The Builder Magazine

September 1917 – Volume III – Number 9


Part 1

Continued in Part 2

.xx Next Month: October 1917
Previous Month: August 1917www General Index

Table of Contents


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

At the public ceremonies preliminary to the opening of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the British, French and American flags were each presented by a girl dressed in the white nurses uniform of the Red Cross. When the British flag was borne down the aisle to the stage the quartet sang "Rule Britannia" and the flag was received and welcomed by the speaker with these words:


MOST Worshipful Grand Master, Mr. Chairman, my Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen: As Masons we have often been taught that Masonry is the science of symbols. Flags are either intensely symbolical or they have no significance at all. It is natural therefore that Masons should take a keen interest in flags.

This is the flag that is best known as the "Union Jack." It is called this because it symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. As you will see, it consists of a blue field across which there are laid three crosses, a red one running straight across and up and down, and a white one and a red one which run crossways from corner to corner. These are the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick, St. George being the patron saint of England, St. Andrew the tutelary saint of Scotland, and St. Patrick the well beloved saint of Ireland.

The banner of St. George was a red cross laid perpendicularly across a white field. We can all recall the famous legend of St. George and the dragon, how the beautiful daughter of the King of On was rescued from the flaming jaws of the dragon who threatened to devour her. Today in France the sons of St. George are freely offering up their lives to rescue God's beautiful daughter Liberty from the all-devouring jaws of the dragon of militarism.

The banner of St. Andrew consisted of a white cross laid diagonally upon a blue field. It has a special meaning for Masons, for in the early days it was the banner of the craftsmen and King James the Sixth was heard to say, that whenever he attempted to impose upon these sturdy workmen the smallest burden, they arose in their wrath and hoisted "their bloody blue blanket" and resisted him. This banner had painted upon it a thistle and round about it the motto, "Nemo me impune lacessit." This, my brethren, is a latin phrase which being interpreted meaneth, "Nobody monkeys with me without getting stung," and the sons of Scotland fighting today Somewhere In France are proving to the enemy how sharply this thistle can sting.

The banner of St. Patrick consisted of a red cross stretched diagonally across a white field. We are told that St. Patrick was especially beloved because he drove the snakes out of Ireland. I sometimes suspect, however, that their real reason for leaving was that they could hardly stomach the music by the Kilkenny cats of whom the poet tells us,

"There were two cats of Kilkenny,
They fought and they fit,
They scratched and they bit,
Until instead of two cats of Kilkenny
There wasn't any."

Be this as it may, it is nevertheless sure that the sons of the old sod are today proving to the Prussians that the Kilkenny cats could take lessons from their Irish masters when it comes to fighting.

Taken all together, the three crosses go to make up the Union Jack, the banner of our ancient enemy, John Bull. You know that in the old days we were forced to teach him a couple of lessons in human liberty, forced to make him understand that we would neither endure taxation without representation, nor permit him to impress free-born American seamen upon the high seas, and to make him learn this lesson we had to larrup him twice, once by land and once by sea. But that was a long time ago and for over a hundred years now he has been our good neighbour on the North and we have lived side by side with him for over a century with never a soldier or a fort needed to maintain peace between us.

This is the flag of the land which gave Masonry her birth. It is the banner of the country which produced the greatest system of human law known to man – at once the wisest and fairest, the safest and squarest system of free self control that has ever blessed a troubled world. This is the national emblem of the people who speak our mother tongue and for that reason we can know and understand them a little bit better than any other people on the earth.

We used to think and feel that while England loved liberty for herself she was not quite so ready to grant it to others. But we have seen her heart undergo a wonderful change – have seen the soul of the great Britain people rise and shake off its selfishness and offer itself as a sacrifice for the suffering and the oppressed of the world. If Britain was ever beset with the greed of conquest she surely has shriven her soul by the great sacrifice made by her sons in behalf of poor, broken, bleeding Belgium and we are now ready to believe that with her whole heart and soul she loves liberty for her own sweet sake, and that when she proudly declares that "Britons never, never, never will be slaves" she means that slavery shall exist nowhere in the world and so we are glad to welcome here today the proud banner of Britain, fold it to our hearts, and wave it aloft alongside the Stars and Stripes.


(Then the National flag of France was borne to the stage and the quartet sang the Marsellaise and the speaker welcomed it by saying:)

This, my brethren, is the tri-color, the tried colors of the sunny land of France. It is the flag of our sister Republic, the standard of a great, cheery, laughing, sunny-souled and happy-hearted people, and if there is a flag on the face of the earth to which the American soul is irresistibly drawn with a tingling thrill, it is this beautiful banner of France. How well our own song of the Red, White and Blue would fit this fine flag. Let us give three cheers for this Red, White and Blue !

(Whereupon the great audience arose to their feet and roared out a cheer that seemed to rock the building on its foundations.)

This is the banner that has proved to the world that a people can be free and still not lose its power of fighting. Just think of the magnificent resistance that this free people has made against the most powerful, most magnificently organized and perfectly operating Or as it fighting machine the world has ever seen. Under the leadership of old Papa Joffre, the General Grant of France, they have fought this military machine to a stand-still and are making its wheels grind backward. At last, my brethren, we have an opportunity of paying the debt we have so long owed to Rochambeau and Lafayette and we were sodden ingrates indeed did we not respond to the call of our ancient friends who have so freely poured out floods of their patriotic blood upon the sacred altar of liberty. Verily, it takes a free people to know the heart of a free people, and if there is a land in the world to which our hearts go out in its hour of trial, it is this dearly beloved land of France, the land that was so true and helpful to us in our own hour of crying need.

The other day in addressing the Chamber of Deputies, Monsieur Ribot, the President of the Council, speaking of us to his people, said that by taking part in this war for human liberty we had proven ourselves faithful to the traditions of the founders of our independence and had demonstrated that the enormous rise of our industrial strength and economic and financial power had not weakened in us that need for an ideal without which there could be no great nation. He further declared that the powerful and decisive aid which the United States had thus brought to France was not only a material aid but was more than all else a moral aid and a real consolation in their hour of heavy affliction. Let us here highly resolve that we will prove ourselves true to the faith our French brothers have in us.


(Then the Stars and Stripes were carried to the stage, the audience standing upon their feet and singing the "Star Spangled Banner." When the flag was placed in the hands of the speaker, he said:)

This is Old Glory, my flag and your flag. If there ever was a flag about which an American ought to be able to speak freely, fluently, and with great force, it surely is the Stars and Stripes. But alas, on this occasion I feel as though human speech were far too frail, poor and weak a thing to tell of the thoughts that fill the mind and the feelings that thrill the soul. This is one of the times when words seem absolutely worthless. This is the flag which the poet spoke of when he sang:

"When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there!
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light.
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land."

Unequal as I am to the occasion I yet must try to tell what this banner means for us as

"Blue and crimson and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped ordered lines "

Or as it

"Catches the gleam of the morning's first beam
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream"

even if I call to my help the words of others to tell the story. This is the flag that speaks to us of

"Sea fights and land fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the state,
Weary marches and sinking ships,
Cheers of victory from dying lips.
Days of plenty and days of peace,
March of strong lands swift increase,
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honour and reverend awe.
Sign of a nation great and strong,
To guard her people from foreign wrong,
Glory, pride and honour all
Live in the flag to stand or fall."

Even though I had the skill of the sculptor that fits him to carve the cold rock into a living semblance of life, or the inspiration of a painter who dips his brush in the colors of the sunset to make the glowing landscape quiver with life upon the canvas before him, or the exaltation of the singer who caught the high note of the music of the spheres when the morning stars sang together, – even then I could not begin to picture the power, the glory, the majesty, the dignity, and the sanctity of the love of the free patriot for his flag.

"I am unworthy.
Master hands
Should strike the chords
And fill the lands
From sea to sea with melody
All reverent yet with harmony,
Majestic, jubilant to tell,
How love must love
If love loves well."

Think of the sacred love of a mother for her little child – of the cradle

"Gently rocking, rocking,
Silent, peaceful, to and fro,
Of the mother's sweet looks dropping
On the little face below,"

think of the love of a fine strong man as he clasps to his breast his blushing bride, think of the sacred affection linking together the lives of an old couple who have journeyed far along life's road side by side into the sunset, think of the love and the pride and the joy that flames back and forth between a staunch and sturdy son and his silver-hail ed sire – think of all these and roll and blend them into one and you cannot begin to tell of the love of the freeman for his flag! Surely then we are ready to say:

"This is my flag. For it 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."

Some of us can fight, others can work, others still can pay, each in his place can do his duty and be worthy of the honour of being an American citizen and enjoying the blessings of liberty. Each one of us can do his bit and remember that

"Honor and fame from no condition rise,
Act well thy part, there all the honour lies."

The poorest citizen in the land can buy at least one Liberty Bond, and every dollar spent for a Liberty Bond is a bullet blown into the bowels of the enemy. Let us here today in overwhelming gratitude for the blessings that we have enjoyed under this banner of the free, consecrate our souls anew to its service.


But there is another banner which is not here with us today, a flag which for the present at least we are forced to shut out of our sacred circle. I speak of it with pain and regret, with heart-ache and with a great sense of deep pity, for it is the flag of my ancestors and my own father's ashes now lie buried beneath the soil over which it waves. It is needless to say that I speak of the German flag. This flag once flew over the heads of a great people, a people that stood high in the ranks of world achievement, a people who were masters of the world, both in medicine and in music, a people who love liberty, a people who produced Martin Luther, who was the foremost champion of religious liberty in the world. There is one curious thing about the colours of these flags which I am not sure that you have noticed. Is it by mere chance that it happens that the colours of all of the flags of freedom are red, white and blue, while those of the banner of Prussian despotism are red, white and black? Was it a matter of mere accident that this dark streak and sinister stripe appears in this flag which now stands for the outlaw among the nations ? Is not this dark stripe symbolical of the darkness of the mind, the military madness that holds a great people in bonds and is fast driving it on to ruin? Surely. the black must be a symbol of the madness of militarism.

When a storm gathers in the heavens black clouds ;hut out from sight the face of the sun. But when the age and madness of the elements has worn itself out and the roll of the thunder has died away in the distance, then slowly but surely the blackness fades to blue and the earth is bright and happy once more. Let us hope that so it will be in this awful world war and that, when the storm of rage and madness has been swept from out the hearts of our German brethren, that the blackness which now blinds their sight will clear away, and be supplanted by the pure blue of the unclouded sky of freedom and that peace and happiness will once more prevail among all the peoples of the earth.


But there is another banner here today, although we cannot see it with our mortal eyes. It is the unseen flag of Fraternity that floats above the dome of that great "house not made with hands," that temple of liberty which stands forever eternal in the heavens. Its colors are all the colors of the rainbow and it spreads its flaming folds across the world from sunrise to sunset. It is a flag that shall fall upon the world as a reward for the awful sacrifice it is now being called upon to make. In all of the history of this old earth never has there been a sacrifice so awful, so bitter, so heart-rending, so soul-terrifying, so overwhelming, as that which we are making today for the sake of human liberty, and just so surely as we believe that there is a God of Justice, just so certain must be the reward that will bless humanity for this mighty manifestation of divine devotion to a most holy cause. Out of it all there must come a world-wide unity and friendship, and a fraternity that shall reach wide-swept to the uttermost corners of the globe. There must be a union of the states, not of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and Masonry which has been never the destroyer but always the builder, must play a mighty part in erecting this world-wide temple of humanity. Even now Masons everywhere are praying for the dawn of that day so beautifully pictured by Albert Pike:

"When all mankind shall be one great lodge of brethren, And wars of fear and persecution shall be known no more forever."

When that day comes we shall behold with our spiritual eyes the mighty Temple of Human Liberty made more magnificent than ever, and over its shining portal we shall read in letters of living light the words, "Liberty and union, freedom and fraternity, now and forever, one and inseparable, world without end."

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This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized as yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown into the scrap heap; the being a force in nature instead of a selfish little clod complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
– G. B. Shaw.

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There are three qualities which will enable a man to endure all hardships – unquestioning faith in a beneficent God, an absorbing love for an individual, or a burning enthusiasm for a cause.
– Salome Hocking.

