The Builder Magazine

January 1917 – Volume III – Number 1


Part 2

Continued from Part 1

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


By Bro. Dudley Wright, Ass't Editor London Freemason

The fortunate habit, adhered to by the London Freemason, of publishing portraits of Brethren elected to preside over some of their London Lodges enables us this month to present to our Members a likeness of Brother Dudley Wright, of London, whose graceful pen has already adorned these pages. But for this publication, we could not have done so, owing to the rules of the English Post Office prohibiting the mailing of photographs to outside countries during the war.

Brother Wright was installed as W. M. of Tuscan Mark Lodge No. 454 in London, on March 30, 1917, the brief summary of his acceptance revealing a high conception of Masonry, and a devout sense of the duties and responsibilities of the office. He occupies an eminent position in English Masonry from a literary standpoint also, being at the present time Associate Editor of the London Freemason. We hope in due time, to be able to give to our readers a more extended notice of this Brother, and also to explain more fully the position of Mark Mason Lodges in England, this being a branch of Freemasonry not represented in America.

Gibbon in his "History of Rome," in relating the story of the birth of the future deliverer of that country – Nicholas Rienzi Gabrini – says that from his parents, an innkeeper and a washerwoman, he could inherit neither dignity nor fortune. The history of every country and of many institutions teems with illustrations of the manner in which gigantic structures have risen from the tiniest of foundations. In the same way that before now a blow has caused a revolution and mighty contests have arisen from trivial causes, of which the history of the present day is presenting the most notable illustration in all annals, so many of the great and solid institutions which adorn the world had their origin almost in obscurity.

Of these institutions, perhaps the most notable is the story of the Grand Lodge of England. Its origin is known but the place of its birth has passed away. The members of the original foundation had ambitions, because they decided that "till they should have the honour of a noble Brother at their head," their Grand Master should be selected from among themselves. But the most sanguine of the members of those four Lodges who assembled in the upper room of "The Goose and Gridiron" in St. Paul's Churchyard – a room twenty two feet long by fifteen feet broad – on the 24th June, 1717, could not have glanced with prophetic vision across the vista of two hundred years and seen those four constituent Lodges grow and increase until they numbered nearly four thousand. But this achievement, great as it is, is, however, one of the smallest links in the Masonic chain forged in that upper room, a chain which now encircles the globe. That Grand Lodge, organized "pro tempore in due form," became the parent of the many hundreds of Grand Lodges now existent in all parts of the earth.

From the earliest days of its history the Craft of Freemasonry has attracted men of learning and of high attainments in science and literature, and in the fourth year of the history of Grand Lodge, the Duke of Montagu was installed as Grand Master amid the rejoicings of the Brethren "who all expressed great joy at the happy Prospect of being again patronised by noble Grand Masters as in the prosperous Times of Free Masonry." From that time onward the Grand Master's Chair has been occupied by a nobleman or a prince of the royal house. The heads of the Craft have not, however, been chosen merely for the sake of the titles which they bore, though some importance may undoubtedly, in the earlier days, have been attached to this factor. One of the founders and the first resident of the Royal Society – the Fellowship of which has always been regarded as the blue riband of learning – was a member of the Craft, and many of its prominent officials, particularly in the early days of its history, have also been prominent members and officers of the Grand Lodge of England. A similar relationship existed, and, happily, still exists between the Grand Lodge and the Society of Antiquaries.

But there are some utilitarians who will always persist in asking the question Cui bono? What has Freemasonry done that could not have been achieved by any other organization, say, a religious body? Happily, religious strife and controversy are less poignant in the present age than was the case two hundred years ago. There is now discernible a tendency towards unification which must be particularly cheering to those who have always maintained that in the principles of Freemasonry may be found the common basic facts of all religious systems. In India, where the caste system prevails in its most rigorous aspect, the Craft has broken down all barriers: the high-caste Hindu will fraternise and without question eat with the Mussulman, the Buddhist, and the Christian, if they are his Brethren. If Freemasonry had done no more than this, it would have accomplished what many statesmen and missionaries would, but a few decades ago, have regarded as a miracle and, in the same breath, have declared that such miracles, at any rate, never happen. It was that same longing, that same ardent desire for unity, the begetter of strength, that led to the organization of the Grand Lodge of England on the 24th June, 1717. The same eagerness has led Brethren during the ensuing two hundred years – particularly in 1813 – to cast aside everything that was tending to hinder the sublime achievement and preserve and maintain the fundamental principle. There are doubtless not a few who, if asked to say what had been the personal effect of Freemasonry, would make answer in the words of the poet:

No one could tell me what my soul might be; I sought for God, and God eluded me; I sought my brother out, and found all three.

But to the unobservant enquirer, who persists in putting the question Cui bono? and who must see in order that he may believe, the guide may point with pride to the great Masonic Institutions which have arisen during the-two last centuries and which were founded as a practical demonstration of the second Masonic principle of Relief. He could well challenge his questioner to produce their like as the result of less than two hundred years' activity on the part of any organization – religious, social, or philanthropic. He could also tell him – but then the instances would be far too numerous to relate – of the hundreds, aye, thousands, of aged Brethren, their wives and widows, whose declining years would have ended in tragedy but for the practical sympathy of the members of the Craft. He could point to the long roll of Girls and Boys who have passed through the Institutions erected for their care and support, many of whose names have been emblazoned, and some quite recently, on the annals of fame; and then let both questioner and questioned try to imagine what would have been their fate if Masonry had not put forward a helping hand. Then point to the record of relief granted by the Board of Benevolence, by the numerous Provincial Charity Funds, by the innumerable Masonic Institutions and Charity Funds of the Sister Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland, the Overseas Dominions, Allied and Foreign Countries and, at the same time, recollect that these are but some of the offspring of that meeting in the little upper room of "The Goose and Gridiron," St. Paul's Churchyard on the 24th June, 1717. Last, but by no means least, tell the sceptical enquirer of the wonderful work that has been accomplished in less than three years the Freemasons War Hospital in the Fulham Road.

No less strenuous have been the efforts of heads of the Craft to disseminate Truth, the third great principle of the Order, or, adapting the words of Buckle, the historian, "to purify the very source and fountain of our knowledge, and secure its future progress, by casting off obstacles in the presence of which progress is impossible." A mighty weapon which might have been used for ill has been placed in the hands of the Grand Lodge of England, but, surely, the fact that it has always been used for good must be the reason for the strength of the Craft today. "Right not might" has been the watchword in the past and will be the keynote of future success. The fact that the Craft, through the Grand Lodge, has always stood for the right accounts for its might. As Lewis in his work "On the Influence of Authority in Matters of Opinion" said: "It is of paramount importance that truth, and not error, should be accredited; that men, when they are led, should be led by safe guides; and that they should thus profit by those processes of reasoning and investigation which have been carried on in accordance with logical rules, but which they are notable to verify for themselves." The wonderful growth and strength of Freemasonry during two hundred years is in no small degree attributable to the fact that the body militant has been under the direction of safe guides, Brethren who have led by example and have not driven by force. Regard has been paid more to the centre than to the circumference, to the foundation more than to the superstructure. Truth is one: And in all lands beneath the sun, Whoso hath eyes to see may see The tokens of its unity.

There is a vast difference, in point of numbers, from the gathering in that little upper room in "The Goose and Gridiron" on the 24th June, 1717, and the huge assembly in the Royal Albert Hall on the 23rd June, 1917, but the principles for which both meetings were organized and held were the same. During two hundred years they have been preserved inviolate. Exigencies of time and circumstances have necessitated development in points of procedure but these have involved no deviation from the original foundation. The center is still where it was. The circumference is an ever-broadening one. Freemasonry has never employed the argumentum ad hominem, but rather, with a mind conscious of rectitude, which has enabled its adherents to set at naught criticisms founded on a misunderstanding or wilful falsification of its aims, has adopted as its motto Respice finem and pursued unfalteringly its way.

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By Bro. W. E. Atchison, Ass't Sec'y

V. Physical Qualifications For Initiation

(Note: The following is a digest of the laws of the several Grand Jurisdictions of the United States relating to physical qualifications of candidates for initiation into the mysteries of Masonry. While it was our primary intention when this study was begun to cite only the laws pertaining to "physical" qualifications, it became evident, from the replies of some Grand Secretaries, that it would be necessary in some instances to include also portions of the law concerning moral, intellectual and age qualifications owing to the fact that these were included in the same section or paragraph with physical qualifications, and to delete all but physical qualifications might lead to a misinterpretation of the law. These excerpts from the Codes are not in all instances exhaustive of the Code but are comprehensive enough to cover the subject from almost every angle without making the article too lengthy.

The present study is intended only to cover the qualifications of candidates for initiation. The law of each jurisdiction covering the question of advancement of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts sustaining physical injuries after initiation or passing may be found in the February, 1917, number of THE BUILDER, pages 50 to 56, inclusive.)

Alabama 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, trade, 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 favorable 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.

(The Jurisprudence Committee, being requested by the Grand Master to interpret the above law replied "we do not believe it advisable or desirable to attempt to specify the particular instances which would authorize the waiver of physical infirmities or deformities. The spirit of this amended clause of the constitution is broad, and its purpose clear, and the construction thereof should be left to the deliberate judgment of the subordinate lodge and the Grand Master, in the light of this spirit and purpose under the facts of each particular case.")

Arizona The person who desires to be made a Mason must be a man; no woman or eunuch; free born, being neither a slave nor the son of a bond woman; a believer in God and a future existence; of moral conduct; capable of reading and writing; having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art, and physically able to conform literally to what the several degrees respectively require of him.

Arkansas No person must be made a Mason unless he be a man of full age, of good character, honest and upright; he must have the use of his limbs and members, as a man ought to have; and with no maim, nor any such defect as may incapacitate him to learn the art, to give all due signs and salutations, to be made a Fellow Craft and Master in due time; honestly and reputably to acquire means of subsistence; and to comply fully and entirely with all the duties and obligations assumed by him towards the Craft at large and individual brethren, and such as Masonic law and usage impose upon or require of a good Mason.

Defects which have been held to disqualify: Loss of arm. Stiff knee. Eunuch. Loss of left hand. Loss of foot. Inability to take the steps.

Defects which have been held not to disqualify: Nearsightedness. Slight defect in hip. Broken right thigh causing partial loss sense of feeling in right foot. Loss of one eye. Loss of last joint of thumb on left hand.

California No Lodge in this jurisdiction shall receive an application for the degrees of Masonry unless the applicant be a man; no woman nor eunuch; free born, being neither a slave nor the son of a bond woman; a believer in God and a future existence; of moral conduct; capable of reading and writing; having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art, and physically able to conform substantially to what the several degrees respectively require of him.

A petition cannot be received from one under 21, even though he would arrive at that age before action on the petition could be taken.

