TB-1917-10b

The Builder Magazine

October 1917 – Volume III – Number 10

THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY

Part 2


Continued from Part 1



.xx Next Month: November 1917
Previous Month: September 1917www General Index

FREEMASONRY IN THE FAR EAST

By Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, Massachusetts

Excerpt from Address of Grand Master Johnson of Massachusetts at the 1915 Communication of its Grand Lodge.

In July last I received a petition from thirteen Master Masons, including three Chinese Brethren who were raised in Washington, D.C., for the establishment of a Lodge under our Constitution at Peking, China, to be known as International Lodge, accompanied by the approval of R. W. Stacy A. Ransom, District Grand Master, and also of Ancient Landmark, Shanghai, and Sinim Lodges of Shanghai, China. The petition did not come as a surprise, as I had previously discussed the matter at some length with R. W. Brother Ransom while he was on a visit to Boston.

This petition presented five principal subjects for serious consideration. First, the Personnel of the Applicants; Second, the Field of Usefulness; Third, the Relations of the Lodge to Civil Government; Fourth, Eligibility of Candidates who Subscribe to Prevailing Oriental Religions; Fifth, Adaptability of our Rites to the Working of such Material.

None of these subjects present considerations which are esoteric in principle. They may and should be freely discussed. Minor matters of form and language only need be reserved for secret conclave.

First: the Personnel of the Applicants.

The petitioners are Brethren of the highest standing in the community. Two of the petitioners, R. W. Brothers Derby and Hykes, are Past District Grand Masters for the China District. The former is also Secretary of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Bodies, and the latter is the agent for China of the American Bible Society. The Brother recommended for Master is an American practising dentistry, and is a Past Senior Warden of Sinim Lodge. The proposed Senior Warden is the Peking Manager of one of the largest enterprises in China in which Chinese and foreign capital is jointly invested and is a member of Coronation Lodge, No. 2931, under the English Constitution. The proposed Junior Warden, a Chinaman, is a member of Washington Lodge, No. 21, of New York City, a graduate of Columbia College and at present English Secretary to the Department of Commerce and Agriculture in Peking. Of the other two Chinese Brethren who have signed the petition, one is the present Minister of Commerce and Agriculture of the Republic of China and a member of Federal Lodge No. 1, Washington, D. C.; the other is a member of the same Lodge and a graduate of Rensselaer, was lately Consul General at Manila and Batavia, and is now in Peking expecting transfer. Among the other signers are Past Masters of Lodges under the English Constitution, one of them having been a Grand Officer of the District Grand Lodge for Northern China. Hon. Charles S. Lobingier, United States Judge for China, and Deputy for China of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, whose see includes China, writes a strong endorsement, in the course of which he comments upon the intent expressed by the petitioners to admit the Educated English-speaking Chinese, in part as follows:

"I am especially interested in any effort to diffuse the principles of Masonry among the educated Chinese. If there is one need greater than another in China's present formative and transitional state it is the need of learning to work together, and the Masonic Lodge will help to instill that lesson. The presence of worthy foreigners in such a Lodge should afford an example and stimulus to the Chinese members, and the mingling of the two in the same organization should serve both to test and to illustrate the reality of Masonic brotherhood, which, we are often told, knows neither nationality nor creed. I am informed that several of the Chinese Masons who sign the petition are members of American lodges and this alone should afford a sufficient guaranty that the chartering of the Lodge petitioned for would constitute no departure.

"As to the religious feature it is well known that British Lodges in India and elsewhere in the East freely admit Parsee, Hindu, Sikh, and Mohammedan members. (See Kipling's poem, 'My Mother Lodge.') Masonry is not a sect and its only dogmatic requirements of the initiate are belief in Deity and immortality, which are shared by most faiths.

"I know that the Grand Commander of our jurisdiction heartily approves the idea of enlisting the best of the Chinese in Masonry and I have no hesitation in saying that, in my judgment, the denial, or even delay, of the petition for authority to establish International Lodge at Peking would be a calamity to Freemasonry in the Far East."

Other recommendations were also received, among them being one from a Brother who was formerly first Secretary to the American Legation at Peking and for a time Acting Minister of the United States, who had consented to take the Chair to organize the Lodge but was transferred to the State Department in Washington before the petition was put in final form.

Second: the Field of Usefulness.

We have three Lodges in Shanghai, but there is no Lodge in Peking holding under an American constitution. Many Americans, however, are located in Peking. There are many Chinamen who have been educated in America and have returned to Peking to live. A large number of them occupy responsible positions in the Government of China. It is believed also that there are many Chinamen of high standing in the community who would be glad to affiliate with our Fraternity if they felt that they would be welcome. It is the purpose of the Lodge cordially to accept such applications, applying to men of all nationalities the same test, namely, belief in a Supreme Being, ability to understand and speak the English language fluently, and that the applicants be good men and true, worthy of receiving the honours of Freemasonry because of their morality and integrity.

Third: the Relation of the Lodge to Civil Government.

It is well known that secret organizations in China have frequently degenerated into purely political organizations, if indeed they were not so conceived. We well know that the so-called Freemasonry of many Latin countries partakes largely of a political nature. This, however, is alien to the genius of Freemasonry as we understand it. Under our Constitution, political discussions are forbidden. We have never permitted and shall never permit our Lodges to be turned into political clubs, or to be used as a mask for political purposes. The personnel of the petitioners of itself warrants the conviction that their purposes are Masonic and not political and, moreover, that they will not permit the slightest deviation from our usages in this regard. Moreover, the Lodge undoubtedly will always he dominated by a numerical superiority of Brethren of American blood, though it by no means follows that were a majority of the members of the Lodge in the future to be of Chinese blood we should expect any deviation from the principles inculcated by the teachings of our Order. Moreover, there is always the safeguard that the Charter of the Lodge may be suspended or revoked at any time, and should there ever be the slightest effort to prostitute the Charter of the Lodge, our District Grand Master for China has ample authority to deal immediately with the situation. For these reasons I have resolved this consideration in favor of the petitioners.

Fourth: Eligibility of Candidates who Subscribe to Prevailing Oriental Religions.

The Ancient Landmarks are certain fundamental principles which have never yet been successfully and exclusively defined. They are something like the Constitution of England, partly written and partly unwritten. The principal sources thereof are: (a) Ancient Masonic Manuscripts, sometimes known as the "Old Constitutions"; (b) Ancient usages and customs; (c) Esoteric rites handed down by tradition.

It is an unchangeable Ancient Landmark of the Fraternity that there is but one Masonic dogma. We construct a universal religious philosophy thereupon, as a part of which we teach belief in immortality and endeavour to inculcate other tenets of our profession, but our sole dogma is the Landmark of belief in a Supreme Being, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the creating and superintending Power of all things. No man may be a Freemason unless he is a believer in monotheism. No neophyte ever has been or ever shall be permitted vision of our mysteries or reception of our obligations until he has openly, unequivocally, and solemnly asserted this belief. Beyond that we enquire and require nothing of sectarianism or religious belief.

Masonry is cultivating and disseminating the union of mankind upon this common bond to which all may agree, leaving the particular opinions of individuals and their methods of sectarian worship to themselves and to their own consciences, but to be proclaimed and exercised outside of the Lodge-room. Proselyting has its place in the world, but not in the halls of Masonry.

Sectarian missionary spirit and its exercise have been of incalculable value to the human race. However much it may be our duty to give it our encouragement and support as individuals or as members of other organizations it is our duty within the Fraternity to see to it that no man may truthfully accuse us of bigotry and in our Lodge-room upon this single bond of belief in Deity to conciliate true friendship among men of every country, sect, and opinion.

By reason of the nature of our population and membership in Massachusetts we are accustomed to recognize the applicability of this principle to Trinitarian and to Unitarian, to Christian and Hebrew, but now that it is in a practical manner called to our attention, we should not be startled when we recognize that it applies alike to other Deists who gain their inspiration from other books than that open before you upon the altar. We may find Monotheism proclaimed not only in the New Testament of the Christian, but also in the Koran of the Islamite, in the Avestas of the Magians of Persia, in the Book of Kings of the Chinese, in the Sutras of the Buddhist, yea, even in the Vedas of the Hindu.

"There is a principle implanted in the heart of man, which prompts him to the belief and acknowledgement of a superior and superintending power, under whatever name he may have been personified; endowed with attributes of infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom. Sophism cannot overwhelm it; philosophy cannot succeed in erasing it from the heart; it is engraven there in characters broad and deep, and spake the same language to the ignorant savage amidst trackless woods and barren wastes, and to the proud philosopher of antiquity, as it did to the learned Jew or the enlightened Christian. It displays a God of nature who loves virtue and abhors vice; and teaches man the doctrine of personal responsibility."

The particular letters by which the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe is spelled or the peculiar way in which His name may be pronounced are as utterly immaterial as to prayers to "Our God" in English, to "Unser Gott" in German, or to "Notre Dieu" in French.

Our attitude is somewhat analogous to these words of the Proclamation of Queen Victoria in Council to the Princes, Chiefs, and People of India (published November 1, 1858):

"Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity, and acknowledging with gratitude the solace of Religion, we disclaim alike the Right and the Desire to impose our Convictions on any of Our Subjects. We declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure that none be in any wise favoured, none molested or disquieted by reason of their Religious Faith or Observances; but that all shall alike enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the Law; and We do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under Us, that they abstain from all interference with the Religious Belief or Worship of any of Our Subjects, on pain of Our highest Displeasure.

"And it is Our further Will that, so far as may be, Our Subjects, of whatever Race or Creed, be freely and impartially admitted to Offices in our Service, the Duties of which they may be qualified by their education, ability, and integrity, duly to discharge."

