TB-1917-06a

The Builder Magazine

June 1917 – Volume III – Number 6

THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY

Part 1


Continued in Part 2


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


THE FAITH THAT IS IN THEM

A FRATERNAL FORUM

Edited by Bro. Geo. E. Frazer, President, The Board of Stewards

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

  • Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
  • Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
  • Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
  • Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia
  • H.D. Funk, Minnesota
  • Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
  • Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
  • Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
  • M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
  • Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
  • Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
  • S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
  • Joe L. Carson, Virginia

Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Correspondence column.

Question No. 2

Shall Masonic Officers be elected from the floor, irrespective of service as subordinate officer? If so, shall nominations be made by committee appointed for that purpose? If not, at what office shall the "line" begin in each body?

Eliminate Politics.

I can best reply to the question by saying that at our Annual in February I introduced some resolutions, to be published in the Proceedings (if they ever come out) considered by the Lodges, and voted on at 1918 Communication. They provide that in all elections of Grand Officers, there shall be no nominations and no speaking in advocacy of candidates. If, on the first ballot no one shall be found to have a majority, it shall be deemed a nominating ballot, and on the next no votes for any one except the three having the greatest number on the first, shall be counted. I further provide that canvassing for votes for anyone shall be a Masonic offense.

Now for my reasons. Politics rages at present and most delegates are more interested in the annual election than in the important legislation. 2nd. As it is, we elect our G.J.D. and promote so regularly that his reaching the Grand East is a certainty barring his death. 3rd. We thus give honors to him annually for at least six years to the exclusion of many worthy brethren equally deserving. 4th. On my plan we could honor many a one who has no ambition to be Grand Master but would be proud to become a Grand Officer. 5th. Our Grand Masters would be those the delegates consider most suitable and not those who make the best political fight for office. 6th. The plan is fair to all, and free from objection so far as I can see.
Very truly and fraternally, Jos. W. Eggleston, P.G.M., Virginia.

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The Rotation Plan Has Failed.

The "rotation" plan has failed. I believe it is largely if not mainly the cause of many inefficient officers being elected not only in the subordinate lodges but in the grand lodges. When such a one gets "in line" it is practically impossible and exceedingly unpleasant to get rid of him and this humiliates an otherwise perfectly lovable brother. If the rule of election from the floor in all instances were observed it is my opinion the best men for the place would usually be chosen. As it now is we elect a "good fellow," say Junior Warden, hoping and expecting that he will fit himself for Master by the time he reaches that station. After he has been "started through" we find that he either will not or can not do so. We are then presented with the alternative of "grinning and enduring it" or of "choking him off" to the injury of the lodge in either case. I do not favor nominations and do not want a "line" to begin anywhere.
— O. D. Street, Alabama.

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Rotation is a Landmark, a Beautiful Feature.

Answering your question for this month I would say emphatically NO. One of the landmarks of our institution – to me a beautiful feature of Masonry – is the unwritten law that he who would lead must first serve. It is the knowledge that a Past Master, or Past High Priest has labored for a lodge or chapter a stipulated term of years that makes their jewel mean something in the aftertime. Quite too many societies are led to thrust a man into the high places without having tried him out, carried away maybe by a deep bass voice, an aptitude for platitude, and hirsute appendage hiding a chinless face to later regret the caprice of a moment. Masonry tests a man at every step. As to nomination by a committee that too takes away somewhat from the peculiar prerogative of our institution where each and every man is on the level, and each should have his voice in so momentous a choice as that of Master. While many lodges commence their line with the Junior Steward, at least in this jurisdiction, I favor making Junior Deacon the inchoating officer. Trusting I have satisfactorily answered your queries,
I remain, Fraternally yours, John Lewin McLeish, M. D., Ohio.

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Marshall, Franklin, Clay and Jackson.

It is not disputed that the American custom of promotion rigorously by seniority does not bring the strongest men to the east nor strengthen the lodge. It cannot be claimed that the average "prominent Mason" of today will compare favorably with the prominent Mason of a century ago.

The grandest and greatest Grand Master Virginia (the mother of Presidents) ever had was John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States; he was elected from the floor to be Deputy Grand Master, and, the next year was Grand Master.

The grandest and greatest man the Nation ever produced, George Washington, was Master of his lodge, and was urged for general Grand Master. The first Minister to Great Britain was Benjamin Franklin, who was Grand Master in Pennsylvania. The greatest Senator, the greatest orator, Henry Clay, was Grand Master in Kentucky, and the greatest soldier of the war of 1812, also President, Andrew Jackson, was Grand Master in Tennessee. It would be easy to multiply these examples. Not one of the above ever served in a subordinate capacity in a lodge. I might add that there is a doubt that a prominent and nationally representative man could, today, be elected from the floor to be Master, or even Warden of a blue lodge, nor into the council of a Royal Arch Chapter.

In some States, as in Maryland, the brethren have discovered their best man, and have the courage to keep him as their Grand Master. The rest of us set up a new idol each and every year, hurrah and applaud him, and promote along the line vigorously by seniority, because it is their turn.

In our Reviews we have ever combatted that, but, as a distinguished Mason in Massachusetts says, "who reads them ?"

If these conditions should appear in The Builder, which IS read, they might receive consideration. The public schools were created to educate pupils enough to enable them to read and reason. The Great Light of Masonry was placed in each, that the students might benefit thereby; but with all the care given by our forbears, we have drifted into the vagaries of the change of time.

There are many good and great men in the order, but, do they attend their lodges ? Well, "hardly ever." There must be a reason. Maybe the lodges are not interesting to them ? Maybe they expect to have notice taken of them, or, "maybe" many reasons, but certain it is that many great men of today, who are Masons, proud enough of it to display a K. T. watch charm, or a 32 degree jewel studded with diamonds are not sufficiently interested to attend, save when summoned.

Does the lodge need them ? If so, why not induce their attendance? The writer has been importuned time after time, yes more than a thousand times, to secure employment, or promotion or to plead for the retention of a brother whose offices were in jeopardy. We have so often asked the petitioner if he has already invoked the good offices of the Master of his lodge, and so often the reply is "Oh, he has no influence."

In England, Germany, Norway, France, etc., the Masters are almost invariably men of social and municipal influence. In Sweden it is carried to excess, and the Order is composed mostly of the Nobility. Now, my good brothers, there is a happy mean between the extremes, which we should try to reconcile. Let us ask ourselves what is the purpose of the Order ! To the writer it appears that the best interests of a lodge may be served by electing to the East the men who will be of most service to the members of the lodge, keeping in mind the efficiency of ritual and strict obedience to the Landmarks and the Constitution. It is a matter in which each and every one has an interest, and, what is more, a grave responsibility.

It might be well for at least one Grand Jurisdiction to adopt the plan of suffering elections from the floor, and compare results with the present custom of electing rigorously by seniority.

This same question has been alive in my mind for years, and, in my reviews of the Proceedings of "Sister" Grand Lodges, printed year after year in the D. C. Grand Lodge Reports, will be found my views on the subject of Lodge Officers.
— Geo. W. Baird, Washington, D. C.

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Have We Changed the "Old Charges"?

There should be no "line." Let each office stand by itself. "Line promotion" is one of the curses of Masonic elections; "line promotion" is the hope and comfort of the incompetent and unqualified. Open nominations for every office is, in part, a panacea for official incompetency in Grand and Subordinate Masonic bodies. Line promotion and no open nomination is the father of incompetency and mediocrity, especially in Grand and subordinate presiding office.

These statements may seem radical to the conservative Mason, and I may lay myself open to Masonic heterodoxy, and an iconoclast of that graven image known as Ancient Landmarks, but nothing should be considered too sacred in Freemasonry that interferes with its executive, intellectual and moral development.

The following from "The Old Charges" adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, March 23, 1722, contains the great central truth of official distinction: "All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; that, so the Lord may be well served, the Brethren not put to shame, nor the Royal Craft despised. Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority but for his merit.  These trenchant words contain the basis of official preferment. It is worth and personal merit, not "Line promotion," and if these qualities were not found in the "official line," then I opine the worth and personal merit were taken from the floor.

These same "Charges" also state as follows: "No Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the degree of Master Mason; nor Master until he has acted as Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has been Master of a Lodge and served the office of Steward at a great feast; nor Grand Master unless he has been a Master of a regular lodge before his election, who is also to be noble born, or a gentleman of the best fashion, or some eminent scholar, or some curious architect, or other artist, descended of honest parents, and who is of singular great merit in the opinion of the Lodge."

This quotation from "The Ancient Charges" is the source of the law of today in reference to the qualification of a Master by previous services, but it will be noted that very few of the restrictions, especially that in reference to Grand Master as given in the ancient law, is in force today. Freemasonry has advanced, not in a set groove, but its laws have been changed to suit the time and age. Requirement and traditions, when out of harmony, have become obsolete, and justly so.

To such charges as I have outlined in my answer, the Masonic pull-back will quote the charge given to the Master at his installation into office: "That it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make any alterations or innovations in the Body of Masonry," and then he will cry aloud, "Unmasonic."

Unfortunately, perhaps purposely, the transcribers of the "Ancient Charges" left out the proviso attached to the above citation, which is as follows: "without the consent first obtained of the Grand Lodge."

The Grand Lodge of England on St. John's Day in June, 1723, gave full authority to a Grand Lodge to make "alterations" and "Innovations" in the body of Masonry, and I sincerely hope that all Grand Lodges will not only adopt for themselves but will permit Lodges to use open nominations in the election of officers. The Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, enacted such a law last year.