A Lodge cannot with propriety receive an application from one who has served a term in State's prison.

Nor from one under indictment by a grand Jury.

The candidate must be a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and not quibble about Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence.

The non-observance of the first day of the week as a day of rest does not disqualify an applicant.

Saloon keepers and bar keepers are ineligible.

Colorado A candidate for the degrees shall be a man, at least twenty-one years of age at the time his petition is presented to the Lodge; free born, of sound mind, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art and becoming perfect in the work, but physically able to conform literally to what the several degrees may require of him; shall be of good report, and shall possess a belief in one ever-living and true God. No Lodge shall confer the Entered Apprentice Degree upon a candidate unless he possess these qualifications. No substitution of artificial parts or limbs is a compliance with the law. The loss of a hand or a foot, or any considerable part of such member, or a material natural deformity therein, is an absolute disqualification. Except where the disqualification is absolute, the Lodge has a discretion, which must be governed by the spirit of the law as above set forth.

Connecticut The necessary qualifications of a candidate are such that affect his character, which are termed the internal qualifications, and such as affect his body, which are termed the physical or external qualification.

The internal qualifications are – (1) That he shall be free-born – born of free parents – and under no restraint as to his liberty. (2) That he shall be of lawful age, not less than twenty-one years. (3) That he shall not be an "Irreligious libertine," nor a "stupid atheist." (4) That he shall be of honest reputation, of humane disposition, and of temperate and industrious habits. (5) That he shall be actuated solely by a desire for knowledge, and of being servicable to his fellow-men. (6) That he shall be of sound mind and memory.

The external qualifications are: That he shall be a man – not a eunuch, nor a woman and that he shall possess the full enjoyment of those faculties, organs, limbs and members which are necessary for the reception and imparting of Masonic knowledge, and for a full compliance with all the forms and ceremonies employed in such reception or imparting, as practiced from time immemorial among Masons.

Delaware. Men made Masons must be freeborn, of mature age and of good report, hale and sound, not deformed at the time of their making and having full and proper use of their limbs, so that they may be capable of receiving and communicating the art of Masonry.

District of Columbia No Lodge shall initiate any candidate who is under twenty-one years of age or whose physical defects are such as either to prevent him from being properly instructed or from conforming literally to all requirements of the several degrees in Ancient Craft Masonry.

Held: That the loss of right thumb; loss of left hand; loss of index finger and middle finger of right hand and part of right heel; stiff knee are all disqualifying disabilities.

Florida The candidate for initiation into Masonry must be a man; free-born; with good moral reputation; of reasonable intelligence; physically capable of conforming literally to what the several degrees require of him; and he must not be an atheist.

A light physical deformity will not bar the initiation of a worthy applicant. The physical, mental and moral qualifications must all be considered in preparing a ballot, and all must have their due weight. The members of a Lodge are the judges as to these qualifications.

It is a safe rule in these days, though its antiquity may be greatly doubted, that a candidate should be able to read and write.

The casualties of war are no reason for changing the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. The candidate must be hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered, and must be able to perform the work required in the first three degrees of Masonry.

An artificial substitute will not qualify a dismembered applicant.

Georgia A candidate at the time of filing his petition must be fully twenty-one years of age.

Old age is not a bar to Masonry provided that the candidate in consequence thereof, has not lost possession of his physical and intellectual faculties, of which the Lodge must be the judge.

A candidate should be able to perform all the duties of Masonry, whether intellectual or physical.

The question of when a man is in his dotage is a question of fact, to be applied to each particular case. There is Ill no stated age at which a man would be considered in this unfortunate condition. A man possessed of all his faculties, capable of transacting the ordinary affairs of life and memorizing our lectures and ceremonies, no matter how old he may be, is not in his dotage. One man may reach this condition at a much earlier age than another.

One whose vision or hearing are so much impaired as to prevent his full understanding of any of the forms and ceremonies of Masonry, is ineligible to receive the degrees.

A candidate must be able to both read and write. A man who can read, but cannot write, except to sign his name, is not eligible for admission for membership.

Every candidate for initiation in this Jurisdiction must be upright in body, not deformed or dismembered at the time of making, but of hale and entire limbs, organs and members, as a man ought to be.

In the following cases the candidate is ineligible: (A) If either hand is amputated. (B) With only one leg. (C) With one-half of one foot lost. (D) When any limb or part of limb is lost, although approved mechanical appliances are used. (E) A hunch-back, who is necessarily a deformed man (E) One who has one leg materially shorter than other. (G) One whose left hand is crippled, and who has lost a thumb and two joints of the first finger thereof. (H) One who has lost two joints off of two fingers of the right hand. (I) One who has lost his right thumb at the first joint. (J) One who has lost the first or index finger of the right hand at the first joint, the second, half-way between the first and second joints, and the third at the first joint (K) One whose thumb and index finger of the right hand are sound, but the two middle fingers are drawn against the palm of the hand, and cannot be straightened, and whose right arm is also slightly drawn, so that when straightened as far as possible would form an angle of about 120 degrees.

(L) With the thumb and fingers of the left hand lost (M) With the fingers of either right or left hand, except the first finger and thumb lost. (N) With two joints of the index finger lost. (O) With the little finger and the ring finger lost, with two other fingers off at the middle joint.

An illegitimate is not thereby disqualified.

The loss of first joint of the first finger does not disqualify.

Held: If any candidate for the mysteries for Freemasonry possess any physical defect which shall cause him not to conform to the standards set out in our laws, or that may render him incapable of learning the art of Freemasonry, he shall be ineligible.

Idaho Decision by Grand Master Waterhouse, 1898: The ancient regulations governing the qualifications of a candidate for the degrees of Masonry were that he should not be formed nor dismembered. Since Operative Masonry is not coupled with Speculative Masonry, and we deal with Speculative Masonry only, this has been modified so that a man be not deformed to an extent that will prevent him from receiving and giving all Masonic signs, etc., nor prevent him from earning an honest living for himself and family, and that he be not likely to become a charge upon the Lodge. The Lodge to be the judge of this.

Held: That a man who is a trifle lame - one leg shorter than the other – capable of making all signs correctly and who would not become a charge on the Lodge and is not barred by some particular section of our laws, is eligible. The Lodge to be the judge.

Held: That the following defects are disqualifications: Loss of one eye; loss of one hand, loss of two fingers from right hand; loss of leg; loss of right thumb.

Illinois Every candidate applying for the degrees in Mason must have the senses of a man, especially those of hearing, seeing, and feeling; be a believer in God; capable of reading and writing and possess no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of conforming literally to what the several degrees require of him. No provision of section shall be set aside, suspended, or dispensed with the Grand Lodge.

The loss of sight in one eye or the necessity of wearing a truss, are not disqualifications.

Indiana. Lodges are prohibited from initiating any candidate under twenty-one years of age, or one who has not made a declaration of his belief in the existence of the Deity, or one whose physical disability is such as to prevent his literal compliance with the ceremonies of the Order: Provided, 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 in every particular.

It has been held that:

An applicant whose left knee is anchylosed, and can not kneel on his left knee and can not kneel on both knees is not eligible to the degrees in Masonry.

That one who has lost the entire four fingers of his left hand is eligible to be made a Mason, because that is not such a defect as would prevent him from fulfilling strictly the requirements of Masonry. If it were the right hand, the decision would be otherwise.

Iowa A man to be eligible to the degrees must be able to conform to all the ceremonies required in the work and practice of Masonry with his natural person. No substitution of artificial parts or limbs is a compliance with the law. The loss of a hand or foot is an absolute disqualification; other deformities may or may not be, depending upon the nature and extent.

Masters and Lodges will be held strictly accountable for the observance of this rule. Except where the disqualification is absolute, the Lodge has a discretion, which must be exercised with prudence.

It has been held that a loss of a foot at the ankle, after a person is elected for the degrees, absolutely disqualifies, notwithstanding the election, and he can not be received.

Kansas A candidate for the mysteries of Masonry must be a man, free born, of sound mind, of mature age, without bodily defect, without physical disability and living under the tongue of good report.

Kentucky A candidate for initiation must possess no maim or deformity which will prevent him from being perfectly instructed in the art and mystery of Freemasonry, and in his own person instructing others by exemplification. Of all this the Lodge is the sole judge.

The Entered Apprentice Degree should not be conferred on one who wears a metal truss, unless he shall dispense with it, but the Lodge is the sole judge as to whether the candidate is duly and truly prepared.

Louisiana A candidate should be able to see, hear, feel and walk and should be in such possession of his physical and mental faculties as will enable him to fully perfect both himself and others, and be enabled to obtain thereby a living that he may not become a charge to the Order.

The loss of an arm disqualifies; a defect in the right hip, that makes it impossible to put the right heel to the ground is a disqualification.

Loss of three fingers on the right hand disqualifies.

One who has but one foot is not physically qualified, nor can this physical disqualification be cured by the fact that he has an artificial leg.

Loss of left arm between the shoulder and elbow disqualifies. The loss of an eye, the candidate being able to see well with the other eye and the loss of the first articular joint of the thumb on the right hand does not disqualify.

The Lodge, in deciding upon the physical qualifications of a candidate, must be governed by the views of this Grand Lodge.

Held: That a man whose right ankle is stiff, with the foot turned out and who slightly limps, may be initiated providing he can perform the ceremonies of initiation and give the signs of recognition, and has the other necessary qualifications.

That one who has one leg shorter than the other and uses an extension shoe, but who can, without the aid of the extension shoe assume all positions required in receiving the degrees and give all signs of recognition, could be initiated.

The loss of right thumb disqualifies. The loss of fingers of left hand does not disqualify.

Maine Ancient regulations: The physical deformity of an individual operates as a bar to his admission into the fraternity. But as this regulation was adopted for the government of the Craft when they united the character of Operative with that of Speculative Masons, this Grand Lodge authorizes such, a construction of the regulation as that, when the deformity of the candidate is not such as to prevent him being instructed in the arts or mysteries of Freemasonry, and does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, the admission will not be an infringement of the requirements, but will be perfectly consistent with the spirit of our institution.

To which are added the following decisions given from time to time according to the Maine Masonic Text Book.

A man who has lost his right hand cannot be made a Mason.

Nor a man who has lost an arm or a leg, a hand or a foot.

Not even if the deficiency has been supplied by artificial means.

So of a man who, by palsy or other cause, has lost the use of a leg.

If the Senior Warden can conscientiously declare that the candidate "is in due form," and he is fully able to receive and impart all signs and tokens necessary for Masonic recognition, he is not physically ineligible.

Maryland No Lodge shall on any account initiate a candidate who is under twenty-one years of age nor initiate, pass or raise a candidate whose physical defects prevent him from conforming literally to all the requirements of the several degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry.

Massachusetts 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.