To those of our friends in China who of their own free will and accord may seek Masonic light, whatever their religious belief so long as it includes our single dogma, if they be worthy and well qualified, men freeborn, of good report, and properly vouched for, Freemasonry extends her hand in greeting.

Fifth: Adaptability of our Rites to the Working of such Material.

Since, then, Freemasonry welcomes to her Fellowship Deists of varying faiths, it is incredible that she should unyieldingly present to such neophytes rites incompatible with their several religious opinions. Necessarily our ceremonies must be sufficiently flexible to yield to the unchangeable Landmark of universality. Otherwise there is presented a problem analogous to the historical enquiry in physics of what will happen when an irresistible force meets an immovable body. When in a given case an Ancient Landmark and a ceremony of the Order are found to be incompatible, something must give way and that something must not be the Ancient Landmark. The ceremony must bend, if necessary. In considering the Dispensation in question and the opportunity offered and likely to be availed of for the reception of candidates who, although Deists, do not adhere to the Holy Bible as the Volume of the Sacred Law, we must now determine whether an obligation may be administered upon any other book and the language thereof adapted to the religion of the candidate. Precedents, however, are at hand. Many of us are aware of occasions within this very building when strictly Orthodox Hebrews have been obligated upon what is known to them as the "Book of the Law," that is to say upon the Pentateuch, and indeed it was determined as early as the year 1806, under the Grandmastership of Most Worshipful Timothy Bigelow, that Quakers could be permitted to affirm.

I know of no Landmark that the Holy Bible is one of the essential furnishings of a Lodge. As I understand the Ancient Landmark in this regard it is simply that the Volume of the Sacred Law is an indispensable part of the furniture of each Lodge, as necessary to the conduct of Masonic work or business by the Lodge as the Charter itself, indeed more essential, if such could be the case, for the Landmark requiring the presence of the Volume of the Sacred Law was established years, if not centuries, before such a thing as a Chartered Lodge was known to the Fraternity. I quote from Mackey's Text-book of Masonic Jurisprudence, (Edition of 1859, page 33), being a part of his chapter entitled "The Landmarks of the Unwritten Law":

"It is a Landmark, that a 'Book of the Law' shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. I say advisedly, a Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used. The 'Book of the Law' is that volume which by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the Book of the Law is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in Mohammedan Countries, and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted. Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The Book of the Law is to the speculative Mason his spiritual TrestleBoard; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual Trestle-Board, and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of the Law, a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every Lodge."

I am thoroughly in accord with Mackey upon this question. I cannot conceive how otherwise we may follow the words of the old charge: "Though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation whatever it was; yet it is now thought expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree leaving their particular opinions to themselves."

To the Christian, the Volume of the Sacred Law is the Holy Bible, and upon it he should be obligated. The Christian religion is the prevailing religion of our Lodges and, therefore, the Holy Bible, as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is and must always be part of the furniture of each Lodge. Its sanctity, however, does not appeal to the Islamite, and the ceremony of initiation would lose much to him in binding effect if his obligation should be taken thereon. While the Holy Bible should not be removed from the Lodge, the conscientious Islamite who so desires may be permitted to take his obligation upon the Koran; the Hindu, otherwise qualified and accepted, may be permitted to have the Vedas spread open before him; and the rite of initiation may be so far adapted to the conscience and religious belief of a candidate as to permit his taking the obligation in a manner and form regarded. by him as sacred and binding, and upon that work which to him is the Volume of the Sacred Law, providing always that such Volume of the Sacred Law teach Monotheism.

Such are the views of your Grand Master upon this serious and important matter. I regard it as such a momentous question, however, that I prefer to take the judgment and advice of this Grand Lodge thereon and, therefore, raise a special committee consisting of Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, Senior Past Grand Master, Right Worshipful Roscoe Pound, LL. D., Deputy Grand Master and Professor of Jurisprudence in the Harvard University Law School, Right Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Past Senior Grand Warden, Right Worshipful and Rev. Frederick W. Hamilton, D. D., LL. D., Grand Secretary and Past Deputy Grand Master, and Worshipful and Rev. R. Perry Bush, D. D., Grand Chaplain, to take under consideration the fourth and fifth questions above presented, and to report to Grand Lodge for such action thereon as may seem advisable. Definite and final determination of these questions should now be recorded and promulgated for future guidance.


No preacher is listened to but Time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.
– Dean Swift.

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THE ORANGE INSTITUTION

By Bro. J.L. Carson, Virginia

The history of Ireland since the days when King John of England (1199 to 1216) "built several forts and settled the English Colony and Civil Government" there, has been one of turmoil and trouble. Always the Celt against the Saxon, the Roman Catholic against his Protestant fellow countryman.

From 1150 to 1550 no Irish were admitted subjects of, or received benefit of, the English Colony or Courts, "Because !" says Butler in his history of Ireland, "upon all occasions they declared their malice and hatred against the English Colonists … whom they mortally hated."

During the reign of Edward III it was declared high treason for any of the English colonists to intermarry with the Irish, or to have any dealings with them.

Thus for four centuries until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, "Ireland had perpetual trouble and was overrun with misery," Protestant and Roman Catholic suffering alike. The rebellion headed by the Earl of Tyrone was only subdued after the expenditure of "nearly a million of money and much bloodshed" as also was the second rebellion of the same Earl, during the reign of James I. After these rebellions English and Scotch families settled on the confiscated lands in Ulster, where they "Built good towns, cultivated the land, and the country began to flourish." The very Irish seemed to be satisfied. Roman Catholics and Protestants alike enjoyed the free exercise of their rights, their religious convictions and observances.

Unfortunately, this tranquillity was not to last forever; in 1641 the Irish Roman Catholics suddenly rose in rebellion again; this rising was "accompanied by horrid cruelties and abominable murders," so much so that "three hundred thousand Protestants were destroyed," sparing "neither sex, age or condition."

Oliver Cromwell with a firm and heavy hand crushed out this rebellion, twenty-seven thousand Roman Catholics departed from the shores of Ireland, and a new plantation of Scotch and English families arrived in Ulster. These planters and their descendants prospered exceedingly.

Although the conditions of peace seemed once again established, the feeling between these Protestant and Roman Catholic peoples was bitter in the extreme; therefore when the Earl of Tyrconnell became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, reinstated Roman Catholics, evicting the Protestants from the holdings they had received by grant or purchase, things were ripe for a great upheaval. Led by that notorious Jesuit Priest, Father Peters, the Roman Catholics declared for James II. King of England, who had openly espoused the Catholic Faith, and made treaties with the Pope and the King of France.

The various histories of England tell of the events leading up to the establishment of William III and Mary on the throne. The final struggle for the crown took place on Irish soil. The Protestants of the Ulster Plantation flocked to the standard of William, whose party represented all we as Protestants hold sacred – Civil and Religious Liberty.

With the closing of the gates of Derry in the face of the Jacobite army by the small Protestant garrison, who held the city under the most trying conditions until relieved by the Williamite forces, with the defeat of James' Army at Enniskillen and the Boyne, the aspirations of the Jacobite party were forever overthrown.

The effect of these battles fought on the shores of the Erne, the banks of the Boyne, and in the village of Aughrum, will be felt for all time: representing the eternal struggle between Liberty and Tyranny, the closing of the Gates of Derry by the Apprentice Boys of the city, when the older inhabitants feared to take the initiative, meant the closing forever in Great Britain of the possibilities of Papal Supremacy in that Kingdom.

The Williamite triumph proclaimed to the world the principles of Liberty in the life of a nation rather than the supremacy of Protestantism, and the battle cry NO SURRENDER, raised in 1688 by our loyal forbears, will ring throughout eternity.

For a hundred years the old feeling between the two religions remained deep and bitter, as indeed it does today. They feel that "Home Rule" means "Rome Rule," and Ulster that has always been England's best friend and most loyal possession, refuses to be alienated from the Empire, and handed over to an Irish majority, dominated by Rome and governed by her prelates. "Rome never forgives, never forgets." It was therefore felt by the Protestants of Ireland that it was necessary to band themselves together for "Mutual defence and safety." The organization of the ORANGE INSTITUTION in the year 1795 was the result.

The name was selected in memory of "The glorious, pious and immortal memory of William the Third, Prince of Orange" and the motto of the war was significant of its purpose. "The Liberty of England we will maintain; the Bible and the Crown we will support."

In this exceedingly short resume of the history of Ireland I have tried to show the causes leading up to the establishment of the Orange Institution. Now a few words about the Institution itself.

The internal construction of the Institution leads us to accept for a fact the claim made that Thomas Wilson the founder was a Freemason. I know the methods of recognition by signs, grips and words, the system of Lodge Government, the vouching for visitors, and a hundred and one other little details could only have been introduced by a Mason. Tradition in the North of Ireland says he was a renegade Freemason. Little, however, is now known of him.

The first Lodge was opened at Dyan, a very small village in the County Tyrone, Ireland, and a Grand Lodge was immediately constituted in Armagh in 1795, which soon afterwards removed to Dublin. Lodges and Grand Lodges have been established all over the English speaking world, and the Institution has done and is doing a great work in a perfectly legal and constitutional manner. It is keeping strict tab on the social and political encroachments of Rome, stands for undenominational education and the freedom from clerical domination of "The Little Red Schoolhouse." It is a bulwark of English speaking Protestantism, the eternal enemy of Romanism and Priestcraft. The membership today exceeds one million five hundred thousand.

When the Institution first started there was but one degree, The Orange; in 1796 The Royal Arch Purple degree was added; later under what is known as The Royal Black Preceptory or Knights of Malta, the higher degrees of the order, were introduced, of which there are quite a number. The Black Preceptory or Black Knights as they are sometimes called resembles in formation the Knights Templar Order in Freemasonry, and contains many of the elements of the Masonic Knights of Malta.