If the "promotion in line" method is destroyed, and open nominations permitted, it will mean the end, ultimately, of the graphophone, the parrot and incompetency in office. Fraternally, Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.

Promote in the Blue Lodge, Select in the Grand Lodge.

A distinction should be drawn in answering this question between officers of the Grand Lodge and officers of particular lodges.

In particular Lodges, promotion is of considerable value. Original selection of the minor officers in the line of promotion should be made by the Master. Charged with this duty, if he be careful and conscientious in choosing subordinate officers who, in his opinion, will develop into successful Masters, he is better equipped than even a Nominating Committee to make selections. The responsibility should lead him to be careful. As changes in the office of Master occur, new Masters with new acquaintances introduce new blood. The Masters themselves, having served a number of years in the line, have become rather intimately acquainted with the Brethren who show a disposition to share in the labors and responsibilities of the Lodge. They know more about them than any committee of apparently inactive Past Masters can know. Taken at large, a selection of minor appointees by Masters has shown the best results.

The line of promotion should begin at least with the Junior Deacon, probably with the Junior Steward, possibly with the Inside Sentinel. The position should remain appointive up to and including Senior Deacon. By that time the officer has shown his ability and character. If the Lodge then believes he is competent to be Master, he should be elected Junior Warden; if not, he should be stopped there. The holding of the position of Senior Deacon should be almost the equivalent of a nomination for advancement, but it should not be regarded that the Senior Deacon is entitled to the promotion. If he has once been elected Junior Warden, however, he ought to be continued through the Chairs unless he develops unfitness.

The automatic location in office of Grand Lodge officers, however, is in my opinion one of the greatest evils existing in the form of Masonic government in America. No man who is fit to be Grand Master can accomplish the results which ought to be expected of him in a service of one year. There have been instances, unfortunately too frequent, of the election of a man as Grand Master who was totally unfit for that great and responsible position. A Grand Master once said to the writer that if a Past Master in his State could get appointed Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge and lived long enough and kept out of jail, he would be Grand Master some day.

This practice belittles the office of Grand Master. It belittles the reputation of the Craft. It puts men in the highest Masonic office in the world merely out of compliment and deprives the Fraternity of the services of the ablest men for time enough to develop policies and give the office the respect which it ought to have.

The writer may perhaps be accused of prejudice with regard to the Massachusetts idea but he, nevertheless, believes it is the best one. Any Past Master in Massachusetts may be elected Grand Master for one year. By custom he is usually re-elected so as to serve three years. By constitutional provision, he is prevented from serving more than three years.

The Deputy Grand Master in Massachusetts is appointed. He is, accordingly, really a Deputy Grand Master; that is to say, the personal representative of the Grand Master chosen by him to carry out his policies. In most American jurisdictions the officer called by that name is not really a Deputy at all. He is really a Vice Grand Master, or pro Grand Master and if elected by the Craft should have that title.

The Grand Wardens in Massachusetts are elected for one year. Installation gives them life membership in the Grand Lodge. Thus two permanent members of the Grand Lodge (other than the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master) are created each year by election. The result is that the Craft in many parts of the State is represented in the permanent membership and this great honor is widely distributed. Moreover, very many Brethren who have become members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in this way would themselves testify of the permanent membership as a whole that it includes many Brethren who worthily have attained the honor, whose services in the Grand Lodge are so valuable as to be really necessary and yet who either could not or should not be made Grand Master.

For Grand Master, choose the very best Brother available whether or not he has held so-called "line" offices. Not only is this to the advantage of the Craft as a whole, but it opens the opportunity for many more brethren to hold Grand Lodge office. In my term of three years as Grand Master, for instance, under the promotion system I could have appointed one new line officer. Instead of that, six Brethren were made permanent members by election and three by appointment; and thirty-eight different Brethren had the opportunity of holding Grand Lodge "line" offices, very few of whom would themselves ever be willing or able to serve as Grand Master and almost none of whom would aspire to that office.
— Fraternally yours, Melvin M. Johnson, P. G. M., Massachusetts.

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More Brains, Fewer Titles.

My own personal opinion is that by all means Masonic Officers should be elected from the floor irrespective of service as subordinate officers when floor members are found to be capable, qualified, efficient and sincere workers. In my own state our law requires that a man must have served as warden before he can be elected master. We have only to look around us in almost any jurisdiction and see the disastrous effect of such limitation. Some of the best students, most efficient ritualists, wisest leaders never become masters of lodges. If we were able to take them from the floor upon merit alone, it would raise the standard of Masonic education everywhere. We need more men of brains and fewer titles.
— Fraternally,  J. W. Norwood, Kentucky.

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Experience in Ireland.

In a Lodge of which I was a member over twenty years – 891 I. C. – we had the unwritten law of ROTATION OF OFFICE, always provided the Brethren qualified by good Masonic conduct, skilled Masonic labor, and faithful Masonic attendance.

We felt when we selected a candidate for INNER GUARD we were selecting a future W. M. and we "governed ourselves accordingly." If our Junior Officers made good they were promoted. If not, the officers lower down benefited in promotion by their dropping out. We demanded such progress in the ritual, etc., that when a brother reached the chair he was capable of "Ruling and Governing" his Lodge. The years of J. W. and S. W. are the best preparation for the chair.

In my mother jurisdiction it was a Grand Lodge Ruling that a W. M. must have served at least one year as S. W. or J. W. in a Lodge under its jurisdiction.

I advocated this method of promotion all my years as Prov. G. Inspector and have rarely seen it fail in producing good officers, good work and goodwill.
— Fraternally yours,  Joe L. Carson, (P. P. S. G. W., Ireland), Virginia.

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He Favors a Nominating Committee.

In my judgment it is expedient for every lodge to have a carefully selected nominating committee. Wherever it seems prudent, officers of the lodge who have served faithfully and efficiently should be promoted. In case some Brother has been appointed to the office of Junior or Senior Steward but has not demonstrated conspicuous talent for the higher offices, it appears to me to be a more graceful and considerate thing to drop him then or after he has been tried as one of the Deacons. It seems to me it is not so humiliating to be left off the list of nominees as to be defeated in an election.  Fraternally,
— H. D. Funk, Minnesota.

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~~ooOoo~~


FOR FREEDOM AND FRATERNITY [A Poem]

By Bro. Louis Block, P. G. M., Iowa

"Armageddon"

Red is the sky; and crimson red
Are the fields, with their heaps of countless dead;
Red is the fringe of copse and wood;
Where the War-Dogs slake their thirst for blood;
And redder yet has the sunset grown,
From ruined Cities, overthrown;
As the old World Nations grappling close,
In a strife to the death with hated foes.

But over the war-cloud, rolling low,
And above the tide of tears and woe;
And through the blight of harrowing fear,
His higher purpose shineth clear.
For like the light of the opening day,
His hand shall sweep the mists away;
And over that hour supreme shall span,
Blest Peace, and the Brotherhood of Man.

God grant it so. And grant we may
Sooner usher in that gracious day;
When men shall turn to War no more;
And peace abide from shore to shore;
When States be ruled by kindly thought,
And sword and spear be held for naught;
And evermore among us dwell,
The reign of Prince Immanuel.
– Fay Hempstead, Poet Laureate of Masonry.

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~~ooOoo~~


THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY

From time immemorial we have been taught as Masons that in the State we are to be "quiet and peaceful subjects, true to our government, and just to our country; not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently to submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which we live."

But we are also taught to believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man and that it is our duty persistently to wield the Trowel in spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection – that cement which shall in time unite not only our own nation but all mankind "into one sacred band or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention of who best can work and best agree."


The World On Fire

The teeming populations of the earth have swelled the borders of the nations to the bursting point, they are crowded close one upon another, and it has become no longer possible for a nation to live unto itself alone. They have failed to work together or to agree. Instead, each nation has rubbed hard against the other and the friction has set the world on fire.

Somehow, somewhere, in the coming together of the nations, some one or some thing has proved rough and rude, harsh and hard, cruel and cold and sharp; peace has been banished from the land and the whole world has been rent and torn with turmoil and strife.

Mankind seems to have gone mad, the future looms dark and gloomy, as though the final cataclysm had come and the end of all things was at hand.


++Our Duty in the Darkness
In such a shroud of shuddering darkness as this, it is small wonder that our duty seems no longer clear before us, and that we grope for some great guiding Hand to lead us once more to the light. As comrades in a great cause let us tonight come close together in this darkness, and counselling one with another strive to see our duty and pray for strength to do it faithfully and without faltering.


People Like Powder

Verily, we are living in troublous times. The air is full of wild and crazy talk. The yellow journals, bad enough at all times, have now become supremely sensational and are making frantic efforts to whip the people into a fury and frenzy that is simply awful. And the people are like powder ready to blow up and explode at the touch of a glowing spark. Wild spy stories and tales of crews of secret service men abound.

Twenty times in one day there has come to me the story of the arrest of one of our prominent citizens as a German spy. These stories have been so silly and t so foolish that even the yellow newspapers scorned to publish them, and yet I have been compelled to witness the spectacle of American citizens losing their heads over such silly trash. I have some things to say to you and yet I hesitate to speak them. It is a dangerous time to talk. Not that I mean I fear any danger to myself, but because I am afraid that I may be misunderstood. I sometimes fear that the people have quit thinking and that all they care about now is to get mad and to smash and tear something.

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Message of Lincoln

In Lincoln park in Chicago there is a magnificent statue of Lincoln. Tall, serene, erect, calm, kindly, genial, deeply thoughtful, there he stands as firm, as sane, as calm, as collected as some mighty granite crag overlooking the storm tossed waves of a raging sea; just so he stood for a full half hour facing a raging mob in the old abolitionist days at Petersburg, until he forced them to listen to the great message he had to give.

