemed hopelessly enslaved for three hundred years this sad condition had persisted in Mexico – in consequence the clergy were stupendously rich – for the native born was abject misery, slavery, dire poverty – through the country the Dread Inquisition flourished – victims filled to overflowing the great military prisons – so unutterably cruel were the penalties attached by the Inquisitors to failure to pay the clerical tithes – however much the native born contributed to their task masters it was never enough."

Bro. McLeish then says: "A Roman Catholic Bishop, Las Casas, protested strenuously against the Spanish cruelties, crossing the Atlantic twice to show convincing evidence that a continuation of the policy inaugurated by Cortes could only result in utter extermination of the Aztecs as a race and nation."

Cortes issued a decree prohibiting the employment of those under twelve; limiting hours of labour to "from sun up to one hour before sun down, with an hour for rest at midday," which in that latitude means practically ten hours; Indians could be employed for a period not exceeding twenty days, and could not be re-employed until thirty days had passed; certain rations were prescribed, and a minimum wage specified. Cortes was some hundreds of years ahead of his time in welfare legislation. The enemies of Cortes gained the upper hand for a time. and made a mess of everything, and it was against these that the complaints were raised.

If the protests of Las Casas were justified they must have been effective, because of the self evident fact that the natives not only were not exterminated, but today form a considerable portion of the population. But Las Casas was not the only one to complain. Practically all of the clergy of that period added their protests to those of Las Casas, and the result was the reorganization of the Colonial government, the appointment of the Viceroy Mendoza, and the issuance of the justly famed Code of Laws for the protection of the Indians.

Las Casas finally became so extreme in his charges that he aroused strong opposition and severe criticism because of his self evident exaggerations, but the King of Spain persisted in his determination to have the Indians treated humanely, and it was the Viceroy Luis de Velasco who in 1551 completed the work of freeing the Indians. To some mine owners who complained of the injury they might suffer and the consequent loss of revenue to the Crown, Velasco said: "The liberty of the Indians is more important than all the mines in the world, and the revenues from them are not of such nature that they should override both divine and human laws." The truth is that the clergy, the Spanish Kings, and the Colonial government all worked together to protect the Indians and to enable them to live as they pleased. These well intentioned gentlemen seemed to have assumed that the Indians knew better than they the mode of life best suited to their comfort, and they were left free to follow the ways of their fathers.

The tribal wars were stopped, along with the old religion with its human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Indians were permitted to live in their villages which the Spaniards were not permitted to occupy. They were confirmed in the possession of their communal fields, which they were prohibited from selling, and were allowed to appoint or elect their own tribal officials. They were exempt from all charges for attorney's fees and court costs, and were not obliged to pay any fees for religious services. Much to the disgust of the Spanish colonists, the natives formed a self governing privileged class. It is for this reason that the Indian lives as he does today; he is following the mode of life to which his ancestors were accustomed centuries before the white man came. That which appears as "abject misery and dire poverty" to the uninformed American is a perfectly satisfactory state of existence to the Indian, which he is stubbornly averse to changing.

The Indians were specifically excepted from the operations of the "Dread Inquisition," which, in turn, never concerned itself with the collection of the tithes, from which the Indians were also exempt. It may be well to remark in passing that the Inquisition in Mexico, during nearly three hundred years, executed only fifty-one individuals, (one authority says forty-one), most of whom were Portuguese Jews who had accepted Christianity and then apostatized. This number is indeed greater than the twenty-four victims of witch hunting that were hanged in New England by our Puritan ancestors. It would be as just to condemn the Congregational Church of today for the witch hanging as to condemn the Catholic Church for the operations of the Inquisition. Furthermore, the punishments inflicted by the civil power for the Inquisition were those commonly practiced by the civil tribunals of the day for the most trifling offences.

When it comes to commenting on the statement of Bro. McLeish that "in consequence the clergy were stupendously rich however much the native born contributed to their task masters it was never enough," I will begin by quoting Humboldt, who, in his edition of 1822, (vol. 3, page 102,) says: few estates belong to the Mexican clergy, and their real wealth, as we have already stated, consists in tithes and capitals laid out on farms of small cultivators. These capitals are usefully directed and increase the productive power of the national labour." According to Humboldt, the sum total of the capitals amounted to $44,500,000. This money was loaned by the clergy at a uniform rate of five per cent. and accomplished, to the extent of the capital invested, the very thing that the American Congress has only recently granted the American farmer, namely, "Farm Credits."

The real purpose of the Mexican "Liberals?' is illustrated by the fact that these loans were seized and the sums owing extracted by foreclosure from the unfortunate "small cultivators," who were thus left ruined by the very "Liberal" agencies that had been clamouring a regard for their welfare. As a consequence, the "small cultivator," instead of getting a loan from the Bishop at five per cent., had to apply to some loan shark where he was robbed accordingly.

The interest earned on these funds was devoted to the upkeep of a large number of educational and charitable institutions maintained by the clergy. Scattered through the pages of Mexican history are incidental references to different hospitals, orphanages, homes for old people, night schools, colleges and universities, to an extent that evidences a large number of these institutions. And the important fact must be mentioned that all this education was furnished free. The only charges levied by the clergy were for room and board where these accommodations were furnished. But, even at that, the prices were ridiculously cheap and numerous students were given free room and board when unable to pay.

The curriculum was the equal of that of any educational institution in the world at the time. The "colleges" included a large part of what would today be taught in the primary school, and the standard for entrance was very moderate. Primary education was left to the parents and the parish priest who hardly had to do more than teach the children to read and write. Spanish orthography is phonetic, thus making the process of learning it very easy and dispensing with the enormous waste of time and energy required of the unfortunate Anglo Saxon children in learning to read, write and spell the difficult English language.

Matias Romero, in "Mexico and the United States," page 101, says: in the first sixty-five years of Spain's control in Mexico no less than seven seats of the higher learning had been established on secure foundations." These were in the capital, while throughout the country every city of importance had one or more such institutions and even such out of the way places as Patzcuaro, Guayangereo, Huisquilucan, Tirepetio, and Tepotzotlan, possessed flourishing colleges. There must have been a large amount of primary education to have furnished these institutions with the thousands that attended them.

Justo Sierra, in "Mexico, Its Social Evolution," vol. 2, page 479, says: "Bishop Zumarraga founded in the villages schools for girls like that of Tezcoco and wrote to the emperor 'the thing that most occupies my mind and exerts my little forces is that in this town and in every bishopric there should be a college of Indian boys learning grammar at least!' Thus in 1536 he created near the convent the Franciscans had at Tlalteloloc, the famous college of the Holy Cross." This same author says that "the missionary teachers secured the passage of laws compelling attendance at school." Probably the first compulsory education laws in the world's history and that was nearly four hundred years ago.

The great University of Mexico occupied the monastery of St. Francis and was formally opened in 1553, eighty-three years before Harvard was opened. In 1578 a chair of medicine was established, two hundred and four years before a like study was begun in Harvard, and in 1661 the study of anatomy and surgery was begun and dissection practiced, eighty-six years before William Hunter opened the first school of dissection in England. Matias Romero, on page 104, quotes Humboldt, who visited Mexico in 1803, as saying: "No city of the New Continent, not excepting those of the United States, presents scientific establishments so great and solid as those of the capital of Mexico."

The result of "independence" is partly illustrated by Poinsett, who, in his "Notes on Mexico," London 1825, p. 95, says, speaking of the School of Mines: "The funds of the institution have been devoted to other uses and the lectures and studies have ceased." Poinsett visited the University, and says, on page 112: "besides this university there are inferior colleges (High Schools) and several large schools under the direction of the regular clergy. Most of the people in the cities can read and write." (The italics are mine.)

The "Laws of Reform" closed practically all the institutions of higher learning in Mexico, and while the so-called "Liberals" expressed a regard for education the practical results of their activities were the general discouragement of education and a tremendous increase in illiteracy. Justo Sierra, in "Mexico – Its social Evolution," Vol. 2, page 548, says: "The laws of December 12th and 14th, 1872, completed the confiscation of the endowment funds which had been created to support the educational institutions of the republic. The great private foundations which had accumulated during three centuries were then swept away and no others were created to replace them. The wealthy Spaniards had been one of the greatest sources of these endowment funds and as the Spaniards were expelled in 1828 that fount was definitely closed. The attacks upon wealth, and particularly upon the clergy, completed the work of preventing any further donations for the support of educational institutions and as the government itself was penniless the consequent result is obvious."

The only available statistics on the wealth of the Catholic Church in Mexico are from sources antagonistic to that institution and intended to show how great the wealth has been. One "authority" makes a guess as to how much each pastor might have received during the year in fees for marriages, baptisms and burials (all of which items are never reported in any church). He then multiplies this sum by twenty and charges it up to the Church as "capital." He also places an exaggerated valuation on the conventual establishments (mostly used as schools) and assumes a 5 per cent. interest on this "capital," as being an income which they "ought to earn." By thus padding both "income" and "capital," he arrives at a total income of $7,456,593, and a total capital of $179,163,754. The figures just quoted are from a report rendered by the Mexican Minister of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, made in 1833.