Strange as it may appear, amongst many Masonic Knights Templar and Orange Black Knights, there is a growing conviction that their origin was a bid of the Roman Catholic Church to use these orders for the purpose of overthrowing Protestantism in Great Britain. Had the Church not fallen down on its propaganda results would have been very different in the attitude of the Papacy to Freemasonry today. Fortunately things turned out for the best. Papish in origin the evolution of both these institutions has been helpful to the Reformed Faith, so we as Masonic Knights Templar or Orange Black Knights have cause to rejoice.

The Irish Black Knights grasped the Chivalric idea and incorporated it into the Orange system, instead of Christ and His twelve apostles using Joseph and his Brethren, ringing in Elijah and Baal to offset Papal idolatry. The belief remains that these orders sprung from a common origin. In the early days of the Institution undoubtedly most Freemasons were Orangemen and many Orangemen were Freemasons. This is a fact today in Ireland. But at the present time the line of cleavage between the two orders is distinctly marked and carefully maintained.

The Loyal Orange Institution is recognized as a purely political Society, to which only Protestants are admitted, by ballot, and into which all Protestants in good standing are welcome.

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THE THREE SUPPORTING PILLARS OF A LODGE

By Bro. H. A. Kingsbury, Connecticut

ALTHOUGH it is probably true that there is no Mason, be he ever so unskilled in his Art, who is so ill informed that if he were asked, "What are the symbolical Supports of your Blue Lodge?" would not be able to give the information, "The Three Pillars, Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty," it is to be feared that there is many a Mason who, when he has given the information that the Three Pillars are the Supports of his Lodge and has given those Supports their respective names, has told absolutely all he knows concerning the Three Pillars. He knows nothing of their antecedents and their history; nothing of their symbolic significance. This is decidedly not as it should be. It is, then, worth the time and effort of every Mason who would possess even the elements of a proper knowledge of his Art, and especially is it worth the time and effort of every Mason who would call himself a student of his Art, to make an investigation, if only one of the utmost brevity, of the antecedents, the history, and the symbolism, of pillars and, more particularly, of the Three Pillars.

To an investigation, such as suggested, the brief review below can serve as scarcely more than a synopsis. It is no more than a start in the right direction – merely the sketching in of some of the more important features of a field of investigation which no Mason can afford neglecting to explore.

Probably pillars have been used for commemorative, monumental and symbolistic purposes since the beginnings of civilization in the world. For example, among the Egyptians many extraordinary events, singular or noteworthy transactions, and new inventions were commemorated, and their histories preserved, by records carved upon pillars of stone. According to tradition, Osiris, that Egyptian hero and god of such peculiar and especial interest to the Mason, set up pillars in commemoration of his conquests; the pillars bore hieroglyphic inscriptions recording certain interesting facts and details relative to those conquests. This reputed example of Osiris was followed by the kings of ancient Egypt for many centuries, for those kings had, in many instances, records of their conquests, triumphs, power, and magnificence, engraved on pillars or obelisks. And, if we are to believe the Greek legends having to do with the legendary world – conquering Egyptian king Sesostris who in those legends carries the burdens and the glories of many of the deeds of Rameses II., Rameses II during his military progress through the various nations which he conquered caused pillars to be erected bearing inscriptions and emblematic devices making known to posterity certain features of, and facts relating to, his conquests.

By the biblical peoples pillars were used in ways similar to those in which they were used by the Egyptians. Thus, Hiram King of Tyre, upon the forming of his grand junction between Eurichorus and Tyre, dedicated a pillar to Jupiter in commemoration of the event. Enoch erected two pillars – the Pillars of Enoch of which Masonry has its symbolic legend – the one of brass to resist water and the other of stone to resist fire upon which he inscribed information calculated to preserve his knowledge to posterity in the case of the destruction of the world. Jacob's Pillar at Bethel was erected to commemorate his extraordinary vision; his Pillar at Galeed was raised in commemoration of his treaty with his uncle, Laban. Joshua raised a pillar at Gilgal to perpetuate the fact of the miraculous passage of the River Jordan. And Absalom erected a pillar in honour of himself.

Leaving, now, the consideration of pillars as merely individual units and turning to the consideration of grouped pillars, each group consisting of three units, one realizes at the outset that the conception of a symbolic group of three pillars is not by any means one confined exclusively to Masonry; in not a few of the ancient mysteries and religious systems some symbolic meaning was assigned to a group comprised of three pillars.

The symbolistic conception of three grouped pillars was contained in the Druidical Mysteries, indeed, in those mysteries, in some instances, the adytum, or sanctuary, was actually supported on three stones or pillars. In the mythology of India the conception of three pillars was present, the pillars being considered as located in the East, West, and South and as bearing the names Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. In also the mysteries of India the three qualities, Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, were treated of, being there considered as represented by three hierophants, one in the East, one in the West, and one in the South.

The three-pillar-group, in every ancient mystery or religious system where it occurred as such, was the presentation, symbolically, of a triad. Therefore, a consideration of the Three Pillars of the Lodge brings before the student, for his contemplation, the curious fact that nearly every mystery practiced by the ancient peoples of the world contained its reference, and that an important reference, to a triad. In the mysteries of India the triad was Brahma, Vishnu, Siva; in the Grecian Mysteries the triad was Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto; in the Persian, Ormazad, Mithra, Mithras; in the Gothic, Woden, Friga, Thor; in the Mexican, Tloquenahuaque, Huitzilopochtli, Mictlanteuctli; and so on through the various systems practised by the ancients.

So, in carrying forward what was best in the conceptions and the teachings of the peoples of antiquity, Masonry, too, has its pillars of peculiar significance; places one in East, one in the West, and one in the South; considers each one symbolically significant as a unit, calling one Wisdom, one Strength, and one Beauty, as did the Hindus; and, finally, Masonry considers those Pillars as a group, unitary in character and in itself a symbol, indeed a symbol of the very highest type, for: –

The Mason is informed that the Three Supporting Pillars of the Lodge are Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty "because it is necessary that there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support, and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings": he cannot but gather from the lectures and the work, particularly of the First Degree, that the Lodge is the symbol of the World: therefore, when he combines these two conceptions and draws the necessarily resulting conclusion, he arrives at the same understanding of the ultimate symbolic significance of the Three Pillars as did the ancient Hindus – the Three Supporting Pillars of the Lodge are, considered as a group, the symbol of Him Whose Wisdom contrived the World, Whose Strength supports the World, Whose Beauty adorns the World – Deity.

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PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS OF A CANDIDATE

By Bro. O.D. Street, Alabama

The question of Physical Qualification of candidates continues to provoke much discussion, many decisions and some legislation. As a rule the test applied is, that the candidate must without artificial aid be able to teach and practice in all its parts our esoteric ritual. The antiquity of this requirement is undenied and undeniable. Our oldest Code of Masonic Law, (the Regius MS., cir. A. D. 1390), in its quaint language declares:

The mayster shal not, for no vantage,
Make no prentes that ys outrage;
Hyt ys to mene, as ye mowe here,
That he have hys lymes hole alle y-fere;
To the craft hyt were gret schame,
To make an halt mon and a lame,
For an unperfyct mon of such blod
Schulde do the craft but lytul good.
Thus ye mowe knowe everychon,
The craft wolde have a mighty mon;
A maymed mon he hath no myght,
Ye mowe hyt knowe long yer nyght.
– 11. 119-160.

Anderson's Book of Constitutions, (1723), the first book of the kind ever published and still regarded the world over as a standard authority, thus states the law:

No Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Imployment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body that may render him uncapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due time.

It is argued now in certain quarters that this requirement arose out of the necessities of a society of operative workmen, and is unsuited to our present Speculative Masonry. The contention is that the utilitarian purpose of the regulation having ceased, the regulation itself is no longer binding. They forget that many things, once serving purely practical purposes in our fraternity, but now entirely useless from that viewpoint, were for symbolic reasons brought over from Operative into Speculative Masonry. Of what utility in the lodge, we may ask, are now the square, the level, the plumb, the compasses, the 24-inch gauge, the chisel, the trowel, the spade? None whatever. This line of reasoning would therefore dispense with them also. They are retained and cherished solely because they symbolize certain virtues or truths. So it is with man. The most fundamental symbolism in Masonry is that man is a piece of flawless material to be chiseled and polished into a perfect stone to be used in the erection of a moral and spiritual temple. It is an ancient metaphor, older than the Christian era, that man symbolizes the temple or abiding place of Deity himself. A perfect specimen of physical manhood is an admirable and a marvellous piece of work. regardless of the mind or the character housed in it. - According to our conceit, it is made in the very image of God. – Gen. i, 26. In other words, the human body typifies Deity. Carlyle in Sartor Resartus exclaims, "What is man himself but a symbol of God!" An imperfect, a crippled, a maimed body is an unworthy type in such a sublime symbolism. Surely nothing less than 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 then a Fellow-Craft in due time" is a fit symbol of Deity, or of his perfect abiding place, or of a perfect stone in a perfect temple. However pure the material, who would think of putting a broken stone in a fine edifice ? And what would one think of a temple splendidly furnished inside, built of the finest marble, but with a broken column, a cracked freize or a shattered dome ?

The argument, sometimes made, that Freemasonry should not be so exacting as to physical perfection while we admit those possessed of less than moral perfection proceeds on a false assumption. Freemasonry has never declared any lower standard of moral qualification for its initiates than that they shall be "good men and true, or men of honour and honesty." If less than these find their way into our lodges, the fault is not with Freemasonry or its laws, but with us whose duty it is to guard our portals against the unworthy. Because we are careless or sometimes deceived at one point is no reason why we should obliterate a "landmark" elsewhere.