Numerous requests for rules concerning the physical qualifications of particular candidates are made of the Grand Master. Following precedent, he has persistently declined to pass upon particular cases. He should state only Masonic Law on the subject, and that general statement of law, the Master and his Lodge must apply upon their own responsibility to the case on hand.

The following is an authoritative statement of the Jurisprudence Committee of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on the question taken from the Proceedings of 1915:

"This regulation is to be interpreted, not according to the Levitical law, with which Masonry never had anything to do, either as a symbol or a fact, but by its own terms and the logical consistency and propriety of its application. So interpreted, its significance manifestly is, 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 in 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. 'Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.' Your committee take leave of this branch of their report here, in the belief that the regulation of our own Grand Lodge on the subject may be safely left as it stands, and the interpretation and practical application of it, to the intelligence of the Lodges. With the cases before them as they arise, they can with more safety and greater propriety determine the proper disposition of them."

Michigan No Lodge shall initiate, pass or raise a candidate who lacks any qualifications required of him by ancient usage and by a Master Mason's obligation.

A Grand Master has no power to dispense with any of the "qualifications of a candidate" prescribed by the Regulations.

Minnesota A candidate for Masonry must be a man of mature age, free born, of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered and no eunuch.

The requirements of the Landmarks, that a petitioner must be a man of mature age, of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered, may be deemed to be complied with if the petitioner is twenty-one years of age when he files his petition, of good character, physically and mentally sound, and if no physical defect exists which will disable him as a candidate from conforming to and meeting the requirements of the rites and ceremonies of all the degrees, without assistance, or the aid of any artificial substitute for any member of his body he may have lost, and especially can take all of the positions and steps required in any of the degrees and has a perfect thumb and third joint of the index finger of his right hand, normal hearing, and perfect sight of one eye.

No ruling of a Master of a Lodge, nor decision or dispensation of the Grand Master, can warrant any departure from the regulation laid down in this section.

Missouri 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.

It has been held:

That a man who has lost the left leg below the knee and wears a cork leg is eligible, if able to conform to the ceremonies.

That a Lodge could receive a petition from one whose feet were of unequal size.

That a man having lost the second, third and fourth fingers of his right hand is ineligible.

Montana No Lodge shall confer the Degrees upon any candidate unless he be a perfect man, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art and becoming perfect in the degrees.


That a person with one defective eye is eligible.

That the eligibility of a person who has lost his right thumb, rests with the Lodge having Jurisdiction.

That a person who has lost the index finger of the right hand at the knuckle joint is ineligible.

That one who has had his right leg amputated below the knee is not eligible.

That the loss of either finger from the left hand, the index finger and thumb being intact, would not render a man ineligible.

A person with part Indian blood is eligible.

Note by Grand Secretary Hedges:

"The crux of the matter with our Grand Lodge is the following, taken from the Ohio expression on the subject, which was adopted by our Grand Lodge in 1899: 'A candidate for the degree of Entered Apprentice should be able physically as well as intellectually, to receive and impart all the essentials of Masonic recognition, and this the Lodge may determine.'"

Nebraska A Lodge can not initiate any one who can not read and write, nor one having physical imperfections which impair his ability to support himself and family, or by reason of which he is unable to conform to all of our peculiar rites and ceremonies.

Nevada Men to be made Masons must be free born, of mature age, of good report, hale and sound, perfect in their members, so far as to be able to perform all Masonic labor.

Report of Jurisprudence Committee adopted in 1916:

We do not propose that our constituent Lodges shall confer any degree – either on its own material or the material of another Lodge or Jurisdiction – upon one who cannot comply with the rules laid down by this Grand Lodge,- that an applicant must be hale and sound, perfect in all his members, so far as to be able to perform Masonic labor, and in full possession of all mental faculties.

This rule must be given the earnest consideration of every Master within this Jurisdiction and we urge that no relaxation be permitted.

New Hampshire By the ancient regulations, the physical deformity of an individual operates as a bar to his admission into the Fraternity. But as this regulation was adopted for the government of the Craft, at a period when they united the character of Operative with that of Speculative Masons, this Grand Lodge authorizes such a construction of the regulation as that, when the deformity of the candidate is not such as to prevent him from being instructed in the art and mystery of Freemasonry, and does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, the admission will not be an infringement upon the Ancient Landmarks, but will be consistent with the spirit of our Institution.


An applicant who has lost a thumb and second finger of his right hand is ineligible.

An applicant who has lost his left arm below the elbow is ineligible.

An applicant for the Degrees who has a stiff knee is physically disqualified.

A Lodge rejecting an applicant on account of physical disqualifications cannot waive jurisdiction in favour of a Lodge in another state where physical disqualification is not a bar to being made a Mason.

Applicants for the Degrees must be able to comply readily and naturally with all the requirements of our ritual.

The Grand Master has no authority to grant a dispensation which would enable a Lodge to initiate a candidate who has lost a thumb and fore finger of the right hand.

A person who has lost his left hand at the wrist is not eligible to receive the degrees.

A man whose foot is artificial and whose leg from down about half-way from knee to ankle is artificial, is not eligible for the degrees of Freemasonry.

A candidate with one leg several inches shorter than the other and obliged to use a crutch is not eligible to the degrees.

New Jersey Before proceeding with an initiation the Master or, in his absence, the acting Master, must have accurate knowledge of the candidate's physical competency to literally conform to all the requirements of Ancient Craft Masonry.

If a Master is in doubt as to the physical qualifications of a candidate, he must not proceed until after a personal inspection has been made by the direction of the Grand Master. The instructions of the Grand Master must be followed without question.

If a candidate has any visible physical defect, the Master must suspend all proceedings looking to his initiation and at once report the case to the Grand Master, who, in person or by Deputy, shall, after personal examination, decide as to the physical competency of the candidate.

The assumption by a Lodge or its Master, of authority to determine the eligibility of a maimed candidate for initiation is forbidden.

New Mexico No degree shall be conferred upon any one who is physically unable to conform to the letter and spirit of the ceremonies of the Fraternity; who is unable to read and write; who is affected with any incurable disease; or has no visible or legitimate means of support for himself and family.

We look more to the moral and mental qualifications of those who knock at our doors.

All questions relative to physical qualifications of petitioners for degrees have been answered by reference to our Law – "Is he physically unable to conform to the letter and spirit of the ceremonies of the Fraternity ? " The officers and members of a Lodge are better qualified to answer that question than the Grand Master.

An applicant for the "mysteries" who has lost, in its entirety, the thumb from the left hand, is eligible to receive the "mysteries."

The rule in this Jurisdiction is that if the candidate has any physical disability which would prevent him from conforming to all our rites and ceremonies, then he is ineligible to Masonry.

No one can be made a Mason who is physically unable to conform to all the rites and ceremonies. A point to be decided by the subordinate Lodge – and no stigma attaches to a rejection of this kind.

If the committee finds the candidate disqualified for any other reason than one affecting his moral character, they may so report and the Lodge may permit the return of the fee and the application without actually rejecting the candidate by ballot.

New York A candidate must be able without artificial aid or substitution of members or parts thereof to conform to the ritual and to learn and practice the art as a brother should. This includes not only Masonic work within Lodge room, but ability to earn his livelihood by manual labor if necessary outside the Lodge room.

It does not include those whose dismemberment of defect is such as to require or permit the substitution of an artificial member or part thereof, even though with such substitution the same result could be obtained.


That every candidate for the honours of Freemasonry must be a man, free born, of mature and discreet age, no eunuch, no woman, no immoral or scandalous man, but of good report, having no maim or defect in his body or mind that may render him incapable of learning and practising the art.

That the right of a Lodge to judge for itself who shall be admitted to initiation or affiliation therein is inherent and indefeasible, not subject to dispensation or legislation of any kind or from any source whatever.

Definition 6: Sec. 3: Physical ability without artificial aid or substitution of members of parts thereof to conform to the ritual and to learn and practice the art as a brother should. This includes not only Masonic work within the Lodge room, but ability to earn his livelihood by manual labor if necessary outside the Lodge room.

The Landmarks are inherently and by Section I of Definitions of the Constitution, a part of the Masonic Law of this State and "the only part of the Masonic Law or rule that may never be altered or disturbed."

North Carolina A candidate for initiation must possess no maim or deformity which will prevent him from being properly instructed in the art and mysteries of Freemasonry and in his own person instruct others by exemplification. Maim or deformity after initiation shall not prevent the brother from advancement. Such advancement is a recognition of the claims of a worthy and unfortunate brother.


That a man paralyzed more than thirty years ago, since which time he has been unable to walk without crutches and has very little use of his legs, is ineligible to Masonry.

That an intending petitioner who had lost his thumb just below the knuckle, but, in the opinion of the Master was able to give the grips without much trouble, was held eligible to the degrees. That one who has lost his left arm below the elbow is ineligible.

North Dakota If the physical disability of any applicant for the degrees does not amount, aided by any ordinary artificial means, to an inability to meet the requirements and honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, it shall constitute no hindrance to his initiation.

Ohio The Grand Lodge makes the "Ancient Charges," as printed with its Constitution, Code, etc., a part of its fundamental laws, and the language of the "Ancient Charges" is so plain as to admit of but one construction, viz.: that a candidate for initiation must be "without maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the Art, etc."

A person who has lost his right hand at the wrist can not be legally initiated.

A person who has lost a hand, an arm, a foot, a leg, or is deficient in any of his limbs or senses, cannot be made a Mason.

A stiff knee is such a defect as will bar a candidate.

Seeing and hearing are two of the most important qualifications of an applicant for initiation, and if he is unable to hear ordinary conversation, he is disqualified.

An applicant for degrees being blind in one eye, but otherwise eligible, would not, because of such defect alone, be rendered disqualified to receive the degrees of Freemasonry.

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.

Oklahoma A petitioner shall have attained the full age of twenty-one years, be free born, of good moral character and without maim or such bodily defect as would incapacitate him to make all signs and salutations and to properly learn the art.

It has been held that:

One who has lost his right arm is physically disqualified. Where a man have lost his left foot, same having been removed about two inches above the ankle joint, who wears a cork foot, is not eligible for the degrees of Masonry.

One who has lost part of right thumb, if enough of his thumb remains so that he can give all grips clearly and distinctly, this infirmity does not necessarily disqualify.

One who has lost the index finger of his right hand and has a wire finger attached to hand cannot be initiated.

One whose eyesight is such as to prevent him from being instructed in the arts and mysteries of Masonry, is disqualified.

The loss of the right eye (or of either eye) does not disqualify a candidate.

One whose leg is shorter than the other but who can stand erect without too much strain or effort, both feet square on the ground and put himself in proper position to give the necessary steps and signs, could petition for the degrees.