In 1833 a political group of York Rite and Scottish Rite Masons, consisting, among others, of Dr. Mora, Gomez Farias, Fagoaga, Gorostiza y Couto, Espinoza de los Monteros, and Lorenzo de Savala, formulated a plan to take over the Church property and with it pay the foreign debt of Mexico. These "Masons" proposed to possess themselves of the Church patronage, i. e. to appoint the bishops, define the dioceses and make new ones; to handle all the Church funds and property, and to obey the Church laws regarding dogma, but none others. To induce the Pope to agree to this arrangement they offered to pay him $100,000 a year.

And yet Bro. McLeish and the "Liberals" of Mexico call this "religious liberty," and these laws "good laws !" As regards the practical operation of the "Laws of Reform" by Juarez, one instance will suffice. In 1859 Jose Ives Limantour (father of Diaz' minister of finance) purchased a lot of condemned Church property which the government assessed at $587,419, being the capital which the government calculated from the rentals on a basis of 6 per cent. For this property the government received exactly $1,832.40 in cash. The balance was paid in custom house certificates and other paper which had cost Limantour $40,006.50.

Bro. McLeish denies my statement that the "Laws of Reform" were "not aimed to secure freedem of worship but at the spoliation of the Catholic Church," and yet, in reference to the "stripping" of the Church, he says in capitals, "WHY NOT?" He quotes Bro. Wagstaff as saying: "Masonry does not fight Catholicism," and yet intimates that Porfirio Diaz violated his "Masonic Vows," when he neglected to apply the full rigor of the Laws of Reform, saying: "He lifted the barriers and allowed the Catholic clergy – etc."

Bro. McLeish quotes Tourbillon as saying: "The Catholics knew that with the late President Madero in power they could not dominate – the principles of the Madero government were based on Masonic ideas – put into practice even in the machinery of the government, practical Masonry – with absolute faith in his brethren to carry out the principles contained in the Masonic Code."

Are we to understand from the foregoing that "Masonic Vows," or a "Masonic Code," exists in Mexico, requiring "Masons" to engage in politico-revolutionary activity and to make bitter war on the differing faith of their neighbors? Bro. McLeish takes exception to my statement that "Latin-American Masonry is atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico it has become anarchistic and murderous." Yet he agrees that it was atheistic under the mastership of General Reyes.

Bro. McLeish himself relates enough of the revolutionary activities of Mexican Masonry to prove that it is "revolutionary," and his casual mention of the strife between the "York Rite" and the "Scottish Rite" branches in Mexico proves that Mexican Masonry is contentious. Not only did these two branches of "Masonic Brethren" battle viciously for the supremacy, but they gave birth to a third "body," called the "National Rite," which added fuel to the fires of revolution. The present deplorable condition of Mexico proves that Mexican "Masonry" is "anarchistic," because the Mexican "Masons" claim the "credit" for having brought this condition about. That Mexican Masonry is "murderous" is amply evidenced by the countless executions that have been carried out without other reasons than the murderous spite of these Mexican "Masons." During the rule of Iturbide it was reported that the "Masons" had plotted his assassination in their "lodges." The plot failed, and, as a consequence, the "Masons" charged one of their number who had been favored by Iturbide with having "betrayed the secrets of the order," and hounded him out of the country.

One had only to read Mexican history to become sickened with Mexican "Masonry" and Mexican "Masons." Bro. McLeish speaks of the priest Hidalgo being made a Mason in 1806. Be this as it may, we find Hidalgo in 1810 running a short few months career of wanton riot and needless butchery. On September 16th he released the prisoners (not political prisoners) from the jail in Dolores, securing thereby eighty recruits. He jailed the Spanish residents and permitted the mob to sack their homes. In San Miguel this was repeated, and here Hidalgo stood on the balcony of the house of one of his victims and tossed the stolen silver dollars to the roaring mob on the street. The utterly inexcusable massacre in Guanajuato and the sack of the city was by Hidalgo's order. In his progress of destruction Hidalgo had carried with him some eighty nine Spaniards, unarmed civilians, all of whom were beheaded after the battle of Aculco. In Guadalajara he ordered some seven hundred unarmed civilians to be beheaded.

In his declaration before the military court he admitted that these victims of his fury had been murdered without reason "well knowing that they were innocent." The war for "independence" in Mexico was but a repetition of the foregoing and some of the participants reverted to cannibalism.

A common practice of these "Masonic" Mexican revolutionaries is to mutilate prisoners. Do American Masons know what this means?

And Bro. McLeish did not forget to quote from the Abbe Domenech. "This very reverend Father," as Bro. McLeish calls him, was Maximilian's "press agent" for a time in Mexico and was then sent to France to continue in that capacity there. In Mexico the Abbe was denied admittance to social and ecclesiastical circles and vented his spite in a manner permitting succeeding generations to perpetuate his name as has been done by Bro. McLeish. The Abbe never hesitated to mention names and places except in his charges against the clergy, and then he became dumb. His calumnies aroused a storm of demands for proof, but he remained discreetly silent.

Bro. McLeish takes emphatic exceptions to my statement that the Mexican Revolution is an I.W.W. revolution. The I.W.W. held a convention in Chicago last Fall, and the Daily News of November 21st quotes the delegate from Yucatan as saying: "In Yucatan wonderful progress has been made * * * and here the I. W. W. has had a chance to get in its licks." I know, and I think Bro. McLeish knows what that has meant to Yucatan.

Bro. McLeish "again quotes from The New Age," etc., etc., in support of Jose Castellot. This is not the point. So again I ask "Will Bro. McLeish vouch for this 'Brother ?' "

I do not intend this article as a defense of anything or anybody, but I do intend it as an exposition of the TRUTH. I would further like it to be a warning to the Masonic fraternity in the United States against permitting the organization again to be used to pull political chestnuts out of the Mexican fire.

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THE KNIGHTHOOD OF FREEMASONRY

By Bro. J.H. Morrow, California

The persistence of the idea of knighthood in so many of the degrees of the Scottish Rite appeals to thought. It weaves in and out of the fabric like a beautiful thread from a weaver's shuttle, disappearing only to reappear the next moment in all its lustre. Or, perhaps, it may more properly be likened to a golden cord, describing wonderful arabesque patterns on a robe of heraldic splendour. However pictured, it is there, riveting attention. It finds expression in Knights Elect of the Nine, Knights Elect of the Fifteen, Sublime Knights Elected, Knights of the Ninth Arch, Knights of the East or Sword, Knights of the East and West, Knights of the Rose Croix, Noachite or Prussian Knights, Knights of the Royal Axe, Knights of the Brazen Serpent, Knight Commanders of the Temple, Knights of the Sun, Knights of St. Andrew, and Knights Kadosh – appellations as bewildering in number as sometimes seemingly fantastic to the novice.

Uplifting, inspiring as are the teachings of Masonry, they embody but the simple principles of human conduct learned at a mother's knee, and voiced and revoiced by sages, philosophers and teachers of the world throughout the ages for the guidance of mankind on the journey of life, until summed up in the supreme dual commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind… Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Purity of body and of heart, meekness, gentleness, courtesy, probity, patience, justice, charity, forgiveness, courage in its noblest sense – these are the things for which Masonry stands, and which its knighthood represents. Always old, these things become equally and beautifully new in the kaleidoscope of human experience.

The mind cannot but be arrested by the definition of the term knighthood in its shades of meaning. Reflect! (1) The rank or dignity of a knight; (2) the body of knights; (3) knightly character; (4) knightly deeds – in other words the honour of having been raised to the rank or dignity of a Masonic knight; the splendid moral tone and intellectual quality of the body conferring the honor; worthiness both to receive the distinction and to retain it – these are the things which reflection must turn into searching introspection in the breast of a Masonic knight. With this definition, King Arthur's injunction in Tennyson's "Holy Grail" appeals with added force:

"'God make thee good as thou art beautiful,' Said Arthur, when he dubb'd him knight."

Generically the term knight conveys the significance of youth and of service – youth in its capacity for development; youth in its impressibility; youth in its purity and vigour; youth in its ardour and ambition – all directed toward one end, and that end service. The thought is the same as in the passage from Ecclesiastes chanted in one of the degrees, beginning, "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" – in other words, before the natural responsiveness of the heart to the finer things of life may be deadened.

The knighthood of medieval times dealt with matters which demanded a sound body, a brave heart, an unswerving loyalty to the principles set forth in its vows. Therefore its material must be taken at a time when such material was capable of being molded, shaped, impressed. And so it began with the infant of noble birth – training him as he grew up, first to become a page, and then a squire to the sovereign, or to some earl, baron or other superior lord to whom he attached himself and was bound to follow. At the age of twenty-one he was eligible to knighthood, and, if deemed worthy and proficient, was advanced to the dignity with ceremonies both military and religious. He bound himself by solemn vows to chivalrous conduct, as for example to bravery, courtesy and the defense of the distressed, especially women, and in those vows he paid reverence to God. Nor was he permitted to overlook allegiance to his country in his obligations. Then and there he became ordained, as it were, to the larger service to God and to humanity, for which foundation had been laid in the humbler duties he had performed, first as page, and then as squire, to the overlord to whose person he had been attached throughout his years of preparatory training.

What wonder that Masonry has idealized the institution of knighthood by incorporating it into its own organic life not for the purpose of war, but for the purpose of that peace which the practice of knightly virtue shall insure by making truth and justice, toleration and liberty, the priceless property of mankind.