The utilitarian spirit which would knock off a mark of antiquity here and another yonder, because they are no longer serviceable, would soon strip our fraternity completely of that delightful flavor of age which is one of its chief charms.

Our operative brethren required of their initiates just such degree of "physical perfection" as enabled them to perform the work of the operative lodge. We should likewise require just such degree of "physical perfection ' as will enable our initiates to perform the ' work" of the Speculative lodge.

At the same time we do not think it necessary to the preservation of this symbolism that an E. A. should be denied advancement because of a maim suffered after initiation. The idea of man as a symbol of a perfect stone in a temple is taught chiefly in the first degree, "living stones for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands eternal in the heavens." So it is of the symbolism of the Rough Ashlar and the Perfect Ashlar. Many considerations operate in favour of the advancement of the E. A. or F.C., notwithstanding a maim after initiation which do not apply to the profane.

We have gotten along very well with this restriction of "physical perfection." Many think the increase in membership has been too rapid. There is at least no necessity to open the door any wider to the profane. When we open it to the worthy maimed, we also open it to the unworthy maimed. Let us adhere to the "landmarks" bequeathed to us by the fathers.

Finally, there is a very practical side to this question. It can not be denied that as a class the maimed are more liable to become charges upon the Craft than are the physically whole. It is an erroneous idea, but one widely prevalent, that Freemasonry is a benefit society; that persons join it that they may be cared for in their periods of adversity. Nothing could be further from the truth; at least theoretically, one unites with our Fraternity that he may serve and minister unto the needs of others; from a "sincere desire to be serviceable to his fellow men." For this work prudence dictates that we do not accept those whose physical defects render it likely that they themselves will become a charge. Those of our charitable activities, whose benefits we restrict to our members, their widows, and orphans, are the narrowest form of true Masonic charity. Masons should be leaders in every form of charity "to all mankind." Masonry rightly understood is a work of service to others just as is the Red Cross. Though one of the most splendid forms of charity this world has ever seen, the Red Cross does not seek as its members those in need of relief or whose physical condition does or will likely add to its already tremendous burdens.

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AN AMBASSADOR

By Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, England

SINCE my last report I have been on a journey along the Western Front of the world war, as a guest of the British Foreign Office. The invitation was the fruit of a policy which deems it wise for men who speak and write to see what the war is like, that they may tell the folks at home. Under such auspices I had opportunity to see the war at first hand and vividly, as the fighting men themselves do not see it, since they see only the part of the line where they are located.

Not much can be told on one page, only a few of the bewildering impressions of a scene strange, terrible, and fascinating. As I write now, it all seems like a horrible dream – if only it were a dream! - which one would give much to forget, and cannot. No wonder the men who return from the trenches are so dumb and uncommunicative when asked about the war. It is unspeakable ! No words are equal to it. They speak of it as the "grand show," or "the big row," after the English manner of speaking lightly of the more serious things.

My first impression was of the vastness of the war, which makes all other wars a mere street brawl beside it. It is simply stupendous in its effort, its organization, its waste, its sacrifice, its horror. A one line news item tells of an attack, but how few know or can realize what lies back of that bare line! Still less can they make real to themselves what it costs in labour and life. No one can walk amid the Ruins without a sense of dismay at the waste of life, waste of brains, waste of treasure – whole cities mere piles of blasted brick, lovely landscapes mere heaps of junk or mazes of trenches and shell-holes. Everywhere ruin, everywhere desolation. It seems that the arts which have made most progress are the arts of destruction.

Never has there been a day when I did not hate war, but I hate it now with a indignation that baffles words to tell. Its cruelty, its stupidity, its terror - who can utter it ! By the same token, who can measure the guilt of the clique of criminals in central Europe who plunged the world into this woe. They deserve, and will receive, the deep damnation of humanity to the latest day. Lust of power, lust of rule, swollen vanity, unscrupulous intrigue, strutting blasphemy, sure signs of moral insanity, ended in a tragedy that beshadows the earth like a pall. It is in accord with the eternal justice of things that the men, - if men they be, and not fiends - who plotted this crime should drink the dregs of the cup they have pressed to the lips of the race.

Yet when one has seen war at its worst - its blood and fire and tears, its mud and slush and ruin - one stands in awe of that in our humanity which will face it in behalf of an ideal, a sense of right, and the future which those who fight may never see upon earth. And the more one sees, the more that wonder gathers and grows. Never can I forget those fine, healthy, upstanding fellows whom I met in the trenches, their careless strength, their genial friendly spirit, their jolly goodwill - ready to give their lives, if need be, that liberty, mercy and decency may not perish from the earth. Such men are incomparable. Such a spirit is unconquerable.

Not yet have our people realized what it means for us to be in the war. Perhaps they cannot fully realize it until they begin to read the long lists of the dead, following the first great battle in which our army takes part. After that it will not be safe for those who lend sympathy to an enemy whose brutality is only equalled by its efficiency. Americans are a kindly and tolerant folk, willing to err on the side of gentleness rather than be harsh; but it must not be imagined that we have no iron in our blood. At least they will not allow their boys to be shot in the back. Those who are wise enough to take a friendly warning, will beware of the wrath of a patient and generous people.

Speaking of America and the war, apparently the great speech of General Pershing at the tomb of LaFayette on the 4th of July is not known on this side as it should be. He went with his staff to that tomb to pay a tribute to the great Frenchman who came to the aid of Washington and helped to lift our flag to the winds. His speech was brief, noble, immortal, the speech of a soldier, as follows: "Lafayette, here we are." Exactly, here we are in the greatest of all wars, fighting the old battle of liberty, as our fathers fought before us; trying to keep the good ship, the Earth, from being torpedoed and sunk in brutality. Let us have no illusions about the matter. It will be a hard fight, perhaps a long fight, asking for heroism, sacrifice, fortitude, and the spirit of the days that tried the souls of men.

When will the war end? No one knows. Anything may happen. I went to the Front a super-optimist, but I came back feeling that, unless there is some internal explosion in Germany - and I hardly expect anything of the kind, remembering how with them discipline is drawn out to the thinnest docility - we are now about the middle of the war. This means that America will be in the war up to the hilt before the close, and that the full strength of the nation will have to be put forth. Having seen the war at first hand, and knowing what our boys will have to face, my heart is sick and sore. Yet I am solemnly proud that our Republic will have a part in the salvation of civilization and the making of a better world!

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right; let us go on to finish the work we are in."

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EDITORIAL

You and We

TOO many of the brethren view the National Masonic Research Society as a publisher. In the sense of making known by publication the Society is indeed very thoroughly a publishing body and by virtue of THE BUILDER is actively circulating Masonic information periodically - all of which is truly the task and purpose of a publishing organization.

But this is only a part of the Society's activities. At Anamosa, Iowa, there is a fast-growing collection of Masonic publications elaborately indexed. Constant and energetic labor bestowed freely upon this material has now grown into rich fruitage. On very few if any angles of Masonic literature is there lacking the most interesting resources at the National Masonic Research Society's House of Light.

A few miles from headquarters is the great literary lore in the Grand Lodge repository at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Here under the continual care and skill of Grand Secretary Parvin and Curator Hunt are the rarest treasures, all in orderly arrangement, cheerfully and quickly available for the service of our Society.

All these data are at the disposal of any member of the Society. He can be informed of what there is to be obtained on any topic, advised of the collateral references, guided in all his researches, and in short put in possession of privileges beyond price; nay, given benefits no money can otherwise obtain.

There is also in the Society a means of mutual acquaintance that is fast coming into free use. Two brethren recently met at Chicago who had had long in mind the plan of a meeting at headquarters of themselves and others. They were joined by a few more. What had begun as almost a chance meeting of but two became a group affair. Some day that little gathering, the forerunner of many we may hope, will be the beginning of still larger and perhaps more effective congregations of kindred souls vitally interested in the advancement of Masonic research and each willing and anxious to do his full share toward the progress of the National Masonic Research Society.

Let us all do more than hope for the attainment of this most desirable project. How can we best combine our efforts to bringing about this result? The main primary object is of course to enlarge the personal acquaintance between our members. In this direction we at headquarters can help you materially.

For example, in your own localities, or wherever any of you may be visiting, we will gladly furnish you with a few names of our members. These you can call upon. You will find them companionable Masons of the liveliest type, studious and progressive, as willing to thankfully receive as to generously give information.

Out of the many thousands of members on the American continent you will meet several within easy distance almost anywhere you may happen to be. You will discover, as has been our personal experience, that these brethren are the most delightful of associates. They are fellow‑students in the great university of Masonry, pupils in daily pilgrimage among Masonic duties, partakers of the same fraternal pleasures, bound together with you by common desires and headed in the same direction.

Not only can you converse with them on Masonic topics in general, but there is a long and prolific list of subjects and of authors suggested by the reading of THE BUILDER. There can be no lack of profitable discussion when Masons meet under the conditions we have described. Think this over. Write us for the names you require. We will do the rest.

One thing only do we beg of you in return. This you need not give but it will add very much indeed to the vigor of our efforts and we would remind you that these exercises for the common good will in turn benefit every one of us in the Society, and help many beyond the confines of our research organization.

Please keep us in touch with these congenial occasions, these meetings of our goodly fellowship. Many times we thus learn of a subject under examination by a brother to whom we may be able to introduce other brethren having precisely the selfsame studious interests. Sometimes we can suggest additional sources of information. All these things, because of what they do for the members, increase the powers of the Society for good.

No necessity, either, for you to restrict the advantages of such gatherings to members of the Society. Take along one who is not a member. Let him hear and take part in the proceedings.