Oregon Every candidate applying for the degrees of Masonry must be a man, free born, have the senses of a man, possess the ability to earn a livelihood, and possess the physical ability to conform substantially to and be instructed in and give instructions in the arts and mysteries of Freemasonry.

Pennsylvania The requisite qualifications for initiation and membership in a Lodge, are that the petitioner shall be a man, free born, of mature age, sound in all his members, of good Masonic report, and able to earn a livelihood for himself and family, and perform the work of a member in a Lodge.

The perfect youth is the standard; perfect in his physical form, and so perfect in his mental and moral structure, that no deformity in either will ever prevent him from properly understanding those virtues and precepts Freemasonry teaches and enjoins. There are no degrees in disability. If it exists, so that the slightest violation of the perfectness is cognizable, it is as fatal to the man as though it took away his arm, hand, finger, leg, or foot. There is not in Freemasonry a positive, comparative, or superlative disqualification. It is the disqualification, per se, the simple naked fact, that the standard of a perfect youth is not attained, that ends the question. It is neither debatable nor avoidable. Anatomical disquisitions, wordy casuistry, persistent importunities, or the citation of instances, wherein ignorance was the discredit of the example, will not suffice to subordinate obedience to the Landmarks. The Rough Ashlar must be fitted to its proper place without disfiguring the perfect symmetry of the perfect work.

By the 5th Article of the Gothic Constitution, adopted at York in the year 926, it is declared that "a candidate must be without blemish, and have the full and proper use of his limbs, for a maimed man can do the Craft no good." This is the first written declaration of the Landmark, which continued from that period until 1722, when the further condition was expressed that the candidate must "be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body," etc. In 1783, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania declared that the candidates must "be hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered at the time of their making." This is the Landmark, and the most ordinary understanding can comprehend what the disabilities are which "forbid the making."

The qualifications of candidates are thus defined in the Ancient Charges: "The persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true men, free-born, and of mature and discreet age, no woman, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good report." "No Master should take an apprentice unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's lord, and of being made a Brother, and unless he be descended of honest parents."

When a candidate appears for initiation, and the Master discovers that he is not physically perfect, and declines to initiate the candidate for this reason, his petition can be withdrawn; but all the facts of the case must be entered upon the minutes of the Lodge and at once reported to the Grand Secretary.

Rhode Island No man who is unable to perfect every part of the work in the Three Degrees of Symbolical Masonry is eligible to receive those Three Degrees.

South Carolina Every candidate for initiation in this Jurisdiction must be without maim or defect in his body or mind that may render him incapable of learning and practicing the art, and who can comply literally with all the requirements as to initiation ceremonies without artificial aid or friendly assistance.

South Dakota A candidate must be free-born, under no bondage, twenty-one years of age, in possession of sound mind, free from any physical defect or dismemberment, no atheist, eunuch or woman.

It has been held that:

A man who has lost his foot and part of his leg cannot be initiated if wearing a cork leg.

A slight deformity is no bar to the candidate's initiation unless it prevents his receiving and imparting Masonic knowledge in the usual manner. The Lodge must consider the matter and draw the line. A deformed man is ineligible to the degrees.

A man who is physically able to conform fully to the requirements of our ritual, receive and impart instructions therein, and who possesses all the necessary qualifications to be made a Mason, may petition for the degrees.

The local Lodge and not the Grand Master should be the judge of the moral, physical and intellectual qualifications of its candidates, it being responsible to the Grand Lodge for its actions.

When the Grand Lodge is appealed to and the facts presented in a question of physical disqualifications, it is the duty to pass upon them.

Tennessee A candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry must be a man, free born, not less than twenty-one years of age, and of good report.

He must be physically and mentally capable of earning a livelihood, and of receiving and imparting the Ritual of Masonry. By "imparting" is meant by actual demonstration. To describe by words does not comply with the Law.

Texas The perfect man is an ideal being, and absolute perfection does not exist among men, neither physically, mentally nor morally; therefore it is not obnoxious to the Ancient Landmarks and Charges of Masonry that slight maims or defects of body should debar an applicant for initiation or advancement in Masonry, and an applicant for initiation must be sound and hale, without maim or defect in his body that may render him ineligible to be a Mason; that is, physical maims and defects should be considered on the basis of his ability to receive, practice and impart freely and without artificial or other aid, all the rites and ceremonies of Ancient Craft Masonry including Masonic work in the Lodge room and shall possess the mental and physical ability to earn his livelihood in his chosen occupation outside the Lodge room.

That when an applicant for initiation has a maim or defect, the Lodge to which the application is made shall refer the case, with a faithful description of such maim or defect, to the Grand Master, who shall thereupon rule upon the eligibility of the applicant in the light of these resolutions.

Utah Every candidate for the degrees in Masonry must be a man, free born, have the senses of a man and possess physical ability to earn a livelihood, and to conform substantially to the rites and ceremonies of Masonry, and be instructed in its mysteries. It has been held that the loss of first joint of the fingers of right hand will not debar a candidate.

Vermont Physical ability to earn a livelihood, and to conform substantially to the forms and ceremonies of Masonry, and be instructed in its mysteries, is all that is required, provided the candidate possess the higher qualifications of a belief in God, of mental worth and the record of a moral and upright life; that this interpretation of the ancient charges and regulations is not inconsistent with the true spirit of the Masonic Institution, but in keeping with its sublime teachings from time immemorial.

Mental or physical deformity:

Since deformity is not such as to prevent the candidate from being instructed in the mysteries of the Craft, the admission will not be an infringement of the ancient Landmarks, but will be perfectly consistent with the spirit of Freemasonry.

A blind man cannot be made a Mason. Hearing, seeing, and feeling are the senses most revered by Masons.

Virginia No petition for initiation shall be entertained from any person who is not a free-born man of the age of twenty one years, of sound mind, of good repute, and so perfect in body that he can without artificial aid or friendly assistance, conform to the Ritual, and who does not believe and trust in God as the Supreme Architect and Governor of the Universe.

It has been held that:

One who had lost a leg cannot be initiated.

The petition of an applicant whose elbow was perfectly rigid, and who could not comply with the Ritual, could not be received.

A Lodge could not confer the degrees on a candidate, who, after filing his petition, lost the small finger of his right hand and finger next to it.

One who had met with an accident, or received a wound in his left arm which necessitates an amputation a couple of inches below his elbow and who had an artificial arm and hand but was unable in any particular to conform to the ritual, was ineligible.

A man with an artificial foot is ineligible.

Washington Every candidate petitioning for the degrees of Masonry in order to be eligible, must have the senses of a man, especially those of hearing, seeing and feeling, and possessing no maim or defect in his body that would render him incapable of conforming literally to what the degrees respectively require of him. No provision of this section shall be set aside, suspended or dispensed with by the Grand Master or by the Grand Lodge.

The Lodge shall itself determine the petitioner's physical disqualifications by the sole test of whether any maim or defect in his body renders him incapable of conforming literally to what the several degrees require of him.

A request for dispensation to receive a petition for the degrees from a man with an artificial foot was refused.

West Virginia The general rule is that "when the deformity of the candidate is not such as to prevent him from meeting fully the requirements of the ritual, or from honestly acquiring the means of subsistence," he is eligible.

The edict of the Grand Lodge as to physical qualifications of candidates, as above stated, is in derogation of the ancient regulation requiring the candidate to be sound in limb and member; and while it must be held as law in this Jurisdiction until modified or repealed by the Grand Lodge, yet it must be given a strict construction, and if it is doubtful as to whether a particular candidate is within its provisions, the doubt must be resolved against him.

It has been held that a candidate is eligible in the following cases:

Loss of the thumb and index finger of left hand; loss of fingers of left hand; loss of the middle finger of left hand; loss of second finger and third finger off at the first knuckle on the right hand; loss of first joint of forefinger of right hand and the whole of the second finger, except at knuckle joint; loss of the second and third joints of forefinger of right hand, leaving a stub protruding long or short; loss of first joint of the middle finger of the right hand and the third finger slightly crooked towards the second finger; loss of the two little fingers of right hand at first joint; loss of one eye and the other in which the sight is defective but not entirely gone; loss of one eye; a hunchback whose deformity is not such as to prevent him from meeting the requirements of the ritual and from honestly acquiring the means of subsistence; a person who has a deformity on the right shoulder blade, next the back, of the size of a beef-heart, who walks erect and is not hindered because of such deformity from gaining a livelihood; hernia, unless it be such as to prevent meeting some of the requirements of the ritual, or from honestly acquiring the means of subsistence; stiff right ankle, with foot somewhat smaller than the left and turned out, if he can conform to the ritual.

It has been held that a candidate is not eligible in the following cases:

Loss of the thumb of the right hand; loss of the first three fingers of the right hand; loss of the first or knuckle joint of right hand; loss of part of the second finger at the second joint, and the ring and little finger at the approximal joint of the right hand; loss of right index finger at the second joint, the second and right fingers near the hand, and the little finger curved inward, contracted and stiffened; loss of the two middle fingers of the right hand, including the knuckle joint; loss of the first three fingers of the right hand close to the palm; loss of thumb above the first joint on right hand; born "into this world minus his left hand;" left hand crippled in such a manner as to prevent flattening it out; minus the thumb and all the fingers of the left hand; minus the thumb on the left hand, and the thumb on the right hand is forked almost amounting to two thumbs; right hand smaller than the other, the fingers of which were not more than one-half inch long.

Born with but two fingers on his right hand, his thumb being perfect; left arm three inches shorter than the right, four inches less in circumference, left hand could not be turned upwards on a level with the waist; incapacity to bend left leg from stiffness so that person could not kneel; stiff knee joint and unable to kneel on right knee; left leg two and one-half inches shorter than the right; right leg four inches shorter than the other and walks with staff; loss of right foot at the ankle and uses cork foot; right leg off below the knee; badly deformed in both feet from birth, with large bulges instead of hollow insteps in his feet, rendering the person perceptibly lame; deaf, but could hear with an acoustician.

Wisconsin The Landmarks as to physical qualifications to be strictly construed. The candidate must be a man, free born, hale and sound and unmutilated.

The above physical qualification is founded on Landmark Eighteen and reads as follows, viz.:

"Certain qualifications of candidates for initiation are derived from a Landmark of the Craft. These qualifications are that he should be a man - shall be unmutilated, free born, and of mature age. That is to say, a woman, a cripple, or a slave, or one born in slavery, is disqualified for initiation into the rites of Masonry. Statutes, it is true, have from time to time been enacted, enforcing or explaining these principles; but the qualifications really arise from the very nature of the Masonic institution, and from its symbolic teachings, and have always existed as Landmarks."

Wyoming When the deformity of the candidate is not such as to prevent him from being instructed in the arts and mysteries of Freemasonry, and does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of subsistence, the admission will not be an infringement upon the ancient landmarks, but will be perfectly consistent with the spirit of our institutions.