It seems to me that that is the message we ought to take home to our hearts tonight; to pause and reflect, to be calm and think, and to hang onto our sanity with all our might in the midst of the turmoil that rages round about us. Men think; beasts don't. Let us prove that we are men and not beasts. Let us follow the example of him of whom Lowell said:

"He knew to bide his time,
And can his fame abide,
Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
Till the wise years decide.
Great captains, with their guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the hour,
But at last silence comes;
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower,
Our children shall behold his fame.
The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
New birth of our new soil, the first American."

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Nothing But Jingoism

Let us ask ourselves, what is patriotism, and let us bend all the energies of our minds to give a true answer to that question. There are too many people who think that there can be no patriotism unless there is a war, but that is jingoism and not patriotism, for the truth is that the highest patriotism is sometimes shown by those who keep a war from coming about, for patriotism in its last analysis means a happy and a prosperous peace for the people.

War is an awful thing. Human speech has failed to coin the words that are capable of telling all its gruesome and awful horrors. This is the testimony of those who know. Our greatest generals have condemned it beyond all possible question. It was Sherman who told the story shortly and simply when he said, "War is hell." And it was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant who prayed for peace with his whole soul. There is only one excuse for war, and that is when it is waged as a last resort, and then in defense of a righteous cause.

Perhaps I do not understand him, but I have no patience with Stephen Decatur who declared, "Our Country ! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong." Those are the words of a hot-head, a fireeater who doesn't think.

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Clay's Patriotism

Compare with these the calm, collected utterance of Henry Clay, the great statesman, who said: "My Country, right or wrong; to fight for her when she is right and when she is wrong to set her right." As I conceive of it, Mr. Clay's is the better, truer, and the nobler patriotism of the two.

We have no right to say that we are for America first unless we know and are sure that America is in the right. A country that is wrong, is not worth fighting for. There is nothing holy or sacred about a country that is dead wrong, for then we are simply talking patriotism when we mean plunder and are exhibiting not loyalty but bull-headed blindness. There never will come a time when loyalty to country can be placed above loyalty to the right. Oftentimes the bravest and truest patriot is the man who dares fearlessly to tell the people the truth about things as they are.

In this connection let me quote again from the gospel according to Abraham Lincoln. During the war a certain pious Pharisee expressed to the president the hope that "the Lord is on our side." And unto him Father Abraham, speaking made answer, saying: "I am not at all concerned about that, for we know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that this nation shall be on the Lord's side." He who dares to say that Stephen Decatur knew more about patriotism than did Abraham Lincoln simply shows his own ignorance.

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Build Up Country

After all, does not true patriotism mean simply this, to use our best and constant effort to build up a country that is clean and true, fair and honest, wise and free, and noble and kind to every man and to every nation in the world, and to be ready to give your life to such a cause as this and die for it if you must? As I see it, that is true patriotism.

My brethren, unless we are pledged to the truth that loyalty to humanity in the last analysis comes ahead of loyalty to country, we have no business in this war.

The curse that is blighting Europe today is largely due to a narrow nationalism that can see no good in any other nation; that thinks that it alone can be right and that every one else is wrong just because he lives beyond the border, in another country.

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Patriotism Sacred

True patriotism is a thinking patriotism. It is a sacred thing. No noise, however great, no shouts, however thrilling, no hurrahs, however enthusiastic, no blare of brass bands, no flaming of fire-works, no flaunting of flags, no strenuous stump speeches can begin to tell what true and genuine patriotism really is, for it is a thing that lies too deep for all of these. True patriotism is a great, calm, altogether lovely and holy thing, that worships God and loves its fellow men. True patriotism is a consecration to high ideals; it is the hallowing of a man's whole soul in a holy cause. When our flag stands for a noble manhood and for a lofty statehood, when it proclaims the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God, then and then alone have we the right to say with the poet:

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

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The Idol of War

Now, let us ask ourselves why it is that we stand tonight face to face with this terrible crisis. At the close of the Franco-Prussian war, the German government, carried away with the intoxication of its success over the French armies, began to build slowly but surely for itself and for its people the steel and stony idol itself a Frankenstein which is now pursuing it with of militarism.

Realizing what they had gained by the power of the sword, they came to think that the sword was supreme. The worship of the soldier penetrated to the heart of the family circle. The toys of the little children were soldiers. I remember well in my own home how as little tots we played with these soldiers, half of them clothed in Prussian blue and the other half dressed in the blue and scarlet of sunny France.

The literature and periodicals we read at the fireside were largely about soldiers and military affairs. Even the jokes in the funny papers concerned themselves with the thick-headedness of the recruit who was being drilled into a fighting machine. Later on came the stories of those who are now our German-American friends and citizens, who ran away from Germany to escape the hard ordeal of compulsory military service.

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The Sacred Soldier

This was followed by the tales of the smart-alec lieutenants who strutted the sidewalks of Berlin shouldering the common people off into the gutters – war and soldiering came to be idolized as a God. The military were the real people of the country and common citizens were clay beneath the feet of the soldier.

One of my friends who refused to allow a German officer to insult his sister was waited upon and challenged to a duel. He whipped the soldier's sword from its scabbard, broke it in two across his knee, tossed it out of a four-story window, and told the officer that if he didn't leave the room he would be hurled after it, and my friend, who was an American college athlete, would have made his word good.

Another acquaintance was challenged to a duel under similar circumstances. He happened to be a pitcher in an Eastern college nine. Said he, "Very well, if I am the party challenged, according to the code I have the choice of weapons. I select the Spaulding league ball, at 50 feet." And at that the duel was off.

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Blind Obedience

The German people had the theory and the doctrine of blind, unquestioning obedience pounded into them. They were borne to the ground with a burden of taxation to boost the soldier. And finally there was built up in the land such a magnificent and terrible war machine that it was called upon to give an excuse for its existence and then the war broke out.

It had been ready to break for a long time and the pressure was so tremendous that it needed only a pistol shot fired in southern Serbia to turn the raging conflagration loose. It reminds me of the old story of Frankenstein, of the inventor who built a man out of iron and steel; built him so scientifically that he sprang into life and was to all intents and purposes a man, save only that he had neither heart nor soul.

This iron beast pursued its creator until it drove him to suicide in the Arctic seas and finally disappeared within the clouds and mists of the great dark of the North. Even so, did this German autocracy build for relentless fate.

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Germans Noble People

Now, with all this we must be very careful not to commit the awful mistake of coming to think that it is either a crime or even a disgrace to be a German. For in spite of what their government has done, the German people are at bottom a truly noble people and have done a great deal to serve and bless humanity. In the great fields of music and medicine they are supreme.

When you take from the field of music such great names as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Lizt, Bach, Schumann, Wagner, Handel and many another, you have precious little left. It was a German who saved the lives of our little children when by patient effort he found a sure cure for diphtheria, and the horrible ravages of venereal diseases are fast being banished from the land by means of the discovery of another German scientist.

The Germans stand in the foremost rank of the men who have done the world a blessed service in enabling humanity to retain its health. For these and for many another noble quality, for their economy, their untiring industry and their unimpeachable honesty, they should be respected and loved. Let us not forget that even as our president has said, this is not a war against the German people, but simply and solely a battle against militarism and monarchy, and monarchy means one-man-archy. Let us remember that it is a system; a terrible, awful, man-murdering system, and not a great people that we are fighting.

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Appeal to Might

After all what is "militarism?" It is the theory that mightism should prevail against rightism – the insane belief that it is might which makes right, and that success can absolve every sin. In its last analysis it is an appeal to force – to physical force and perhaps to mental force, although I am not so sure as to that. But I do know that it is an appeal to force, it may be a force that is refined, that is organized to the minutest detail, that is scientific up to the last minute, but none the less it is force, physical and material force.

It is based upon the doctrine that men at bottom are supremely selfish; that the theory of the brotherhood of man and the teachings of Christianity are after all nothing but beautiful pipe-dreams, having no foundation in fact. In militarism it is force and not love, that rules. Militarism has no faith in love, does not believe in self-sacrifice, and has no patience with the love of one man for another. It believes in none of these noble things and is therefore the great, if not the only, atheism. Militarism is

"The heathen heart that puts its trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
The valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not God to guard."

Militarism is the thing that begins with the hymn of hate and urging its devotees on to madness ends with the ruthless murder of helpless men, women and children.

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Wild Beast Loose

And now why are we going to war? Simply and solely because there is a wild beast that has broken loose in the neighborhood of nations, that must be caught and chained; because a crazy man of might has begun to run amuck in the world, who must be restrained. The fight we are going into I hope and trust is the last great fight we shall ever be called upon to wage. I believe that it is the last stand that despotism and autocracy will be able to make in the world. It is a contest in which the cap of liberty contends with the crown of tyranny and when it is all over I am sure that the sun of human brotherhood will rise serene and bright over the fields now blackened and blasted by the darkness of despotism.

For, strange as it may sound, this is a war against war, – it is a war waged to wipe the war-lords from off the face of the earth. It is to be fought for no private cause, for no particular people, for no one nation, but for humanity itself. For humanity and for a great principle. The principle that a man the world over shall love his neighbor and not lord it over him – that by this law alone shall he continue to live, for all other roads lead but to sure and certain death. It is "a great conflict between the old order of privilege and pride and the new order of service and co-operation."