He is indeed a rare specimen if he be not inoculated by you with the microbe of Masonic investigation. If he does not indeed show an inclination to take the matter of membership up with us, a judicious hint from you will help the cause.

But the best way of handling all cases is to get an application in his hands and it being a fact beyond dispute that none but highly desirable candidates would be taken along by you to meetings of the membership of the National Masonic Research Society, you would not be inclined to withhold your name from a cordial endorsement of him.

In this way the purpose of Masonic study is made aggressive and the work of the Society surely and rapidly advanced toward maximum usefulness. This is a co-operation that costs you nothing and profits much for all of us. Please take hold and lift your share.
R.I.C.

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THE LIBRARY

Edited By Bro. H. L. Haywood

(The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not aways familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book - what is its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained - be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a revi write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book - any book - we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.)

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"Freemasonry Before The Existence Of Grand Lodges"

HISTORY is a story based on evidence, documentary or otherwise; tradition is a story based on hearsay, or inference. If these familiar definitions be true, we may place the historical period of Freemasonry as beginning roughly in 1600. We have minutes of the Scotch Lodge of Edinburgh dated 1599, and we have the record of the initiation of Elias Ashmole at Warrington in 1646; and from these dates to the present the development of Freemasonry may be traced through dependable records, Masonic and profane. But prior to 1600 our story is largely traditional and must be pieced together from scattered fragments of facts, from analogy, inference, and probability.

Being a region so vaguely defined, and so poorly marked out with paths and guide-boards, the long traditional period of our Masonic story has ever been a happy-hunting-ground for theorists and visionaries, with almost every writer chasing a favorite phantom, and hardly any two agreeing. This was especially the case before the advent of modern critical scholarship into Masonic literature, for in those days enthusiasts traced the origin of our Fraternity to the Culdees, the Druids, the Gypsies, the Ancient Mysteries, the Ancient Egyptians, and almost every ancient something or other. Preston, to whose genius for ritual we owe so much, but to whose talent for history we owe so little, was led to declare that "from the commencement of the world we may trace the foundations of Freemasonry." Not to be outdone by this, Rev. George Oliver went on to contend that "our science existed before the creation of this globe, and was diffused among the various systems" in space. With Preston and Oliver, and similar "historians," however, we must not grow impatient, for they were only doing in the fields of Masonic origin what other scholars were similarly doing in the fields of religion, politics, literature, etc. Their visionary schemes were not born of any love for the fabulous but were simply due to the fact that there was not yet any science, or apparatus of history ready to their hands.

The first of our Masonic writers to recast the whole story of our traditional period in the light of genuine history, and by means of accredited scientific methods, was Robert Freke Gould. His four volume History is, and will ever remain, a miracle of scholarship, a horde of fact and doctrine that over-tops its fellows, as the pyramid of Gizeh towers above the Sahara. But it is this very size, this opulence of materials and ideas, that has been the work's greatest drawback, for non-scholars and common busy men such as most of us are, have neither the equipment nor the time to work their way through so vast a forest of literature as is found in his 1900 pages. Accordingly, the publishing of Gould's History immediately created the need for some work of smaller compass, and simpler style, that would give us the results of Gould's researches without confusing us by the laborious processes by means of which those results were achieved.

Such a book, happily, we have in "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," a little volume of 164 pages, written by Brother Lionel Vibert, I.C.S. Local Secretary for Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, E.C. for S. India, and published by Spencer and Co., of London. In this brief work we have a compact study of our origin and development done in lucid English and so arranged that he who runs may read. But compact as it is, the study covers a vast ground, as may be seen by the list of chapter headings which are as follows: The Internal Indications of Our Antiquity; Collegia and Gilds; Early Conditions; Our Legendary Hlstory; Our Oldest Documents; The Operative Masons (in two Chapters); Allied Craft Associations; The Mystics (Hermeticists, Kabbalists, etc.); Legends, Symbols, and Ritual (two chapters); and The Seventeenth Century, and the Formation of Grand Lodges (in one chapter.)

Manifestly it would be quite impossible to offer a resume of a study of such content, but it may prove richly worth our while to note how Bro. Vibert answers the one question, Did Freemasonry originate from some other secret society?

Did it spring from the Roman Collegia? Our author answers, No. "There was no exclusive College of Masons (among the Collegia). The craftsmen - as in India - were hereditary. But the point with which we are most directly concerned is that they were associations either purely social or disciplinary for the purpose of the administration of the concerns or commerce in one particular town… There is no ground for attributing to them any esotericism or secret ceremonies, or the possession of any legends… The Roman Collegia do not in fact present any remarkable analogy with our craft."

How about the Druids? "That the Druids - that terrible sect, as Gould calls them - were Freemasons was a theory devoutly believed in by numerous writers not so many years ago. It need hardly be said, however, that the idea is not merely devoid of the remotest historical probability, but can not even be justified by the usually adaptable argument of analogy."

He will not agree that our Order sprang from the Vehmgerichte either. "The Vehmgerichte were essentially courts of justice… They had nothing in the nature of secret teachings or mysteries."

Brother Ravenscroft in his interesting little book, "The Comacines," has elaborated the argument that one or two of the Roman Colleges of Architects settled on the Isle of Comacini in Lake Como, and that through these Comacines Freemasonry connects up with the Collegia. To this Bro. Vibert replies: "In the first place, there is absolutely no ground for attributing to any Collegia traditions of King Solomon; in the second, the exodus of a Collegium to Como is a hypothesis only, and Ravenscroft's authority is Findel, whose statements are unsupported; in the third, even assuming that the Masons imported to Saxon England were in fact Comacines, this merely means that their knowledge of building was derived from Ancient Rome, not that they brought us any esotericism… Finally, the legend of our Craft connects us not with Rome but with Euclid and Egypt."

Similarly, Bro. Vibert rejects the Templar hypothesis: "In any case, there is no evidence to connect Masonry with Palestine by this channel through the Templars, whose supposed-connection with our craft in medieval days is not now believed in."

Nor will he admit that Freemasonry sprang from the Steinmetzen, as has been so often alleged. "They had an absolutely independent origin and existence, and such legends as they possessed are distinct from ours. When modern Masonry was introduced into Germany in the eighteenth century, at a time when Steinmetzen still existed, no one recognized the two societies as having any connection."

The theory that our Order was founded by the Kabbalists and the Rosicrucians he also throws aside. "The doctrines of Kabbala … are not found in Masonry." "Clearly, the absence of any organized society is fatal to the Rosicrucian theory of our origin; or at all events reduces it to this, that we have been influenced by individual Rosicrucians in our ranks. This may very well be."

On the question of our derivation from the Ancient Mysteries, the Druses, the French Gilds, the Companionage, etc., he returns a like negative answer. What he does believe is, that Freemasonry began with the medieval builder's gilds, more especially the Church builders; that their building secrets may have come through roundabout channels from the Egypt of Pythagoras' day but that their peculiar form of organization and use of building tools as emblems was all their own; that the Speculative Masons who were Accepted, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, brought new myths, legends and symbols with them; and that the mixture of operative and speculative systems thus made was distilled off into a purely Speculative Order in the first year of the eighteenth century, after which many modifications were made to give the Freemasonry of today.

What Bro. Joseph Fort Newton says of his own book, "The Builders," in a notable passage, may be equally applied to the theory of our origins developed by Bro. Vibert:

"For, since what was evolved from Masonry must always have been involved in it . . we need not go outside the order itself to learn what Masonry is, certainly not to discover its motif and its genius; its later and more elaborate form being only an expansion and exposition of its inherent nature and teaching. Upon this fact the present study insists with all emphasis, as over against those who go hunting in every odd nook and corner to find whence Masonry came and where got its symbols and degrees."

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The History Of Magic

"Eliphas Levi's" (his real name was Alphonse Louis Constant) "History of Magic," while not a new book, is worthy of attention in this Department on many counts. For one thing it was translated from the French by Brother Arthur Edward Waite who is, many of us believe, the greatest living writer on the inner side of Freemasonry. Waite's Preface is a model after its kind, and gives, in no uncertain terms, a great scholar's estimate of that system called "Magic," telling us that this form of occultism "has no ground in the truth of things, and is of the region of delusion only." These pages are heartily recommended to the brother who is tempted to dabble in the occult of any form.

For another thing, the volume now at hand will be of interest to the fraternity because it gives, or purports to give, in one chapter a study of the connections between Masonry and Magic. As may be expected Levi traces the origins of the Craft to Kabbalism and Hermeticism, etc., a theory not without familiarity to the reader of our Lodge memorials. Needless to say this theory is built on sand and possesses almost no validity at all. It is true, as Pike, Woodford, and others have already pointed out, that many of Masonry's symbols were in use by the occult fraternities of the Middle Ages, but that gives no warrant for the assumption that it was from these strange houses of sleep that Masonry derived.

Not the least claim that the History of Magic can lay on our attention is that it was from this book that Albert Pike drew a modicum of the materials for his "Morals and Dogma." "He accepted," says Mr. Waite, in the latter pages of his "Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah," "without due caution, the construction placed on Kabbalism by the most unsafe of all its expounders, Eliphas Levi, from whom he translated verbatim at great length, and, following his professed habit, with no specific acknowledgement." This does not, however, necessarily discredit the Morals and Dogma, for much that Levi says is true; it only serves to indicate that the teachings of the History of Magic are closer to us, Masonically, than might at first appear. The readers of Morals and Dogma, and may their number increase, will do well to read the two books together.