A Journal For The Masonic Student

Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society


September, 1917


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


  • 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
  • Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts
  • Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
  • Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
  • Silas H. Sheperd, Wisconsin.
  • Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
  • M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
  • John Pickard, Missouri
  • Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
  • S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
  • Joe L. Carson, Virginia
  • T.W. Hugo, Minnesota
  • F.B. Gault, Washington
  • C.M. Schenck, Colorado
  • H.L. Haywood, Iowa
  • Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin
  • Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois
  • S. W. Williams, Tennessee

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.


"Shall the several Grand Jurisdictions modify their rules as to physical requirements of candidates so that, other qualifications being satisfactory, Masons may welcome the petitions of all those soldiers and sailors who lose arms, legs or eyes in the service of their country? If so, shall ability to support himself and immediate family be substituted as a requirement of each initiate? If not, what physical requirements are reasonable?"

Mental Requirements Come First.

I should not regard it so much a "modification of their rules as to physical requirements of candidates" as getting back to those "first principles" which are the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry, if the Grand Jurisdictions followed the rules and policy settled for Kentucky 116 years ago by Grand Lodge action, namely, that the Grand Lodge has no authority in the matter and the question of eligibility of persons who have physical misfortunes lies entirely with the lodge which receives his petition.

As I recall the first decision concerned the petition of John Pope who was minus a left arm or hand. The lodge received him and he became one of the brightest Lights of both Masonic and Civil history in this state. Our rule of reason is that unless the candidate is unable to feel the grip, hear the word or see the sign" physical misfortune is no bar, except in cases where entrance to Masonry by such persons is made under such conditions as to lead us to believe they might become a financial charge from the beginning.

Without entering into a discussion of philosophy, I am satisfied that the reason back of the original requirement that a man be sound "in mind and member" was and still is purely spiritual and not physical save incidentally as above set forth. A consumptive or a man with eczema may have all his arms and legs but is undoubtedly physically "unsound."

If I understand our rituals aright, there is an extra-physical trend to them that can not be waved away with an idle word, and which necessitates the student who would grasp our philosophy's meaning, regarding his body as a machine or set of working tools for the use of his mind. So that there may have once been more reason than exists now, in these days of scientific surgery, for lodges to require physical perfection.

But as I say, physical requirements in my opinion, have always been subordinate to and dependent upon the mental or "spiritual" requirements, with the lodge itself as the judge.

Because of the erroneous notion that "Speculative Masonry" was merely an outgrowth of "Operative Masonry" whose symbols and rituals were in large part adapted to the ancient wisdom we now call "Freemasonry," a great many of our unthinking and I am sorry to say unlearned Grand Masters have built up "precedents" in their jurisdictions which are followed from one generation to another somewhat as attempts used to be made to confine the "landmarks" to a definite number, resulting in the most absurd situations.

I think a most interesting – and enlightening – topic for research would be a comparison of the various decisions in every jurisdiction. I recall one jurisdiction in this country where the Grand Master decided that a man could not become a Mason because he had lost a certain finger on the left hand and exactly the reverse was decided (same finger) in another jurisdiction. Such a compilation of cold statistics would amply demonstrate the need for reform.
— J. W. Norwood, Kentucky.

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Let Us Make New Laws Slowly.

I believe that the several Grand Lodges have already enacted too many regulations and that it is impossible at present to unite on any uniform rule as to physical qualifications. If it were possible, I doubt the wisdom of additional rules.

We have heard the charge to preserve the "ancient landmarks" and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the fraternity given to every Mason and have given it ourselves, realizing we did not know what we were talking about. In Mackey's enumeration of the "landmarks" he includes physical qualification, but why did he not include the requirement that apprentices serve seven years which was also a regulation given in the "old charges"? Modern dentistry makes the conformity to one of our requirements impossible in a majority of cases, but it has never been seriously considered or its symbolic effect lessened. Electric lights now take the place of the time-honoured candle and so we might continue if it were necessary to show that changes have been made in our usages and customs.

Brother R. F. Gould says that "The dogmas of Perpetual Jurisdiction, Physical Perfection, and Exclusive (or Territorial) Jurisdiction, have been evolved since the introduction of Masonry into what has become the United States," from England.

Before making more laws of Masonry let us get together and try and find out what a landmark is and what constitutes ancient usages and customs and in the interval regard the Lodge as a safe guardian of those we now consider as such.

The student of history can not fail to see the harmful effects that have resulted from dogmatism in politics, science, religion, and even in social life. Let us, as Freemasons, avoid dogmas that will weaken the foundation of our Fraternity and allow nothing to take preference over our fundamental principle of "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." In the past 200 years many changes have been made in Masonic ritual and jurisprudence, some of which have been questionable, and we fear have been made without due regard to the basic principle. Let us be slow to enact laws and careful to make them on the basis of those things on which we all agree.
— Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.

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Involves Changes in Ritual.

I should not advocate any change in the physical qualifications of petitioners for our degrees as set forth at present in the Grand Jurisdictions, nor even modifications to meet the hypothetical cases covered in your enquiry. Opportunity offers the men of the Army and Navy to seek Masonic Light, should the suggested chartering of Military Lodges already discussed in the Forum be approved. Any such radical modification as that embodied in your present query would involve a complete revision of the ritual.

Viewing the subject from another angle, so long as Masonry endures as an Institution in the United States, the Patriotism and Charity constituting cardinal principles of the Order, will promptly provide for such National Responsibilities as the Red Cross, the National Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes and other obligations, an increase of which must directly result as an aftermath of our present Battle For Civilization. Our present high physical standard is an old landmark of Masonry. Its abrogation, even for so laudable a purpose as you suggest, would establish a bad precedent and personally I am opposed to innovations which might lead to others, so ultimately lessening the great potency for good of an ancient and honourable Institution.

If at any time the great Government of the United States finds itself in the least hampered in properly providing for the gallant soldiers and sailors who have suffered physical impairment in its service, our Blue Brotherhood will be the first to contribute to the needs of the Fourth Great Light of American Masonry – the Flag.
— John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.

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Virginia is Investigating.

Aside from the motive of opening the doors to returned veterans, which was not mentioned, the Grand Lodge of Virginia, at its Annual in February, placed the subject of modification of physical requirements in the hands of the Jurisprudence Committee to be reported on in February, 1918. My fixed idea is that the requirement of a degree of physical perfection is but a link with past ages of the operative branch and should be retained for that reason alone. What that degree of perfection shall be, should be left to the Lodges, except that all initiates should be able to receive and comprehend our ceremonies, and should be able to make a living for themselves and families. Prior to 1866 this was about Virginia's position.

Grand Lodges legislate too much and leave too little to the intelligence and Masonic zeal of the Lodges. A change is coming as to physical requirement and it would be well but not at all necessary that Grand Lodges should all agree. Certain it is that they will not.
— Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.

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Few Changes in 1861-1865.

My opinion is that none of the Grand Jurisdictions should in any way modify their present requirements as to physical qualifications, because of military conditions. As I understand it, there was very little modification of these requirements made by the Grand Bodies because of conditions arising from the Civil War of 1861-1865 and in my judgement the present war does not present any reasons for such modification any stronger than were presented at the time of the Civil War.

Masonry is a fraternal and charitable institution but not an eleemosynary one. Whatever charity the order dispenses outside of its own membership should be given freely and in lump sums to worthy objects, but the order ought not to invite into its ranks those who would become burdens upon it and cause it to levy burdensome taxes upon its members. The ability of one to support himself and immediate family ought by no means to be substituted as a requirement for physical perfection. This would in a majority of cases be strained to take care of what might be deemed individual worthy cases and thus in the course of time the order would be burdened with charitable distribution to many who, while deemed able to support themselves and families at the time of their petition, would, due to military injuries, afterwards find themselves unable to render such support.

Wisconsin has always been very strict in applying the ancient landmark of physical perfection and I am not one of those who believe that the bars should be let down at this or at any other time.
— Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin.

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Protests Innovations.

I beg leave to invite attention to the installation ceremonies of a W. M., which makes it clear that we deny the right of any man or body of men to make innovations in the body of Masonry.

My belief is that tampering with the Landmarks and with the Constitutions is like driving nails into the coffin of Freemasonry. Too much liberty has, I think, been taken with the original plan of Masonry, and I would therefore advise protecting the Landmarks and Constitutions rather than changing them.
— Geo. W. Baird, Washington, D. C.

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An American Anachronism.

There is an ever-growing opinion amongst thinking Freemasons, that the Mental Qualification, not the Physical, should be the test for membership in our Order.

This physical qualification is an anachronism – a form that has remained with us centuries after the substance has gone – and strange to say remained only in the minds of American Masons. This has been the cause of more worry to our Grand Lodge, more rulings, more disappointment than almost any other single subject, all because we insist in dragging this ancient Fetish into our assemblies.

The laws of Physical Perfection died with the Operative Lodge. We apply these rules to our moral and mental qualifications rather than to our physical today, or we should do so. Ability to support himself so he may not become a charge on the Order, a further ability to make himself known to, or as a Brother, by sight, sound or touch, should govern all future initiations, and thus give our brave maimed boys a chance to receive all the "comfort of the craft" when they return.
— J. L. Carson, Virginia.

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The Missouri "Cripple" Law.

My views on the Physical Perfection idea have, in the past, been considered very radical. About fifteen years ago I introduced, advocated, and the Grand Lodge of Missouri adopted, the following law:

"It is incompetent for any Lodge in this Jurisdiction to confer either of the three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry on any person whose physical defects are such as to prevent his receiving and imparting the ceremonies of the several degrees; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to render any one ineligible to the privileges of Masonry, who can by the aid of artificial appliances conform to the necessary ceremonies."

This law met with furious criticism by some correspondents and editors of Masonic papers, and I was dubbed an iconoclast, a destroyer of the "Ancient Landmarks," and one, after denouncing me, said, "That charges should be preferred against me and expelled." But this was fifteen years ago and the Missouri "Cripple Law" or some modification of it, has been adopted in many Grand Lodges.

Freemasonry is a progressive science and a new light and age has dawned. The Physical Perfection notion became obsolete when operative Masonry became speculative. We recognize today that a wooden leg is better than a wooden head, and a few fingers missing is far better than a heart of stone. We believe today, (not merely mouthing the Ritual), "that it is the internal qualification and not the external that qualifies a man to be made a Mason."

The "Perfect Youth" doctrine has become so absurd and ridiculous among thinking Masons, that it is no longer necessary to even argue the question. It lives in some Grand Lodges purely as a reminiscence of a past age, and like all obsolete notions, it dies hard. "Shall Masonry welcome the petitions of all those soldiers and sailors who have lost arms or eyes in the service of their country?" Yes, or any other good man similarly afflicted.

There is only one point that should be considered and that is the question of becoming dependent. Freemasonry is a luxury and not an eleemosynary institution; pecuniary and material benefits must not be the motive for gaining admission. No man should be admitted, or he knowingly apply for admission, when inability to support himself is self evident. The physical condition, as to loss of legs, arms, eyes, fingers, toes, bow legs or baldhead, is of no importance, but the question of ability to support himself is the only question involved.
— Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.

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A Survival from Operative Masonry.

It was inevitable that the Operative Masons should insist that their apprentices be sound in limb and in good health, seeing that their trade was dangerous, onerous and difficult, and that a sick man had to be supported out of the common purse. Also was it inevitable that this ancient custom be carried over into Speculative Masonry at the Revival in 1717, for it had come to be considered an Ancient Landmark, and we all know how careful the Early Speculatives were to adhere to these. But in spite of the sanctions of antiquity the premier Grand Lodge gradually modified its rules as to qualifications, learning that what had been necessary among the Operatives was no longer essential to Speculative Masonry. Even Oliver, with all his loyalty to the past, was driven to see this, as witness this paragraph found in his "Treasury":

"It would indeed be a solecism in terms to contend that a loss or partial deprivation of a physical organ of the body could, by any possibility, disqualify a man from studying the sciences, or being made a Mason in our times, while in possession of sound judgment, and the healthy exercises of his intellectual powers."

In 1875 the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England issued a circular in which the writer said:

"I am directed to say that the general rule in this country is to consider a candidate eligible for election who although not perfect in his limbs is sufficiently so to go through the various ceremonies required in the different degrees." As to whether the candidate was able "to go through the various ceremonies" was, it goes without saying, left to the judgement of the ballot.