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Democracy is Fraternity

It is autocracy against democracy. Autocracy means the rule of the Big I, of the Monarch, of the oneman-power. It is rule from the top down. Democracy is the rule of the people, of all the people, the great common people. It is rule from the bottom up. In its final analysis it means fraternity; government by friendship and brotherly love. It means the coming of the day so well pictured by Brother Robert Burns

"When man to man the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that!"

Humanity has declared that it will no longer be ruled by right of blood and birth, but only by virtue of worth and the will of the people, and that all over this broad earth national barriers shall be broken down and freedom and fraternity shall reign one and inseparable forever.

In going into the war then, we are but rallying to the clarion call of Brother Edwin Markham who cried:

"Come, clear the way, then, clear the way;
Blind creeds and kings have had their day.
Break the dead branches from the path:
Our hope is in the aftermath –
Our hope is in heroic men,
Star-led to build the world again.
To this Event the ages ran:
Make way for Brotherhood – make way for Man!"

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Mightier Than The Sword

Let us not fail to remember that in the settling of world conflicts there are forces mightier by far than those of arms. It is my profound conviction that the peaceful revolution that took place in Russia the other day will prove mightier by far than many marching hosts to put an end to the terrible tragedy raging in the world today.

There is another consolation. We shall at last have an opportunity to pay the debt which we have for so many years owed to the Republic of France. In my mind's eye I can see the spirit of Washington saying to the spirit of LaFayette – both good brother Masons – "At last, Marquis, my people, my children, are ready to pay the debt they have owed you for so many years."

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The President's Message

The other day the President of the United States delivered to the people his great war message – a great state paper that will live in history as long as human souls reach upward to the light and as long as human hearts hunger for freedom. Let us recall to mind some of his significant sayings which shine like stars of hope in a great darkness:

"Our object is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles. * * * The peace of the world is involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic governments backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their will – not by the will of their people. * * * The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.

"But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts – for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free."

These are great words from the leader of a great people. Let us render un'o them the tribute of respect they deserve.

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No Quarrel With German People

In that same great utterance he declared: "We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling toward them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their government acted in entering this war. It was not with their previous knowledge or approval." And right here let me say that there is not now and never has been in any sober, thinking American mind any question whatever about the absolute loyalty of our German-American citizens. Our German-Americans have pledged their word in loyalty to this country and whatever else may be said against the German, he always keeps his word.

We stand tonight at the threshold of what may prove to be a massive and terrible Castle of Horrors. There is nothing left for us to do but to march into this awful darkness and slowly and surely fight our way through to the light at the other end. As we begin this momentous enterprise we should prepare ourselves to face some of the dangers which we shall most surely meet upon the way.

First, there is the great danger of war graft. When a country carried away by a mighty flood of patriotism votes and sets aside millions of money for the defense of its institutions and the promotion of the great cause of humanity, that is the war grafter's and the crooked war contractor's harvest; that is when he gets busy.

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Graft is Treason

We should each and every one of us here tonight pledge ourselves that in the trying days that are to come we will not for a moment tolerate any such treason as that. History is full of it. It was only the other day that the newspapers exposed a terrible case of war graft in Austria. The crooked dealings of the war contractors of our civil war and of those who sold to the government poisoned food to be fed to the poor, weak, fever-ravaged boys in the typhoid camps in the Spanish-American war are historical scandals that we would fain forget but are forced to remember only too well.

Yet, even here there are some bright and shining clouds on the otherwise dark horizon, for I read in the paper this morning of the fact that a certain war manufacturer was told by our government to furnish a large order of war supplies at prices fixed by the government, far lower than the figures the manufacturer had submitted, and he was told that if the government's order was not obeyed the plant would be taken over and operated by the government.

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One Great Offer

But brighter still than all this and standing out against the background of graft like a gleaming torch comes the announcement that Bernard Baruch, commissioner for minerals of the national defense council, on behalf of the copper trust, has made to this government a voluntary offer of filling the government's brass requirements at the cost of production and without any profit to itself.

This is certainly great and glorious. It is really a genuine patriotism doing its perfect work. Yet in spite of this bright promise we should not for a moment relax our watchfulness for the presence of the burrowing rats of war graft. We must tear open their nests and destroy them wherever they may appear. Let us not forget that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Then there is another thing and that is the freedom of the press. I wish we might realize how hard, bitter and long continued the struggle was, which won for each one of us the right to freely and frankly speak out his opinion about the government and about governmental affairs. If we saw this clearly we would fight all the more jealously to guard the liberty of the press against invasion of its sacred rights.

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May Lose Liberty

When the days come when martial law is substituted for civil law there is always a great danger that the hard won liberties of the people will be sacrificed to the requirements of the war-god. There is always danger that when a vast military power is in dominance, the liberties of the people will suffer. We, the people, have a right to know what our government is doing, where it is doing it, and how it is doing it, and to know that the government servants are serving the people honestly, wisely and fearlessly.

We are willing to submit to a certain amount of reasonable regulation, but we are ready to die rather than to have our press put to silence. It was with a great joy that I read this morning the declaration of independence of such a great newspaper as the Chicago Tribune when speaking editorially upon this subject it said: "So far as the 'Tribune' is concerned it welcomes a sensible censorship, but law or no law, if the embalmed beef scandal is repeated in this war in which we are about to engage; if typhoid camps are erected again, and if men willing to sacrifice themselves for cause are sacrificed without cause, the facts will be told and the responsible editors will accept the penalty."

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Keep the Mind Clear

Let there be no clouds of confusion; no mists of misunderstanding as to why we are at war. Let us not forget that we never would have gone to war at all, had there been any clean, honorable way to keep out of it. It was not of our choosing. It was a thing we could neither help nor avoid. It has been thrust upon us. We have been forced as a last resort to the use of force because Militarism being mad, recognizes neither reason nor persuasion, knows nothing but force and will bow and yield to force and to force alone. Just there lies the great difference between Militarism and Democracy – Militarism eagerly flies to force first, for force is its god. But Democracy resorts to it last, and then only reluctantly, when all else has failed. Then comes the time when submission becomes a sin and non-resistance a crime, and we cannot endure to stand tamely by and see the stars and stripes trampled in the dust by despotism.

We have our work cut out for us, and dirty, disgusting work it may turn out to be. It is like some other nasty things in life which need doing but which no one likes to have to do. Yet we dare not shirk it – but must do it, and the sooner it's over and done, the better for us all.

Let us not forget that war-times too often turn out to be tyrant-times. That war, calling for absolute and unquestioning obedience, means the centralizing of tremendous power in the hands of a few. War is a terrible instrument. Fire itself is not more dangerous. So when this fire of war has done its awful work and the carrion has been consumed, let us see to it that the flames be swiftly smothered lest they spread to our own free institutions, and the temple of human freedom becomes itself but a heap of smoking ashes.

The very moment our force has done its fearful work we must curb it, choke it, chain it – turn quickly back to the powers of kindness and persuasion once more. If we will but do this our burden shall prove our blessing and the thanks and gratitude of coming generations shall be ours.

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Don't Be Hardened

Last but not least, there is the dangerous effect which war may have upon our own individual characters. Despite the horror and the carnage we may be compelled to pass through, let us do our level best not to get hardened toward the high and noble things of life. Let us be very careful that we do not let hate rage in our hearts and drive from our souls that precious love of humanity which alone makes life worth living.

For God's sake, no matter what comes let us not grow wild and savage and go back once more to the beasts. Let us maintain the upward and onward march of humanity. Let us control ourselves. Let us keep sane, keep sweet, keep great, and finally, when the awful struggle is over, let us be ready to forgive and quick to heal and bind up the wounds we may be compelled to inflict. Let us do our level best to see that the world is set free, to bring in the great day

"When the war drums beat no longer, And the battle-flags are furled In the parliament of man, The federation of the world."

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Prayer of Pike

Then shall we realize the prayer of our great prophet and leader, Albert Pike, soldier, statesman and philosopher, who prayed for the coming of the day "when all mankind shall be one great lodge of brethren and wars and persecutions shall be known no more forever !"

Then will appear that dawning of the better day for which we have all hoped and worked and suffered and longed and prayed – that day

"When the armies of earth are disbanded
And their trappings are coated with dust;
When the musket forever is silent,
And the cannon is cankered with rust;
When the sword and the helmet lie tarnished
'Mid the rubbish of pomp and display –
We shall wake to the glorious dawning
Of the promised Fraternal day.
And that day shall bring joy to the nations,
For the glow of its generous light
Shall invade the morasses of darkness
And dispel the miasmas of night.

Then the Empire of Right shall be founded,
And the sway of his scepter increase,
Till mankind shall stand shoulder to shoulder
In the ranks – not of war, but of peace.
And the thrones of oppression shall crumble
And the hearts of the tyrants shall quake;
And the haughty shall learn to be humble,
And the mighty their mockings forsake,
For the spirit of Truth shall reign o'er us
And Humanity's banner float free,
Till Fraternity's message is wafted
To the uttermost isles of the sea."

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~~ooOoo~~


MASONRY AND KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE

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

PART III.

Did the daily intercourse between the Jews as labourers, and the Tyrians as skilled architects bring about a fraternal union, culminating in the origin of Speculative Freemasonry ? This is a pointed question, which may fairly be put; but I submit that the reply can only be in the negative.

Some consider that during the period of the erection of Solomon's Temple and Palaces, that as the Jewish labourers were thrown into such close contact with the Tyrian stone-cutters, and hewers of the cedars of Lebanon, and that these latter had their association, or lodges so to speak, for the instruction of the workmen, and perfecting of the plans, that many of the Jews became members thereof and were thus made conversant with the Dionysian mysteries of initiation, and the peculiar doctrines inculcated in those Architectural Schools or Lodges.