It has been held that:

A man with only one eye is eligible.

A man who had lost part of the forefinger of the left hand is eligible.

One who had lost the two middle fingers and the end of his thumb at the first joint on his right hand, is eligible.

The loss of a foot renders a man ineligible.

A man who had a stiff hip joint, the result of a revolver going off in his pocket while on horseback, is ineligible to the degrees.

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General Statement Of The Rules

With the language in the various Codes, Decisions, Edicts and Regulations varying in almost every instance, it seems almost impossible to arrive at any "general rules" of our American Jurisdictions. And yet, a reasonable interpretation, having in view all the surrounding circumstances cited and the apparent intent of the Grand Lodges in passing the legislation, would probably lead our readers to agree with us, at least substantially, in the following generalizations. In any event, we have tried to take a reasonable view of the rule in each state, taking the provisions of all the documentary evidence as a whole. We have not attempted to quibble over absolutely exact definitions. In several cases we have deliberately overlooked apparent attempts to modify the doctrine of physical perfection, where in fact no discretion is specifically allowed to anyone, either Lodge, Grand Lodge or Grand Master, to so modify. Such an attempt has justified us, in one or two places, in saying that a "liberal" construction of the law is intended. It would be interesting indeed if we could discover the actual interpretation that is being placed upon some of these modifications by the Lodges, in practice. For we have grave suspicions that in at least a few cases, equivocal language has been used deliberately, or at least as a compromise between extreme views, in order that the Lodges could as a matter of fact do about as they pleased, without fear of being "spanked."

With this tendency, not confined to Masonry alone, to "wink" at evasion of the law, ye scribe is entirely out of sympathy. The law should be so written as to mean exactly what it says, responsibility for defiance or evasion of the law should be placed exactly where it belongs, on the Lodge and the Worshipful Master, and discipline provided which would stop the unauthorized practices. If a Grand Lodge determines that the doctrine of physical perfection is right and in harmony with the modern application of the Ancient Charges, there should be no misunderstanding about it. If the Grand Lodge decides that the wooden head is less desirable than the wooden leg, the Fraternity as a whole will be benefited by saying that such is the principle which is accepted by that Body, and its application to individual cases by the Lodges should follow the lines of interpretation laid down. To equivocate on this important matter leads to confusion and sometimes discord that is entirely out of harmony with the established principles of Freemasonry.

Having relieved ourselves of this "effusion," we will endeavour to summarize the rules.

First. "Physical Perfection" obtains in 16 Jurisdictions, while 20 others specify that "literal conformity to the requirements of the ritual is a necessary prerequisite to initiation."

Second. Five Jurisdictions use language indicating that "substantial" conformity to the requirements of the ritual is satisfactory.

Third. Three Jurisdictions say that the use of artificial parts or limbs in conforming to ritualistic requirements shall not necessarily constitute a disqualification, leaving the Lodge to decide, either in whole or in part, in the latter case providing for review either by the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master.

Fourth. Nineteen Jurisdictions specifically prohibit the use of artificial parts or limbs, or provide that such shall be an absolute disqualification.

Fifth. In 10 States the Lodge is specifically mentioned as having authority and power to determine the question of eligibility; three others allow the Lodge discretion in its determination "within the specific rules laid down," or "where the disqualification is not absolute," one denies such right.

Sixth. Conformity with the views of the Grand Lodge, or Grand Lodge approval of the ballot are provisions in 3 States; 4 Jurisdictions specifically deny the right of either the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master to waive disqualifications or repeal the strict provisions of the law.

Seventh. Four Jurisdictions require the Grand Master's approval to a petition, or his permission to ballot upon such a petition; in one State he is allowed some discretion in determining whether the disqualification is or is not absolute; 4 States deny him any discretion, or say that he has no prerogative giving him any right to interfere.

Eighth. Nineteen Jurisdictions recognize the candidate's "means of subsistence," or "ability to obtain an honest livelihood" as an important factor in determining his eligibility. Some say "and," and some say "or," leaving it doubtful whether this is or is not a partial test of physical qualifications.

Ninth. Fifteen States, directly or by implication, provide for a liberal construction or interpretation of the law; 13 specifically say it shall be strictly interpreted.

Tenth. Minor infirmities or deformities do not disqualify in 17 of our Jurisdictions. A few of them, either in the Codes, or Decisions, give specific lists, though they do not specify that it is necessarily a complete list.


Advancement. Maine. (February, 1917, BUILDER, page 53.) In column headed "When rejected applicant may renew application" change to read "It is the right and duty of the Master to determine when a candidate shall be advanced except when objections have been made."

In column headed "Objection" change to read "Objections must be made known to the Lodge and their sufficiency determined by a two-thirds vote."

Minnesota. (Same issue and page as above.) In column headed "Time between degrees" change to read "Proficiency required; no time limit."

Affiliation. Maine. (January, 1917, BUILDER, page 11.) In column headed "To whom petition may be presented" change to read "Any Lodge within or without the State." In column headed "When rejected applicant may renew petition" change to read "To any Lodge within the State as often as desired."

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We laid his body in the covering earth,
And mourned a well-filled life now closed, –
Remembered kindnesses well planned and done,
And temples built ere weary he reposed.

His tools another took, and straightway sought
To emulate the life now lost to Man.
His life on earth is but a Memory now, –
Past work is all the tenderest eye can scan.

Yes ! All is Past, though Memory sweet recalls
Each mighty effort made, and each success:
Upon the casket holding that which WAS
We drop the Acacia sprig, and Memory bless.

Our doubt is too unworkmanlike!
What workman works for one TODAY?
He who is gone is just behind the evening cloud
That hangs between earth's gloaming and the clearer way.

Behold him now emancipate
On greater Levels of the LIGHT.
Behold him as he dares to use the tools of Heaven, –
Erect the brighter homes of Heaven's Love and Might.

And listen to the strains that fill
The cultured ear, the noble arch,
That nerve the high ambition, stir the awakened soul
And tell of true success in the long Eternal March.

No earthly tomb can close a life well lived;
Nor cloud once hide the Ultimate of Love.
Acacia means a life that cannot die;
And death is but the door to Heaven above.

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By Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, England


NOT one of the eight thousand Freemasons , who sat in the Royal Albert Hall, in London, June 23rd, will ever forget the scene. Nor will any one of them ever see another like it. As an occasion it was memorable; as a spectacle it was unique. It marked the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of England, and was in all ways worthy of that noble tradition. Truly it was a great privilege to have been present on a day so historic, and to have looked upon a scene at once so picturesque and so remarkable.

The assemblage was arranged in five tiers, stretching from the arena to the highest gallery beneath the roof, all wearing their respective regalia. Even without the evening dress, usually worn in English Lodges, it made a very striking picture not to be forgotten by one accustomed to the simpler and less ornate ways of American Masonry. Although the number was so large, it included none of the rank and file of the Craft, but only Grand Officers, past and present, Past Masters of Lodges, the reigning Rulers of the Order, and, of course, distinguished visitors. Sitting in the closely-packed arena, I thought of many things, trying to look beyond the scene before me to that other gathering in the old Ale-house in St. Paul's Churchyard, June 24th, 1717.

Shortly before three o'clock, a procession was formed, and the Deputy Grand Master, Brother T.F. Halsey, was escorted to the Chair, "the Throne," as it is called in England. He is a sturdy and noble man, his head bowed with the weight of more than eighty years, most lovable to know, and very popular among the Craft. He formally opened the Lodge, and then a further procession, in which he himself took part, moved to the main entrance to receive the Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught. It was an imposing procession through the arena to the orchestra, as the Grand Master ascended to his Throne. Where all are distinguished it seems idle to mention names, except to say the procession included, besides the Grand Master and his Officers, the Grand Masters of Ireland and Scotland, district Grand Masters of Argentine, Malta, Ceylon, and Bengal, and the Provincial Grand Masters of England.

The Grand Master announced that in the name of the Brethren he had sent a telegram to the King, expressing the loyalty of Freemasons to the Empire and the hope of a speedy victory and a lasting peace. He then read the reply of the King, in which His Majesty conveyed his cordial thanks, and added that the traditional loyalty of English Freemasonry "has been to me a proud memory during the anxious years through which we are passing." The Deputy Grand Master then gave a brief but vivid account of the growth of Grand Lodge during the 200 years of its existence, from four Lodges in 1717 to 3,226 in active work under its obedience today, besides the many Lodges and Grand Lodges descended from the mother body and now working in lands beyond the boundaries of the British Empire.

In reply, the Grand Master made a very graceful and appropriate address, in which he said that every Mason could say of those devoted Brethren who, to their lasting honor, invoked the original assembly in 1717, what was said of their illustrious contemporary - whose maul, used in the building of St. Paul's Cathedral, he held in his hand - "If you wish to see their monument, look around." They builded better than they knew, because they built on the strongest foundations. He recalled the close association of members of the Royal House of England with English Freemasonry, which began shortly after the founding of the Grand Lodge and has continued to this day. Indeed, the Grand Lodge had been in existence only twenty years, when the Prince of Wales became the Master of a Lodge. The Grand Master recalled, further, that it was his grandfather, the Duke of Kent, who did so much to promote the Union of Grand Lodges in 1813, from which so many Masonic blessings had flowed. Loyalty to the Empire, he said, devotion to public order, and a determination to assist in every beneficent and patriotic work, has always characterized English Masonry, and those qualities remain its highest titles of honour.

An address from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, read by Grand Master Lord Donoughmore, and another from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, read by Grand Master General Gordon Gilmour, followed. There were also messages from Grand Lodges in oversea Dominions, and from representatives of Grand Lodges in the United States, to all of which the Duke replied very happily. A number of promotions and appointments were announced, including that of Sir Edward Letchworth, the Grand Secretary, which was regarded as a fitting recognition of the completion of twenty-five years of service. The Grand Secretary read an address from the interned civilian Freemasons at Ruhleben, Germany, and the session closed with the singing of the National Anthem.

Very beautiful, too, I am told, was the Service of Thanksgiving, held on Sunday morning, June 24th, at which the Bishop of Birmingham preached. Unfortunately, I was not permitted to attend it, owing to my engagement in my own pulpit at the City Temple. His sermon dealt, it is said, with the great problems which are to follow the war, and the part which Masonry should have in solving them. I should like to have heard it, because it seems to me that our Order ought to have a very large and benign ministry in helping to build upon the wreck of today a better, purer, wiser, greater tomorrow. And so endeth an event which will linger long in the memory of English Masons, and which marks, let us hope, the opening of a new era in the story of the greatest order of men upon earth.

In my next Official Communique I shall be giving some impressions of English Masonry which I think will be of interest to Brethren on that side, and especially with reference to what is going on in the way of Masonic Research. Meantime - and, truly, it is a mean time - I send greetings to all the Builders, and wish them every blessing in their labors.
— City Temple, London, June 25th.