If Masonry in itself lacks the means of moulding and developing the material from which to choose its knights, it finds a trustworthy substitute in the State through the moral and mental training which the latter affords to the youth of the land. And no longer is knighthood dependent upon royal or lordly birth. The humblest in social standing may aspire to the honors of Masonry, and the only credential demanded is the charter of manhood – clean, wholesome, God-fearing manhood. Accepted, dubbed, he becomes the peer of all men thus vowed to knightly service, and stands with them on an equal footing. None will tower above him, save him who makes his life of greater benefit to mankind in influence and in service.

"A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might –
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that;
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith of sense, and pride o' worth,
Are higher ranks than a' that."

Our knightly vows as Masons – how shall we keep them; how are we keeping them? It is for conscience to answer.


America – materialistic, but not to the core; incurably idealistic, religious in its perpetual self-criticism, sordid, but struggling against it; and never more than today, where it is almost engulfed in Wealth and in danger of dying of fatty degeneration of the pocket-book. Intolerant still, but striving to be tolerant; narrow, but yearning for breadth of sympathy; nationalistic but travailing in pain to give birth to something greater than itself
- Edward A. Steiner.

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TO THE RED CROSS NURSE [A Poem]

Thou radiant angel
From elysian fields,
Whose touch is balm, whose look brings joy
To the heart and brain
That's steeped in misery deep
Of the sick or wounded, soldier boy.

Ever there, where duty calls,
Though danger lurks,
With untiring zeal you ever work;
Though deepest shades of
Sorrow cross your path,
With willing heart you toil, and never shirk.

Oft from the dying lips
Your ear receives
The message of the parting soul,
So dear to loving friends
On distant shores,
That they think you're one of heavenly mould.

All through the weary
Day or lonesome night,
Close, where the reaper, death, doth mow,
'Tis there where suffering is
And human woe,
With willing heart and hands you go.

Oft by your tender touch,
Or, by your gentle look
Bestowed on some dear mother's boy,
You have struck the chord
Which deep emotion brings,
And fills the universe with joy.

Think not your sacrifice
Shall unrewarded be;
Where'er love, honour and truth shall go,
With willing hands,
Upon your honored brow,
A DIADEM, they will bestow.

Thou art the noblest
Soul of all our race;
Thy fame shall shine with lustre bright
When valorous deeds, for
Honor's sake, by men performed,
Shall be obscured by shades of night.
- W.S. Vawter

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It is impossible to estimate the influence Iowa has wielded and is destined to wield upon Masonic thought of the world through her splendid Library and well directed efforts in Masonic study. The Quatuor Coronati Lodge, of London, England, and the National Masonic Research Society, of Iowa, are easily the two foremost centers of Masonic learning and study in the world, and each of them is wisely planned not to duplicate the work of the other. Every Mason should belong to both.
- Grand Lodge Proceedings, Ala., 1916, p. 162.

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A MASONIC TRADITION

By Bro. Joseph Barnett, California

FREEMASONRY has its traditions as well as its symbolism. What is our attitude toward the traditions? In this eminently practical age, the world proclaims a passion for facts. We demand evidence. We quote history with assurance as something definitely proven, and look askance at tradition, legend, myth and folklore.

What is the characteristic difference between ancient history and tradition? The former was put into written form in remote times, and appeals to us because it was thought worthy to be written. The latter appeals to us because in spite of not being written it still has been remembered.

We read in history of the Swiss hero, William Tell, and of the dramatic story of his prowess in archery. There is no reasonable doubt but that he is a historical person. Yet Max Muller and other eminent authorities in such matters point out that the same legend occurs in the folklore of many of the Aryan races; and the story, associated with other names, is told in homes where the name of Switzerland has never been heard. The episode of the valiant archer is doubtless a sun myth whose essential features are thousands of years older than the man with whom we associate it. In time, the spoken word is associated with some definite person and becomes the written word, and we call it history.

We are familiar with such traditions as the Garden of Eden, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. They are mentioned in history, and are pretty generally accredited as history; but they seem to have been traditions long before they were first written down and classed as history. In fact, it is not always easy to distinguish between tradition and history.

After all, to a practical people who look on knowledge as but a means to some practical end, one chief element of importance in history, as in tradition, is that we may in some way profit by the story of the past. It may be serviceable to learn what ideals of life and what special activities led to progress, and what led to disaster. Thus enlightened, we may either emulate or avoid.

Whatever the statements of history or tradition, however the outline of fact may be hidden under a vesture of legend, the real importance is to be found in the essential meaning or teaching of the story.

The importance of Masonic traditions consists largely in their record of men's ideals of life. We can see in them something of the same ethical speculations that we have today. We can see the same effort to grasp real knowledge, the same looking upward, the same evidence that man does not consider himself as one with the beasts of the field. In the past, whence these traditions have come, he evidently held, as he now holds, his future broader and its consummation more glorious.

One of our mysteries is the tradition of something of great importance that has been lost. It is the climax of Symbolic Masonry. Now, the idea of something lost, of some valuable thing missing, is not normally a satisfying idea as a climax. To some few this Masonic climax may be disappointing; but to most of us it does not seem abnormal, nor is there at the time any conscious sense of dissatisfaction.

What is the reason for this attitude of ours ? Why should a factor that might well be unsatisfactory give the impression of appropriateness ?

In the traditions of all peoples there is invariably a myth or legend of some inestimable thing lost: In Egypt, Isis seeking the world over for the lost Osiris; in Phoenicia, the women of Tyre, at a certain season of the year, lamenting over and searching for the lost Tammuz; in the Middle Ages, the romantic quest of the Holy Grail.

Some priceless treasure has been lost. And no effort is too laborious, no price is too high, no sacrifice is too great, for even the chance to recover that which was lost. The human interest centers in the undeservedness of the loss, and the attitude which prompts the search. It is curious that the chief interest does not lie in the finding. It is not like the prospector's search for gold in the veins of the mountains, but is a quest whose reward is in the quest itself.

It is not our attitude only in a particular case, but a general human attitude, and may have had its origin in a far distant time when the forces of nature were all mysteries, and men looked daily for the token of the dawn, after the sun had been lost in the West, and yearly sought anxiously for some sign of the return of Spring after the foliage of the earth had been buried under the snows of Winter. And to such natural influences, many would preface an intuitive sense of a greater loss, and the finding of a fairer heritage beyond the stars. Since both are from the same source, why should not the book of nature be a symbol for the spiritual word?

Our Masonic mystery is the Masonic response to a psychic attitude toward life that is and has been common to all mankind. The heart of Freemasonry beats in unison with the great heart of humanity. The appeal in our tradition is that the ruffians of darkness, ignorance and vice have robbed us of our heritage. The sense of deficiency and the desire for completeness more than the consummation itself, is the urge of the higher manhood. It is the aspiration to be worthy of the finding that counts.

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EDITORIAL

The Great Symbol

BEHOLD, my Brother, an old and familiar Symbol rising anew into public regard and private reverence. The most sacred symbol of any people is its Flag, and in an hour of crisis and destiny the old emblem is instinct with all lofty and holy meanings. A transubstantiation is proved, not by the magic of a priest, but by the priestly power resident in every loyal heart. Here, in truth, is the Soul of the Nation, the outward and visible sign of its invisible and invincible Spirit. Suddenly the fabric is transformed, and its threads become the principles, the persons, the passions which make a nation great and noble. It is not the nation as such alone, but the aims that have distinguished it, the men and women who have made it, and the hopes which have sustained it. Here is expressed before us what men have lived to maintain and died to protect. The very body and blood of a free people are in the folds of its Flag, and when it is unfurled the soul of the nation stands erect. Patriotism seems a poor word – Poetry and Religion are here, and when the Flag is endangered, and its ideals flouted, men and women will vow their lives in its defence, not to keep a mere sign, but to preserve in form and spirit the very life of the Republic.

For what does our great Republic exist, what is its purpose, what dream gave it birth, what ideal has lighted its history? If the Eternal has a plan for our nation, a purpose to fulfil in this new world, loyalty to that purpose is the only true patriotism, that through our Republic we may the better serve universal humanity. For what does our nation exist if it be not to build a Beloved Community in which "government of the People, by the People, for the People" may be shown to be the wisest, the freest, and the best form of human society; a Community united, just and free, where men of every race and every creed may live and live well. For this our fathers broke new roads and kept old faiths; of this all our mountains are monuments and all our sunsets banners! For this the whole world waits, arid one after another the old, effete autocracies crumble and fall and the peoples, set free from ancient tyranny, join the ranks of free nations. Slowly our great Symbol marches on; slowly the flags of the nations become one in arts and arms and ideals, and the dawn will uncurtain a new world wherein dwelleth liberty and truth !

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Masonic Publicity

From time to time we receive letters from Brethren who are perplexed to know how far they may go in speaking of Masonry without violating their obligations. Some have even feared that we go too far in these pages, revealing what it is not proper to discuss. While we respect the conscientiousness of our Brethren, we think they are labouring under a misunderstanding. The truths and principles of Masonry are not secret, but only its signs, grips, tokens, ballots and ceremonies; not the meaning of the ceremonies, but the details of the rites. The following report of the Publicity Committee of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, ordered read by that Grand Body in all its Lodges, is so clear, so wise, so pertinent, that we wish it to be more widely read. It would be difficult to state the case more simply or more completely:

The committee is of opinion that, within proper bounds, Masons may and should welcome publicity. A secret society is one which seeks to conceal its existence and its objects. Freemasonry is not such a society, and is secret only as to the obligations, means of recognition, ballots upon candidates, and forms and ceremonies observed in conferring the degrees.