Such a theory is possible, but I cannot agree with the theory that any such union as might thus have existed between the Jews and Tyrians must necessarily be the origin of speculative Masonry, on the ground that the purely heatheh skilled operative workman, combined with the Jewish labourers, worshippers of the God of Israel. For this to have been so, we must admit one of two things, either that all agreed to believe in the Tyrian mysteries of Adonis, or in Jehovah. At that period, no Universal Cosmopolitan School could have existed at Jerusalem and its vicinity. The belief only in a Grand Architect could not have been the compromise between Jew and Tyrian.

We learn that at a later period, the Jews who had gradually been forgetting their God, carried their apostacy to the extent of using Solomon's Temple for the worship of, and the celebration of the rites to the Tyrian Deity, Adonis: for on perusal of Ezekiel viii. chap., we find that Prophet, then a captive at Babylon with Daniel, and only a few years before the destruction of the temple, describes by way of a vision the practice at that time common at Jerusalem by those Jews left there under Zedekiah, tributary to Nebuchadnezzar, viz., "The women weeping for Thummez and the men with their faces to the East worshipping the sun," thus putting into practice the religious ceremonial of the Tyrians, – the women by their weeping for Thummez being indicative of their sorrow at the aphanism of Adonis, – and although the description is cut short by the Prophet, yet we know that to an aphanism, of necessity there must be the Heurisis, so we can picture the same women rejoicing at the recovery of Thummez or Adonis. All this is a beautiful allegory, but part and parcel of Tyrian worship of the "Sun."

Passing over the period of the captivity and their subsequent return and rebuilding of the Temple, and again starting from the period of Judas Maecabeus, B.C. 164, who reinstated the worship of the temple, we find reference made to the "Chasidim," a sect existing at Jerusalem, whose duty it was specially to preserve the ancient Jewish faith and worship intact from all innovations, to which sect is supposed to have subsequently merged into the Essenes, existing at the advent of Jesus Christ. Josephus first speaks of the Essenes as existing 166 years B. C. about the time of Jonathan Maccabeus, and later on in his history he makes mention of them as existing at subsequent periods.

The Essenes, as a sect, were soon lost sight of, as soon as they become converts to Christianity. St. John the Baptist is considered to have been a member. With their extinction ended the only Secret Society amongst the Jews on which the supporters of a Jewish origin have endeavoured to erect their theory.

Laurie, in his "History of Freemasonry," has endeavoured, to trace our order from the Essenes, because in some respects there may exist some similarity; but as at no period from the building of the Temple to the advent of Christ can any trace be found of Secret Associations amongst the Jews other than the Chasidim and Essenes already referred to, and as neither were in any way connected with architecture: – the one being a combination to preserve intact the Jewish Ritual of the temple, and the other for the rearing of flocks and growing of herbs for the mutual support of a Pastoral Secret Fraternity, – no other satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at, but that Brother Laurie's theory is untenable; for the similarity between the Essenes and Freemasonry is no more than that of Speculative Freemasonry of the 19th century, were its history to be written 1800 years hence, and then to be traced from, or as similar to the Good Templars, Odd Fellows, and such like Secret Associations of the present day.

The legitimate and intelligible origin of Freemasonry may safely be traced from the Ancient Building Fraternities of Syria, Egypt, Tyre, &c., thence into Greece, from which ancient Rome borrowed all the knowledge and wisdom of the East. We then take up the early Roman Colleges, which, having become Christianized, spread all over Europe, and having blended with the Germans on the one hand, and the Bysantium Monks on the other, culminated in the Ecclesiastical Architectural Associations of the middle ages, then into the German Building Gilds, whose regulations we have discovered in the Raliston and Torgau Constitutions, with which the English Constitutions agree very considerably. During the transition period, gradually there was an admission of the non-operative element, which revived the order from that state of almost total extinction brought about by the Reformation, and the thirty years' Continental War. Inigo Jones, in the early part, and Sir Christopher Wren, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, by the building operations of their respective periods throughout Great Britain, were the means of bringing to London and elsewhere architects from all parts of the Continent and Great Britain, but just so soon as the demand for the workmen ceased, so the operative lodges ceased also to meet, until we arrive at the year 1717, when, on the old operative system of Freemasonry, those great men and Masons, Desaguilers and Anderson, framed the system which we now practice as Speculative Freemasonry.

As Christianity is the direct descendant from Judaism, and it in turn from Patriarchal dispensation, so speculative Freemasonry is the direct descendant from the Operative Building Associations of the past, through all the varied changes to which they had been subject, but retaining from the time converted from Paganism these peculiar doctrines as to a future state, which we gather from the Great Light in Freemasonry – the Volume of the Sacred Law. Without entering on any detailed analysis of the several Mysteries of the past ages, suffice for us to recognize the mysteries of Syria, Egypt, Greece, Persia, Samathrace, Scandinavia and Rome, as all inculcating the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and in some a debasing idea of a future body.

Originating in Egypt with the rites of Osiris – that God, slain by Typhon, and his remains searched for by Isis; throughout Greece, by the rites of Dyonisus or Bacchus – He slain by the Titans, and searched for by Rhea: at Bybles, by rites of Adonis – He slain by the wild boar of Lebanon, and searched for by Venus: at Samathrace, as the Cabiric Mysteries – Cadmullus the youngest of the Cabiri, slain by his three brethren: in Persia, by the Sun God Mithras slaying a Bull, whose blood is licked up by a dog; and lastly, the Scandinavian in the legend of Balder's death, in their Triune system, taught as Odin, Thor and Balder.

The peculiarity of each and every one of the foregoing, was the Aphanism of the slain body of the Hero God, and the subsequent heurisis or resurrection of the same. Let it be granted, that in many, if not in all, the Legend was a symbolism, allegorical of the sun, in its Winter and Summer Solstices, yet those who have considered the subject, have always admitted that throughout all these Mysteries the Priests had in view, and so taught what they themselves believed in – The Immortality of the Soul.

"If, for example, we take up the Mysteries of Mithras we find that the candidate was made to personate a corpse, whose restoration to life dramatically represented the resurrection; these Persian Mysteries passed into Europe and were introduced at Rome, in the time of Pompey – where they flourished, until A. D. 378, when prohibited, the Sacred Cave was destroyed by the Pretorian Prefect." Commodus the Roman Emperor had been initiated into these Mysteries, and we learn from Lampridius, in his lives of the Emperors – "that during the Mithraic ceremonies, Commodus, in one of his mad freaks – where a certain thing was being done to inspire terror, polluted the rites by a real murder, from which expression, it is very clear, that part of the ceremonial of initiation formed a scenic representation of a fictitious death."

All these ancient Legends are of great interest to the Masonic Student, and cannot fail to educate him to a proper comprehension of the Mystery of the Master Degree. We have so far briefly considered the Eastern and Southern European Legends; and if we turn to the Gothic or Scandinavian, we find a similar Legend known as Balder's Death: and the great object of these Northern nations in their Mysteries, was to teach something exactly similar to that of the Egyptians, Greeks, Tyrians.

During the period that the religion of the Roman Empire was that of Paganism, these several Mysteries flourished, and were each practiced in Rome; but, as Paganism yielded to Christianity, so the ancient Builders or members of the Pagan Architectural Societies, who were chiefly Priests being Christianized, attached themselves to the Christian places of worship, as they had done to the Pagan. Christianity and its doctrines were openly taught, and the Mysteries then polluted and finally abolished. As these Christian Building Associations extended into Northern Europe, and as the several Germans and other Northern nations and tribes became incorporated into – first, the German and then the Carlovingian Empires; so the Germans, when Christianized, brought with them certain of their religious ceremonials which the Architectural Societies availed of – in addition to what they already possessed. Fort has most exhaustively and conclusively shown, that from the ancient German religious ceremonials, the Freemasons took much of that which today forms part of our Ritual.

These Christian Building Associations bent on promulgating the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body, with, on the one hand, the Southern, and, on the other, the Northern Legend, both having the same end in view, worked on the lines of the ancient institutions, as practiced in the Mysteries, by making a dramatical representation of the Heurisis succeeding to the Aphanism, form a principal part in Operative Freemasonry. The Benedictine Monks were principally the inhabitants of Northern Europe, and their ceremonial which ultimately formed the principal working of the German Stone Masons, is as like that of Freemasonry of today as it is possible for anything to be. If no other proof existed, this alone is enough to trace the connection and direct descent.

I will now read you the Constitution of the Roman Collegia Fabrorum, which became incorporated into the Monastic building associations, and if we now look at the ceremonial of the Benedictines, we cannot fail clearly to be satisfied as to the true origin of Freemasonry, and thus perceive how unreliable is the alleged Jewish or Solominic origin.

There is what is known as the Legend of the Craft. Thanks to the researches and careful compiling by Brother Hughan and others, we have had brought prominently before us several very old Masonic Mss. which profess to be the history of the craft from early ages, the principal are the Edwin, Halliwell, Alnwick, Harlem, Sloane, Kilwining, Lansdowne, York, and Dowland, of dates ranging between 926, 1390 and 1714. They are in essentials and in phraseology so very similar, although discovered at different periods and in various parts of England and Scotland, that it is very evident they are copies of an original, or have been committed to writing and printing by the Masons of the middle ages and by others just prior to the transition period. That the clergy originally framed these Mss. is evident from the fact that they all commenced with an invocation to the Holy Trinity. They all refer to the seven liberal arts and sciences, attributing their origin to Lamech's children, five of them refer to Abraham and his son as having visited Egypt, and that Abraham taught the seven sciences to Euclid, seven of them state that Solomon, son of David, sent after Masons of divers land and gathered them together, and was assisted by the King of another region named Hiram, and that he had a son who was chief master of all the works, his name is given differently, as Agnon, Dyan, Aynon, Amon, but never as Hiram Abiff, and in none of them is it said that he was slain, nor are Solomon and Hiram of Tyre stated to have been Masons, but in seven of them we do find this statement, "a certain Mason named Maynus Grecus, who had been at the making of King Solomon's temple came into France, and taught the craft of Masonry to men of France and to their King Charles Martel who gave them a charter," this King's name is given as Charles Marshall, Charles Martelle, Charles Martle, and the Masons name as Minus Grecus, Namus Grecus, Nymas Groccus.