In an essay included in one of the early volumes of the Iowa Grand Lodge Proceedings, T. S. Parvin takes the same position:

"It is the SOLE RIGHT of each and every LODGE to act upon these physical qualifications, as it is universally conceded that they are the sole judges of the moral qualifications of all candidates."

This, it seems to me, is good sense. If a candidate is able to pay his dues, is in reasonable good health, of average intelligence and has a good reputation, we need ask no more, unless his physical defects may incapacitate him from performing the ceremonies. I, myself, pray that the day may come when the chief qualification demanded of a candidate will be the evidence of a sincere determination TO TAKE MASONRY SERIOUSLY. We need more Masons and fewer members.
— H. L. Haywood, Iowa.

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Manhood, Duty and Valor.

Eligibility to the Masonic orders should not be denied any soldier or sailor of the United States because of physical disabilities caused by such service, when such candidate has the other essential moral and mental qualifications, it being granted of course that physical impairment is properly authenticated as due to exposure in the line of duty as such soldier or sailor. Masonry is not an eleemosynary institution and every candidate for membership should be capable of supporting himself and family, or least he should not become an immediate charge upon the Order. A spasm of patriotic fervour or sympathy should not be permitted to vote a man into membership in Masonry simply because he bore in his person the evidence of military heroism. But being a man and having done a man's full duty and is maimed thereby, such physical disability ought not to deny him a place in our noble Order that in all its teachings places a premium upon manhood, duty and valour.
— Franklin B. Gault, Washington.

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The Massachusetts Rule.

I do not think that I can better reply to your question for September than by quoting a provision of the Grand Constitutions of Massachusetts which is as follows:

"If the physical deformity of any applicant for the degrees does not amount to an inability to meet the requirements of the Ritual, and honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, it shall constitute no hindrance to his initiation."

The Grand Masters of Massachusetts have never been willing to rule on particular cases but have ruled in a general way that an awkward compliance might be accepted.

The Worshipful Master of a Lodge is required to pass on cases as it appears best. There was a vote of the Grand Lodge something over a hundred years ago to the effect that a blind man might not be given the degrees, but that would appear to be unnecessary as a blind man clearly could not comply with the regulations of the ritual.
— Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.

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Symbolism of The Perfect Man.

I fear that I could not bring myself to consent to the initiation of any man into the body of Freemasonry who was not possessed of all of his physical members whole and complete. And I believe that this is in accord with the very genius of the Order.

But first of all, however, I must recognize and agree to the dictum, "It is the internal, and not the external, qualifications that recommend a man to be a Mason," (Mackey, Book of the Chapter, p. 41), and I fully realize how it may be drawn therefrom that a man, having great internal qualifications, should not be debarred from the privileges and duties of Freemasonry because he has lost perhaps the little finger of his left hand. This is further complicated by a parallel which I seem always able to find from the early Church. A candidate for Holy Orders must come freeborn, of lawful age, under the tongue of good report, and also sound of limb and unmutilated; but a man whose blood had been shed as a martyr – and who was possibly mutilated – had the priestly right of absolution, and without further ordination. (Smith and Cheetham, Dict. Xn. Antiq., pp. 1118 and 1481-2.) So it could be argued that a man who had lost a limb in the highly Masonic duty of the defense of his country, should, if otherwise worthy, be admitted into the mysteries of Freemasonry.

Now all ceremonial, whether of the Lodge or of the Church, has a materialistic, and a spiritual, or symbolic interpretation – and either is as true as the other. Now, our ancient operative brethren could not admit a maimed man to their Gild because he could not perform the functions of the Craft; but this, it might seem, could be waived when we enter the realm of the speculative. In other words, inability to display the various external signs and tokens does not necessarily keep a man from being internally what it is to be a Mason.

But even with these considerations, I cannot bring myself to believe that a maimed man should be admitted to initiation. Symbolism is the life of Freemasonry, and to such a degree that frequently what is presented to our attention is but the symbol of a symbol. And therefore, let us go to the Temple quarries. The Giblim have hewn out of the living rock a stone that shows a flaw, although but slight. This they drag with their strong cables before the Master and his wardens. Should they accept it? We know what the overseers would have done. But should this imperfect stone be placed in the North-east Corner, or even cemented by the stronger tie to the other stones of the Temple ?

The candidate symbolizes, in his physical being, the perfect man, who alone is fit to enter into the composition of "that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens." I say symbolize rather than be, for none of us has yet arrived at that perfection to which the whole of Freemasonry aspires, and there may actually be, in many of us, hidden flaws that tend to weaken the great Edifice. But still we must scrupulously preserve the symbol of what we would be; we must continue to teach that we seek the perfect in body, mind and spirit, that is, in the man, and that we cannot therefore admit an imperfect man to initiation.

Let us remember, moreover, that the Great Initiate was not maimed even in death (Ps. xxxiv., St. Jno. xix., 36), and that He is the head-stone of the corner (Ps. cxviii., 22), the model from which the whole structure and every part thereof may be taken.
— H. W. Ticknor, Maryland.

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Note by the Editor of This Department.

The purpose of this department is to show the faith that is in Masons in order that there may be more light (and less dogmatism) in Masonry. The editor of this department believes that Masonry is a philosophy, indeed that it is the philosophy that has come down to us through the ages. Now a philosophy is a system of thought, a system of living thought. Real Masonry forces real thinking. If this department stimulates you to think, my Brother, will you not give THE BUILDER the benefit of your serious thought by contribution of articles or by letters addressed to the Editor? The opinions given above as to physical requirements are worthy of the serious thought of thinking Masons. You can not agree with all of these opinions – some of them are opposed to each other both in letter and in spirit. If you have Masonic opinion on Masonic subjects (not political opinion; not religious opinion), then THE BUILDER welcomes you to the forum of its columns.
— George E. Frazer, Department Editor.

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Let others write of battles fought,
Of bloody, ghastly fields,
Where honour greets the man who wins,
And death the man who yields;
But I will write of him who fights
And vanquishes his sins,
Who struggles on through weary years
Against himself and wins.

He is a hero staunch and brave,
Who fights an unseen foe,
And puts at last beneath his feet
His passions base and low;
Who stands erect in manhood's might,
Undaunted, undismayed –
The bravest man who e'er drew sword
In foray or in raid.

It calls for something more than brawn
An enemy that marcheth not
With banner, plume or drum –
A foe forever lurking nigh,
With silent, steady tread;
Forever near your board by day
At night beside your bed.

All honour, then, to that brave heart
Though rich or poor he be
Who struggles with his baser part –
Who conquers and is free!
He may not wear a hero's crown,
Or fill a hero's grave;
Yet truth will place his name amongst
The bravest of the brave.
— Anon.

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By Bro. Leo Fischer, Manila P.I.


In its struggle against ignorance, superstition, and intolerance Freemasonry encountered a most formidable opponent in an institution that for six long centuries ruled a large portion of the globe with a rod of iron, namely, the Inquisition. Wherever the Catholic missionaries had carried the cross of Christ, there the Inquisition implanted its system of tribunals and spies, its practices of denunciation, torture, and spoliation, its autos da fe and burning piles. The avowed aim of the Inquisition, that of preserving the purity of the Roman Catholic religion and with this end in view to ferret out, punish, and destroy all heretics and other offenders against the faith was, of course, bound to bring it into violent collision with Freemasonry, especially after that institution had been condemned by the several papal bulls fulminated against it.

We shall now proceed to give a brief history of the Holy Office, as the Inquisition is also called, confining our attention principally to Spain, the country where its reign was the longest and bloodiest, after which we shall endeavour to give an idea of the character and procedure and the results of the work of that institution, and finally we shall deal with the persecutions suffered at its hands by Freemasonry on the Spanish peninsula.

There is some dispute as to what should be considered the date of origin of the Inquisition.

Heretics were persecuted and put to death long before the Inquisition, as such, ever existed. History records the massacre of the disciples of Vilgard in southern Italy in the 10th century; the burning of thirteen Cathari at Orleans in the 11th, and numerous executions of heretics in subsequent years; but these killings were in most instances the result of mob violence or of "justice" administered by secular magistrates and lords.

The first rules of inquisitorial procedure were laid down at the councils of the Church at Verona (1183) and Toulouse (1229). At the latter council, sixteen decrees relative to the investigation and punishment of heresy were passed, and the bishops were declared to be natural judges of the doctrine. Later, however, the bishops were deemed to be too lenient in their attitude towards offenders against the faith, and the Cistercian and then the Dominican Orders were put in charge of the work of persecuting heretics. Of this task the Dominicans acquitted themselves with such zeal that their rigour and cruelty aroused much resentment and hatred against the Inquisition. But no amount of opposition could stop that institution now: the tiger had tasted blood during the famous crusade against the Albigenses, in southern France, where a century of the bloodiest and most cruel persecution resulted in the suppression of the sect mentioned and the destruction of the flourishing Provencal civilization; and although the inquisitors were driven out of Toulouse in 1235 and massacred at Avignon in 1242, and suffered other temporary checks and reverses, the Inquisition took a firm foothold in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and other countries of Europe and held nearly the entire Christian world under its bloody bondage for six centuries.

In Spain the Inquisition was first established in 1233. At the beginning it met with bitter opposition. The Spanish monarchs exhibited tolerance towards the Jews and Mohammedans and thereby incurred much criticism from Rome. However, the priests did not remain idle, and massacres of Jews and Mohammedans, instigated by them, began in the 13th century and continued throughout the 14th and 15th. Finally, in 1480, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella founded a National Inquisition for Spain, without the aid of the Papacy. Inquisitorial tribunals were established throughout the peninsula and the Spanish possessions in Italy, and a reign of terror was initiated. The course of the Inquisition did not always run smoothly and several inquisitors, among them the merciless Pedro de Arbues, afterward canonized by the Church of Rome, were slain.

In 1483 the Dominican father Thomas de Torquemada was, by papal bull, appointed Inquisitor General of the Crown of Castile. During the first six months of his term of office, over two thousand Jews and Mohammedans who had embraced the Christian religion under compulsion, but had relapsed, were burnt at the stake; others, who had escaped in time, were burnt in effigy, and some seventeen thousand persons suffered other severe punishments for heresy.

According to a careful, conservative estimate by Llorente (Histoire Critique de l'Inquisition d'Espagne, Paris, 1818, Vol. I), during Torquemada's terrible rule, extending over eighteen years, 10,220 persons were consigned to the flames; 6,860 were burnt in effigy; 97,321 received sentences of imprisonment for life, confiscation of property, disqualification from holding public office, and other severe penalties, and 114,400 families were irretrievably ruined. So hated was the arch fiend Torquemada that on his travels he had to be guarded by a small army of "familiars," 50 of them mounted and 200 on foot, and on his table there always lay the horn of a rhinoceros ("unicorn," Llorente has it), which was supposed to detect and counteract the influence of poison.

The Grand Inquisitors-General were nearly all members of the Dominican Order. Dominick de Guzman, the founder of this Order, had organized during the persecution of the Albigenses in southern France the so-called "Militia of Christ," a corps of spies and denouncers of both sexes, recruited from all classes of society, which later became known by the name of "familiars" of the Inquisition.

From Spain and Portugal the Inquisition was carried to the colonies and possessions of these two countries beyond the seas. Revolts and uprisings against the reign of terror instituted by it occurred in many places, but were suppressed with iron hand. At times the Holy Office relaxed somewhat in its severity, but periods of recrudescence generally followed. Spain and her possessions were still a stronghold of the Inquisition after the other countries had driven it out or reduced its power to practically nothing. On December 4th, 1808, Napoleon suppressed the Inquisition in Spain, but after the downfall of the great Corsican it was re-established and held that unfortunate country under its sway until 1820, when a general insurrection resulted in its final overthrow.

Nothing was sacred to the Inquisition, nothing exempt from its fury. Its thunderbolts did not spare age or innocence, and rank and station were no protection against them. Even death was not respected by it; the remains of many dead were disinterred and publicly burnt on the charge that the deceased had been a follower of the law of Moses or Mohammed or had been guilty of other forms of heresy. Mere children were subjected to torture and the children and often grandchildren of persons condemned by the Holy Office were declared infamous, in addition to having their inheritance confiscated. In one instance a son was compelled to disinter the remains of his father and burn them publicly.