With the exception of those particulars, Masonry has no reservation from the public. As to everything else, – its designs, its moral and religious tenets, and the doctrines taught by it, the time and place of its meetings, the names of the officers of a lodge and those belonging to it, – are all in no way secret and may be known by any one. The fact that a man has been made a Mason is not a secret to be concealed from the public, nor is it anything of which he need be ashamed.

The public notices of the time and place of holding Masonic lodges, the name of the degree to be worked, as seen in many of the papers published in the larger towns and cities under the heading "Fraternal News," is useful to members of the craft, and particularly those temporarily stopping in that locality, in affording them information as to the opening of the lodge and the nature of the work to be performed. The names of officers elected, their installation, and social occasions following lodge meetings, which are usually joint affairs gotten up by the lodge and local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, are all matters in no way secret, and public knowledge regarding them can do no harm. All unnecessary secrecy tends to narrow rather than to broaden. There can be no reason why we should undertake to keep secret and cast a veil of mystery around that which is not secret and which the public are at liberty to know.

The disclosure of a ballot rejecting a candidate to any person other than such candidate, or a Mason, is made an offence by Masonic law, written and unwritten. Your committee are of the opinion that the name of a candidate for any degree is, and should be, a part of the secret work, and the publication of the name of such a candidate and that he is to receive any of the degrees of Masonry, should not be permitted. No Mason should disclose to any person not a Mason the name of any candidate or the degree he is to take.

In connection with the general subject of this report, it may be appropriate to draw attention to the growing tendency to the indiscriminate use of the word "Masonic." A Masonic club is a proper, useful, and valuable association. It emphasizes the social side of fraternal life and fills a real need. But, in its conduct and in its activities, good judgement is necessary. A million men in this country have a vital interest in the word "Masonic." Any man or body of men who make use of it in connection with private or quasi-public activity, owe it to their brethren to see that it is put to a proper and dignified use. Cheap dances and boxing bouts advertised publicly as Masonic and under the auspices of Masonic clubs wound the sensibilities of most Masons. To some, the advertisement of a Masonic baseball league, pool match, or bowling contest is objectionable. Your committee do not find such advertisement within the purview of the Grand Lodge prohibition, but is of the opinion that in the use of the word "Masonic" consideration is due to the dignity associated with this word for centuries.

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The Profane.

Why do Masons speak of those outside the Order as Profane? Such is the question of a young Mason who does not like to have it implied that he is sacred and his father "profane," as this manner of speech seems to say. The answer is that a Mason, by his initiation, is set apart, symbolically, to a dedicated life, devoted to moral truth, spiritual faith and human service. If he is a Mason in spirit, in fact, he is committed to a life that is sacred in its purpose and ideal, and while he should not regard others as "profane," in the ordinary use of that word, he must regard himself as obligated to a life of chastity, charity, and goodwill. The word has also a further allusion.

Why do we regard the street as profane and the Lodge-room as sacred? Because anything may go on in the street cat, a cow, a dog may litter it, fight in it, defile it. Not so a Lodge-room. There such things are excluded, and the place is set apart to high axed beautiful uses. Just so, a man who is really a Mason will regard his mind as a sanctuary from which unclean thoughts, dirty motives, unjust suspicions, unworthy ambitions are excluded. Some thoughts cannot gain admission, no matter how many knocks they give at the door. The filthy jest, the irreverent oath, the slimy slander against his fellow will be regarded as a Cowall, an eavesdropper, and will be treated accordingly. Truly, this matter of being a Mason is something more than ritual and the wearing of a pin.

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Notes

With deep regret ye editor makes note of the death of his old friend, F.B. Sanborn, of Concord, Mass. He was the "last leaf" of that group of men who made New England so illustrious in our literature, the friend of Emerson, Holmes, Thoreau, Hawthorne and the rest. He it was who entrusted ye editor with the letter of Herndon and Theodore Parker, at that time unpublished, which we made the basis of our study of "Lincoln and Herndon." He was by nature a radical, by spirit a humanitarian, a great scholar, a memorable and heroic figure in American life and literature. While not a member of the Craft, he was a noble craftsman in all good causes, a friend of liberty and a servant of the Eternal.

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Lodge Open 52 Years

By the kindness of Brother James Marshall, of California, we have the following clipping from the Mt. Airy News, North Carolina, which relates a most interesting incident which we believe our readers will wish to know.

Raleigh, N. C., Jan. 15.,The regular communication of Hiram Lodge No. 40, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of this city, opened on the evening of April 17, 1865, the date upon which the news of the assassination of President Lincoln was received in Raleigh, will be formally closed tonight with imposing ceremonies.

United States Commissioner John Nicholas, 83 years old, of Raleigh, former Representative in Congress from North Carolina and who was master of and opened the memorable session of the lodge more than half a century ago, was to act as master tonight. The event, declared to be one of the most unique in the Masonic history of the country, will precede the opening here tomorrow of the One Hundred and Thirtieth annual communication of the Masonic Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Raleigh, on April 17, 1865, was occupied by Kilpatrick's division of Sherman's army, the town having been surrendered to the federal forces several days previously. Wire communication between Washington and Raleigh was interrupted and news of the shooting of the President did not reach here until that date. Federal officers received the report in messages during the afternoon, it was said, but the contents of the dispatches did not become known generally among the troops encamped upon the outskirts of the town until evening.

When the soldiers learned of the assassination retaliatory measures toward the town and citizens immediately were augmented, it was said. Officers at once began preparations to cope with the situation and all efforts were made to quiet the men and hold them in check.

The civilian population of Raleigh was unaware of the stirring events which had occurred in Washington, and of the excitement among the troops here, and Hiram Lodge, one of the oldest in the United States, was opened in stated communication on Monday evening as usual.

Captain W. S. Whitten, of the 9th Maine regiment, detailed as provost officer, passed the Masonic hall while on a tour of inspection and noticing that it was lighted, inquired of a sentry the nature of the gathering. Himself a Mason, Captain Whitten went to the door of the lodge room, called for the master, informed Mr. Nichols of the shooting of the President, explained to him the situation at the camp, and advised that "the brethren be sent home in order that no gathering might add to the confusion."

Mr. Nichols merely related what the officer had told him and the members dispersed immediately without the formality of closing the lodge. In examining the records of the lodge for the last fifty or more years, officials recently discovered that the session never had been officially closed and the ceremony tonight was planned.

Governor Thos. W. Bickett, Chief Justice Walter Clark, of the State Supreme Court, and former Governor W. W. Kitchen will be among the speakers.

Chas. D. Christopher, of Raleigh, who with Col. Nichols is the only other living member of Hiram Lodge who was present at the meeting in 1865, also will be present tonight.

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The Future Alliance

The Masonic Brotherhood, considered as the starting point for the future alliance of humanity cannot, nor must not, remain stationary, nor retrograde, but it can and must, by conforming the whole of its life to the main idea, be on an equal footing with humanity in its increasing development on the earth.
– Krause.


This war may prove a blessing, if our people learn through it, that the State is not something from which we are all to get as much as we can grasp through the unscrupulous use of our votes; but represents, rather, ideals for which we are ready, if need be, to sacrifice our very lives.
– Lord Roberts.

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THE LIBRARY

The Bi-Centenary

AMONG the many happy memories of our visit to England last summer was the pleasure of meeting Brother Albert F. Calvert, of Author's Lodge, one of the most accomplished Masonic students now living as he is one of the most indefatigable. Knowing the man, so brotherly and so brilliant, it is an added joy to announce three notable forthcoming books each of which bears his name. The first is entitled "The Bi-Centenary of Grand Lodge," published by Kenning and Son, Great Queen's Street, London. ($1.25.) After Gould, Hughan, and the Illustrations of Preston, not to name the Songhurst edition of the Minutes, it may be felt by some that a new work dealing with that period of "half-light and much mystery" is not needed. But that is to err, because not many have access to such large volumes, and fewer still have the leisure to read them. If for no other reason, the work of Brother Calvert should have a warm welcome and a wide reading, for that he sets in vivid relief every aspect and activity of the formation and development of the mother Grand Lodge since that St. John's Day, June, 1717, when the little band of Masons held their Assembly and Feast at the Goose & Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's church-yard, and elected Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons. Brother Calvert does not appear as a discoverer, but as a biographer of the Grand Lodge officers and a recorder of Grand Lodge events, sifting all available information and setting forth the actual facts, so far as they are known. Uniting a thorough knowledge and a fine sense of Masonic values, he is the master of a graphic narrative style which makes his work as delightful as it is instructive. No man could be better fitted for such a task, alike for his insight and his austere accuracy of fact; and we bespeak for his little volume the hearty response which it deserves.