Charles Martell, whose name thus appears in all the Mss., was evidently held in great esteem by the clerical builders, for he laid those foundations on which his grandson Charlemagne built so successfully in extending Christianity and civilization through Saxony. We note the gross error in chronology in making Maynus Gracus contemporary with Solomon, but these old manuscripts supply us with the origin of the introduction of Solomon's name and the temple into the system of Freemasonry, and we see clearly that to the Christian clerical builders, those of the Romish Church are to be indebted for so important a symbol. The individual Maynus Groccus means Minus the Grecian, a skilled architect who had been induced to leave Bysantium for France; and, if the statement that Maynus the Grecian, was present at the building of King Solomon's temple be taken only as an allegorical expression, it becomes intelligible, and we have the application as follows. The Building Associations had introduced the dramatical representation of death and resurrection founded on the ancient mystical legends already referred to; the clergy were answerable for and are to be credited with, having availed of Solomon's Temple and of Hiram the builder; the latter to take the place of Osiris, Adonis, Balder, and this Minus Grecus who is stated to have been at the building of Solomon's Temple, (the symbolical temple, which even at that early period formed part of the system of Freemasonry,) was a master in the peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory, illustrated by symbols, and in search after Divine truth as practiced by and taught in the Building Associations. The seven liberal arts and sciences. metaphysically considered the paths of learning and divided into Trivium and Quadrivium were also known to, and extensively practiced by the Saracens in Spain; and therefore when the Architectural Associations controlled by the clergy made them part of the curriculum of the apprentices, and that the doctrines to be held by the entire craft should be those of Christianity, we find the Saracenic Seminaries of Learning, with the irreligious creed of Mahomet and his repulsive dogmas as to the future state, pitted against the Christian Building Associations and their doctrine of the Resurrection as taught by them. Charles Martell's victory at Poictiers over the Saracens, brings forcibly before us the moment when, in Europe, Christianity fought for mere existence with the creed of Mahomet; and as Masons, we of today, when carefully studying those ancient manuscripts, with the aid of contemporary events, can reconcile the veneration in which Charles Martell was held by our ancient clerical Brethren.

We have observed that it was the clergy who originally introduced the temple and King Solomon's name into the symbolism of Freemasonry, and we can with safety fix the earliest period as that of Charles Martell's rule. Owing to the action of Leo, the Isanrian, and many of his successors of the Bysantium or Eastern throne, contemporary with Charles Martell, Pepin and Charlemagne of the Western Empire, the controversy as to image worship was carried to such an extent, that at first, France and the Italian States were overrun with the Monks from Constantinople and elsewhere, who would not yield to the views of the Iconoclasts, and I submit this is the period when the Scriptural Hiramic legend may fairly be considered to have been first introduced into the Clerical Architectural Associations.

But at a later period of the history of our Order it was found necessary from force of circumstances to revive and bring most prominently into the lodge ceremonials, the dramatic Heurisis and Aphanism. "When the Orthodox Church was at the very height of its glory, and Papacy in the very plentitude of its power, and the Corporation of Architects in their very fullest splendour, their ranks were considerably increased by the entry into Europe from the Island of Ceos of the descendants of those Dyonisiac builders, whom B.C. 800 the Kings of Pergamos had incorporated there, specially to preserve and perpetuate certain mysteries connected with their art." These architects entered Europe as Pagans, for if we except the short period when Julian the apostate re-established Paganism, we find Ceos as the only stronghold of the ancient mysteries in Southern Europe, when for centuries Paganism had yielded to Christianity. These Pagan builders brought with them their rites of initiation after the mysteries of Bacchus, for them to be of substantial service to the church in the erection of cathedrals and churches, it was necessary that they should become Christians, and this brings us face to face with a state of affairs in Medieval Masonic History, as follows: – The dramatic representation teaching the resurrection of the body had fallen, it is supposed into disuse; the church in her services was able alone to propagate such a dogma, all the builders being Christians; but as soon as the Pagan Element presented itself, the Ecclesiastics, so as to meet the prejudices and the customs of these Dyonisiac builders, as far as could be reconcilable with Christianity restored again the dramatic ceremonial, availed again of the scriptural structure, Solomon's Temple, the Biblical Artist, Hiram Abiff, and thus the clerics once more brought prominently forward the Legend of Hiram's death and the restoration of his body; when we consider that the clerical builders about the time of Charles Martell with the Legend of Osiris, Adonis, etc., from the South, and the Scandinavian legend of Balder's death from the North, had used the same as the basis on which to teach the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body, we must not forget that at this medieval period there was the second adaption of the same ceremonial by the same Romish Church through its handmaid Freemasonry; but as time rolled on, and those who originally had come from Ceos died, and individual prejudices had no longer to be consulted, the dramatic ceremonial again fell in disuse. We find nothing of it as time advanced and Architectural Seminaries declined, until the Transition Period, the 17th century, paved the way for that Grand Revival of 1717. Our masters' degree, as we have it, and its sublime ceremonial, belongs to the 18th and 19th centuries, and demands separate consideration.

That the Hiramic Legend is neither as ancient as King Solomon's Temple, nor as modern as the Revival period of 1717, has, I think, been clearly established. We have ascertained the intermediate period; but this not in a dogmatic manner; but supported by very creditable circumstantial evidence, in the absence of direct ritual knowledge. The legend hangs on the central and important point, death and resurrection. The Mithraic Monuments and Medallions, still extant in the European Museums, bring to our view such a scenic representation. Woodford tells us "that the Legend of the 3rd degree was of very ancient usage amongst the Operative Masons, and that years ago he saw an old operative lodge token or seal of the 14th century, which referred to Hiram Abiff, in an unmistakable way, and he never could and could not now understand why there should be any question as to the possibility or probability of the preservation of such a special and distinct legend." Let us fix its introduction at the very earliest – A. D. 730 in Charles Martell's time; here we have after 600 years, its preservation amongst the operatives by means of a lodge token.  That Solomon's Temple and King Solomon, as connected with Freemasonry, is neither as ancient as the Temple Period, nor as modern as the 18th century, is proven to us by the medieval reference thereto, by a secret society which flourished in France during the middle ages, and which borrowed then much from the operative, as today the Good Templars, Odd Fellows, Foresters etc., borrow from Speculative Freemasonry.

During the 13th century, there existed a large number of Lay Master Builders, who having been trained by the clerics and possessed of the arcane secrets of architecture, separated from the Monasteries, bound themselves closely together as members of an Universal Architectural Association retaining the Legend, Symbols, Doctrines and Ritual which the clerics had used and taught. This separation caused the first blow to the Monastic Association of Architects. The Lay Builders, although thus independent, were still protected by the Romish Church.

The fraternity thus unfettered, some members peculiarly qualified for that special style of architecture, combined under the name of Polites and devoted themselves exclusively to the construction of bridges and fortresses. They retained their decided religious character and symbolic mode of instruction.

During the 12th century, there sprang up into existence, only in France – and remained only as an institution of that country, a combination of all the gilds or trades for mutual protection, and known as "The Compagnions de LaTour"; to this association belonged individual Masons of the separate lay and clerical fraternities: and as such individuals carried with them the Legend: &c., known by them as Freemasons – we can, thus readily, trace the introduction of the same, amongst the Compagnions de LaTour and, although we do not possess legitimate Masonic documentary evidence of that period – we have the direct information afforded by the Compagnions de LaTour, as to the application of Solomon's Temple. At first this Society made use of the Temple Legend, and its members styled themselves, Children of Solomon. Owing to internal dissensions and jealousies, they became split up into two more Societies – each taking a name from its separate leader. Becoming in time irreconcilable enemies, and having lost the membership of the Freemasons of the lay and clerical divisions, for discord and hatred was then, as now, contrary to the principles inculcated by the ancient Masonic charges which they retained: these two societies lost the support of the church, whilst, at the same time, the church extended its protection as heretofore, to the Freemasons. "Francis I., by a decree, interdicted them from binding themselves by an oath, or of assembling in a greater number than five. And in the next century, the faculty of Theology in Paris, condemned their mystical practices as most impious."

Thus, when it is asserted that Freemasonry of the Middle Ages was opposed both by Church and State, we know such to be false, and caused by its calumniators not having taken the care to discriminate between Freemasonry and associations, such as the Compagnions de LaTour.

Mackey, in his researches, has brought to light the protection afforded the Freemasons by the Romish Church. He tells us – "That in one of the Papal decrees, the Supreme Pontiff stated that these regulations have been made after the example of Hiram, King of Tyre, when he sent artisans to King Solomon for the purpose of building the temple at Jerusalem."