The following is part of the decision pronounced by the Inquisition of Mexico in 1609: "And the sons and daughters, if any, of the said Jorge de Almeida are hereby disqualified from serving in any public office, or occupying any public position of honour or trust, whether in the secular or ecclesiastic branches of the government; and they are also forbidden to wear about their persons any ornament or jewel of gold or silver, or precious stones, or coral, or to dress in silk or fine cloth, or any other fine material of any kind." (Dr. Cyrus Adler, Trial of Jorge de Almeida).

Heckethorn says that "the Inquisitors were the first to put women to the torture; neither the weakness nor the modesty of the sex had any influence on them. The Dominican friars would flog naked women in the corridors of the Inquisition building, after having first violated them, for some slight breach of discipline."1

Puigblanch2 cites the case of a noble lady, lately delivered of her child, who was arrested in 1557 on the charge of being a Lutheran, and to whom the tribunal of Seville administered the rack "with so much rigour that the ropes fixed on her arms, legs, and thighs entered as far as her bones, when she remained senseless, casting up quantities of blood; and died at the expiration of eight days, without any other attendance than a young female who had also undergone the torture." The same writer tells us that "in Seville… an inquisitor commanded a beautiful young female, accused of practising Jewish rites, to be scourged in his own presence; and, after committing lewdness with her, delivered her over to the flames."

It must be remembered that these horrors were committed by virtue of orders of torture beginning with the phrase "Christi nomine invocato" !

After relating deeds like these, which one would expect only of fiends incarnate, it seems bloody sarcasm to read what one of the defenders of the Inquisition has to say: "In reality, so great is the compassion of the Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition with the offenders that these themselves acknowledge it. The Holy Office shows much forbearance, much kindness, much perfection, and this being true, as the enemies and accusers of the Inquisition well know it is, let those accusers come forward and confess and repent their errors; let them admit that it was malice which made them say that the Inquisition is excessively rigorous, and let them present themselves before this Holy Tribunal repentant and thus return to the bosom of the Church; so mote it be, Amen."3

How little protection rank and station in life afforded, is made patent by the fact that among the victims of the Inquisition there were numerous nobles, statesmen, bishops, and persons of wealth and influence. Even a nephew of King Ferdinand V was thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition and released only after undergoing humiliating public penance.

The right of asylum did not exist for the Inquisition. The following extract from an order of arrest plainly shows this: "and ye shall seize the body of Gabriel de Granada, a resident of this city of Mexico, wheresoever ye may find him, although it may be in a church, monastery or other consecrated, fortified or privileged place."4 Even the secret of the confessional was violated. Don Juan Antonio Rodrigalvarez, canon of the royal church of St. Isidore of Madrid, said of the Inquisition: "The infraction of every right and principle in this tribunal still goes further, for though secrecy is the very soul of all its proceedings, that of sacramental confession is nevertheless not respected by it, in consequence of the declarations it frequently requires of confessors relating to their penitents."5

A person could be the devoutest catholic imaginable and yet be arrested, thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition and perish there or at the stake, on the calumnious accusation of an enemy or on account of some thoughtless remark, misconstrued and twisted to suit the purpose of his enemies or of the inquisitors.

If a person put a clean cloth on the table on Saturday, or sat at table with a Jew, or had his friends for dinner at his home on the eve of his departure for a journey, he exposed himself to the suspicion of being a Judaizer," and if he sang a Moorish song or danced a Moorish dance, abstained from the use of wine, or changed his linen on Friday, he was liable to be suspected of being a secret Mohammedan. Once suspected, a person never escaped without suffering: years of imprisonment in the secret dungeons of the Inquisition, torture, and the most humiliating penances were sure to be his fate, because the Inquisition always devised some way of finding a prisoner guilty. Llorente states that one acquittal to every two thousand cases was about the proportion observed in the judicial findings of the Holy Office.

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II. Procedure

The procedure of the Inquisition, evolved by many generations of crafty and fanatical priests, was the most insidious that could be imagined. Upon receipt of the denunciation, though it often came from the most suspicious sources and was inspired by the impurest of motives, the Holy Office ordered the arrest of the accused, who was considered guilty unless he achieved the tremendous task of proving himself innocent. He was arrested without warning and conveyed forthwith to the secret prisons of the Inquisition.

During the first three days of his confinement there he received three monitions to confess his offences against the Catholic faith and thus secure mercy. He was not informed of the charges against him, but was told that no one ever entered the prisons of the Inquisition without being guilty of some crime. If he confessed himself guilty of some offence or offences not covered by the denunciation, his confession furnished grounds for new charges. Whatever he said, his testimony was so turned and twisted by his tormentors that his guilt appeared to be much greater than an unbiased judge would have found it to be. In many cases his confession did not save him from torture, and in none did it deliver him from the humiliating penances decreed by the tribunal.

After the monitions had been delivered, he was formally arraigned and the charges were then read to him; but the name of the informant was never revealed, nor was the accused allowed to face his secret accuser or the witnesses that had testified against him. If the culprit remained mute or his confession was deemed incomplete, he was ordered taken to the torture chamber, where the rack, pulley, thumbscrews, fire, and other means of extorting a confession were applied to him for hours at a time. If he fainted or remained obdurate, the torture was suspended for the time being. Thousands of persons remained firm, thousands died from the barbarous treatment received, and many thousands confessed to crimes they had ever committed and were punished accordingly.

The terror inspired by the Holy Office was a mental torture that often brought about the same result as the physical suffering. The ascetic, cruel, relentless faces of the inquisitors sometimes sufficed to terrify the prisoner into saying all the tribunal wished him to say. One of the witnesses in the case against Jorge de Almeida, above quoted, "begged that the Inquisitor" Don Alonso de Peralta should not be present, because the mere sight of him made his flesh creep, such was the terror with which his rigor inspired him."

All proceedings were carried on in the utmost secrecy. As they advanced, more and more persons were implicated in the case. Many an accused, shrinking from pain and death, driven frantic by the pangs of torture, or deceived by false promises of clemency or immunity, became the accuser of his friends and relatives. Sons betrayed their parents and parents denounced their children, and the flinty-hearted secretary of the court coldly penned orders for the arrest of victim after victim as the cowering wretch before the tribunal stammered their names.

When the evidence was all complete and sentence ready to be pronounced, preparations were generally made for an auto da fe (in Spanish auto de fe, i.e., decision or sentence in a case regarding the faith). This ceremony began with a solemn procession, generally attended by much pomp, of the functionaries, familiars and henchmen of the Inquisition, the persons condemned to be burnt or to suffer other punishment or penance, and religious organizations and priests with banners and crosses. A suitable stage and seats had been prepared on the square where the ceremony was to take place, and after the arrival of the procession a mass was read; the king, viceroy, or governor of the territory and other high government officials took the oath of allegiance to the Holy Office; a sermon was pronounced by the Inquisitor General, and the sentences of the persons condemned by the tribunal were read. The condemned prisoners were arrayed in sanbenitos and corozas, sack-like garments and pointed caps painted with flames and figures of demons, and many of them were gagged in order to stifle their imprecations.

After the ceremony the condemned were "relaxed" (turned over) to the secular authorities, for the execution of their sentences, with the injunction that they be dealt with compassionately. What hypocrisy ! Llorente says: "It certainly causes one surprise to see the Inquisitors insert at the end of their sentences the formula praying the (secular) judge not to apply the penalty of death to the heretic, while it is demonstrated by several examples that when, in compliance with the request of the Inquisitor, the judge did not send the culprit to the stake, he was himself indicted as a suspect of the crime of heresy."

An auto da fe was generally a gala occasion in Spain and her colonies. We have before us the account of one of the most elaborate known, held at Madrid in 1680. This detailed account, written by a member of the Inquisition, was published in Madrid in 1680.6 At the auto da fe mentioned, 120 prisoners, each accompanied by two priests, and the effigies of 134 accused persons who had made their escape or had died in the prisons of the Inquisition, were paraded through the streets of Madrid in a procession composed of thousands of priests, soldiers, members of religious organizations, etc., had their sentences read to them in the presence of the King and Queen of Spain on the "Plaza," and were then "relaxed" to the secular authorities. Nineteen of them, who had been sentenced to death, were taken to the brasero late at night, after the ceremonies were over, and were there burnt at the stake.

The scenes that took place at these burnings were sometimes of the most revolting and gruesome nature. The following is an extract from the account of one of these executions in 1691, on which occasion two Jews and a Jewess were burnt: "On seeing the flames near them, they began to show the greatest fury, struggling to free themselves from the ring to which they were bound, which Terongi at length effected, although he could no longer hold himself upright, and he fell side long on the fire. Catherine, as soon as the flames began to encircle her, screamed out repeatedly for them to withdraw her from thence, although uniformly persisting not to invoke the name of Jesus. On the flames touching Valls, he covered himself, resisted, and struggled as long as he was able. Being fat, he took fire in his inside, in such manner that before the flames had entwined around him, his flesh burnt like a coal, and bursting in the middle his entrails fell out." (Puig-blanch).

Often the poor wretches met their death bravely; some died mocking and cursing the executioners and of one, a Jew, it is even told that he drew the blazing fagots towards him with his feet. The "relaxed" who had repented were generally strangled to death before being consigned to the flames.

The fanaticism of the populace is the best expressed by the following incident recorded by Del Olmo: "It seems as if God moved the hearts of the craftsmen in order that the serious difficulties that arose might be overcome; this is shown by the following incident: Tomas Roman, overseer of works, having taken charge alone of the execution of the work (of building the staging for the auto da fe described by Del Olmo), at his own expense, in accordance with the design and plan of Jose del Olmo, sixteen master builders with their subordinates, lumber, and tools came, without human solicitation, to offer him their services in the performance of his undertaking, and such were their perseverance and fervent constancy that, without observing the accustomed hours of rest and taking only sufficient time for food, they returned to their labours with joy and pleasure, explaining the reason for their eagerness by shouting: "Long live the faith of Jesus Christ; it shall all be finished in time, and if there should be any lack of lumber, we would tear down our own houses to put them to such holy use."

These were, of course, only ignorant persons, but the more enlightened classes were not much better. We again translate from Del Olmo's work the account of an incident illustrating this:

It seems that two days before the auto mentioned, a preliminary ceremony took place which shows the attitude taken by the royal couple of Spain. A company of soldiers marched out to the Alcala gate to get the firewood prepared there. Each soldier took a fagot and the company then marched back to the Palace Square. "The captain went upstairs to His Majesty's apartments by the rear entrance, bearing a fagot on his shield. It was taken from him by the Duke of Pastrana and carried into the presence of His Majesty. The latter, with his own hand, took it in to show it to our lady the Queen, Dona Luisa Maria de Borbon, and upon his return the Duke received the fagot from the hand of the King and returned it to the captain, with the command that His Majesty ordered it taken in his name and cast into the fire the first. In giving such command, our Lord the King followed the dictates of his pious character, inherited from the sainted King Don Ferdinand the Third, who on a similar occasion, in order to give an example to the world, took himself firewood to the burning pile."

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Who were the principal victims of the Inquisition ?

When the Inquisition was first instituted in France, its hand fell the most heavily upon the Albigenses of Languedoc, of whom many thousands were slain.

Upon the establishment of the Holy Office in Spain, its first efforts were directed against the so-called "New Christians." These comprised the but lately converted Jews (marranos), many of whom had become Christians in order to escape the numerous persecutions, but were secretly practising Judaism, and the converted Moors, who had abandoned their religion for similar reasons, but were secretly practising Moslem rites. These new Christians were especially welcome victims to the Inquisition on account of the antipathy and envy with which they were looked upon by the old Christians, owing to their constantly increasing prosperity and wealth, which latter, on the other hand, offered a powerful incentive to the Holy Office, a very expensive institution, according to all accounts, and in need of all the money it could lay its hands on.

Later Lutherans, Jansenists, Illuminati, and members of other sects came in for a great deal of attention, and finally, during the last century of its existence, the Inquisition waged a relentless war against Freemasonry.

In addition to these, the Inquisition had other classes of offenders to contend with.