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Red Apron Lodges

As has been said, much remains hidden as to the founding and early years of the mother Grand Lodge, and there is little hope that the details will ever be revealed. Three names only have come down to us of those who assisted at that historic Constitution, and identity of the first Stewards who prepared the Feast will probably never be known. Documentary records are scant and sketchy, and the story, such as it is, must be traced through many scattered sources – a task asking for patience and perseverance, as well as an abundance of time. For twenty years Brother Calvert has been studying that period, with special reference to the activity of the "Grand Stewards and Red Apron Lodges," and the results of his researches are now gathered into a stately volume.1 It is a notable achievement, both in form and contents, and if the author is too modest to claim that it is the final work on the subject, he has nevertheless laid the foundations upon which all other students must build.

Such an undertaking required an unflagging and long-continued industry, and meant picking up here a fact and there an item in a mountainous accumulation of tradition. Much as we owe to Anderson, it is now known that his "almost appalling industry" played sad tricks with his sense of accuracy, while Dermott wrote more as an advocate than as an historian. There were envies and suspicions then, and they so distorted the facts, if they did not actually disfigure the documents, that it is difficult to arrive at the truth. Here again the patient and careful work of Brother Calvert entitle him to the perpetual obligations of the Craft, the more because others have abandoned the enterprise as beyond their powers of endurance. Wariness and discretion were needed, and a student less sure-footed would have fallen into many errors, but the result is one of the finest examples of Masonic research so far issued in our time.

The work falls into three parts: first, a concise account of Stewardship from the formation of the Grand Lodge until the present time – itself a narrative of great value and interest, as showing how from the first the Grand Stewards exercised, as was thought, an undue influence and authority in Grand Lodge. Second, a series of astonishingly complete tables of the men, and the Lodges they represented, who have served the office of Steward since Josiah Villeneau "undertook the whole management of the Feast" in 1721; and, third, a brief and authentic history of each of the Lodges that is or has been entitled to the distinction of the Red Apron. If, as the author feels, he has little to show for his long labor, it is a substantial deposit of hard-won fact with which all future historians must reckon.

Unfortunately, we cannot review the work in detail, as we hope to do when the first copies reach this country; but set down so much, largely from memory, as the author confided to us his plans on a summer day in a garden where we talked the hours away.

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The Author’s Lodge

The second volume of the Transactions of the Author's Lodge, of London, of which Brother Calvert is the editor, is a distinct advance over the first, good as that volume was. For one thing it is twice as large, containing 250 illustrations, as well as a greater variety of topics discussed. If America is not represented in this volume, it is because pressure of duties and lack of time prevented ye editor from responding to the invitation – for which he hopes to make amends in the third volume. It is made up, as before, of essays read before the Lodge by its members and distinguished guests, and includes such names as Garvice, Parker, Rose, Cockburn, Horsley, Thorp, Armitage, Conder, Klein, Carr, and contributions from South Africa and South America. More emphasis, we are glad to note, is laid on matters of symbolism, in which our Brethren on the other side think we go too far. Perhaps so, but we are quite as sure that they do not go far enough, and so the honours are even. It is hard to specify where there is so much that is good, but we are sure the essay on Masonry in South America will attract attention, as that is almost an unknown quality in contemporary Masonic affairs. The paper by Edmund Heisch, of the National Grand Lodge of France, is also of unusual interest, as is the survey of Dutch Masonry in South Africa. We shall return to this volume from time to time on this page, wishing now simply to call attention to it before it is too late to secure copies. For we predict that the second volume will be as instant a success as the first, which shows that the Craft is eager for real work well done in a popular and engaging style.2

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The Great Romance

Some people read fiction and find it fascinating, as indeed much of it is. But the greatest of all romances is the story of man and his development which it is the genius of History to recite. There are villains enough, and heroes, tragedies and comedies, and through it all one may trace now dimly, now more clearly, the vague outline of a vast Purpose. Not to know history, said Cicero, is to be a child. It is to think without a background, and to judge without precedent. Seldom, if ever, have we read a romance more engaging than "Ancient Times, A History of the Early World," by J. H. Breasted, and we fain would pass the cup of joy along the line. Most histories deal with the rise and fall of dynasties, the movements of armies, and the shuffling feet of great migrations. All this is here, with much else more human. Indeed, the bulk of the space has been devoted to the life of man in all its manifestations – society, industry, commerce, religion, art, literature. And these are so presented as to show how each age grows out of another, and one civilization profits by what has preceded it. It is all so simply told, without labored effort, and in a style as clear as skylight, with glow and color and a sense of human realities. If you have two coats, sell one and get this book and you will not regret it.3

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Makers Of America

Always timely, but never more so than today when our Republic is involved in the world-tragedy, is the little book by Brother Madison C. Peters, of New York, entitled, "Masons as Makers of America." It tells no very new or unknown fact – unless it be the Masonic career of Benedict Arnold – but presents in a vivid and striking manner the relation of our Fraternity to the origin and early development of the Republic; how its fundamental principles were woven into the organic law of the nation over whose birth it presided and whose fortunes it has followed with solicitude adown the years. Brother Peters presents whatever he has to say in a picturesque manner, as readers of his many books will testify, and he has rendered a useful service in this story of Masonry in the making of America.4

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BOOKS RECEIVED

  • Great Companions, by E. F. Wyatt. Appleton Co., New York. $1.50.
  • Jesus in the Light of Psychology, by Stanley Hall. Doubleday, Page Co. $7.50.
  • The Spiritual Interpretation of History, by S. Matthews. Harvard Press. $1.50.
  • Masonic Witness and Service, by John Boden, Grand Orator Minnesota.
  • Response to James E. Coyle, by O. T. Dozier, Birmingham, Ala. 25 cents.
  • Chips and Whetstones, by O. T. Dozier, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Peace Songs, by G. D. Rogers, Clinton, Iowa. 35 cents.
  • Freemasonry in Syracuse, by H. W. Greenland.
  • Masons as Makers of America, by Madison C. Peters, New York. $1.00.
  • The Struggle for Justice, by Louis Wallis. University Chicago Press. 25 cents.

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WHAT A MASONIC LODGE SHOULD BE [A Poem]

First, the Master, there presiding,
Just, Impartial, ever Courteous,
Void of Guile, without Deceit,
Well informed in works Masonic,
Well instructed in our Laws.
Zealous to promote the welfare,
Of our grand Fraternal cause; –
Next the Wardens, and the Deacons,
Should with promptness, and good will
Each in his respective Station,
Strive all duties to fulfill.
Masters, Wardens, Deacons, Stewards.
Brothers: – All of each degree,
The rich, the poor, the high, the lowly.
Whate'er his rank or station be,
All should be a band of Brothers,
All united, and agreed,
Watchful of each other's welfare,
Helpful, in each Brother's need;
Guarded in their words, and actions.
Temperate, Prudent, Firm and Just
Honest, Square in all transactions,
Faithful to their every trust.
In their ranks, and in their councils.
No contention, should there be.
Save that noble emulation,
Best to work, and best agree; –
Their Charity, the world embracing.
Striving to promote God's plan.
The Fatherhood of GOD confessing,
And the Brotherhood of man.

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THE QUESTION BOX

Morals And Dogma

Brother Editor: – About time for you to "put up or shut up," is it not? You have been saying that Morals and Dogma needed revision, and that you could point out why, and we are waiting to be shown.
- G. F. K.

There it is again. They keep on shooting paper wads at us, while we are busy studying the lesson. But some one will do it once too often, and future history will record how we "jes naturally riz up and fit about it," and how the ground was littered with the mangled bodies of the dead and wounded. Fact is, the thing is already done, and it will appear in these pages in due and proper form. Now, be good a little bit, please.

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Chinese Signs

In an article in the February Builder on "Masonry Among Primitive Peoples," by Brother Norwood, Chinese Masons are said to give Masonic signs with both hands. In this case are the hands used alternately, or both at once, in giving the signs?
- J. B.

Both at once, as we understand it. Perhaps some Member will take up the question of Chinese Masonry – or supposed Masonry – and discuss it thoroughly, giving what is known of its origin, its rites, and its resemblances to our Masonry.

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The Message Of Man

Brother Editor: – In one of your books you once expressed a wish that some one would make an up-to-date book after the style of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. Has such a thing ever been done; if so where can I get it?
- J.H.F.

Nothing, unless it is "The Message of Man," arranged by Stanton Coit, published by the Macmillan Co., New York. (50 cents.) The author, with no idea except to be faithful to his own personal want and sense of truth, compiled this little hand-book of the higher life, weaving together the moral wisdom of the ages. It is a golden little companion, pocket size, and a wise friendito have along the way. Not for a great deal would we be without it.

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Jack London

Brother Newton: – I have heard that Jack London's story of "The Call of the Wild" was stolen from a pamphlet by a Canadian missionary, and that all that London did was to elaborate it in a better literary style. Is it so?
- J.D.S.

Perhaps so, but what of it? Shakespeare took the old Kyd play called Hamlet and told it in "a better literary style," but how world-far the two are apart. Dickens borrowed from Smollett. Browning found an old pamphlet telling of a murder trial, and wrote "The Ring and the Book," as Howells reshaped a forgotten pamphlet into "The Leatherwood God." There is nothing new under the sun, except when genius touches it and makes it live.

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The Red Cross

Dear Brother: – Where can I find a brief history of the origin and development of the Red Cross, and what it is doing today?
- H.H.N.