We have considered the Ancient Mysteries to as late as the period of their Abolition. We have not lost sight of the German Mysteries. We have glanced at that period when the Clerical Builders introduced the Temple Symbolism, and if we recollect that Freemasonry of the 19th century inculcates the two-fold doctrine. the Resurrection of the Body and the Immortality of the Soul, we must admit that between the one extreme and the other, after a lapse of 3000 years from their institution and 1400 years from the time Theodosius prohibited the Mysteries throughout the Roman Empire, (A. D. 438), there does exist a close affinity as to the doctrine to be taught – the lesson inculcated by the like symbolism- -and substantially the same scenic representations – not because necessarily, Freemasonry is a lineally descendant of the Ancient Mysteries, but as a great Masonic writer (Mackey) aptly puts it – "Because at all times there has been a proneness in the human heart, to nourish the belief in a future state, and to clothe that belief in a symbolic dress."

I submit this Paper for your consideration, and 1 have endeavoured from Scriptural, Masonic, and Secular History, to point out the true Source of the Temple Symbolism; and I hope I have succeeded in clearly showing that our Jewish Brethren cannot in any way accord the origin of Freemasonry to their ancestors of any period, either in Masonic or Scriptural History.

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THE SKEPTIC AND THE TWO SILENCES [A Poem]

From out of the part to the mystery of the whole,
Whence to whither cries the human soul –
An anguish pleads – A goal! A goal!

From out of the silence before the womb,
Aye, out of the silence to the gloomy tomb –
An anguish asks – My doom ! My doom !

From out of pigmy thought of a pigmy brain,
Out of the silence doth the mind writhe and strain –
An anguish says – Refrain ! Refrain !

From out of the silence of a Celestial hope,
Vain, faulty man doth plead and grope –
An anguish cries – Hope, only Hope!

Enfinale, – Mind when stripped of the coward's dower,
Falls prone to fact – to nature's grandest flower –
Man's purpose is Will, end is Power!
– W. Wilkinson Wait.

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CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN – No. 9

DEVOTED TO THE "STUDY SIDE OF MASONRY"
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg

(Note: The following article is one of a series prepared by Brother Robert I. Clegg for reading and discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs. This series is based upon the N. M. R. S. "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" and consists of a leading article each month by Brother Clegg to which is appended a list of references pertaining to the same subject from which the members of the Lodges and Study Clubs adopting our Course of Study may prepare additional papers for reading and discussion at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is used.

We recommend that the Lodges and Study Clubs use the current paper at their study meeting one month later than its appearance in the CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN to give their members time for the preparation of additional papers.

Members of the N. M. R. S. living in communities where the "Systematic Study of Masonry" has not been taken up either in their Lodge or in a Study Club are earnestly invited to correspond with the Secretary's office and learn how easily the plan may be put into operation in their own community.

The plan may be taken up at any stage of the Course. It is not necessary to start with the first installment of the series. The course is based upon a few books – Mackey's Encyclopedia and the Bound Volumes of THE BUILDER – in order that Lodges and Study Clubs may enter upon the work systematically, and at the least possible expense.

Interested Masons are requested to write us for information. Our "STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is organized for the purpose of assisting in the organization and conduct of the study of Masonry in Study Clubs or as a long-neglected but necessary feature in monthly Lodge meetings.)

THE WORK OF A LODGE – RECOGNITION AND INSTRUCTION

By Bro. R.I. Clegg

It is a common saying that some person or another is on the "inside." We mean that he is informed of whatever is going on. Whatever the business may be it is known by the one on the "inside." If on the other hand we say of any person that he is on the "outs" with anybody we mean at least the very opposite of what is understood by being on the "inside."

Esoteric And Exoteric Masonry

There is just about the same degree of difference between being on the "inside" and being on the "outs" as there is between Esoteric and Exoteric Masonry. In fact the two words are derived from the Greek language and mean nothing more than "Internal" and "External" Masonry, and are related to each other as the flesh and the rind of any fruit, the combination making up what is known to us under the general name of Masonry.

We are told that the early teachers of philosophy divided their courses of instruction into what was taught to the few and what was imparted to the many. Their followers were divided therefore into two classes according to the degree of initiation they had reached. In the primary stages they received what was practically public knowledge but later on they got an advanced education.

Of such was said to be the system of Pythagoras and he in turn is asserted to have taken it from the practice of the priests of Egypt whose instruction was twofold, the one given to the people in general and the other limited to the inner circle of the priesthood and those persons holding royal office or in line for such positions. The ancient teachers of Greece used the same method, a popular discussion for the people in general and a thorough and intimate explanation for the enlightened few who were esteemed worthy of more than elementary information.

From these old customs we Masons have inherited two channels of instruction, the esoteric and the exoteric. The one relates to such of our ceremonies as are of necessity withheld from the public, the other pertains to such matters as may be disclosed. For instance the method of initiating, passing and raising, is esoteric but the laying of a cornerstone is exoteric. Instructions to the initiates whereby they may become known to Masons as Masons are for obvious reasons esoteric, but the general code of laws is exoteric. Much that is taught is transmitted from mouth to ear only and this part of the "ritual" or "work" is esoteric, but there is considerable printed information also and this is of course exoteric.


ORAL INSTRUCTION

Masons are familiar with the way the details of the work are given and received. Word by word the secrets are handed on from the expert to the candidate. Given in this way they make a deep and lasting imprint upon the memory. Nay more, they make an evident impression upon the speakers themselves that is not always fully understood. Have you not often seen a brother read a thing many and many a time but seldom does he do it twice alike ? Now and again he stumbles over a word that never before had troubled him. In fact he must read carefully with his eyes closely attached to the book or he goes astray. But note the "work" which he has got from an able instructor or from intimate study of the way the ritual is rendered. This has sunk into the mind and is a part of the brother.

The true Mason needs no changing passwords to protect his lodge door, his knowledge is as himself. Not a garment easily dropped from the wearer's body but indeed it is as his own flesh and blood, his very bone and sinew. So near truly is Masonry to the Mason when taught orally and well, from the mouth of the well-informed to the listening ear of the receptive and intelligent.

We are also reminded by the oral method of communication of that early time when books were few if not indeed unknown. Then the memory was charged with holding the tenets of faith and the foundations of philosophy. Here we see the real necessity for a thorough symbolism if only as a means of helping the memory. A symbol properly understood was as a page in a book, full of wisdom for those holding the key and fully informed.

As the example of a loving mother lives in the child whose eyes follow her in early training so does the sound of the instructive tongue beget habits for good when Masonically heard. How important it is that all Masonic work be well done, with all the effort of goodwill energized by devotion. Prayerful is all Masonic labor.

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Modes Of Recognition

One of the oldest forms of recognition is that common between soldiers where there is the exchange of a sign and a countersign, the latter answering the former and thereupon the two persons, the one the challenger and the other the challenged, satisfy each other of their identities and standing. Signs to confirm the understanding and to satisfy the doubtful are old as Holy Writ. Back in the Old Testament is the rainbow of promise; that the Lord was with Israel is shown by the calamities that befell the Egyptians; Gideon asked and received a sign, and to confirm the message of Samuel signs were afforded Saul. Profane history likewise abounds with customs and incidents that by sign or word show how from the one person to another there can be an open expression conveying a message as if by words.

Here and there in what remains to us of the ancient mysteries, the primitive Freemasonry, there are glints of light telling plainly of the sign language. One of the old writers tells in fact that if there be anyone present who has been initiated as was he, and will give the sign, he would be told what had been kept as a secret. And in another place he told of one who walked with a hesitating step whereby those who knew the sign could recognize him.

Of such indeed are born the ages-old signs that lock in secrecy the doings of Masonry and the meetings of Masons.

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Test And Test Oaths

Visitors to Masonic lodges must be prepared to undergo a thorough examination of their claims. Some Grand Lodges require that at the examination the visitor shall produce some evidence that the lodge from which he hails is in good and regular standing as well as himself. Such evidence is usually documentary in the form of a Grand Lodge certificate signed by the Grand Secretary to the effect that such and such a lodge has been duly constituted and so remains upon the roster of regular lodges. A certificate that the visitor himself has been properly initiated, passed and raised, is often attached to the former document though it is sometimes found detached. A receipt for the current dues is also to be expected if it is intended to ascertain whether the visitor can show on paper at least whether he remains free of all debts and claims up to date.

Before going further, and it may be before going quite so far, a test oath is administered to the visitor in which he asserts that he is all that he ought to be. A series of questions are then asked of him and upon the degree of satisfaction given the examining committee depends the visitor's admission or exclusion from that lodge.

Some curious instances are easily recalled as to the practice followed in various lodges. A Past Master visiting one lodge was long and critically examined in each and every detail of the "work." So long and searching was the test that he inwardly chafed over what seemed clearly to him a very grave doubt of his good faith and his regular standing. But at length one other member of the committee interfered with the assertion that he was satisfied and he could see no reason for this minute probing into every petty peculiarity known to the visiting brother. "But," said the examiner, "I never before had the chance to find out all about the work of the State from which he comes!" In this case he was not finding out whether the visitor was a Mason. That was not his main object. He was curious but not courteous.

Another equally unpardonable error was the case of a visitor who reported that his examination was so delayed before it begun and so slow before it concluded that it actually overtook the closing of the lodge, the committee and the visitor being surprised at their labors by the retiring brethren.  Cases are not rare where brethren have actually been timid at undergoing what is sometimes an ordeal far from comfortable. One traveling man for years visited no lodges because owing to his information that all lodges were very strict, and owing too to the fact that he left his home town immediately after receiving his degrees, he fully realized his shortcomings, and therefore had not the temerity to venture upon an examination. In one town he met an old friend who invited him to go to lodge with him. He protested his ignorance but was persuaded to go. He actually showed up well at his examination and was encouraged to make a confidant of the investigating committee, one of whom spent an hour or so in further instructing him. He was very grateful and left with happy anticipations of many future evenings with the brethren in the towns along his route.