It had jurisdiction over bigamists, persons claiming to be possessed by demons or to have supernatural powers, witches and sorcerers, soothsayers, priests guilty of expressing unorthodox views or of seducing or attempting to seduce women in the confessional, etc.

It also had charge of the censorship of books, and numerous auto da fe were held at which books, writings, pictures, and statues that had incurred the disapproval of the Holy Office were consigned to the flames.

Enormous damage was done to literature, art, and science by this particular activity of the Inquisition. Valuable products of literature were destroyed and suppressed or stifled in their birth, and works of science and inventions that might have secured for Spain a place in the foremost ranks of the civilized nations were never conceived. This having continued for many generations, the very brain of the nation became atrophied, and it will take centuries before unhappy Spain will be able to cleanse her life blood from the poison permeating it as a result of the many centuries of spiritual slavery and corruption.

This leads us to speak of the consequences of the Inquisition in general.

The six centuries of the reign of the Holy Office had the most terrible and widespread consequences in Spain. The Inquisition drove from Spain's dominions millions of her most useful subjects; it depopulated entire villages, towns, and districts; it even changed the national character. Let us here quote what Burke has to say on this matter in his "History of Spain":

"The work of the Inquisition, while it tended, no doubt, to make men orthodox, tended also to make them false, and suspicious, and cruel. Before the middle of the sixteenth century, the Holy Office had profoundly affected the national character; and the Spaniard, who had been celebrated in Europe during countless centuries for every manly virtue, became, in the new world that had been given to him, no less notorious for a cruelty beyond the imagination of a Roman emperor and a rapacity beyond the dreams of a Republican proconsul."

We have no doubt that Spain would not have declined so rapidly and would still be a first-rate power had she not had her life blood sapped by the Inquisition. Compared with the terrible injury wrought to country and nation by that institution; the destruction of the Armada, was but a trifling incident which a rich and powerful country could have remedied comparatively quickly, in order to repeat the attempt with better success under more favorable conditions.

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III. Freemasonry

Now we shall give a short account of the influence of the Inquisition on the Masonic Order, confining our attention to Spain, with a few brief references to Portugal, and to the 18th and 19th century. We shall, therefore, not allude to the persecution of the Knights Templar, who suffered such fearful torments at the hands of the Inquisition.

In 1738, Pope Clement XII excommunicated all Freemasons in the bull "In eminenti," and two years after, in 1740, Philip V, king of Spain, published a royal decree which was the first blow struck at Freemasonry by Spain. Many Freemasons were arrested and sent to the galleys where, laden with chains, ill fed and worse treated, they were compelled to toil at the oars without compensation. In 1751, immediately upon the publication of the bull "Providas romanorum ponticum," Ferdinand VI of Spain issued a still more severe edict against the Order, and now the Inquisition began to wage a merciless war against Freemasonry. We translate the following from the "Ritual del Maestro Mason"7, an official publication of the Spanish Grand Orient:

"The persecutions reached their height in Spain in 1751, as a result of the new anathema launched by Benedict and the denunciations of an ambitious, malevolent friar named Jose Torrubia, who, desirous of obtaining a bishopric as reward for his services, had promised to exterminate Freemasonry. He quickly rose to revisor and censor of the Holy Office, which latter ordered him to enter a lodge under an assumed name, after receiving from the Papal Penitentiary a dispensation authorizing him to take any oath which might be required of him. This Torrubia actually did, and soon thereafter he began to visit lodge after lodge in the peninsula until he had gathered all the information he required for the execution of his infamous plan. Having achieved this purpose, he presented to the Tribunal of the Inquisition a terrible denunciation of the labours of Freemasonry, accompanied by a list of ninety-seven lodges, with the membership roll of each.

"As a result of this denunciation, hundreds of Freemasons were arrested and many were tortured by the Inquisition."

In his "Histoire de l'Inquisition," Llorente gives an account of the prosecution of a Monsieur Tournon, in 1757. This man, a Parisian, had been called to Madrid by the Spanish government to instruct Spanish workmen in the making of brass buckles. One of his pupils denounced him to the Holy Office as a heretic, alleging that Tournon had endeavoured to induce him and others to become Freemasons. Tournon had shown them diplomas or charts on which architectural and astronomical instruments were depicted, and this had caused them to suspect magic, "in which belief they were confirmed when they heard the imprecations contained in the oath that, according to Tournon, they would have to take to preserve profound secrecy regarding all they should see or hear in the lodges."

Tournon was arrested on May 20th, 1757.

Upon being interrogated by the tribunal, he frankly admitted that he was a Freemason and had been one for twenty years. He stated that he did not know whether there were any lodges in Spain; that he was a Roman catholic; that he saw nothing in Freemasonry that interfered with his religion, and that it was not true that Freemasonry taught religious indifference. Here are a few of the questions and answers:

Q. What oath must a person take in order to become a Mason ?
A. He swears to preserve secrecy.

Q. Concerning what things ?
A. Concerning things which it is inadvisable to make public.

Q. Is this oath accompanied by execrations?
A. It is.

Q. What are they ?
A. One consents to suffer all evils and penalties that may afflict body and soul if one should ever violate the obligation taken under oath.

Q. Of what importance is this obligation that it is considered justifiable to take an oath with such fearful execrations?
A. It is of importance for the good order in the society.

Q. What is going on in those lodges that might make trouble if it were made public ?
A. Nothing, if you judge things without bias and prejudice. However, as there is a general mistaken impression on this subject, care must be taken to prevent malicious interpretations, and these would surely arise if one told everything that is going on in the lodges on the days when the brethren meet.

The inquisitors further asked Tournon whether and why Saint John was the patron saint of Freemasons; whether it was true that the sun, moon, and stars were held in reverence in the lodges and were represented therein; why a crucifix, a skull, and a dead human body were present in the lodge room during initiations, and other questions more.

Tournon having answered all these questions according to the truth, in the most frank and intelligent manner, he was informed that his answers were false and untrue, and was admonished, for the sake of the respect he owed to God and the Holy Virgin, to say the truth and confess to the heresies of religious indifference, the superstitious errors which had caused him to mix the sacred with the profane, and the error of idolatry which had induced him to worship the heavenly bodies. If he confessed and repudiated all these errors, the Holy Office would use clemency in his case, otherwise he would be prosecuted with all the rigor authorized against heretics.

Tournon remained firm in his attitude during the several hearings of his case. He finally stated, however, that nothing was left to him but to "admit that he had been in the wrong and to confess his ignorance of the dangerous spirit of the statutes and customs of Freemasonry; that he therefore confirmed all that he had testified in so far as he had said that he had never believed there was anything contrary to the Catholic religion in what he had done as a Freemason; but as it was possible that he had erred, owing to his ignorance of certain particular dogmas, he was ready to disavow all heresies into which he might have fallen and prayed to be absolved from censure and promised to undergo such penance as might be imposed upon him."

In December, 1757, judgement was pronounced upon Monsieur Tournon, convicting him of the errors of religious indifference, naturalism, superstition, and pagan practices; but in view of his offer to recant, he escaped with a comparatively light sentence. A private auto da fe was held in the court rooms of the Holy Office, attended by such persons as had received permission from the senior inquisitor, and there Tournon had his sentence read to him, received a reprimand from the senior inquisitor, abjured all his heretical errors, read and signed a declaration of his faith, and promised to sever all connections with Freemasonry or suffer accordingly. He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment, at the expiration of which he was to be expelled from Spain, and to undergo certain spiritual exercises.

Then Freemasonry had a breathing spell and began to spread. In 1767, the first Grand Lodge was constituted in Spain, and in 1780 a Grand Orient was organized there. The following years, however, saw a change for the worse. The first Grand Master of Spain, the Count of Aranda, a minister under Charles III, was banished in 1794 by Charles IV.

In the neighbouring Portugal the persecution of Freemasonry reached the greatest violence in 1792. "Queen Isabel, counselled by her confessor, ordered the governor of the island of Madera to deliver over to the Tribunal of the Holy Office all members of the Masonic Order who could be found. But few of the families of Freemasons succeeded in escaping the fury of the Inquisition by fleeing to Europe or taking refuge in America. In 1809 the persecution was renewed as a result of the constant agitations of the Catholic priests, who so excited the fanatical populace that at Lisbon the mob vilely murdered a large number of Freemasons who were following the funeral of a brother mason… In 1817, the Grand Orient of Portugal had to dissolve again on account of the edicts of King John VI, of 1818 and 1823, the first of which assigned imprisonment and the second death as the penalty for every Portuguese found to be a Freemason."8

A new era seemed to have dawned for Freemasonry in Spain when Napoleon I. conquered the country and abolished the Inquisition. Freemasonry flourished exceedingly under the protection of the French invader and for a brief period after the French had been ousted. The Cortes of Cadiz, which adopted the first Spanish constitution, were largely composed of Freemasons. When the reconstruction came, however, the Inquisition was re-established and another period of trial and persecution set in for Freemasonry. In 1814, Ferdinand VII ordered all lodges closed. Some continued to meet secretly, however. In 1815, lodges were raided at Granada and Malaga and the brethren apprehended were cast into the prisons of the Inquisition. During the next few years the persecutions became extremely cruel and violent.

"In 1819, a Lodge was surprised at Murcia; the brethren, nearly all persons of distinction, died from the tortures inflicted upon them by the Inquisition, except the illustrious lawyer Brother Romero Alpuente, whose strong constitution enabled him to withstand the cruel suffering and who was released, the same as the other persons who were imprisoned because they were Freemasons, by virtue of a decree of the Provisional Government of 1820."9

In 1820, Ferdinand VII of Spain fixed death on the gallows as the penalty for membership in the Masonic Order, and when a Lodge was raided at Granada, in 1825, all the members were hanged and the candidate, who had not yet been initiated, was sent to the galleys. In 1828, the Marquis of Lebrillana and Captain Alvarez de Sotomayor perished on the scaffold because they had not come forward and denounced themselves as being Freemasons. In 1829, a Lodge was raided at Barcelona; the Master was hanged, some of the brethren were sent to prison for life, and others were sentenced to less severe penalties.

In 1832, at last, the liberal government, organized with the aid of Freemasons, issued a general amnesty for all offenders of this class and Masonry flourished once more. A new period of trial began in 1849 and many persons were deported or sent to prison for their connection with the Masonic Order, until the September revolution (1868) came and put a final stop to these persecutions. An attempt was made to renew them after the uprising of the natives of the Philippine Islands (1896), as a result of which the Grande Oriente Hispaniola was charged with having fostered the separatist movement and fathered the "Katipunan," a nave revolutionary society patterned on Masonry so far as matters of form and organization were concerned. his attempt fell flat, however.

While the persecutions last mentioned can not, perhaps, be charged to the Inquisition, yet they were, to a certain degree, the result and upshot of the bitter war which that defunct institution had waged against Freemasonry for so many years.

This concludes our brief study of the Inquisition and its influence on humanity in general and the Masonic Order in particular.

The thought that it will have inspired his brethren in Freemasonry with thoughts of gratitude and admiration towards those who suffered and died for the cause in the days gone by is alone sufficient to compensate the author for the time and effort which he has devoted to this subject.

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(Note. By the courtesy of Brother Willis D. Engle, Secretary, we are in receipt of the following historical sketch of this organization, whose effective work in behalf of a saner Masonic Charity is perhaps little known to the rank and file of the Craft. In apprehending frauds, impostors and unworthy persons, and systematically caring for worthy cases it has developed exceptional facilities; hence the constantly increasing support which it is receiving. Its next biennial meeting will be held at Omaha, September 25-27, 1917. By following the practical suggestions with which Brother Engle closes this article, our Brethren can in most cases protect themselves against deception.)

THE institution of Free and Accepted Masonry, whose fundamental principle is charity, has for many years, in this country and in Europe, carried on the work of charitable relief in a manner that encouraged mendicancy and, in a measure, tended to increase the fast multiplying class that seeks to live without mental or physical effort. The mere application of a man who claimed membership in the fraternity, for money, was amply sufficient to accomplish the desired effect, and many unscrupulous men (women also), with improper claims, have managed to secure a good living upon the well-known benevolent desires of the craft.