Levi, as we may continue to call him, was born in Paris in 1810. He was educated for the priesthood at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice. After having been made a deacon, for some reason not yet deternined, he withdrew from holy orders to engage in literary work. The publication of his "Doctrine of Transcendental Magic" attracted attention in 1855 and soon won for him a place as spokesman of the votaries of that style of esotericism. In this he developed his thesis that there has existed from a time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary a Secret Doctrine, known only to the elect, preserved behind veils of one kind or another, which confers upon the adept almost unlimited powers over nature and over man. After passing from one refuge to another this Secret Doctrine, so Levi contended, found a home at last behind the official doctrines of Roman Catholicism. It appears that this position was abandoned in the History of Magic, though many of his followers will not admit as much; however that may be, he died in 1875, "fortified by the last rites of the Catholic Church."

"There is no question," says Mr. Waite, "that for Eliphas Levi his secret doctrine of occult science is contained in a hypothesis concerning an universal medium denominated the Astral Light." By this he seems to have meant an imponderable fluid, or a hidden force, lying behind all phenomena, and amenable to control for good or for evil by the adept. "I have deemed it my duty to pick up the key," he says, referring to the secret of control of this medium, "and I offer it to him who can take it; in his turn he will be doctor of the nations and liberator of the world."

Those who have a stomach for such things will find the History worth reading; while those to whom it is the ultimate folly will nevertheless not go unrewarded, for there are many stray gems of beauty and truth scattered through the book. Beginning with an account of "the derivations of magic" Levi goes on to interpret its dogmas; thereafter he tries to prove that Christianity itself was secretly a magi cult; from this he passes to deal with the influences of the art over the first movements of civilization; this is followed by a discussion of magic and the priesthood; and then by two parts, the first devoted to the role played by it in the French Revolution; the latter, to the place of magic in the 19th Century.

There are many of us who believe that magic has no place in either the 19th or in the 20th Century, or in any other besides; least of all has it a place in Masonry which, with its sanity and its love of the light, can no more be assimilated to the doctrines of magic than to any other form of occultism. It will be an auspicious day when Masons, one and all, have done with these back-washes of human superstition; above all, when they have learned to discriminate between that occultism which is always false and that mysticism which is always true.

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THE QUESTION BOX

(The Builder is an open forum for free and maternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)

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Masonry In Russia

Some of the fellows in our lodge have been arguing about Masonry in Russia; some say there are Masonic lodges there, others say not; can you help us out?
- D.F.B., Nebraska.

Masonry was forbidden in Russia under the old regime, because it was a secret order: whether it is now permitted we do not know but would be glad to learn. A young Y.M.C.A. secretary recently applied for a position in Y.M.C.A. work in Russia but was refused because he was a Mason. The people are evidently still bitterly prejudiced against the Order. If you can get at Leo Tolstoy's great story, "War and Peace," read the famous chapter on Masonry; it suggests that there was some Masonry in Russia even in the days before the Revolution. If some reader has a word to say on this please send it to us.


Dear Brother Editor: - The following clipping may be of interest to you and your readers:

New Liberties for Russia.

Petrograd, July 6 (by mail). - Under the regime of the czar no secret societies of any sort were permitted to exist and lodge night was a pleasure unknown to Russian males. It has developed there are some 10,000 Masons in Russia, who held lodge meetings behind guarded doors. Steps are being taken to form a national organization.

The assumption has been made, in all references that I have seen, that Freemasonry was practically non-existent in Russia under the old regime. It would be most interesting to have some light on the proposed national Masonic organization from any of the members of our Society who may be informed thereon. Fraternally yours,
Francis H. Coffin, Pennsylvania.

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The Cross And The Swastika

Dear Brother Editor: - Information is requested as to correctness according to present-day scholars of the two following related ideas, and it is requested that, if practicable, you put me in touch with any information that may be available upon the subject.

That both the cross and the swastika are efforts to represent in one plane the figure of the cube. That these two ancient and widely known figures are the sign-manuals therefore for perfection invented before the use of perspective was known. Further that the Cross within the Circle was a combination of two ideas, Eternity and Perfection, and intended to represent Eternal Perfection or the sign-manual of God.

So far as I can find record these ideas have been expressed in nothing that I have the opportunity to read, and in the latter case I have a recollection of reading that the Cross was developed from the Circle and could have no meaning apart from the Circle.

If this subject has been developed by any author I would like to be informed of the name of the work wherein the matter was discussed.
Charles Kimball, Washington, D. C.

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Circumambulation

Dear Brother Editor: - I am not a member of your Society but a brother Mason told me to write to you for some information, anyway. I have often wondered why the candidate is taken around the lodge room; it don't seem to mean anything to me. What does it mean?
- J. M. K., Rhode Island.

Convey our thanks to the brother you mention; he evidently understands the spirit of the Society.

The ceremony to which you doubtless refer is called the Rite of Circumambulation. It was a custom already ancient in the time of Christ yet is still practised in some parts of the world. According to archeologists and anthropologists the Rite had its origin in the savage's child-like belief that if he would only imitate the actions of a god or of some process of nature he would thereby be enabled to control the god or the natural process. Thus, in a number of African tribes of this day a priest, or a medicine man, or some other functionary, will act out wind, and thunder and rain, supposing that this imitation of a storm will really cause a storm. The Rite of Circumambulation was originally such a piece of magic for it was used by primitive man to control the sun by imitating the sun's motions. In Greek and Roman history, of course, after men had grown more sophisticated they gave other reasons; but even so the older idea of acting in harmony with the sun remained in the Rite. For this let us be glad, because it is one of the most fruitful of all ideas, even if we cannot hold it in quite the same form as primitive man. All our most splendid modern achievements have been wrought through careful co-operation with nature and her processes. When man is in harmony with the laws of the world, when he is in "tune with the Infinite" he is really living the truth suggested: by Circumambulation.

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Orientation

Dear Brother Editor: - I am a member of a study club, and I have been asked to give a paper on "Orientation"; will you tell me something about it; will you tell me of a book I can get?
- A.A.S., Iowa

The word itself literally means, "toward the east." In early times many temples were so placed that the rays of the morning sun on certain days of the year would pass between the pillars at the entrance and fall upon the altar; other temples were similarly oriented toward some star, or toward the moon in one of its phases. Orientation is therefore a far-off reminder of the ancient light religion. You will find a valuable chapter in Mackey's "Symbolism." The best treatment, both from the scientific and historical points of view, is given in Norman Lockyer's "Dawn of Astronomy," one of the noblest books we have ever read, as rich in materials as it is beautiful in style, and always composed in a spirit appropriate to that light worship which is its theme. Two or three of its chapters would furnish you with an abundance of materials for the historical background of your paper, while Mackey's study will suggest the symbolic import of it. You should be able to find Lockyer's book in any public library.

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How To Increase The Attendance

Dear Brother Editor: - Can you tell me how to wake up our lodge members? I am the master of a lodge of more than three hundred members but we often can't get the chairs filled on a regular meeting night.
- M.P.J., South Carolina.

Many other Masters can sympathize with you, brother, nor can any man give you a panacea for the disease which you describe. It is the conviction of the Research Society that Masonic Study will do more to awaken men's interest in Masonry than anything else; the experience of a number of lodges last year proves that our conviction is not wholly baseless. Masonry is one of the most fascinating subjects in the world, even as it one of the oldest and noblest. If you can only get your members to peek beneath the surface a little it will prove such a revelation to them that they will attend Lodge for the fun of it.

If you are willing to make a little experiment try this recipe for a few nights this winter. Take one of Brother Clegg's papers with you into lodge; after the business is over turn the meeting into a little study club; read the paper; discuss it; ask questions; see if that doesn't "start something." If your Grand Lodge laws make that impossible try it out on a little group of Masonic friends privately. This is not written to boost our own goods; if you can find some other way of getting men to start an acquaintance with Masonry tell us about it; whatever you do, tell us about it. Remember, the while, that the Society is always at your service, whatever be your plans, or whatever your text.

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Bible Side Of Masonry

Dear Brother Editor: - Two or three of us have been studying the Bible side of Masonry and would like you to recommend one or two good books that would tell us about the Bible lands and customs.
- R.H.A., Ind.

Good for you; you have struck an interesting and fruitful vein; stick to it and you will find much more light in Masonry, as well as in the V.S.L. Thomson's "Land and the Book," a 600 page volume published by Harpers, is the old stand-by on life in Palestine. A more recent study is that written by a Syrian now living in this country: "The Syrian Christ," by Abraham M. Rihbany, and published by Houghton, Mifflin Co., at $1.50. It is a delightful and instructive book, more fascinating than many novels, and full of fresh light on life in Bible lands.

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CORRESPONDENCE

"The Lodge" - A Correction

Dear Brother Editor: - I regret to intrude my personality too much on the brethren of the Society, but I always did dislike to have my name misspelled, and when I saw the heading to the article on "The Lodge" in the July BUILDER read "A.W. TICHNOR, MICHIGAN, I thought I might request that it be corrected to H.W. TICKNOR, MARYLAND.

But, really, that wasn't the worst. The compositor printed the Anglo-Saxon word in the beginning, "lecgan," and thus endangered my reputation with philologists. It should have been "licgan."

I wish to say how much I have appreciated the articles, "The Pillars of the Porch," and "The Gild and York Rites" that have recently appeared. They are, I think, epochal in the constructive study of Freemasonry. The latter, in particular, has given me an insight into certain matters that were dark to me before, and I believe that it shows the beginning point for the study of the mediaeval history of the Order. I hope it will be followed up by scholarly men who have access to books.
H.W. Ticknor, Maryland.