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The Business Of Masonry

OF all the sources of misunderstanding among Masons there are few if any that are more potent in evil possibilities than those concerned with what may be termed the business of the institution. We are fraternal first of all, and there are many of us who never seem to grasp the fact that when we are least businesslike we may be least effective as a fraternity. So it comes about that there are too often, inside and outside the body Masonic, curious and conflicting ideas of what the fraternity should do in monetary matters.

By way of being more explicit let us state a case from actual experience to show what the outside world thinks of Masonry and what is often expected of it.

A business man was for several years a member of a lodge and at his death in good standing thereof. He died after a long illness during which he was frequently visited by his brethren.

A desire was long previously expressed by him that in the event of his death the funeral ceremony of the fraternity should be conducted by the brotherhood and this was promptly promised by the officers, and a notation so made opposite his name when he signed the Constitutions. A son in fair but not over well-to-do circumstances and a sister in like condition were his nearest living relations but he had several cousins of considerable means. The son was a Mason.

When death came the Secretary of the lodge was notified and he went out at once to visit the family. They knew of the wish to be buried Masonically but suggested that in some way it might be possible to also use the church service for the dead that is given by the communion adhered to by the departed brother. This seemed easily capable of adjustment and the Lodge Secretary so informed the relatives but also pointed out that this he felt should be referred to the Worshipful Master for his consideration and formal consent.

On taking up the question with the Master the latter advised the relatives that he thought it most seemly for the funeral services to be kept separate and distinct, the Episcopal service to be rendered at the church and the Masonic service at the grave. It seemed to him that any contact or interference of the one funeral ceremony with the other was a detriment to both. The clergyman on consultation agreed with him and this point was passed without further discussion and the plan of burial eventually carried into effect to the satisfaction of all concerned.

The morning of the funeral a request from the relatives was made for a further conference with the officials of the lodge. Master and Secretary reported at once and were advised of all the arrangements made for the funeral. These appeared to be complete and no expense had been spared to make the appointments of the most impressive type.

The brethren knowing that the deceased had left little or no property were pleased that his relatives were able and willing to go to so much expense and care to show their respect and affection for him.

To this comment the relatives replied with every satisfaction because, as they pointed out, the better the lodge was pleased the better they would in turn be satisfied.

This mutual exchange of compliments was not altogether sufficiently explicit to meet all the expectations of one relative present. He was not a Mason. A brother of his was a member of the fraternity, and the dead man was a cousin. It was easy to see and to hear that he was furnishing the financial resources for the funeral.

When he mentioned the amount paid for the grave and the expenditure for the coffin and all the other items necessary to his interment standards the brethren were somewhat dismayed at the detail. They somehow felt that they were being given too intimate a view of the cost.

The Master was indeed embarrassed. He was convinced that he should say how much this lavish allowance told of the affection behind it. In doing so he could not refrain from saying as delicately as he could that this was purely a matter for the family and not for the lodge and that on that account he the more appreciated their confidence because he had really no right of any kind to enquire into the amount they might choose to spend.

At this statement there seemed to be a distinct drop in the prevailing unanimity. The man of means at once spoke up:

"Why it is only the proper thing I am sure to tell you the total of the bill, isn't it?"

"No, indeed," said the Master, "We are not concerned with the bill. This is not our affair."

"Do you mean to say that when a Masonic lodge conducts a funeral it does not pay all the bills ?"

"That is exactly what I must say if you ask the question. There may be cases where the lodge properly pays the bill but every instance is judged on its own merits. We have no rule, as I read the Masonic law, requiring us to pay the bills when the family are well able to do so."

"You surprise me. I thought that all secret societies had death benefits or things of that sort to meet the funeral expenses."

"No death benefits are paid of equal sums in all cases, - in fact nothing of the sort is promised anybody. We do attempt to aid the widow and orphan in their distress but here there is no widow to be succored, no child to cherish. You as relatives want this brother to have a funeral suitable to your condition in society. You have taken the necessary steps to bring this about. You are fully able as far as we know, to meet the expense you have incurred. But into this we do not seek to inquire because that is not our business. All that we have to do is to render the funeral service at the grave and do it as well as we know how. Beyond that we have nothing further to do with the cost except to provide the transportation for our members. So far as the expenses go we are no more to be charged with them than is the minister whom you desire to have a part in the ceremonies."

"But I want to tell you that this brother of yours has left no estate and there are no funds to meet these bills when they come due."

"That is something that you ought to have considered before you gave orders for this elaborate funeral. I do not see how you can expect us to pay the bills nor for that matter do I see how you can escape the responsibility for them."

"But are you not a philanthropic organization? Seems to me that here is a case where you could very appropriately contribute the amount for giving this member of yours decent burial."

It was evident that he did not propose to pay the bill if he could get out of it. There were plenty of witnesses present and it was undoubtedly the place and the time to speak plainly. So the Master thought for a moment or two before replying, then he spoke earnestly:

"We do pay many bills where those most benefited are not in a position to take care of them. These acts are done as a charity. Each case is judged on its own merits. If you will say here and now that you believe this to be a fit subject for charity I will take the matter up with my lodge at its next meeting and we will see what we can do about it. But at present I see no good evidence that you relatives can not take care of these bills at the proper time. Therefore I don't think that I ought to recommend the payment of the bills as a charity by my lodge."

And when the matter was so bluntly set forth there was nothing more than a growl or two privately that that funeral was not to be a charity affair. It was not. With all the musical and choral adjuncts possible the ceremony gave prestige to the social crowd for whom it was conducted. The procession started from the large house in town of the wealthy relative and even he, sore as he may have been in pocketbook, and rebuffed as was his business zeal for a trade deal that left him so much to the rear in money results, was a cheery loser on the surface and met his mishap with a philosophic face.

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At the altar of Masonry have I knelt and mine eyes have seen the Light.
The Apron has been explained to me; with pride I wear it.
Into my hands were laid the tools of the Craft.
Symbols of serious import taught me much, and will teach me more as the years slip fast behind my onward march.
Before me in all directions outstretched lies the Masonic chart of duties great and glorious, as exacting as they are elevating.
Tied to the fraternity by bonds tight-wound and oath-bound, easily I cannot escape the obligations due from me to it.
To do my part well, I well must know my part.
Willing to learn am I.
At the door I still stand and strike thereon my signal.
Arouse ye, I say.
To you I present my plea.
Ye are my brethren. To you I plead for Masonic wisdom to the end that I too may be among you a well-informed Master Mason.
Each year one hundred thousand of us take your vows.
We enter the sacred hall and from the Temple go forth impressed to readiness by the ceremonies.
We are puzzled at their significance, and uncertain of future study.
Most of us soon find the social worth of Masonry sufficient.
Content with our increased acquaintance we slacken and stop our search for knowledge.
Satisfied with the added grips of the hands among a flock of button and badge bedecked members we lose our grip upon the inner values of the head and the heart.
Yours is the duty of our enlightenment.
On you is the burden of our instruction.
What we know comes from you our Elder Brethren or we fail and fall by the wayside of a busy world, too tired to tread an upward path where toil is sure and labor long.
Full well ye know we Masons are the more akin where we are the better taught.
No union is so close as that of a perfect understanding.
No friendship is so strong as that founded on thorough knowledge.
When we all know Masonry as it was intended to be, shall we not the better know each other?
What ye know of Masonry belongs to me and to these my brother initiates.
Our claims ye cannot ignore.
We have done our part, we have filled our place, we demand the wages due.
Neither disregarded nor despised can be our plea.
Your institution and ours rests upon the granting of our petition.
Either you shall accept a lower level of Masonic standards or you must set your banner high and educate us to its lofty heights.
At the door we stand and knock for admission to the inner mysteries of the Holy Tabernacle.
Echoes in your hearts are stirred by our alarm.
At your hands we seek more light.
From none shall it come but from yours, for unto ye has the Great Architect given the charge, and you must administer your trust.
Why then stand ye here idle ?
Are ye content with numbers, satisfied because the scroll is writ large with names ?
Empty and vain as a rope of sand is then your hope.
Ye then are building upon the shifting shores of a treacherous sea.
When the winds of adversity come upon you the structure shall not withstand the storm.
Its walls will crumble, the foundations be torn, and it be swept aside for things more stalwart and sufficient.
Today is your era of events, tomorrow is ours.
Your opportunity is now, the future belongs to us.
Is it not wise therefore to plan for us that we may in due time carry forward your labors to still nobler achievements ?
Come, let us go. Time waits neither on man nor Mason. The hour is at hand. We are the sons of light. From us the darkness shall recede, the gloom of ignorance be lighted up with knowledge. Only with your help can we the sooner make for Masonry its proper place. Withhold not therefore your hands my brethren in help, for unto you under God's great grant of life to us we seek to fulfill the destiny of all true and earnest Master Masons.

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Of after-dinner speakers there are many and in our fraternity opportunities quickly multiply for the exhibition of whatever skill may be exercised to this end. These occasions are altogether too numerous for mention save as in the present instance by way of comparison. Meridian Lodge, the Daylight Lodge of Cleveland, observed this summer as in previous years a "sunrise raising." Lodge was opened at 2:30 a. m. Breakfast was served at 6 o'clock. Before the closing of the lodge a representative of THE BUILDER was invited to discuss the National Masonic Research Society and the Study Club work in particular. He puts the fact upon record and points out that in his judgment the work of Study Club extension is as well done early as late. Please let everyone make a note of this and act accordingly.

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"Studies In Mysticism"

NOTHING is more interesting in the whole field of ancient history than the story of the Ancient Mysteries. These were secret societies existing for the purpose of teaching the rudiments of knowledge and the principles of religion to their adepts, a very valuable service in a day when the priesthood sought to make knowledge a monopoly. The men admitted to these societies by initiation were bound by awful oaths of secrecy and were led through a number of ordeals to test their courage and their earnestness. The Egyptian Mystery of Isis and Osiris, the Eleusinian Mystery of Greece, and Mithraism, a Persian cult transplanted in Rome, exercised an incalculable influence in their day.

After Christianity had begun to show signs of its power, pagan writers, especially in the third and fourth centuries, sought to blend together the teachings of these Mysteries, the theosophy of the Jews, the doctrines of the Gnostics, and certain floating doctrines, into a religion that might offer itself as a worthy rival of the new faith. Many of the writers who undertook this task attributed their books to "Thrice Greatest Hermes," a more or less mythical Egyptian personage who was probably, in the beginning, the god Thoth, the scribe and book-keeper of the Egyptian deities. In this way the mixture of magic and mysticism thus evolved came to be called "Hermeticism." The reader who may feel a curiosity to learn more of this story may be referred to Mead's "Thrice Greatest Hermes," a very interesting and well-informed volume.