"Under the Red Crosss Flag," by Mable F. Boardman Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. It is a book to stir your heart and make it throb with the red blood of pity. By the way, here is a cause unsectarian nonpartisans human and labouring both in peace and war, which Masonry ought to befriend in every possible way; the more so now that its services are taxed to the utmost. Japan, with a population of forty millions, has a Red Cross membership of 1,800,000. Even Russia, with a host of one hundred and seventy-one millions, has a membership of 1,200,000, while the United States, out of its 100,000,000 has only 250,000 Red Cross members. This is nothing short of a shame. Masonry can render a real service to humanity by taking hold, to the utmost of its power, of a work so benign and so sadly needed every day in the year, and every year of the world. Brethren, take notice and govern yourselves accordingly. American Red Cross Headquarters, Washington, D. C., furnishes information.

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Palm And Shell

Brother Editor: – Can you tell me where and from whom the ritual of the Degrees of the "Palm and Shell" can be obtained? This was a degree brought from the Holy Land by Brother Bob Morris, and should not be lost. There are a few men still living who received the degrees from Brother Morris. Brother H. R. Coleman, in his "Light From The East," mentions the degree many times; and from what he says, the degree would be of much value to those who are interested in Masonic research. I have no doubt but that this degree would be of service to the Study Clubs, if their members would only interest themselves in the matter. I have long thought that Study Clubs should have some ceremony of initiation, and from what I have heard and read of this degree nothing would be more fitting for the purpose.
- O.B.S.

(1) The ritual of the degree of "The Palm and Shell," as Morris used it, was very slight, and whether it is anywhere preserved we do not know. Brother Coleman, to whom Brother Slane refers, wrote a pamphlet about it, entitled "The Pilgrim Knight, a Guide to the Ceremonies and Lectures of the Oriental Order of the Palm and Shell," published at Louisville, Ky., in 1879. Perhaps this note may fall under the eye of some one who received the degree, or who can locate the ritual.

(2) This Society has discouraged all suggestions of initiation ceremonies in connection with Study Clubs, and we think wisely,on the ground that it would only add another degree, whereas we already have enough, and men would be attracted by the degree rather than by the study of the degrees as they are. Moreover, it would involve questions of jurisdiction and jurisprudence which we desire to avoid, because they would divert attention from the main purpose in view.

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The Earliest Lodge

Dear Sir and Brother: – Have been interested in the controversy which has been going on in several numbers of The Builder in regard as to which is, or was, the oldest Blue Lodge in the U. S., and the contention has been between Massachusetts and South Carolina.

I am informed by a prominent Mason here that the first Masonic Lodge in this country was organized at Providence, R. I., by 15 Jewish Hollanders in 1658 and he says that can be substantiated by Peterson's History of Early Rhode Island, or it may be "History of Rhode Island." At any rate it deals with the earliest history of that state. I will be glad to have you investigate if you consider it worth while. I believe no reading matter comes to my house that is more appreciated than The Builder. It is doing a great work, and certainly has a great field in which to operate.
Fraternally yours, E. E. Zimmerman, Nebraska.

(This Rhode Island legend has been often investigated, and as often found to be without foundation. The Builders, p. 206.)

Unless further evidence is forthcoming, it must be discarded as unauthentic. There were doubtless scattered Masons in America from an early time – the Rhode Island legend is dated 1656 – and perhaps some lodges; but Henry Price, as the facts now stand, was the founder of regular Masonry in America. The Rhode Island legend is self-contradictory and without basis. (The Builder, Vol. 1, pp. 111, 112.)

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Stephen A. Douglas, Mason

Dear Brother Newton:- While in Springfield the other day, I made a substantial copy of the petition of S.A. Douglas for the degrees in Masonry, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. The words perhaps are not misspelled just as they were in the original, but they give the idea, particularly that at the close which refers to the appreciation, in those days, that Masonry was a place to get knowledge, which would render one more valuable to his fellows. This thought of knowledge making the individual valuable and the desire and the appreciation thereof, seem to me worthy of a little editorial note. Fraternally yours,
Asahel W. Gage.
Springfield, April 21st, A. L. 5840, A. D. 1840.

To the W. Master, Wardens and brethren of Springfield Lodge No. 26 of Free and Accepted Masons.

The subscriber residing in the City of Springfield, State of Illinois, of lawful age and by occupation a Lawyer, begs leave to state that unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives he freely and voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favourable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire of knowledge and a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted he will cheerfully conform to all the antient established wages and customs of the fraternity.

(Signed) S. A. DOUGLAS.

Recommended by
(Signed) L.S. Cornwell.
(Signed) J. S. Roberts.

Committee
(Signed) Thelgly.
( Signed)
(Signed)
_

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The Lodge Of The World

Dear Sir: – As a constant reader of "The Builder" since its first number, have enjoyed the many good articles that have been printed therein. Last week there appeared in a Toronto, Ont., Weekly, "SATURDAY NIGHT," the fallowing verses, by Mr. John R. Lumby, of Fort William, Ont., which in view of the impending relations of the U. S. with Germany, in which the United States evidently seems to be ready to join with us, I thought might be of interest to you. The lines are as follows:

THE LODGE OF EUROPE, 1917 [A Poem]

(To the Brethren of the Craft on all the Fronts.)

ITALY, What of the South? What are your duties there?
The sun in the south at noontide, is the glory of the day,
And Italy stands on the South, that none may pass that way,
Who have turned the purpose of God, who fashioned the world so fair,
Into a madman's orgy, drunken with lust to slay.

Why are ye in the West, O Guardian Nations twain,
BRITAIN and FRANCE. The West is the place where the Sun shall set,
When the battle fury is over – but the end of it is not yet –
Then will we settle the wages, neither in oil nor grain,
For death is the wage of sin, and we are to pay the debt.

RUSSIA, what is your duty? Why do you rise in the East?
As the sun shall rise in the east, till the sands of time are run,
So rise I in the east, till the vengeance of God is won,
And the lust for blood has been sated at Baal-zebub's feast;
Then can I govern my people, free in the light of the sun.

South, and West and East! Seek ye that which was lost?
Yea, and until we find it, never our quest shall cease,
Not though the toll of sorrow and burden of death increase!
We have put our hands to the task, and we dare not reckon the cost,
Till the world has balanced its debit and paid the price of peace.

I trust the above may be of interest to you, and remain
Yours fraternally, Oscar L. Morrow, Canada.

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Another Woman Mason

Brother J. G. Hankins, of the Virginia Masonic Journal, is kind enough to send a reply to the question of Brother Collield, of Dakota, regarding a lady Freemason in this country. He has known the story, he says, for several years, and some time ago came into possession of a pamphlet concerning it. He has little faith in the facts related in the pamphlet, first, because the story follows too closely the records of Mrs. Aldworth's initiation, and, second, because it adds incidents impractical, if not impossible – as when it is said that the lady made the sign of distress which was recognized by a captain of a boat on the Ohio river two miles off, who came to her relief and took her aboard. The title and synopsis of the pamphlet furnished by Brother Hankins, are as follows:

BIOGRAPHY OF MRS. CATHERINE BABINGTON The Only Woman Mason in the World And How She Became a Blue Lodge Mason. By J. P. BABINGTON. Third Edition. 1912

Published and Sold by J. P. Babington, Taylorsville, N. C.

The above is the title cover page of a pamphlet of 48 pages from which we collate the following story.

The author was the son of the subject, and prints a certificate dated November 29, 1906, from A. C. Payne, Secretary, stating that he was a member of Lee Lodge No. 253, at Taylorsville, N.C., at that time, and who claims that his mother "was a Mason and knew all of the Masonry that could be obtained in the Blue Lodge." (That's more than the men ever know.).

Mrs. Babington was the only daughter of Charles and Margaret Sweet, born near Princess Furnace, Boyd (at that time Greenup) county, Ky., December 28th, 1815.

Near her grandfather's house the Masons are said to have met in the upper story of a building in a room designed for a church, in the corner of which an old-fashioned pulpit had been erected; and under which it is also said she concealed herself from time to time, during a period of a year and a half, and where she frequently saw and heard the three Degrees, witnessing the raising of "John Williams" – name adopted because real one not known – when she was only 16 years old.

Finally, the story goes on, one of her uncles (named Ulen) who had left his rifle in the ante-room, went back to get it, and Kate, as she was called, emerging from her place of concealment; and when they got home he and brothers (Ulens) summoned her before them to find out what she had learned about Masonry, when they say she even revealed to them the first words spoken by the Master to the newly-raised Mason. (Now, how could this be possible, when the average man rarely gets it?)

Then came the question, What was to be done? And the story says: "Accordingly, a suitable uniform was made of red flannel (why red?) and she was taken to the Lodge where she was obligated as a regular Mason; but not admitted to member ship." (Italics ours.)

"The day she took the obligation was the first and last time she was ever inside a Masonic Lodge (where she could be seen) while it was at work. She knew Masonry and kept herself posted up until a short time before her death; but never attempted to visit a Lodge "

On one occasion, it is related, while they were considering her case in the Lodge, she was met on the outside by a party of masked men who demanded that she tell them what she knew about Masonry; and relating the incident to her uncle, she is reported to have said: – "They might kill me, but they could never make me tell anything about Masonry."