The majority of Masons now living remember the time when the legitimate business of every lodge session was interrupted by an applicant for relief at the lodge door, which was always followed by the appointment of a committee to wait upon the applicant, the report of the committee after a necessarily superficial examination, and then the invariable contribution, with all the necessary routine in connection therewith. Though this practice is still in operation in the small towns and villages of the country, nearly every city has learned and adopted a wiser and better plan of giving relief. In almost every large centre of population there is now a Masonic Board of Relief, organized upon a systematic basis, and managed by Masons of experience and good judgement. The majority of these Boards of Relief are operating upon a system recommended by this Association and by brethren who have made Masonic relief a study of years, so that the practical part of the general plan has become a matter of uniform action.

Though these Boards of Relief, when operating according to the recommendations made, have proven the value of organization and method, and have succeeded in reducing the aggregate of donations to the improper claimants, and thus accomplished a saving that cannot, for obvious reasons, be accurately stated, but which is vast, still an isolated Board of Relief, acting independently, is incapable in itself of affording protection to the funds placed at its disposal for charitable disbursement against more than a small fraction of the unworthy. The reason for this inability is sufficiently clear to need little explanation beyond that given in the monthly circulars now issued.

Before the organization of this Association it was found, by comparison of notes, that at least sixty percent of the applicants for relief were unworthy for various reasons, chiefly because of unaffiliation - the greatest of all evils Masonry has had to contend against in its progressive march.

The conditions attending the disbursement of charitable funds, and the necessity of establishing some kind of a check upon the demands of the unworthy, were laid before several Grand Lodges with the view to securing some authorized or concerted action whereby relief might be systematized, with little effect however.

Pursuant to a call authorized by the Grand Lodge of Maryland, signed by representatives of the Masonic Relief Boards of Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, New York City, St. Louis, and Wilmington, Del., a convention met in Baltimore, August 31st, 1885, when representatives of twelve Relief Boards organized the General Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada. It was a day of small things, but the foundations were carefully and substantially laid, upon which has been builded this Association, numbering among its members most of the Grand Lodges in North America.

While among its active workers have been distinguished Masons from all portions of the country except the extreme West, who, owing to their distance from the places of meeting have not been able to actively participate in the deliberations of the Association, yet the hearty co-operation of the Masons, both in the Mountain states and on the Pacific slope has been had.

The growth of the Association has been a steady one, demonstrating the good work that it has done and is doing, and the appreciation thereof by the Fraternity generally. This will be shown by the following comparative statement of its membership.

Year Grand Lodges Relief Boards Lodges
1886 3 20 331
1892 17 24 89
1899 21 68 123
1905 22 71 180
1911 41 92 141
1916 48 138 97

There have been over 6,000 original cases reported, some of them travelling under different aliases, while there have been over 2,100 reports concerning men already recorded, many of them being cases where frauds had been detected by our circulars which contain the pictures of over 200 unworthy applicants.

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Where Claim For Relief Lies

Every Master Mason is obligated to contribute to the relief of a worthy brother in distress to the limit of his ability. While this is a personal obligation assumed by every Master Mason, yet, in order that Masonic relief may be systematized, the worthy provided for, and the unworthy discriminated against, the usual practice is for the relief work to be done through lodges and relief boards.

A brother's claim for relief primarily rests upon the lodge of which he is a member, and every lodge should, to the extent of its ability, extend relief to its own members in distress wherever they may be. However, if a lodge to which a non-resident worthy brother belongs is unable, or unwilling to relieve him, he has a claim upon any brother to whom he may apply. But, for reasons before stated, such work is usually assumed by the Lodge within whose territorial jurisdiction the brother resides. While the obligation to relieve primarily rests upon the lodge to which a brother belongs, any brother, lodge, or relief board extending relief to an applicant has no legal claim - although a moral one - against the lodge to which such brother belongs, unless it is specifically authorized to extend such aid.

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How To Handle Applications

In communities where there is but one lodge, a relief committee should be appointed; where there are two or more lodges, a joint committee or board should be organized. This committee or board should designate one brother, to whom all applicants should be referred for investigation and recommendation. This brother, hereafter called "The Officer," should be centrally located and easily accessible. The brethren should be instructed to refrain from extending any assistance whatever to strangers claiming to be Masons, emergencies excepted. The Officer should be provided with our warning circulars, list of regular lodges and uniform application blanks.

When the applicant reaches the Officer, emergencies must be handled according to the demands of the situation, but when there is time for careful investigation, the general procedure to be adopted is as follows:

Allow the applicant to tell his story in full and produce documentary evidence. It is not advisable to indulge in ritualistic examinations. Advise applicant all applications must be handled according to uniform code. Get out application blank and fill out all blanks on body and secure signature of applicant. Next consult this list of lodges to see if the lodge given exists. Also consult warning circulars. If applicant is therein reported, dismiss, or, if justified, arrest him. If not reported, advise applicant you will wire at once to the Secretary of his Lodge to establish his identity. At this point many applications will be withdrawn, in which case write a letter to the Secretary, simply stating that So-and-So, claiming membership, called. If the applicant is a fraud, this will be sufficient to call out an answer, and, if he is in good standing, it will not disclose the nature of his visit. If the application is not withdrawn, wire or have Secretary wire at once (day or night letter is recommended) to lodge (see sample telegram attached) and be governed by answer. While waiting answer, furnish order on restaurant for meals (also for room, if necessary), but do not give cash. It is better to spend $5.00 to investigate rather than 50 cents on a chance.

Request applicant to return later. Frauds seldom return.

Whenever a fraud is discovered, report by letter to Rev. W.D. Engle, Secretary, Masonic Temple, Indianapolis, Ind., giving full description and information.

Be careful in case of foreigners. It is generally safe to refuse relief unless a certificate and dues receipt are produced.

Never give money, if other relief is available and adequate.

The same care should be taken in case applicant claims to be member of family, widow, or orphan of a Mason.

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Sample Telegram

Secretary Boaz Lodge Sixteen (use title only), Deer Creek, Ohio:

John Smith, engineer, claiming membership your lodge, age thirty, height five ten, weight one forty, black hair and eyes, dark complexion, Roman nose, scar over left eye, applies for assistance (vary to suit occasion) Wire standing, worthiness and instructions.

or Ionic Lodge No. 40, F. & A. M.

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By Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M., District Of Columbia

Jeremiah O'Brien

ON the second of December, 1907, Congressman Wiley, of Alabama, introduced Bill No. 539 into the 60th Congress, asking an appropriation of Public Money of $50,000, to erect in the Capital City of the Nation a Monument to the memory of Jeremiah O'Brien, upon the pedestal of which should be inscribed:

Erected to the memory of
The Heroic Irish-American
Who captured
In the first sea fight of
The Revolutionary War
The British Schooner Margharetta.

The writer has been informed, by Mr. Wiley, that the bill was exploited, lobbied, etc., by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Knights of Columbus, who were proud of their hero and urgent in their testimony in favour of the bill.

The "hearings" before the committee on Library, in favour of the appropriation, were very complimentary to Captain O'Brien, and quite convincing of his heroism, patriotism, etc.

Captain O'Brien, however, was not Irish, as they evidently believed, but was born and raised in the State of Maine.

During the month of June, 1775, a small British armed schooner visited the Harbour of Machias: it was the Margharetta. O'Brien attacked her on the 12th of June, with several smaller vessels, armed with muskets, shot-guns, pitch forks, axes, and one small cannon. The armament of the Margharetta was far superior, being "sixteen swivels and four four-pounders," but the Americans carried her by boarding. The fight was bloody but of short duration, and really was the first sea-fight of that war.

O'Brien used the battery of the Margharetta in other vessels in "raiding" the enemy's vessels in the bay of Fundy, and around New Foundland and Halifax, which waters he faithfully patrolled. The vessels he used, though smaller than the Margharetta, were faster sailers, which was much to their advantage. He encountered the Dilligence, the Fatmagouche and another armed tender, which came to Machias to retake the Margharetta, and he beat them off.

The Committee on Library, in the House of Representatives, to whom the bill was referred for consideration and report, was informed that Jeremiah O'Brien was a pew holder and attendant of the Congregational Church at Machias, of which his father was one of the founders, and that Jeremiah O'Brien was a charter member of Warren Lodge at Machias. This they probably communicated to the promoters of the bill, for they as suddenly abandoned it and the committee never reported the bill, pro nor con.

O'Brien served six years as a member of the National Congress, and was held in high esteem. He died in 1858, at the age of 80 years, and was buried in the protestant cemetery at Machias, and the memorial, shown in the cut, though not so ostentatious as the one asked for by the hyphenated-Americans, is sufficient to identify the individual, who was not an Irish-American at all.

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Did you ever stop to consider what our national emblem represents to the true patriot? In form a memorial of events of supreme importance in our history, it is a symbol of the national life itself, of the power which binds us into one cohesive whole. It represents not only the traditions, the history, the struggles and victories of the past, and our love and devotion of the present, our institution and privileges and the liberty we enjoy, but it represents and symbolizes our faith in and hope for the future.

The Flag always represents the ideal State. No matter how great injustice we may think we suffer at the hands of those who wield the powers of government at the time, the flag yet remains undimmed. We struggle and strive, not to raise the National Emblem to a higher standard, but to raise society to the standard of the ideal nation of which our flag is the sign and symbol. No matter how far we may go, our National Banner holds a vision of a yet brighter future, a vision of an ideal future which is a truly Masonic ideal, when Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity shall reign supreme. - Silver Trowel Bulletin, Calif.

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Devoted To The "Study Side Of Masonry"

Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg

The Lodge And The Candidate

Part I, Proposing and Recommending

(Note. The following article is one of a series prepared by the Editor for reading and discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs. This series is based upon the Society's "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." Each month we present a leading article supplemented by a list of references on the same subject. Commencing with this issue, we also append a column of "Helpful Hints to Study Club Leaders," which we hope will assist those already doing this work, and inspire others to do likewise. This innovation is in line with the Society's policy of stimulating active Masonic study.

We recommend that Lodges and Study Clubs use the current paper at their meeting one month after it is received. This gives time for careful study by the members; it also permits the preparation of additional papers from the references. In the original presentation of this paper, if it is read a paragraph at a time, and fully discussed as you proceed, you will find that each member will get more out of it. By this plan, the leader can bring out the important points listed under "Helpful Hints," as you go along, and the discussion will perhaps be more to the point than otherwise.

The Bulletin Course may be taken up at this point as profitably as elsewhere. The previous lessons may be considered review work. Mackey's Encyclopedia and the bound volumes of THE BUILDER remain the necessary references; others will from time to time be given; rare references will be reprinted in THE BULLETIN. YOUR LODGE can undertake systematic Masonic study with small expense in dollars, but large returns to your membership, if you will let us assist you. Our "STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is organized for that purpose.
Address Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary, Anamosa, Iowa.)

THE very word "candidate" has a special significance. It means one clothed in white. As a symbol the color reference is striking, representing as it does the stainless and unblemished. It is also a reminder of the apron and all which that emblem teaches.

One who applies for the degrees of Masonry must do so of his own free will and accord. He cannot be solicited to become a member. No invitation in any form is offered to him. Of all the requirements for a clear application this one is in the most rigorous class.

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The Petition

A petition for the degrees is usually in brief form. It recites that the petitioner has long had a favorable opinion of the institution and if found worthy is desirous of being admitted a member; that he believes in the existence of a Supreme Being; that he has (or has not) before petitioned a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for admission; that he has lived in the same locality since the date he sets forth in the petition; states when and where he was born; and also gives his occupation. To this document there is appended his own signature and usually two Masonic endorsers.

Of course it is only to be expected that the endorsers of the application are able of their own knowledge to verify some, if not all, of the statements made in the document to which they have attached their signatures. It is not altogether reasonable that as witnesses their names are merely to be accepted as deposing that if required they can prove the identity of the person signing the statement.

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Changes Due To New Conditions

For a number of years there has been a tendency to elaborate the forms of petition for the degrees and that the method of investigation be extended and in general improved. That the candidate shall be more thoroughly put upon record in certain essential particulars is the object of these developments. Already in this paper I have presented a simple form of application and now I offer the clauses found in the application adopted in Pennsylvania so far as these are affected by recent developments.