Meanwhile, among the Jews, a number of philosophers had been at work interpreting the Old Testament from a similar point of view. Their argument was that there is a hidden meaning behind the letter of the text which can be understood only by those possessing the key. What this hidden meaning was cannot very well be described in a paragraph; it may here be sufficient to say that this "Secret Doctrine" sought to teach men how to find union with God, using the symbolism of numbers, the Tetragrammaton, the Story of the Garden of Eden, and of the building of Solomon's Temple, as allegories through which to convey the secret to the initiated. A.E. Waite, in his:"Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah," tells the story in full for those who may be interested. The Kabalah persisted through many centuries and exerted a profound influence in Christian theology at about the time of the Reformation.

At about this latter time a legend found currency in Europe which told that a certain Christian Rosenkreuz, while travelling in the Orient in the Fifteenth Century, had re-discovered the secret of the Wise Men of the East. Here and there individuals appeared who claimed to possess this Secret; they became very numerous, and even powerful in the early Seventeenth Century, and it is even believed by some that these "Rosicrucians" organized lodges in which especially qualified men could be initiated into the hidden lore of the Orient.

Meanwhile, from a time beginning before the institution of Christianity, there had grown up a different kind of school - the Mystics. These men were, for the most part, in the churches, and their chief interest was the religious life, instead of philosophy and metaphysics, and they sought to teach men how, by devotion, prayer and spiritual discipline, that they might learn to live in God. Among the Mystics, Plotinus, Tauler, Ruysbroeck, and William Law, may be mentioned as typical great names.

Alongside of these, since a time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, there had stood the secret societies of the Builders, known in latter days as the Gilds. These also taught secrets to initiated men, using their working tools and building processes as symbols. Needless to say, the authentic school of Masonic historians believe that it was from these Gilds that the organization of our modern social cult of Freemasonry derived.

Other secret or occult fraternities, the alchemists, for example, might have been included in this brief sketch; but we have indicated a sufficient number to bring us face to face with this question: How much does Freemasonry owe to these several movements? That all our symbols and ceremonies did not originate with the Operative Masons has long been held by our greatest scholars. Thus, it was Pike's favourite theory that the Speculative Masons, many of them, accepted into the lodges in the Seventeenth Century, men such as Ashmole and the like, were really Hermeticists who made use of the Builders' simple rites as a vehicle for their "Secret Doctrine." Woodford, in a paper read before the Lodge Coronati, argued to the same point, and suggested a number of our symbols which seem to be of Hermetic origin; Dr. Westcott, in another paper before the same Research Lodge, sought to trace others of our symbols to the Rosicrucians. Oliver and Mackey, as we all know, found very many echoes of the Ancient Mysteries in our ceremonies.

Now it is the purpose of A.E. Waite's "Studies in Mysticism" to show, at least it is one of the principal purposes, how much Freemasonry is indebted to Mysticism and to the occult societies which we have mentioned. Few men have ever been better qualified for such a task because it has been his chosen vocation to make a special study of occultism in every form, as witness his various books, among which are the two works on the Kabalah, the "Real History of the Rosicrucians," "The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry," "The Way of Divine Union" and the translation of Eliphas Levi's "History of Magic," not to mention that other work, a volume of peculiar power, compact of sweetness and light, "The Life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin." It is because of this erudition, and because he has enjoyed personal initiation into many of the secret bodies, that his "Studies in Mysticism" may be so heartily recommended to the Masonic student who seeks some leading in this difficult problem as to the relationship between Freemasonry and the various mystical and occult movements.

Waite's thesis in this book, if we may hazard an epitome of a volume so manifold, so rich in material, and so profound, is this: That all the Mysteries, the occult fraternities, and the other similar movements, have all one end in common, the way in which a man may find union with God; that this is achieved through regeneration, or re-birth, which is the doctrine that the physical, or natural, in man, must be placed under subjection to the spiritual in man; that this is the real end of the ceremonies and teachings of Freemasonry; and that therefore our own order is now carrying on the ancient tradition. In this wise he seeks to show that, while the BODY of Freemasonry may have been inherited from the Operative Masons of the Gilds, the SOUL of Freemasonry has come to it from the many sources of the old secret and occult fraternities. Mr. Waite expounded this theory in very simple fashion in a series of articles that appeared in the early issues of this Journal.

Some have found Mr. Waite's books difficult reading; in a sense they are that, for he does not carry his mind on his sleeve. But it is worth something of an effort, even for busy men, to persevere until they have familiarized themselves with his vocabulary. We have read and re-read his books; we shall do so many other times; for we believe that there are few living teachers who are so wise, so sound, so true to realities, so well equipped to lead the apprentice along the way that leads to the Inner Chamber of the life of the soul.

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There are very many such things, are there not? Of a number sufficient to fill an encyclopedia; indeed, to master the lore of one small department of Masonry has now become the task of the life-long specialist, so that the rank and file of us must stand aside "in giant ignorance.” But even so there are some things which EVERY Mason should know and which will not task any average brain to learn. Fortunately, the literature on Masonry addressed to the "man in the trench" grows apace and will doubtless continue so to grow, and so mote it be. "The Builders," written by the former editor-in-chief of this Journal; "Speculative Masonry," by Brother MacBride; "The Philosophy of Masonry," by Brother Pound, himself a philosopher, and many other things besides; "Freemasonry Before the Grand Lodge Era," by Brother Vibert: these and many another similar book have set new currents to moving in the life-blood of the Craft; and again, so mote it be.

Alongside such studies one is glad to place "Things a Freemason Should Know," by Brother Fred J.W. Crowe, a former Master of the Lodge Coronati of England, warrant enough for any reader. It is a modest little volume of 86 pages, built for pocket wear, done into a book by Kenning & Son of London: its cost, according to a stub in our check-book, is one dollar, the price of a few potatoes! Its worth, however, cannot be computed in such terms, which, these days, is saying much.

The first thing a Freemason should know, according to Brother Crowe, is the history of the Craft, the HISTORY, we say, not the fairy tales. He who reads the first three chapters of this book will obtain a very fair understanding of that.

Then comes "Our Rulers." Many times we boast of the calibre of the men who lead the Craft in its work; but not often do we take the time to make their acquaintance, though their names are often known to fame outside our boundaries. Brother Crowe begins, as is proper, with Anthony Sayer, himself, and closes with the Duke of Connaught, as an Englishman naturally would.

Chapter five deals with the various Grand Lodges now in operation while chapter six gives a very brief, but valuable, account of Our Literature. The "our" here is very English, indeed, as all the names mentioned are English, the scholars connected with the Lodge Coronati receiving the lion's share of attention, which is as it should be as we have already testified in this department.

"Our Regalia" is by far the most worth-while chapter in the volume for it tells us just what we need to know about "the badge of a Mason." Brother Crowe may be said to have specialized on the apron and does not hesitate to drive his plow through the mass of rubbish that has accumulated about that emblem. He has the distinction, further, of having made the first serious attempt, in the spirit of the scientist, to account for the use of blue in Masonry. His theory, briefly stated, is that the Craft borrowed the hue from the Order of the Garter, and that its symbolical significance grew up "after the fact." Scholars not a few have attacked this theory but thus far it may be said .to have as good a right to existence as any other theory we have.

Masonic Charities, which the English brethren make a great deal more of than we do, receive attention in the last chapter of this interesting and, on the whole, very authoritative brief study.

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Grand Lodge Recognition And The Right Of Visitation

Dear Brother Editor: I attended last evening a meeting of the Square and Compass Club of the University of Chicago. There were in attendance representatives of eleven states and two foreign countries - one from Hungary and one from the Philippine Islands. The former had visited Lodges in France. The latter had receipts showing his lodge - La Regeneration, Manila, P.I. - to owe allegiance to the Grand Orient of Spain.

How will these brothers stand on visiting lodges in this country? They have all the necessary documents to prove their identity. Should they be eligible on visiting a regular lodge to examination?
— Franklin T. Jones, Ohio.

Brother Willis D. Engle, of Indianapolis, Ind., in his 1917 "Complete List of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the World," gives six Lodges under the Grand Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in their new temple in February, 1917, charters were granted to 27 new Lodges. It appears from the Proceedings that most of these represented groups of Masons who had belonged to Lodges previously under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Spain. Brother Newton C. Comfort, Grand Secretary, speaking in Grand Lodge in favor of a motion to grant charters to these Lodges, said, in part:

It will be remembered that our R.W. Deputy Grand Master in his message at the opening of the first annual communication of this Grand Lodge said "The purpose of its formation (this Grand Lodge) is to promote and maintain harmony and UNITY in our Masonic relations and to increase the usefulness of our Fraternity in the Orient." And the M.W. Grand Master said, "Our hearts beat with exultation and gratitude to the Grand Master of the Universe for having the opportunity of a century - that of bringing to this country a Masonry regular and nonpolitical. We are sincerely in hope that the year will bring together under our jurisdiction the regular lodges of the Philippine Islands."

The next year the Grand Master made a number of allusions to the particular aim of this Grand Lodge being the unifying of the various Masonic entities and interests in the Philippine Islands, and among other things he said "All were productive of a lively influence for amity and harmony among the members of the various Jurisdictions represented in the cosmopolitan city of Manila, among whom and for whom, the best efforts of this Grand Lodge must be pledged if the high aims and fundamentals of our Grand Lodge are to be realized. This can be done in time without the abandonment of one jot or one tittle of the American standards, and in full accord with the ancient Landmarks and Charges of the Fraternity. All of our Americanisms, some of which are not Landmarks, and perhaps to some not essentials, can also be safeguarded; and no lowering of standards should be made in our endeavors to solve one of the greatest problems the Fraternity has been called upon to work out in recent decades and with this end in view, a work magnificent in its possibilities and results lies before us; and we will be equal to the task only in so far as we are strictly obedient to the precepts of our universal brotherhood. We will win and the victory will in coming years be a glory of which every Mason can justly be proud."

Last year also our Grand Master alluded to the same great vision before our eyes, that of the unification of the Masonry of the Philippine Islands. In our hearts, in our addresses, and in our work throughout the last ten years, the uppermost thought has been to bring Masonry to her own, united and triumphant in these far off isles of the sea.

We who have not had to suffer for our Masonry are not as fully cognizant of its sweetness as those whose Masonic history includes the sacrifice of the lives of brethren, the suppression or their lodges, the prohibition of use of the name, the struggle for Light in the thick darkness, and the most strict selection of members lest one enter who could not be implicity trusted and who would deliver the Mason to be executed, - these are the fires of purification which have sanctified the Fraternity here and resulted in the formation of a Masonry sublime, glorified.