Many incidents are told of her use of Masonic signs and words in her travels through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and other States; but most of them seemingly improbable, even if not quite impossible.

Mrs. Babington died in Shelby, N. C., and is buried there; and the Shelby Aurora, published at that time by William H. Miller, an old soldier and a Mason, said: – "At her death she was the only Female Mason in the United States, and was well versed in the workings of the Blue Lodge."

She advocated keeping up the old custom of refreshments, and invariably encouraged Masons to take and read good Masonic Journals; and whether Mason or not, she gave them this good advice:

"Some men never learn anything about Masonry except in the Lodge. They never see a Masonic book, magazine, or paper; and therefore never knew what the order was doing. Have some good paper, devoted to its interest circulated among your members, and you will soon see its good effects."

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The Spirit Of '76

Several Brethren of German birth have written us telling of their agony of soul in prospect of war between this republic and their Fatherland. We respect both their confidence and their sorrow; but when they ask us what to do – as man to man and Mason to Mason – we have no hesitation in telling them to answer in the spirit of 1776. Hear now a great American thinker, himself a man of foreign birth but of unswerving loyalty, who states the situation as it was and as it is.

Whom did the Colonists fight? Their kindred, their fathers, their brothers, those who were bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. It was Englishman against Englishman, Scot against Scot, and Irishman against Irishman. It was a war between kindred and between kinsmen who twenty years before had been profound and happy friends! Kinsmen, with the same language, with the same religion, with the same literature, with the same traditions of freedom and power and manhood, went forth to meet each other in battle. There is nothing like so tragic a situation in the America of to-day as we confront the possibilities of the future as there was when the Tea Party took place at the hands of those who gathered in the Old South Meetinghouse; or when Washington took command of the Continental Army under the old tree in Cambridge. What was their argument, conclusion, motive? It was that every tie must be like snow in the fire when it comes to the question of the existence of freedom among men born for freedom !

I commend this example to my fellow adopted citizens of other blood than my own, and I know if the case were reversed I should take the lesson to myself. What did I mean when I took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and foreswore specially and specifically all allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain ? Preparation for any emergency and readiness to count freedom, American freedom, first, last, and all the time above every other interest.

One lesson more from the Revolution. The revolutionists made a distinction clear and deep between the government of Great Britain and the people, between King George III and his lackeys and blind servants and tyrants, and the whole people. They knew that Chatham was with them, that the greatest political genius of the English race was with them, – Edmund Burke; they knew or might have known that the poet Burns was with them, who after the war wrote a great "Ode to Washington," who after the War sacrificed all possibility of a pension from the Government by writing "A Dream" to George III, which I beg you to read. Let our Teutonic citizens, who are among the most substantial and the ablest and the worthiest of the adopted sons of America, – let them draw the distinction which your fathers drew in the day of their distress; let them draw the distinction between the Teutonic peoples and the Teutonic government. And remember that if he were free to speak, the true Teuton would say that no nation has a right to limit the just freedom of the United States; subject it to indignity; to murder its women and children on the high seas, or to confine its industry and influence within its own bounds.

We are one today, one in our belief in free institutions, one in our sense of obligation to the American Republic, and all ties even of the most sacred character must be, as I have said, like tow in the fire when it comes to the question whether America shall be first or the country of our descent or our birth.

The President of the United States has been patient, patient to the utmost limit, so patient that the world has been in danger of misunderstanding him. Let us thank God today for his patience, for his clearness, for his solemn decision, and for his hope that war may yet be averted. Let us be ready, with our faith, our prayer, our manhood, and all our resources to stand behind the Government that guards the heritage of the American people.

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CORRESPONDENCE

The Secret Key

Brothers: – In the March issue of "The Builder," Brother J. G. Anderson of California, requests information regarding the ancient uses of the two celebrated Pillars, "Jachin and Boaz."

He comes very near the "Key" of the whole situation when he does so.

In reply to him I will first state that in prehistoric times, men formulated a "Secret Doctrine" of procedure whereby their kind should always profit by a certain wisdom, so called, that others of their kind did not possess.

It is still called "The Secret Doctrine" and still exists.

The coming "New Religion" will be an explanation of the "Dark Sayings" of the Old ones.

It seems strange that a body of men should have been able, for thousands of years, to guide those who did not understand their system, into the paths and ways of those who did. But it has been done and is being done today.

We are all naturally afraid of that seeming danger which we do not readily understand. It is this tendency in our nature that has been taken advantage of, and mysteries created out of common things, until our fear and superstition has been fully developed.

It should, I think, be the work of our modern Freemasonry to break down and destroy this false condition by explaining the seeming "Mysteries" which exist in the mind only, and relate entirely to Education.

The ancient system is based upon the divine plan, furnished by the apparent daily path of the Sun around the earth, and its annual journey between the two Tropics. Broadly speaking, every religion that ever existed, Freemasonry included, knowingly or unknowingly, has been based upon this natural phenomena; the governing law of which no human force can change, but can try to explain; and this is what they attempted to do.

To carry out this idea they drew a Circle and divided it into zones, after the manner in which the Sun naturally divided the earth.

Today every school boy knows what these divisions represent, but not so in those days; for it meant death to reveal this concealed wisdom.

This plan of the earth was the "Key" used to unravel the balance of the Mysteries; and should, I think, be the starting point of all research societies today, who are trying to unfold the ancient meanings.

The Wisdom which the ancients obtained was kept strictly among themselves and this naturally made them mysterious. New members were admitted, or initiated, and this constituted the priesthood.

It is upon their discovered Wisdom that Modern Freemasonry is founded. And this is one of the reasons why the Orthodox Church is as a general thing so bitter against the Order.

"Boaz" was used to mark the Sun's Highest point of ascension to the North, or the Tropic of Cancer, and the longest day of the year.

The Great Pyramid Cheops of Egypt is the Boaz of the ancient priesthood, and stands as near as may be, on the above mentioned Tropical line.

Naturally divided by the Sun, because at "High Twelve" on the longest day of the year, it casts no shadow. Any building to the North of it does.

"Jachin" was used to mark the Sun's Lowest point of declination to the South, or the Tropic of Capricorn, and the shortest day of the year, at "Low Twelve."

The Torid Zone was called "The Ground Floor Plan of King Solomon's Temple" which was the World. The Floor was said to be Checkered and twice as long as it was broad. At the entrance stood "Jachin" on the Right and "Boaz" on the Left. (See I. Kings, chapt. 7, v. 21.) The front of the Temples being always left open for the Sun to enter, while the worshippers entered from the West and always faced the East during the services.

In front of all of these Temples were to be found "Boaz and Jachin." And here they were used to locate the Spring and Fall equinoxes. On the morning of March twenty-first, for instance, at Sunrise, the Sun shone past Jachin, over the Checkered Floor, and rested on the "Blazing Star" at the center. On the morning of the Fall equinox, at Sunrise, the Bays of the Sun shone past Boaz, and again rested on the Blazing Star. In this manner the Equinoxes were located; no other method ever being used, so far as I have been able to learn.

Thus the Pillars, together with the Checkered Floor, were used as a Calendar, a clock, and a compass; and, so far as known, was the only compass they ever devised.

These are not conjectures remember, but are actual working facts, as set forth in the Bible.

Masonry is a gold mine studded with diamonds, so far as this ancient method of obtaining and recording knowledge is concerned, and will well repay for the time spent for its search.

Hoping this will help along the study of the ancient system, I remain,
Yours fraternally, Geo. F. Greene, 65 Myrtle St., Detroit, Mich.

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Masonic Training Of The Young

Brother Editor: – It would be of interest to many members if you would publish in The Builder an article which appeared in one of our Masonic journals, I do not remember which, on "The Masonic Training of the Young." I recall reading it, and would like to have it spread far and near.
- H.J.L., Canada.

The article referred to was written by Brother Albert G. McChesney, Master of St. John's Lodge, No. 11, Washington, D. C., and appeared in the New Age in 1915. We are glad to comply with the request of our Canadian Brother, because the article is interesting and instructive. It is as follows:

For some years I have been deeply impressed with the possibility and the desirability of our Masonic fraternity taking some steps looking directly toward the care and welfare of our sons in their youth.

If we could devise some method of assisting our boys that they may be trained up in such a life, such morals, such instruction, such oversight and direction, as will cultivate their Masonic manhood and naturally lead them, under appropriate and helpful supervision, into a full and regular Masonic status on arriving at proper age, we should be helping the boys who have been born and brought up in Masonic homes. We should be helping one another, and at the same time be developing a great field and feeder for material for our historic fraternity in the coming years.

The value of some such organization or Masonic auxiliary can hardly be overestimated, to my mind. If we want a larger future, we must be sowing the seed in the present rising generation; for our boys of today will be the men of tomorrow, and if we train the boys we shall have the men.

The ceremony of baptism may be performed by any Masonic body whatever. Under certain conditions and restrictions a child of either sex may be baptized, – if a boy, when he has attained the age of 12 years, or, if a girl, when she has reached that of 18. A boy over the age of 12 can be baptized only when he has received a Louveteau or when he is to be afterwards adopted. The ceremony is intended particularly, however, for infants. It secures to a child of either sex the protection and assistance of the Lodge or other body performing the ceremony, and to a boy the right to be received a Louveteau at the age of 12 years. Either the father of the child must be a Mason, or its mother the daughter or granddaughter of a Mason. The father or grandfather, as the case may be, must, if living be a Mason in good standing; if dead, he must have been so at the time of his death. If long unaffiliated, without reasonable excuse, he ought not to be deemed in good standing.