"Name in full…. Age….. years. Date of birth…… Occupation (state specifically and in detail the character of the occupation)…… Residence of petitioner (give street and number)………. Where I have continuously resided since …… My former residences were at……for…..years, and at……for…..years. Place of birth…….Name of employer …. Date of signature………..Signed……

"I recommend the petitioner as worthy, and certify that I have been personally acquainted with him for….years immediately preceding this date.


"I recommend the applicant as worthy, and certify that I have been personally acquainted with him for…..years immediately preceding this date.

"Date………………… Signed……..

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Presentation Of The Petition

This petition accompanied with the fee stipulated by the bylaws of the Lodge is presented at a communication of that body. If no sufficient objection, orally or in writing, is addressed openly to the Lodge or privately presented to the Master, the petition is received and acted upon to the extent of appointing a Committee of Investigation. The Committee makes suitable inquiries and reports at a succeeding communication of a Lodge. Some difference of opinion may easily arise as to what are "suitable" avenues of investigation for the Committee.

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Committee Of Investigation

Whether the endorsers know much or little about the petitioner does not release the members of the Committee of Investigation from the full share of responsibility for a thorough inquiry into the worthiness of the applicant to receive the Masonic degrees in the Lodge to which he has applied for this privilege.

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The Essential Requirements

What are these essential requirements ?

The Ancient Charges exact only the broadest of faiths. "That religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of honor and honesty, by whatever persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the center of union, and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must have remained at a perpetual distance."

My own State (Ohio) interprets this in its Code as "No religious test shall ever be required of any applicant for the benefits of Masonry other than a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of Deity; and no lodge under this Jurisdiction shall receive any candidate without the acknowledgment of such belief." Of course the Ohio Code also accepts as law the foregoing excerpt from the old Charges.

It is also provided by the same State Code that "At his reception into the Lodge of Entered Apprentices, the candidate must be able to respond of his own accord that in times of difficulty and danger he trusts in God. The Masonic requirement is in the expression of faith and trust – faith in God and trust in His protection – and if the candidate does not so respond he should be conducted from the Lodge." The Code further recites that "Masonry is above sectarianism and embraces all who acknowledge a belief in God."

Sundry other qualifications are not so universally insisted upon as is the matter of religious faith, though even in that important particular there are a very few instances where the rigor of the situation is waived.

We are also informed by the old Charges that "The persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true men, freeborn and of mature and discreet age, bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good report."

At least one great Masonic jurisdiction no longer follows this paragraph in its entirety. England uses "free" instead of "freeborn."

Just what is "mature and discreet age" may be variously estimated. Most jurisdictions specify twenty-one years as the minimum. Exceptions have been known. The son of a Mason was of old known as a Lewis and was privileged to become a member at an earlier age than other applicants for the degrees.

Among the other regulations are that the candidates shall be of good and honest parentage, and that they have "right and perfect limbs and able of body to attend the said science."

Many hold that the individual must be judged by his own acts and therefore this old stipulation as to legitimate birth no longer obtains as tenaciously as of yore. There is also great difference of opinion and of practice with regard to the matter of what is sometimes called "physical perfection." One jurisdiction has gone on record with the following: "A candidate for the degree of Entered Apprentice should be able physically, as well as intellectually, of himself and without exterior aid or assistance from another, to receive and impart all the essentials for Masonic recognition." It is obviously impossible here on the printed page to specify in detail all that the candidate will be instructed as to the requirements of Masonic recognition.

Some Grand Lodges are much more insistent than others as to the extent of bodily imperfection that may prevail in order to disqualify the applicant. It is usually held that the question only arises before the candidate receives the Entered Apprentice degree. Should he by some accident occurring subsequent to initiation suffer mutilation, this is sufficient cause in eight United States Jurisdictions for arresting his further advancement.

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The Doctrine Of "Physical Perfection"

The Grand Master of Alabama, in 1915, in his annual report dealt with the physical and other qualifications after this wise:

"One of the first lessons taught the initiate is that 'it is the internal and not the external qualifications of a man which recommend him to be made a Mason,' and yet, we are prone to overlook any little stain on the moral character, and waive any defect in the mental ability of a petitioner which renders him incapable of properly understanding or comprehending the principles of our fraternity. We are not willing to sit in judgement upon the intellectual attainments – or rather, the lack of them – of one who desires to connect himself with our ancient and honourable institution, but we never overlook a stiff knee, nor waive the loss of a foot, nor the first joint of a thumb. In so doing we deny membership to many men of big brains and warm hearts; men of good moral character; men whose mental ability and intellectual attainments would be of great benefit to the craft and of greater benefit to the world by reason of their association with us, and their help in the great work in which we are engaged.

"The requirements that an acceptable petitioner shall be 'perfect in member' comes to us from the days of operative Masonry when there was, probably, good reason therefor, but has little to recommend it now except its antiquity, and, as I view it, with so little to recommend it, and so much to condemn it, it is time that we modify it, even at the risk of shattering what might be termed a landmark.

"I believe that intellectually, morally, and socially, the effect upon the candidate and upon the craft would be beneficial if by amending or modifying the present law concerning physical perfection or qualifications we look more closely into the intellectual, moral, and social qualifications of the petitioner, and admit those who are worthy and well qualified from these standpoints, and waive such slight physical requirements as now prohibit the reception of a petitioner who cannot perfectly exemplify our ritual. I therefore recommend:

"That our constitutions and edicts be so amended that the question of physical qualifications for initiation or advancement be left to the subordinate petitioned lodge, subject to the approval of the Grand Master."

The suggestion bore fruit. An amendment adopted in 1916, reads as follows:

"No subordinate lodge shall proceed to confer any or either of the degrees of Masonry upon any person who is not a man, freeborn, of the age of twenty-one years or upward, of good reputation, of sufficient natural and intellectual endowment, with an estate, office, occupation, or some other obvious source of honest subsistence, from which he may be able to spare something for works of charity and for maintaining the ancient dignity and utility of the Masonic institution. If the petitioner be physically defective by reason of deformity or being maimed, his eligibility shall be determined by the lodge to which he has applied, and if determined favourably to the petitioner he shall be eligible to receive the degrees of Masonry when the action of the lodge has been approved by the Grand Master in writing."

It is the law in Indiana that "The Grand Master may with the consent of the Committee on Jurisprudence allow lodges to receive and ballot on petitions for membership of those who can by the aid of artificial appliances conform to the ceremonies of the order."

Since the adoption of this law in 1911, the average number of such petitions has not exceeded eight in any one year. Indiana has a membership of over seventy thousand Masons and therefore the ratio of the "physically imperfect" is numerically very small. Probably the method employed acts to some extent to deter or at least to lessen the number of applications because of the official approval required of those who are not influenced by the local personal equation. They do not have an acquaintance with the applicants other than is requisite to understand the extent of the bodily defect. Hasty and ill-advised action would appear to be checked in every way by the Indiana method.

A special form has been prepared for Indiana lodges which makes it easy to compile and submit such data concerning every applicant as will enable the Grand Master and the Committee on Jurisprudence to pass intelligently upon the merits or the demerits of each case.

Says the Committee: "We must remember that we should not encourage this class of applicants any more than we should solicit the applicants who are physically perfect, nor should we encourage them to believe that this amendment gives them an inalienable right to the blessed privileges of our institution. Let them understand that this is a favor to be bestowed only upon those whose mental, moral, and social endowments have more than compensated for the loss they have sustained in the physical."

In Massachusetts the law in reference to physical qualifications is expressed thus: "If the physical deformity of any applicant for the degrees does not amount to an inability to meet the requirements of the ritual, and honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, it shall constitute no hindrance to his initiation." Grand Master Johnson interpreted the significance of this regulation to be that "The physical defect of the candidate, whatever it may be, shall not be such as to render him incapable of receiving and imparting instruction, nor of performing any duties that may be required of him in his capacity or vocation as a Mason. No such maim or defect of the body as the loss of an eye, an ear, a finger, or other member not essential to the discharge of his Masonic duties, or to his personal maintenance, does any violence to the spirit and original intent of this regulation, and, in the opinion of your committee, no other construction can be put upon it consistently with the higher demands of humanity, justice, and equality."

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Additional Data For The Committee

Some lodges in Ohio provide an additional series of questions in order that investigating committees may be more thorough in searching out the character and reputation of applicants for membership. Sometimes these questions are printed on the backs of the petitions or reports. Under the heading of "Qualifications of Applicants" there is stated:

"Each committee shall, collectively if possible, visit the Petitioner in his home and require him to answer the following questions:

"Do you pay your debts ? "Do you use profane or indecent language, gamble, associate with improper persons, indulge intemperately in intoxicating liquors, own or tend a saloon? "If married, do you live with your family? "Do you believe in the everliving and true God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures? "To what Organizations or Associations do you belong? "The committee shall then ascertain from outside sources: "If he is temperate in all his habits. "If his neighbors, acquaintances and employers give him a good character. "If he is mercenary, narrow-minded, arbitrary, or a disturbing element. "If he is physically qualified to receive the degrees. "If he has sufficient education to understand that Freemasonry is to improve in knowledge, to cultivate the social virtues, and to practice out of the lodge the great moral and charitable precepts taught in it. "If the Organizations to which he belongs would circumscribe or prevent his usefulness in the Fraternity."

With the very broad scope of these queries there is nevertheless omitted any mention of the provision to be made by the applicant for the future welfare of those dependent upon him. The Grand Lodge of New Zealand expects the applicant to satisfy the Committee of Investigation regarding the insurance or other provision for the family in case of the death or permanent disability of the petitioner.

Among the recommendations of Grand Master Cotton of Missouri submitted to his Grand Lodge during the annual communication of 1915 was one that suggested that committees of investigation be required to answer the following questions with reference to applicants for the degrees:

"Has the applicant resided in Missouri twelve months and in the jurisdiction of the lodge six months? "Is he mentally qualified and of proper age ? "Is he strictly honest and truthful? "Is he addicted to the intemperate use of intoxicating liquors ? "Does he gamble? "What is the character of his company and associates? "Does he habitually use profane or indecent language? "Has he licentious or immoral habits? "Is he a law-abiding citizen? "Do you consider him suitable material for 'a beautiful system of morals"'?

Lodges in New Jersey have an application blank containing the following directions and questions which the investigating committee is in every case charged with the duty of having duly and properly observed and answered:

"Brethren, you are appointed a committee to investigate the character and eligibility of…..for membership in our lodge.

"The following information will guide you in performing your duty: "He is in business at…. (employed by) ….located at…… He resides at……….

"You will obtain from said petitioner full and correct answers to the following questions: "Names of parents. "Names of brothers and sisters. "Where has he resided during the past ten years ? (If more than one place, give places and periods of residence.) "Does he appear to possess sufficient intelligence to understand and value the doctrines and tenets of our order? "What are the names and addresses of all his employers for the past two years, and the periods and nature of his several employments ? "Is he married or single ? "If married, is he living with his wife? "If not living with his wife, state the reason for separation. "Has he any children? If so, how many? "What provision has he made for himself or his family in case of his disability or death? "Does he contribute to the immediate necessities of those who want, and is it his purpose to practice charity so far as his circumstances will permit? "Has he ever been convicted of a crime? If so, state the circumstances and result. "Is he physically qualified to become a member of the order ? "What three responsible persons, Masons preferred, have known him the most intimately, and for the longest time? "Said committee shall report the results of its investigation to the lodge in the following form, which shall be properly filled in: "Your committee appointed upon the petition of Mr……… would report that they called personally upon such petitioner, and have called or communicated by letter with persons named in answer to questions five and fourteen, and have received the following answers: (Give report of each person replying).

"From ……………….. "From ……………….. "From ………………..

"We are satisfied that the answers in his statement contained are…. true; that his life, conduct, morals, and general reputation and standing in the community in which he resides are such that he is ….qualified as a proper candidate for Masonry, and that there are …..reasons to the knowledge of your committee why the prayer of such petitioner should not be granted."