As time passed it seemed more and more imperative that if we were to accomplish the greatest good of which we were capable, Masonry in these far flung isles must present a solid front before the world. To use an overworked expression it really seemed as if the psychological moment had arrived for bringing all the lodges working under the various Jurisdictions into our Grand Lodge. For well we knew the sincerity and love for the Fraternity which had been shown by the brethren in the lodges working under foreign Grand bodies. Some, yea many, of whom had suffered, bled and even died solely and simply because they were members of our beloved Fraternity. So a special committee was appointed and empowered to take any and all necessary steps to regularly and properly bring in the several lodges then working under other Grand Jurisdictions, at our meeting of all the members of the Grand Lodge which was held informally several months ago.

Later we again met informally with a large majority of the Grand Lodge present and after full and free discussion we finally decided upon the methods of regularizing and admission of the lodges by being granted Dispensations by the Grand Master after all necessary steps had been accomplished. This was done, and today these lodges return their Dispensations and request Charters, together with those who have been working only under Dispensation, and who never have been heretofore constituted. I recommend that the report be unanimously approved.

By this action we will take into our fold 27 lodges, most of the members of which heretofore were under the Grand Oriente Espanol. They have now been brought into regular affiliation with our Grand Lodge by the means acknowledged as proper and correct. You are nearly all in full possession of a true conception of the splendid heart Masonry represented by the members of these lodges, many of whom were Masons before some of us were born, and their sterling attachment to the principles of our Institution, and the work of their lodges, has in truth glorified Masonry, the which we have observed approvingly during the years of Americanism in these Islands.

Whether "La Regeneracion" Lodge, under the Grand Orient of Spain, was merged bodily into a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of the Philippines is doubtful, since the Lodge of that name ("La Regeneration, No. 36") is stated in the 1917 Directory of the Lodges of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines to be located at Tarlac, and not at Manila.

The status of this particular Brother, therefore, would now be determined by his membership in a regular Lodge, chartered by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines. The Grand Orient of Spain, according to Brother Engle, has been recognized only by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.

The Grand Lodge of Hungary is recognized (in America), according to Brother Engle, only by the Grand Lodges of Alabama, British Columbia, Canada, and New York.

Under such circumstances as Brother Jones relates, of course, the real meat of the question has to do with the Recognition of Grand Bodies, for it may be stated as a general rule that visitation in a Lodge deriving authority from a Body not recognized by the visitor's own Grand Lodge is forbidden.

Have any of our members made an exhaustive study of these two subjects, "Recognition of Grand Bodies" and "The Right of Visitation"? We would welcome papers on these subjects.
— G.L.S.

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Masonic Baptism For The Young

The inquiry of Brother W.L.A. in the August issue, in regard to a Louveteau is prompted by the article that appeared on pp. 159-160 of the May BUILDER, reprinted from the New Age of 1915 and written by Brother Albert G. McChesney, Master of St. John's Lodge, No. 11, Washington, D. C.

We are not aware that any Grand Lodge has prepared a baptismal ceremony for use in this country. The only endeavour of the kind that occurs to us in the English language is the one by General Albert Pike. This farsighted leader laboured most diligently and with a rare degree of skill toward fullness of ceremony, the ritualistic complement of the Craft.

Added to his work on the series of grades in the much favored Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, he developed a ritual of Adoptive Masonry for women, the near relatives of Masons. Elaborative and dramatic as it was we are not able to discover that to any considerable extent this ritual has been used. Another admirable effort of Brother Pike's was in the three ceremonials prepared by him in 1871 for the Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, and entitled "Masonic Baptism," "Reception of a Louveteau," and "Adoption." Each of these ceremonies is preceded by the various instructions necessary to make the proceedings most impressive and of permanent success.

"A 'Louveteau' is the son of a Mason. The word is of very ancient origin, so ancient that it was long ago corrupted into other words, and its etymology unknown. The initiates into the mysteries of Isis wore, even in public, a mask in the shape of a wolf's head gilded; and therefore came to be themselves called 'Wolves'; and their sons, 'Young Wolves.' A wolf, in French, is soup,' and a young wolf, 'louveteau.' The wolf was peculiarly sacred at Lycopolis (Wolf-City, from the Greek lycos, a wolf, and polis, a city), in Upper Egypt, where, Plutarch says, that animal was revered as a god. Eusebius says that the wolf was honored in Egypt, because when Isis, with her son Horus, was on the point of encountering Typhon, she was assisted by Osiris, who came from Hades in the shape of a wolf. Macrobius says that the sun was at Lycopolis called Lukon, a wolf; and that they worshiped Apollo and the wolf with equal honours, in each venerating the sun. In Greek, the same word, lukos or Iykos, meant a wolf and the sun; and Lykeios, or wolf-like, was one of the titles of Apollo, the sun-god; because, says Cleanthes, as the wolves carry away the flocks, so the sun with his rays consumes the vapors and mists, because, Macrobius says, the shades of night flee before him as the sheep flee before the wolf."

The above explanation is by Brother Pike.

We doubt much whether in all the ritualistic labours of Brother Pike he did anything nobler than the preparation of these ceremonies. The admirable addresses to the young are in the simplest words and opportunity is taken to describe the teachings of Freemasonry, the objects of the Craft, the qualities and the rewards of the Mason. Nothing better for the purpose of our correspondent is known to us.

Perhaps the use of the ritual might be secured through the officials of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Washington, D.C., Sixteenth and S. Streets. We are also assuming that the matter will be taken up with the Grand Lodge authorities of his State before our correspondent as Worshipful Master introduces such a ceremonial to his lodge. That would be but a matter of courtesy due the governing body. Less than this we could not advise.

Then, too, it has been and is now our great good fortune to carry a commission issued by this grand old Masonic body!
— R.I.C.

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Present Status Of Masonry In Germany

I have had a question come up to me that I would like your information upon. Is it true that the Imperial German Government, as such, will not permit any of its officers, either Government, Army or Navy, to become affiliated with the Masonic Order, for reasons of State?
— C.A.C.

At latest reports the Emperor's cousin, Prince Leuitpolt, continued as the Grand Master of the Grosse Landesloge. Since the beginning of the war several lodges of the Masonic brotherhood have received military charters. One of these, as we learn from the Bulletin of the Bureau of Masonic Relations, is the "Iron Cross of the East" and has been stationed at Warsaw. These facts appear indisputable and certainly do not accord with the points raised in the question. Should different information be in the possession of any of our friends we shall be pleased to receive it.

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Carving On Hiram's Tomb

Bro. Editor: - Not to criticize, but to shed light on Brother J. W. Barry's excellent and scholarly articles on the "Pillars of the Porch." In the July number of The Builder, he says, in connection with a picture of Hiram's tomb, near Tyre: "To the right will be noticed a compass and square cut in the rock, by whom and when are questions that can not be answered."

Brother Rob. Morris, in his book on "Freemasonry in the Holy Land," gives an exhaustive set of measurements of the tomb, etc., and says that he carved the compass and square upon it, in the place shown in Bro. Barry's picture of the tomb. Such excellent matter as Bro. Barry is furnishing, and the general contents of "The Builder," make it of priceless value. Long live The Builder!
Fraternally, Rear. F. W. Hart, 32d, Bellaire, O.

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"Brotherhood Of The Wise"

Dear Brother: - That article on the Brotherhood of the Wise was written before I was raised in Masonry. It had a certain interest then as a record of observation among the Ingiet of the Bismarck Archipelago, but I am not willing to publish it in that form at the present moment because I can well see that it does little more than scratch the surface of a most interesting field. Military operations in the western Pacific have prevented me from carrying out my plan of returning to the islands for further field investigation of this as well as many other themes.

When this war is over, when the ban is lifted in the Pacific and I am discharged from my voluntary service here, I shall hasten back to the Pacific. Then I expect to do something really worthwhile along the line of the Ingiet signs and perambulations; for the present it would be unwise to publish the incomplete and faulty records.
Fraternally yours, William Churchill, Washington, D. C.

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Another Viewpoint Of Military Lodges

When a body of troops is to go into a region where Masonry does not exist a military lodge may have a legitimate reason for existence, as distinguished from a merely sentimental one. But under ordinary circumstances a military lodge seems to me to be of doubtful expediency as it creates in the military body, say the regiment, an organization to which all the members of the military body do not belong. That is, it creates internal subdivisions in the military body. It requires no argument to show that such a thing is bad. Therefore, under the present circumstances I do not approve of the chartering of military lodges in out expeditionary forces.

If the permitting of the Brethren to attend French and Belgian lodges would entail the recognition of lodges which, because of their unmasonic tenets, are at present, and for good reasons, unrecognized by legitimate Masonry, then I do not think that the brethren ought to be permitted to visit such lodges.
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.

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What Is Taught By The Symbols And Ceremonies Of Masonry

We are indebted to the courtesy of Brother Thomas Isitt, Past Grand High Priest of Ohio, fear the opportunity to transcribe a letter in his possession written by Albert Pike to Brenton D. Babcogk of Cleveland. It is as follows:

O. '. of Washington - 25 January, 1887.

Dear Bro. Babcock:

Like you, I laid away the enclosed "Screed," and it has been only now got out from a mass of papers which I have had to look over. I have read it, but I don't think it would pay to investigate and criticize it.

I think that no speculations are more barren than those in regard to the astronomical character of the symbols of Masonry, except those about the Numbers and their combinations of the Kabalah.

All that is said about Numbers in the lecture, if not mere jugglery, amounts to nothing. That the object of Masonry is "to preserve weights and measures," is an entirely new notion; and I fail to see how it preserves them.

If the Symbols and Ceremonies of Masonry don't teach great religious truths, not in the ancient ages made known to the Profane, they are worthless. The astronomical explanations of them, however plausible, would only show that they taught no truths, moral or religious.

As to the tricks played with Numbers, they only show in what freaks of absurdity, if not insanity, the human intellect can indulge.

As you may want to keep the Lecture as a curiosity, I return it to you, with thanks for your kindness in sending it to me.
Always fraternally yours, Albert Pike.

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"Once in Persia reigned a King,
Who upon his signet ring
'Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before the eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance,
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they:
'Even this shall pass away.'

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these.
But he counted not his gain,
Treasures of the mine or main;
'What is wealth?' the King would say;
'Even this shall pass away.'

In the revels of his court
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried: 'Oh, loving friends of mine!
Pleasure comes, but not to stay;
Even this shall pass away.'

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield:
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent;
Groaning from his tortured side,
'Pain is hard to bear,' he cried,
'But with patience, day by day -
Even this shall pass away.'

Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone.
Then the King, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptored name,
Musing meekly, 'What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay,
Even this shall pass away.'

Struck with palsy, sore and old
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Said he, with his dying breath:
'Life is done, but what is death?'
Then, in answer to the King,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray -
'Even this shall pass away."'
- Theodore Tilton (1835-1907.)

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