In performing this baptism, or washing by water, it is done as a symbol of purification and consecration to duty. In it Masonry does not imitate a religious rite of any church, or imagine that its ceremony, more ancient than the churches, has any sacramental efficacy, or sanctification, as when used in the proper manner by the ministers of religion; for Masonry does not pretend to be a religion. But Masonry is not irreligious or irreverent; it does not assume to take the place of any religion or claim to make religion unnecessary. To charge it with this is to libel it. Every Masonic body should cheerfully accept the protectorate of the children of a brother, especially if, being orphans, and therefore God's wards, the Lodge is deemed worthy also to become their guardian.

This ceremony of Masonic baptism includes dipping the left hand of the child into a basin of perfumed oil, putting salt on its lips, and investing it with apron and jewel, with attendant ceremonies, instruction, obligations, and prayers.

A Louveteau is the son of a Mason. To be received as a Louveteau the boy must be 12 years of age or over. The Lodge is not obliged to support or educate him, but only to watch over and protect him and give him counsel and advice. This ceremony can be performed by a Symbolic Lodge only. It entitles the Louveteau to be received an Apprentice at the age of 21 years, if he be found worthy and intelligent. If the candidate has not been previously baptized Masonically, that baptism is included with his reception as a Louveteau.

The ceremony of the reception of a Louveteau includes, among its many splendid teachings and impressive ritual, the following:

Obedient to the mandate of duty and the obligations of Masonry, we are now about to receive this youth as a pupil of the Lodge, or, according to the ancient term, which Masonry has preserved, as a Louveteau, or child of the Light, and thereby entitle him to become a Freemason at the age of 21, if he be found worthy and well Qualified..

The address to the candidate includes these words:

When you become a man we wish you also to be a Freemason, and still more that you should deserve to become one. We wish to assist you to become so by watching over you, and advising you what is best and wisest and noblest for you to do, how to govern your passions and resist temptations.

In the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Mackey we are given the following facts as to the term Lewis:

1. An instrument in Operative Masonry. It is an iron cramp which is inserted in a cavity prepared for that purpose in any large stone, so as to give attachment to a pulley and hook whereby the stone may be conveniently raised to any height and deposited in its proper position.

2. In the English system the Lewis is found on the tracing board of the Entered Apprentice, where it is used as a symbol of strength, because, by its assistance, the Operative Mason is enabled to lift the heaviest stones with a comparatively trifling exercise of physical power. It has not been adopted as a symbol by the American Masons, except in Pennsylvania, where, of course, it receives the English interpretation.

3. The son of a Mason is, in England, called a Lewis, because it is his duty to support the sinking powers and aid the failing strength of his father; or, as Oliver has expressed it, "to bear the burden and heat of the day, that his parents may rest in their old age; thus rendering the evening of their lives peaceful and happy."

The words lufton and louffton are also applied in the same way. The French employ the word Louveteau in the same manner.

In Brown's Master Key, which is supposed to represent the Prestonian lecture, we find the following definition:

What do we call the son of a Freemason?

A Lewis.

What does that denote?

Strength.

How is the Lewis depicted in a Mason's Lodge?

As a cramp of metal, by which, when fixed into a stone, great and ponderous weights are raised to a certain height and fixed upon their proper basis, without which Operative Masons could not conveniently do.

What is the duty of a Lewis, the son of a Mason, to his aged parents ?

To bear the heavy burden in the heat of the day and help them in time of need, which, by reason of their great age, they ought to be exempted from so as to render the close of their days happy and comfortable.

His privilege for so doing?

To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank, or riches, unless he, through complaisance, waives this privilege.

This lecture does not state, in exact terms, the whole nature of the privilege of a Lewis. Not only has he, in an initiation, the precedence of all other candidates, but, in England and France, the right to be initiated at an earlier age; for, while a general law in both these countries required a candidate to have reached the age of 21, a Lewis can be received when only 18. No such regulation is, it is true, to be found in the English Constitution, but, as Oliver says, it is a "traditional custom," and a provision seems to have been made for it by allowing the prerogative of dispensing with the usual requirement of age in certain cases. In this country, where the symbolism of the Lewis is unknown, no such right is now recognized. It is, however, probable that the custom existed formerly, derived from England, and it has thus been attempted, I think reasonably enough, to explain the fact that Washington was initiated when he was only 20 years and 8 months old.

I believe that we, as a Masonic fraternity, could take up something of this character – the reception of the Louveteau – and carry it still further. The Lewis organizations of France and England received and recognized the candidates as sons of Masons, with gertain privileges of preferred candidacy for regular membership in the Blue Lodge upon reaching the required age; but there was nothing further to be done, no further steps to be taken, no meetings to attend, no particular obligations in one sense: the introduction of reception as a Lewis or Louveteau was at the same time the beginning and the end of his career, as such.

I suggest, for the consideration of those more competent than myself, an auxiliary organization for the sons and grandsons (on the paternal and maternal lines) of Masons,and perhaps, under certain restrictions, other young men as well,with a membership composed of those whose ages range at least from 16 to 21 years, having an organization separate and distinct from the subordinate Lodge, but under the direct oversight of the Grand Lodge; with a constitution, laws, regulations, secret obligations, and ritual.

I am not proposing that any of the secrets, strictly speaking, of the Blue Lodge should be communicated to the members of the junior organization, but that they might be a body literally at work and in training, looking forward, on arriving at sufficient age, to membership in the Masonic Lodge, if found worthy and qualified. Only such Masonic instruction should be imparted as is now available through official Masonic publications.

The subject, as an entirety and in its details, is one that I think will commend, as it deserves, most serious thought and serious consideration; for I feel that it presents a possibility of vast usefulness and helpfulness to our sons and to our fraternity alike.

(Note: The by-laws of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, Sec. 23 (1), make the following provision in the case of a "Lewis":

Any Lodge in this grand jurisdiction may lawfully receive and ballot upon a petition for degrees of a son or nephew of an affiliated Master Mason within the last six months of such petitioner's twenty-first year; however, if elected, he shall not be initiated an Entered Apprentice until he has attained the age of twenty-one.)

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Lest We Forget

Masons are popularly believed to espouse certain moral principles, but the practical demonstration of these principles is not always apparent in their daily lives. Masons challenge their fellowmen by their membership in the Order, to try them by the square.

How many realize that they are being so tried day by day, by their fellowmen?

How many so discharge their personal responsibility that their lives may be claimed by Masonry to its credit ?

How many of the brothers have made the principles of Masonry a living power in their lives ?

How many realize that society has been given a right to expect and require more from them as Masons, than from one who has not, of his own free will and accord, professed to align his life in harmony with the precepts of moral conduct?

How many have lost touch of the elbow, and ceased to feel the compelling influence of comradeship and brotherhood, that began with the handclasp in the mother lodge ?

Would it not be a wonderful inspiration if a day were set aside upon which Masons everywhere might proclaim their allegiance anew to the world and to one another?

If every lodge would have a home-coming for all of its brothers during the week, and every Mason, on the selected day, should wear a little blue button with a square and compass upon his lapel, would not fresh inspiration be gathered from the light in the eye of a brother met upon the highway, and courage and firm resolve follow a realization that we are indeed members of no mean Order, and all begin anew to so live that each day of our lives shall be such that men seeing our good works, may say in explanation: "That man is a Mason"?
LeRoy T. Steward, Covenant 526, 111.

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TO RUDYARD KIPLING TODAY [A Poem]

In the 'Nineties you awoke us with your ringing, swinging song,
When you set our youth a-dreaming golden dreams of gallant deeds –
When you won your heady laurels and you swept the World along
With your realistic stories and your sturdy modern creeds.
We read you and we worshipped you with laughter and with joy –
Your Soldiers Three, your Maltese Cat, your dreaming Brushwood Boy!

You sang of British Tommy – made us laugh and made us cry –
You sang a song of Derelicts, you sang of Seven Seas:
You sang delicious nonsense little songs that you or I
Could murmur in the gloaming to the kiddy on our knees:
You thrilled us by your daring, by your vision, by your youth,
And now and then you struck the chord of God's eternal Truth!

Right down the years you rode your steed – and Pegasus was he!
Right well you rode and far you rode … but Youth may never stay…
And so you faced disaster and you faced it gallantly,
For out of it your genius wrought the loveliness of "They,''
And every father who has wrought and every lover too
Doth owe a debt, perchance unpaid … I pay mine now to you!

In later years the sad old World has come at last to This …
To War and Death . . the sacrifice of "all we have and are…”
In other days you struck your note of jarring emphasis,
The grim, relentless Truth you told … it echoed wide and far;
But if today you sing no song, yours still "the true romance,"
Yours still the greatest gift there be… to England, Belgium, France,

You've staked your all, whate'er befall, the great war lost or won
For once you gave your land a song … but now you give your son…
- Elizabeth Newport Hepburn.

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Return to Part 1



.xx Next Month: June 1917
Previous Month: April 1917www General Index

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