Details so elaborate may to many accustomed to the simpler forms appear unnecessary. On the other hand it has in fact happened that the wrong man has been under investigation and that the lodge has thereby been constrained to vote improperly. In this instance the two men were of the same name but not related and both resided within the jurisdiction of the lodge to which an application was tendered. The whole proceedings were subsequently officially declared null and void. The Grand Master found that "The committee did not report on the application placed in their hands nor did the lodge vote on the petition of the man who applied." Accordingly there was but the one thing to do and the lodge received the following explicit instructions: "Let the committee do its duty, make report on the proper man, and let the lodge vote on the proper petition."

Iris Lodge, No. 229, of Cleveland, Ohio, uses the regulation blank for the petitioner's application for membership. When this petition is received the Secretary sends the applicant another printed blank which he is to fill out and return. This latter blank bears the name and address of the Lodge and of its Secretary an otherwise is as follows:

"Dear Sir: – I am in receipt of your application to Iris Lodge. Will you kindly supply answers to the following questions and return the form to me in the enclosed envelope at your earliest convenience:

"Full Name ……………………………….. "Address …………………………………. "Date of Birth……………………………… "Place of Birth…………………………….. "How long have you lived in Cleveland………… "How long have you lived in Ohio…………….. "Occupation ………………………………. "If employed, give Employer's name…………… "Business Address …………………………. "Single, Married or Widower…………………. "If married, how many in family……………… "Do you attend any Church…………………… "If so, which………………………………. "Give Pastor's name………………………… "Do you belong to any Secret Societies………… "If so, which………………………………. "Give names of three men to whom you can refer, other than those already on the petition: "Name…………………….Address "Name…………………….Address "Name…………………….Address "Have you ever made application to a Masonic Lodge before………… "Give any other information that will be of assistance to the Committee."

The effect of the last line in the foregoing blank will be to encourage the applicant to make a more thorough search through his answers to the preceding questions and to supply additional data where his first replies may have been scanty of particulars.

In all these investigations there is the object that a sense of absolute confidence within the lodge must be satisfied. To attain this end the candidate is called upon for all the necessary details of these qualifications essential to Masonic raw material. Systematization of the work of investigation simplifies the labors of the Committees, produces uniformity of results, and do much to provide that nothing of value has been over looked. When these much to be desired results are obtained the lodge can then proceed to ballot advisedly. Sure of its ground the lodge then builds upon firm foundation the edifice Masonic, the worthy candidate being by its labor fitted to the purpose of the Craft.

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Helpful Hints to Study Club Leaders

Proposing and Recommending.

Under this heading we consider all of the conditions surrounding a candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry, his qualifications, and the duties of the Lodge with respect to a proper consideration of his petition. The following points should be thoroughly brought out in the Club discussion. In addition, we append some questions dealing with the more general policies of a Lodge which will serve, as we think, to form in the mind of a student a correct opinion on these matters.

a. What is a complete and legal Petition for the Mysteries of Masonry ? b. How does a Petition come before the Lodge ? What are the successive steps which it must take before finally being acted upon? c. What are the duties of the Recommenders to a Petition ? d. What are the duties of the Committee on Investigation? e. Where must a candidate reside in order to petition a Lodge ? What determines the jurisdiction of a Lodge? When and where is jurisdiction referred to as "concurrent" ? f. Discuss the doctrine of "Physical Perfection." What is the law in your own State on the subject? g. In the olden time Lodges were small, and the members knew all candidates personally. How far do modern conditions justify a Committee on Investigation in asking for additional information regarding a candidate ? In cities and towns with a considerable transient population would you regard the lists of supplemental questions in this paper as justifiable? h. Should the fact that a candidate has presented his petition to a Lodge be kept from the general public ? Why ? i. Impress the necessity of proper decorum in the ante-room and preparation room. What should be the attitude of all the Brethren of a Lodge toward a candidate whose name has been proposed? j. Has not the Lodge the right to try to learn whether or not a candidate will take Masonry seriously? Should the petitioner's motives be included in the list of qualifications? What is meant by "preparation in the heart" ?

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Supplemental Questions.

1. Which policy is best for Masonry, charging a high initiation fee, say from $50.00 to $100.00, or a relatively low fee, from $25.00 to $40.00?

a. Discuss the "human nature" element. Which do we value most, things that cost us enough to demand sacrifice, or things which cost us little ?
b. Is the establishment of a relatively high fee for the degrees in any sense placing a "money value on Masonry" ?
c. How far may a Lodge be said to place its own valuation upon the work which it does, when it establishes the fee to be charged?
d. Ought not every Lodge to place itself in such a financial position that it can fulfil its charitable obligations to its members ? What are these obligations ?
e. Ought not every candidate to be presented by the Lodge with enough good Masonic literature so that he may come to a full understanding of what Masonry is, and what it should mean to him ?

2. Discuss the question of Lodge Dues as related to the above.

3. Bring out the fact that, though the candidate is presently to assume an obligation to the Lodge, the Lodge is also, through its W. M., to assume the same obligation toward the candidate. This being true, the Lodge MUST determine for itself the qualities of a candidate which tend to make him either worthy or unworthy of the mutual confidence imposed by initiation.


Committee on Investigation, THE BUILDER, vol. II, (Cor.) p. 254. Preliminary Statements of Candidate, THE BUILDER, vol. Soliciting, THE BUILDER, vol. I, p. 40. Qualifications, THE BUILDER, vol. I, pp. 126, 242, 248; vol. II, pp. 17, 30, 239, 274, 277, 350; (Cor.) pp. 95, 160, 191, 318; (Lib.) p. 27; (Q. B.) pp. 317, 381. Old Constitutions of Freemasonry, 1722, p. 15 Newton's "The Builders," p. 127. Mackey's Encyclopedia: Candidate, Esoteric Masonry, Monitor, Proposing Candidates, Recommendation, Residence, Qualifications of a Candidate, Jurisdiction of a Lodge, Physical Qualifications. Mackey's Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence, Book I, Chapter ii. The student is also referred to the articles on "Physical Qualifications" in this issue of THE BUILDER.


It is a society of men of all classes in the social scale, all nations, races, colours, and creeds.

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Qualifications Of A Candidate

They must be believers in one sole, personal God.

Further, of good position, i.e., following some reputable calling. A usurer, a police-informer, the follower of any degrading occupation, even though perfectly legal, such as a hangman, would be an impossible candidate; because his presence would dishonour the Craft, and he would be unfit to associate with gentlemen.

They must be of adequate means; that is, their income must be in excess of their actual necessities. Freemasonry is always more or less expensive, and we hold it a Masonic crime to devote to the Craft what is required by one's family.

They must be of good repute or morals. This does not imply that every candidate shall be absolutely faultless; but what is known of him must be, on the whole, to his credit. The man of business whose smartness borders on dishonesty; the boon companion whose conviviality resolves itself into frequent excess; the man who is often seen in doubtful company; the hotheaded disputant, whose violence of temperament leads him to forget the respect due to his adversary; these are not desirable members of the Craft, even though their good qualities exceed their bad ones. And yet, if carelessly admitted there is a likelihood that the Craft and its lessons may do them great good.

On the other hand, the inveterate liar, the unclean liver, the drunkard, the rowdy, the companion of rogues and vagabonds, the fraudulent bankrupt, the gambler, the spendthrift, the betrayer of innocence, the hypocrite and the niggard, are under no circumstances fit and proper candidates for the privileges of Freemasonry.

They must be Free. When Masonry was first established, serfs and villains existed in the land. Such were not admitted to apprenticeship in our lodges. In like manner we must not admit a man who is not master of his own time and actions. But we apply the restriction to his intellect also. A man bound down in the chains of superstition, unable to take a free and manly view of matters in general, the bondsman of priestcraft, of social laws and prejudices of his business avocations even or a slave to his own passions, is not a fit associate for Free men and Masons.

They must be sound men. When Masonry was chiefly composed of operative Masons, a cripple was not admitted to apprenticeship; the reason is obvious. We no longer insist upon soundness of limb, provided the candidate can fulfil our requirements; but we stipulate for mental soundness. A Mason must have a sound mind, capable of reasoning, of instruction, of appreciating the beauties of our ritual, of expressing himself clearly, of discriminating between good and evil, the noble and the base.

They must be educated men. This does not imply a university career, or even a board-school education. The best and truest and most serviceable education is often acquired amongst one's fellow men in the battle of life. That they must be able to read and write is obvious. But they must have been educated to possess the most valuable attributes of a gentleman. Not in the restricted and false sense in which My Lord Tomnoddy would apply the word. Polished manners and a good tailor neither make nor mar the gentleman. Masons understand by the term a man who has learnt to be considerate to all men, of a kind and chivalrous nature, who avoids acts and words which pain his neighbours, honest in thought and deed, the support of the weak, the vindicator of the oppressed. Such a man, though his hands be horny, his boots clumsy, his gait heavy and his H's misplaced, is a noble man, a friend to be trusted, and will make a good Mason. If in addition he possesses the grace and complishments of Lord Chesterfield, or the erudition of Bacon, he will be doubly welcome; but the latter qualities, without former, are as nought.

They must be of a charitable disposition. Charitable in giving of their superabundance, charitable in sympathy with the distressed in body and mind, charitable in thinking no evil of friend or foe. To virtue ever kind, to faults a little blind.

Such should be the members of the Craft; this is the ideal which every lodge should strive to attain. That in many cases we fall lamentably short of this high ideal, must be attributed to the imperfections of our human nature.
– From "What Is Freemasonry?" by G. W. Speth.

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Help To Make Your Lodge A "Live Lodge"

Most of the Lodges that have been called off for the summer season will call on again this month. The great number that are following our Course of Study will resume their monthly study meetings with the instalment of the course in this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin. They will be better prepared than ever to successfully conduct their meetings since the inauguration of the new feature, "Helpful Hints to Study Leaders."

The facilities of the Study Club Department have been greatly augmented and we are now in a better position than ever before to answer the many questions that are being referred to us by Lodges and Study Clubs. For the past ten months one of our clerks has been employed in card-indexing the contents of all the Masonic books, periodicals, Research Lodge transactions, Grand Lodge Proceedings, Encyclopedias, etc., in the Library of the Society. Four of us have been busy for several months on our "Clipping Bureau." In this Bureau we are clipping and classifying under their proper titles articles of every description contained in all the Masonic periodicals coming to our exchange table. Our task will not be completed for many months to come but we already have a vast fund of information for reference purposes and the card-index system and Clipping Bureau are both in excellent working order. When both of these systems are practically completed (they will both be constantly added to each month as new material is received from other sources), we shall have the most complete reference system that can be imagined, and the references on every conceivable subject having to do with Masonry in any connection will be instantly available. Every subject will have its individual index-card and this card will show the volume and page of every book in the Library in which allusion is made to the subject in particular, be it but a single line or several chapters.

Take, if you please, the "Oblong Square" for a subject. We consult our index-card and find immediately a list of every mention of the subject that has been made in the many volumes of the "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," Mackey's Encyclopedia, MacKenzie's Encyclopedia, THE BUILDER, NEW AGE, etc. We are also directed to the exact volume and page of every other work on Masonry on our Library shelves wherein anything ever appeared on this subject. We then take our folder from our Clipping Bureau, containing all the clippings from the Grand Lodge Proceedings and Masonic and other periodicals, and we are in a position to give the individual member, Lodge or Study Club referring to us a question on this subject, everything that has been written about it.

In addition to these facilities, we have, by an order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, free and unlimited access to every work on Masonry in the archives of the greatest Masonic Library in the world, the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, where are located two of the members of the Board of Stewards of the National Masonic Research Society. Need we tell you any more of our vast resources of Masonic reference?

Right here is where YOU, as a member of the Research Society, enter into the proposition. Your own Lodge, which may not have yet taken up this valuable and interesting feature in its meetings, is entitled, through your membership in the Society, to the free services of our Study Club Department and you will be conferring a great favor upon your fellow-members of your Lodge by bringing this matter before them.

You may not be in a position to take a leading part in the study meetings yourself, but doubtless there are others among the officers and members of your Lodge who have the time and the inclination to do so if the matter is properly presented to them. May we not depend upon you to do this, if you cannot do more? Talk it over at the next meeting of your Lodge and then let us hear from you, or if you are too busy, have your Master or some other Brother write us for full particulars of our Study plan, and thus number your Lodge among the many hundreds that are DOING THINGS and living up to their obligations to their members.

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Continued in Part 2

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