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Universal Mode Of Recognition

Dear Brother Editor: - An evening spent with the August number of The Builder arouses us from that feeling of dullness incident to the scorching weather. What a splendid number it is! Brother Merz's article alone is worth more than a year's dues - much more. I am particularly pleased by the apparent trend of Masonic thought in favor of a broader conception of our Fraternity, as expressed in the "Fraternal Forum." If the Fraternal Forum does nothing more than inform the brethren that there are dissenting brethren from certain theories that have been advocated as "landmarks" and that our American Grand Lodges haste been inclined to try and force dogmatic theories of jurisprudence down the throats of others, it will fulfill a meritorious mission. With the helpfulness of Bro. Pound's SPLENDID articles on jurisprudence the average brother may in time see the inconsistency of the present requirements of regularity demanded by most of our American Grand Lodges.

I hope to see the day when a Mason who was given great assistance in having his letters of credit honored (at a time when they were being refused to ordinary travelers) by a brother Mason who recognized one of our brethren as such, and who holds his membership in a Grand Orient that is not recognized as regular by us, will be able to be received by us as a Mason.

Each Jurisdiction should be sovereign, but it should be Masonic - never dogmatic. I see dogmatism in the doctrine that a Masonic body to be deemed regular, must trace its origin to the Grand Lodge of 1717 which "Constituted themselves a Grand Lodge," etc.

If it was legal for them to constitute-themselves, why illegal in others ?

Again; the two Grand Lodges of England found ways and means to compromise their differences in 1813 and it resulted in the general good of the Fraternity. The Union necessitated more changes of consequence than would be necessary for a full fraternal recogIution of the Grand Lodges of the world today.

I feel very optimistic this 1st of August, 1917. Fraternally thine,
S.H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.

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Swedenborgian Rite

Dear Brother Editor: - Replying to Bro. Jos. Hollrigl's request for information of ritual of the "Swedenborgian's Rite," I am unable to say that there is one, but it's fair to presume that there must be. The only light that I can give on the Rite is George Wingate Chase's Masonic Dictionary, published in Boston, Mass., 1865, by A.W. Pollard & Co., in which he said, "Swedenborgian, Rite of. A rite of six degrees instituted in 1783 by the Marquis de Thome, and is still practised in some Lodges in the north of Europe." In the same book it speaks of a Swedish Rite, as follows: "A rite of twelve degrees, practised by the Grand Lodge of Sweden."

Fraternally yours,
David M. Drury, New York.

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Masonry's Opportunity

Dear Brother Editor: - I have received the August number of The Builder and tonight after having looked it over was about to file it away with my other copies, with the thought of how glad I would be to stop it when the year was up, when I happened to see the little letter on page 232 by George E. Frazer, entitled "Let this War Free Masonry." I was both surprised and delighted to find that you had even one contributor who has discovered that the Last Word will never be found among the bones and dust of mouldy tombs. Won't you please convey to Brother Frazer my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation of his having discovered that Masonry is a thing to be lived and that he has the courage and ability to tell that fact so concisely and so completely ?

I try to practice tolerance toward all men and toward their acts and opinions; but when I read in a journal purporting to be Masonic, articles or letters opposing fraternal recognition of each other, by Masons who are voluntarily offering their lives that ALL Men may be Free, because "The Grand Lodge of Missouri does not recognize the Grand Orient of France, the Grand Lodge of France or the Grand Orient of Belgium," then it is that I think of how glad I will be when my year is up.

What a splendid thing it would be if Masons and Masonry everywhere, more particularly American Masons, could see and arise to the great opportunity that is now knocking at our outer door. What is the matter with a Masonry that it fails to teach even its dullest member that The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, means that ALL MEN are brethren. Wouldn't our teaching be more acceptable and more lasting if we could first show, not only our newly made brothers but the world at large, that all Masons were our Brethren, regardless of whether or not they conducted their affairs as we do ours. Has it ever occurred to you, Brother Schoonover, that it is this very desire to arrange and control the affairs of others that is at the very foundation of all this World chastisement? What business is it of ours, how our distant brethren arrange their Lodge Furniture or what they believe ? Suppose we should ask them what they know and what have they done, and then compare their answer with what we know and what we have done for humanity's progress. Let us wage vigorous warfare on the Kaiser that is enthroned in our own hearts. After conquering this enemy, it may seem to be a matter of little or no importance what our distant Brothers believe or how they conduct their own affairs so long as they concede to us the same rights of thinking and doing they ask for themselves. I am,

Truly and fraternally yours,
Ambrose Hemingway, Wyoming.

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Military Lodges

Dear Brother Editor: - After reading over the several letters in the last Builder anent the granting of permits to the Brothers across the water to have Military Lodges, it is rather a ticklish question to say just what is best to do, for the reason that warfare as now carried on is so very different than it was during our Civil War. However, I do think that there must be many places where such lodges ought to be allowed to exist and to do the work, and that the Grand Lodges or Grand Masters should grant permits after due investigation, because I am sure and believe in my heart that by so doing it will cement the brothers now there (and the brothers they may make) into a closer BROTHERHOOD.

I had predicted before this war started that some day the time was coming when our order of Masons would have to step in and save the world from the ruthless hands that would not hesitate to destroy, and I say now that it is up to us Masons, in all countries, to show what we are on this earth for. It means work, work, and then some more work, by every one of us; by granting permits not too promiscuously; it will certainly be very consoling to our brothers to know or feel at least that should they die in action there are other brothers to give them a Masonic burial, and also the mothers will bless us, when they say, "Well, the Masons looked after my boy."

Fraternally yours,
A.C. Osborn, K.C.C.H., Minn.

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Non-Masonic Bodies

Dear Brother: - I have just had brought to my attention an article in the October issue of your magazine for 1916, signed "Henry H. Andrews, Nebraska," which seems to invite discussion as to the attitude Masons should assume towards the action of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Nebraska concerning Masons who join societies or organizations, membership in which is restricted to Masons in good and lawful standing.

The article purports to quote certain "interpretations" given by the Nebraska Grand Lodge and certain amendments to "Masonic Offences" and "the law."

It is a long time since the article was published, and comment based upon it may seem somewhat out of date, but the principles involved seem to me to be of such vital importance to Masons everywhere that I may be pardoned for "butting in" upon the serenity of Nebraska Freemasonry eight months after and even in hot weather.

The Masonic standing of your magazine gives me confidence in the belief that you would not have published the resolutions and quoted amendments which are said to have been adopted by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Nebraska unless they had first been fully verified and were correct. What I write now, therefore, is based solely upon this assumption.

Frankly, I believe the Grand Lodge of Nebraska has been led into error by misguided and injudicious friends and that it has exceeded its jurisdiction. A Grand Lodge of Masons in America has no more right to prescribe what an American freeman under its jurisdiction shall join in the way of societies, not inconsistent with the principles and teaching of Freemasonry, than it has to say what church he shall or shall not affiliate with. I had supposed that the assumption of the right to arbitrarily control the actions of a man because he was one of its members was restricted alone to the Roman Catholic Church. Such action seems to be without other precedent in my observation at least and it smacks of an audaciousness that is as autocratic as it is unjust and discriminatory.

Grand Lodge has a right to prescribe the qualifications essential to lawful Masonry, but it must restrain itself within Masonic bounds. If a man be a Mason in good and lawful standing when measured by Masonic requirements, which are prescribed in the ancient landmarks that even Grand Lodge has not the right to modify, Grand Lodge may not by by-law or resolution make him otherwise because he chooses to affiliate with a body of fellow Masons in a lawful and harmless enterprise.

It is a great mistake to assume that the Grand Lodge of a state may make a code of morals of its own to hamper Freemasonry. Grand Lodges have their limitations even as subordinate lodges have theirs, and nowhere in the history of Freemasonry do we find authority given it to restrict the liberty and the rights of a citizen when exercised within the code of moral and religious Freemasonry. And I seriously question its right to trench far into the religious domain lest it become infected with the taint of Romanism, which does not breathe the spirit of pure Freemasonry.

Certainly it should not be done in this country, at least. America is now sending the flower of her manhood to foreign shores to fight for Democracy for the world. Will the Grand Lodge of Masons of the great State of Nebraska subject her to the sneer that she had better first crush out Autocracy at home ?

I have been informed that the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska was directed against the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, commonly called "the Grotto." I hope this is not true, because I recall that some years ago here in Washington there was much opposition to the Grotto on the part of many prominent members of the advanced bodies and the Mystic Shrine, who took the narrow - the selfish - view that the Grotto was inimical to the so-called higher bodies, especially to the Shrine.

Today, however, the Shrine and the Grotto stand side by side in the National Capital as exemplars of real, honourable, upright Freemasonry. I belong to both bodies. Scores of Veiled Prophets of the highest prominence are members of Almas Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Washington. And Kallipolis Grotto of the Veiled Prophets numbers in her ranks some of the most distinguished Masons in America, including Illustrious Potentate L. Whiting Estes, of Almas Temple, several of his predecessors and quite a number of other nobles. Kallipolis Grotto also numbers in her ranks Sovereign Grand Commander George Fleming Moore, of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States; Past Grand Masters J. Henry Small, Jr., Alexander Grant, William W. Jermane, and Ben W. Murch, of our District of Columbia Grand Lodge; Grand Secretary Arvine W. Johnston, Grand Chaplain Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, J. H. Milans, Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for the District, since the recent death of James D. Rowen, and a host of prominent men who represent the real spirit of Freemasonry at the National Capital.

There is no rivalry between the Shrine and the Grotto here. On the contrary, the Grotto has been found to be a most fertile field for proselyting for the higher bodies of Freemasonry, and strangest of all for the Shrine as well. Men who formerly decried the Grotto as a pernicious drawback to the advanced bodies are now its most ardent champions. Nobles or Prophets, both honorable Masons of good and lawful standing, "Are they not all ministering angels" for good, - worthy, well qualified and properly vouched for? Why should one be accepted and the other rejected? Are we not reminded of the words, "Among whom no contentions should ever exist save that contention, or rather emulation as to who can best serve and best agree" ?