The committee have every right to thoroughly satisfy themselves that the visitor is fully qualified from all Masonic points of view. He is not entitled to the benefit of any doubt. It is indeed far better that ten good Masons are forbidden to enter than that one unworthy applicant is allowed admittance.

But the visitor is entitled to a kindly examination, a patient hearing at the very least. He should receive no help in the essentials a Mason should know but it is well for the Committee to remember that the best of men do err and the wisest go astray. He who has lost a tight rein upon Masonic memories for phrase and word accuracy may yet be keen enough in his recollections of what took place. Facts stick closer than mere phrases. When the visitor fails on phrases he should be thoroughly tried otherwise before rejection.

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Monitors

The Monitor is a book of instruction for the Mason. As usually printed it contains such ceremonies as these approved for the conduct of funerals. Sometimes the work also contains regulations of one kind and another and there may further be brief historical data. From the eighteenth century to the present time very many of these useful guides for the craft have been prepared. They have a very close family resemblance and are familiar to all Masons.

The authors of these books have had the difficult task of preparing material to be readily memorized and at the same time complete. Thus on the one side beset by the necessity for brevity and on the other side anxious for thoroughness, the choice has been troublesome. A comparison of the various monitors shows that the "charges" for each of the three degrees are nearest akin, there being little or no variation among those examined. The funeral service is an easy second to the charges. In general it may be said that the changes are in the way of additions. Many of these are bracketed where the improving hand of the compiler had inserted here and there some extension of the original thought. Perhaps the greatest latitude is in what is known as the "Apron Lecture." Of these there are many in prose and verse. Few if any of the latter find their way into the standard monitors though not without much merit in several instances.

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Healing

"Healing" is a Masonic word meaning to legalize. If for any reason a person has irregularly received a degree then he must be healed in some way approved by competent authority. Of course a person receiving a part in some ceremony performed in a body without due authority, as in a spurious or clandestine organization claiming to be a lodge, is much worse off than he who has by some mere technical blunder fallen short of full legal requirements in getting a degree. In the latter case the trouble might be perhaps easily enough corrected by giving the candidate an obligation to cover the point in question, a pledge of faithfulness being perhaps all that would be necessary. But in the other case the ceremony is surely void and worthless, the only likely course would be to formally renounce the condition set up by the ceremony and then in a regular lodge receive the degree in due form. This would be done under the direction of the authorized persons designated for that purpose by the Grand Lodge. While it is true that the candidate may have been innocent enough in his intentions such cases are always to be handled carefully and no step should be taken that will not in every way meet the scrutiny of the Masonic authorities. It is better to be sure than sorry.

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Grand Honors

Long ago there were two methods of giving the Grand Honors, one being reserved for the lodge room and the other for use in public. Both of these are of recent years seen at public ceremonies, in fact the old public sign seems to be gradually edged out of the way by the one so long given privately.

Of the one form of Grand Honors common to the lodge room nothing need be said. It is too well known for description. Of the other it is enough to remind the reader that it closely resembles the sign given in the funeral ceremony. The arms are crossed on the breast, the left uppermost, and the open palms of the hands sharply striking the shoulders. The hands are then raised above the head and the palms strike each other. Then the arms are brought quickly down and the hands strike the thighs. This is done three times. It will be recalled that the difference between this "three times three" and that of the funeral ceremony is that the hands in the latter instance are not brought together noisily. Grand Honors will be found to differ in the various Jurisdictions. These of course refer to my own home State of Ohio.

Here it may be said that while with us the common expression of applause is the clapping of the hands, yet there are Masonic bodies elsewhere where we are told the usual sound of approval is the striking of the hand on the knee.

And here too may be mentioned the curious Masonic drinking customs that to our English brethren are esoteric. The glass is held while certain familiar Masonic signs of the first degree are made as well as they can be under the circumstances and there is also the inevitable three times three.

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Impostors

What has been said of the tests of Masonry apply to the treatment of imposture. From the earliest time the brethren have been warned of impostors and as the old Constitutions tell us "You are cautiously to examine a strange brother in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and derision, and beware of giving him any hints of knowledge." Such was the practice in 1723 and it is a wise rule to follow at the present day.

Impostors may be those who never received the work regularly. This class of pretenders is as a rule handled easiest. Another and more dangerous fraud is the expelled person who was once in good standing. He is the one who has forgotten his papers or he has some to which he has no valid claim or right. Several of the larger cities have been victimized to the extent that this practice is no longer profitable but the old game is still heard of from time to time and the pests persist. These parasites should not be encouraged by silent submission.

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Cowan

The dictionaries fail us at this word. All sorts of sources and meanings have been applied to it. It is purely Masonic and of an age overlapping several centuries. Probably the most pertinent of meanings is that of an "intruder." It certainly alludes to one outside the pale of the craft, one classed with eavesdroppers and spies, unauthorized and unwelcome. Mackey has collected many promising allusions but the probability is that like many other evidences of age to be found in our ceremonies this old-time word has been retained by the Craft when it has ceased to possess its grip upon popular use. It is one more link that binds us to the far remote past.

REFERENCES Mackey's Encyclopedia: Look up subjects under same title as sub-titles in above article. The Builder: Masonic Signs, Vol. II, p. 253. Method of Instruction in Ireland, Vol. II, p. 8. Oaths, Vol. II, Dec. C. C. B. p. 2 and pps. 94, 190 and 348. Cowan. (See following article.)

Cowan

The craft was divided into several ranks or divisions in the old Trade Incorporations. There were several classes of members. The distinctions thus made appear hitherto to have been only partially understood, and the light thrown upon them by the Minutes before us is both interesting and important. The building trade permits of specialization – indeed, good workmanship almost demands it, – and the classification in olden times is still to a large extent the classification adopted by the division of labour of the present day.

In respect of the work itself there were the quarrier, the waller or rough mason, the hewer, and the builder, and any workman might devote himself to one or other of these as divisions of the trade of construction in stone. Theoretically it was possible to have a guild or fraternity for each, but practically the quarrier and rough mason were looked upon as the labouring class, while the builder and especially the hewer were looked upon as the skilled artisans, and in more intimate relation to the designer or architect, whose sphere they frequently trenched upon and occupied.

The hewer and builder were both masons par excellence, though the hewer was specially the freemason "lathomos vocatos ffre maceons" in contrast to "lathomos vocatos ligiers" (1396 vide Bro. Rylands in Masonic Magazine, 1882). The English statute of 1459, II. Henry VIII., C. XXII., shews that the rough mason or waller or builder with unhewn stone and without lime, i. e., the Scottish cowan, was a lower class tradesman according to the wages then fixed. This is borne out by the English statutes 7 Henry VIII. C, V. 1515, and 2 and 3 Ed. VI. 1548.

It is abundantly evident that this word cowan, or cowaner, like most of the operative terms in masonry, is of Scottish origin. Scotland is naturally a land of stone building, and it need not be a matter of surprise that the employment of cowans was more frequent in the Burgh of Canongate than the Burgh of Edinburgh. The latter was a walled city. The former was a suburban community. The latter delighted in closely huddled together houses and tenements. The former was a wide area of houses with gardens and cultivated ground attached. It was evidently in the former that the drystone dyker and rough stone mason would be most in demand. The earliest use of the word cowan in English masonry, operative or speculative, appears to be in the Second Edition, 1738, of the Book of Constitutions. It is possible that the equivalent in the MS. Constitutions or elsewhere was layer or lowen, but this line of enquiry has not been pursued.

The truth is that the word is an exact parallel in use and an antithesis in meaning to "square." Square is an adjective, verb and noun, and the person who makes a thing square can be called a squarer. Cowan means round or hollow as an adjective, a hollow or something hollow as a noun, and a cowaner is the hollow builder or the man who uses round unsquared stones for building purposes, whether walls or huts. In the west of Scotland the word has received a collateral meaning colloquially in being applied to large hollow fishing boats. Thus: – "When the Earl (Argyll) came to Allangreg in this critical juncture he resolved to man out four prizes he had got to sea and thirty cowans or fisher boats" etc. (Woodrow's Hist. ii. 535.)

I have Professor Mackinnon's authority for saying that "The word caban, later caban, is a well established word in Gaelic literature with the meaning hollow, crevice, etc. In dialect the sound easily becomes cobhan, co'an, the first a being short. In Gaelic 'air,' like the English 'er,' indicates a personal agent, so that cowaner is thus a very natural phrase for a hollow builder or drystone diker." In Welsh the word takes the form of cwm, a combe or dingle. There are several places in Dumfriesshire and Galloway called cowan, caven and cavens. In Ireland there is County Cavan. The original stem is Ku, to contain, whence come the Latin cavea, and the English cave, Cam referring to a curved wheel, Camber a curved surface, cameo, camera, and a whole host of words relating to curvature or hollowness. – Bro. Alfred A. Arbuthnot Murray in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol XXI.

"Cowan was used in Scottish masonry at a very early epoch to signify a mason without the word, and it was imported to English masonry apparently by Dr. Anderson in 1723 or later." – Vibert, p. 11.

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Notice To All Study Groups

As it is the custom with nearly all Lodges throughout the United States and Canada to "call off" during the months of July and August, it has been deemed advisable for this reason to discontinue the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin" in the July and August issues of THE BUILDER. By so doing we shall not run ahead of the Lodges and Study Clubs who are using the "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" and they will be enabled to take up their studies in September just where they now leave them off.

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Continued in Part 2



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

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