Last year, base ball teams from the Shrine and the Grotto, for the Association of Worshipful Masters of the District of Columbia, played a ball game that netted the Masonic and Eastern Star Home in Washington nearly $5,000. Just a few weeks ago, this game was repeated and thousands of dollars more were realized for this splendid Masonic and Eastern Star charity. The misjudgment and misunderstanding that years ago undid the Grotto in the District of Columbia has been cleared away by the light of truth and justice and Masonic brotherhood to the great and lasting benefit of Freemasonry at the National Capital and that means to the benefit of all mankind, more especially our brother Masons.

Sincerely and fraternally yours,
W.H. Landvoigt, Washington, D. C.

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Dispensation For Military Lodge Refused

(The following opinion by Grand Master Keesling of California has a very pertinent bearing upon our recent discussion in the Opinion Department on the subject of Military Lodges. The opinion was delivered by the Grand Master in consequence of a request from 124 Masons, constituting "The Masonic Ambulance Corps of California" for a dispensation empowering these brethren to meet as a lodge, but without the privilege of conferring degrees. Not only does Brother Keesling discuss the subject from the standpoint of Masonic policy, but he gives us some very pertinent facts regarding the situation during our own Civil War.)

July Twenty-eighth,
Nineteen Seventeen.
Mr. John Whicher, Grand Seeretary,

Masonic Temple,
San Francisco, California.

Very Worshipful Brother:

I have before me the request for a dispensation empowering the brethren who will have entered the service of the United States in the Ambulance Corps to meet in a lodge capacity within camp or post, there to perform all functions of a regular lodge of Masons, except conferring degrees.

I have given the matter careful consideration and regretfully must decline to issue the dispensation for many reasons:

First - I believe there is no power vested in the Grand Master to issue dispensations for so-called travelling lodges;

Second - Rigid observation of the limits of, and diligence in avoiding intrusion upon, the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges;

Third - Safeguards provided for the formation of regular lodges would to some extent be slighted, namely: the recommendation of a nearest lodge as contemplated by the Constitution, near in the sense of being neighbours; the provision of a safe and suitable lodge-room; the certificate of an inspector based upon investigation among, and the good report of, neighbors, among other things; and thereafter the requisite supervision;

Fourth - The question of the propriety of so-called army lodges of any kind which seems to me to be as important a factor as any stated. Without question a man who thoroughly understands the objects and purposes of Masonry should make an ideal soldier, and, viewed from the position of one who understands, it would seem that nothing but benefit should be derived from such an institution. One of the important elements in military training is thorough appreciation of lack of distinction, except such as is due to rank which experience has demonstrated to be necessary for the system. While the attempt to make use of membership in the institution and, as well, the results of any such attempt, may readily be disregarded as negligible, yet there must be taken into consideration the point of view of non-members of the Fraternity who are comprised in the same military establishment and the dissatisfaction which might be occasioned by the existence of such a lodge.

It seems self-evident, even were there authority to grant such a dispensation, that there is possibility of greater detriment than benefit. One of the lessons most thoroughly impressed upon a Mason is that of loyalty and it should at once be apparent that he should pursue such a course as will contribute most to the welfare of his country. A citizen in the exercise of an unquestioned prerogative becomes a Mason, - as a soldier he will recognize the limitations peculiar to the establishment and be concerned in the proper discharge of his duties as such. The establishment of a military lodge is unnecessary for the exemplification of fraternity and even more important Masonic precepts, or for instruction and even some ceremonials. It has been said that California is a conservative jurisdiction. It would be better to say that true to tradition the Masonic system is recognized as a finished product.

In connection with the subject matter it is interesting to note the position of our own Grand Lodge in the Sixties at which time the question was under consideration.

The Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence of the Grand Lodge for the year 1863 was Bro. Gilbert B. Claiborne, Grand Master in 1865-66, and an eminent Masonic authority.

The following is from the report of the Committee on Correspondence of 1863:

"New Jersey: - The report on Correspondence is from the familiar pen of Bro. Joseph H. Hough, Grand Secretary, reviewing proceedings of twenty-seven Grand Bodies in an interesting manner. Ours is very fully noticed. He takes occasion, in considering the report of Rhode Island for the year ending June, 1861, to express an opinion concerning traveling lodges in connection with the army now in the field; and as there is already developed a difference of opinion, we present his view of the subject. He says: -

'The address of the Grand Master (i.e. of Rhode Island) reports having granted an application for a dispensation for a travelling Lodge to be attached to the Rhode Island Regiment, to be styled "American Union Lodge"; having authorized the applicants to hold such a Lodge, and to do all Masonic business except the making of Masons, and to make returns of their meetings to the Grand Lodge with their records. He states that the action has met the unqualified approbation of the Grand Master of the District of Columbia. This is a subject of some considerable moment. The regiment with their traveling Lodge may go or be ordered to Virginia, or some other State. To hold a Lodge in the territory or jurisdiction of another State, we believe to be unmasonic; as between Masons there are no difficulties in this Union, and we as such must treat them as brothers, by not doing what they would not do under similar circumstances. Have we not all acknowledged that State lines are the territory exclusively belonging to the Grand Lodge of the States; and do we not expect that they on their part will be true to their vows? But if we encroach upon them by founding Lodges, travelling or otherwise, we violate a principle which has never been questioned. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg granted a warrant to Pythagoras Lodge located in the City of New York, which has been universally condemned by all the American Grand Lodges, and very properly so; and we can not but see that this matter of making travelling Lodges to meet on the territory of another is of very doubtful propriety.'

"The Grand Lodge concurred in the opinion of the Grand Master and the committee, for we find that it refused to adopt the report of the committee on Jurisprudence and Charity, to whom had been referred that portion of the Grand Master's Address, in which the latter committee recommended that dispensations be granted upon conditions, to-wit: that the application be made in proper form, and proof to the satisfaction of the Grand Master that the granting of the warrants will not tend to damage the interest of the Grand Lodge.

"We choose to express an opinion concerning the propriety, rather than the legality, at this time. Sad experience in the past has taught us that 'Masonry hath always been injured by war, bloodshed, and confusion,' and we believe that any act of a Grand Lodge which can be construed by another as an evidence of unkind feeling, will now inflict a corroding wound which years of nursing will not heal if we should commit an error. The history of our Order on this continent will never probably present an occasion which will require a greater exercise of wisdom to preserve harmony than the present; and as we have been in our intercourse honest and true in respect for the jurisdiction rights of anothers, we will not be consistent, at least, if we do I agree that there is impolicy - saying nothing of the legality - permitting brethren, by the authority of our seal, to hold a Lodge within the recognized limits of a sister jurisdiction of an American State. We believe that such an act would damage the interest and reputation of our Grand Lodge, and accomplish no good which can not be done by individual Masons who are lovers of our whole Fraternity wheresoever dispersed. In expressing our opinion we do so tolerantly, especially when there is such contrariety of sentiment, finding ourselves differing from some of the ablest and most distinguished Grand Lodges in America: we may mention New York and Massachusetts."

Bro. Claiborne continued as Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence for the year 1864, and the following is quoted from the report of that Committee submitted to the Grand Lodge in that year:

"Maine: - The Address sustains the reputation its author (M.W. Josiah H. Drummond) has acquired by three years of active and steady devotion to the duties of his office. He issued dispensations to form five new Lodges. Consequent upon grave doubts expressed last year by him concerning the propriety of granting dispensations for traveling Lodges with the army, he denied an application in the preceding August, made by certain Masons of the Ninth Maine Regiment, and in bringing the mater forward he says: -

'This Grand Lodge has always held that the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge should never be invaded under any pretext or for any cause whatever. She has taken that position in regard to herself in her contest with the Grand Lodge of England, and has called upon her sister Grand Lodges to sustain her in it. They have with one voice responded to her call. She must be the last to depart from the policy she has done so much to establish.'

"In addition to this legal objection, he entertains doubts respecting the policy, even if there was no legal barrier, because the regiments are made up of men coming together from different sections of the State, having little or no acquaintance with or knowledge of each other, and because the knowledge which they acquire of each other in camp is not sufficient to enable them to determine whether the applicant would be an ornament or a disgrace to us. He gave permission to his Craftsmen in the armies to assemble in safe places for mutual instruction and rehearsal of the lectures and exemplification of the Work, for exchange of fraternal greetings and the performance of ceremonial rites at the funeral of a brother. The Grand Lodge approved his reasons for declining to grant a dispensation."

The value of this opinion is appreciated by all who know the eminence obtained by M.W. Josiah H. Drummond in the ranks of Masonry.

In the case of application for a dispensation for a Lodge with full powers and prerogatives two additional objections may be made:

First - Possible conflict arising from residence of those who night be admitted into such a Lodge;

Second - Confusion relative to membership upon surrender of the charter of such a Lodge.

Fraternally,
Francis V. Keesling, Grand Master

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Lord Byron, The Poet, Not Grand Master

Dear Brother Editor: - In the statement made in the Question Box Department of the August number that "William Lord Byron" was elected Grand Master of Masons in England in 1747, I venture to suggest that the information that this was not the poet, should have been added.

When we speak of Lord Byron, we naturally think of the man who made that title famous. His father was a Captain Byron, a younger son in the noble family, his mother a Miss Cordon prior to her marriage and in order to secure an inheritance the son was given the family name of the mother and christened George Gordon. He succeeded to the title of Lord Byron through the failure of the older branch of the Byron Family, but certainly was not the William, Lord Byron who was Grand Master of Masons.

Yours fraternally,
E. H. Addington, Louisiana.

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