The Builder Magazine

December 1917 – Volume III – Number 12


Part 1

Continued in Part 2

.xx Next Month: January 1918
Previous Month: November 1917www General Index

Table of Contents


By Bro. Charles W. Mann, New York

MAN'S inhumanity to man has made countless thousands mourn in the ages that have passed and will continue so to do until the time shall come when swords shall be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning blades.

As we are about to consider the crosses, let us trace the origin of some of them. To endeavour to set before you the circumstances which brought out the large variety of crosses that have appeared since our Saviour suffered upon one of them would take too much time. I have, therefore, selected seven primary and six secondary, which I shall place before you, and I hope that the interest that centres around them will prove as increasingly absorbing to you as the study of them has been to me.

Crosses have been used in various forms by all the nations and tribes of the East as a means of punishment for enemies of criminals – excepting by the Jews. The Jewish method of putting malefactors to death was by stoning or burning, according to the Mosaic Law. From numerous writings upon the subject by La Croze, Jabolinski, Zoega, Viscomte and others, we gather that the symbol of the cross appears to have been most various in its signification. Justyn Martyr says the sign of the cross is impressed upon the whole of nature. Man himself forms a cross when his arms are extended from his shoulders. Leigh mentions forty-six different kinds; Sylvanus Morgan, twenty-six; and Upton, thirty.

The cross is believed to have been evolved from that more ancient instrument of execution, the pale, as discovered by Gretser in Crecia Christy, Vol. I, Chap. 50, as follows: For impaling (infixio), a long and sharpened piece of wood was employed, on which the victim was put as on a spit.

Seneca describes this kind of execution. Some drove a stake through the body and set the stake up in the ground; others were suspended on crosses with their heads turned towards the earth. This cruel mode of punishment is still in vogue in some parts of Russia, China, Turkey and some of the more remote countries of the East.

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A Cross

The cross (La Crux) a gibbet formed of two pieces of wood placed crosswise, metaphorically, the punishment of the cross, as well as the pain it inflicts, and in a general sense, any mental pain; suffering or heavy trial – in its simplest form consisting of two pieces of wood, one standing erect, the other placed on top, crossing at right angles. Its use as an instrument of punishment was probably suggested by the shape so often taken by branches of trees. According to Cicero, it was certainly customary to hang criminals on trees (Arbor Infelix). Seneca names the cross, infelix lignum, the accursed tree.

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Egyptian Cross – La Crux Ansata

The Egyptian cross, the oldest cross, will first claim our attention. This is the cross often seen held in the hand of the gods of Egypt. It is a pale with a cross-beam on top with a ring over its centre. From this ring the culprit was suspended until death ended his sufferings. This cross without the ring appears often among Indian and Egyptian relics. It sometimes appears in the form of two pales crossing each other in the centre. These crosses are understood to be symbolical ideas of Divinity or life eternal. A cross was to be seen in the temple of Serapis as the Egyptian emblem of the future life. From Rufinius we get the following: In an obelisk recently discovered in Nineveh there is a representation of a king within an arched frame, having the Assyrian symbols over the head and a cross like that of Malta on the breast.

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Passion Cross, or the Cross of Christ

In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime.

The cross on which our Saviour suffered was, according to Sozomen, discovered by the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in the year of our Lord 326. When seventy-nine years of age she was induced by the warmth of her piety to visit the place which the Saviour had rendered sacred by his presence and suffering. The hatred of the heathens had led them to obliterate as much as possible all traces of the memorable events which the life and death of our Saviour had hallowed and to cover Mount Calvary with earth and stone and raise thereon a temple to the Goddess Venus. A Jew, however, had treasured up what traditions he would gather and was thus enabled to point out to Helena the spot where our Lord had been buried. On excavation, it is said, three crosses were found, and the title which that of Jesus bore was also found lying by itself. That the crosses were wood all declare, but no one states the peculiar kind of wood, nor is there any mention made to substantiate the tradition that the true cross consisted of three kinds, cypress, pine, and cedar, or of four kinds, cedar, cypress, palm, and olive. Lipsius declares that the cross was made of oak, as this wood was the most abundant in Judea. The relics are said to resemble oak. All the Scriptural writers seem to agree that only on the cross of Jesus was placed a title. The wooden title is said to be still preserved in Rome, not entire, for only diminutive fragments remain of the Hebrew letters, so that no one can positively identify the characters. The Greek and Latin, except the letter Zetta, are written after the eastern manner, from right to left Nicetus holds that it is not all the work of one hand; the Roman letters are firmly and distinctly cut, the Greek very badly. The history of the discovery of this title is worthy of notice.

When sent by Constantine to Rome it was deposited in a leaden chest above the vaulted roof of the ancient church in Coma, in a little window, and then bricked into the wall, its position being recorded in a Mosaic inscription without. Time almost destroyed this inscription, making it illegible, and a window, owing to the carelessness of workmen repairing the church. was broken open and the holy relic discovered. This discovery and the genuineness of the title were authenticated by Pope Alexander III.

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The Cross of Constantine

This is the miraculous cross said to have appeared in the heavens and to have been observed by the Emperor about sixteen years before the visit of his mother, the Empress Helena, to Jerusalem. This cross is shaped very much like the one on which our Saviour was supposed to have been crucified.

Constantine Caius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Claudius, surnamed the Great (Roman Emperor A.D. 306 to 337), born A. D. 274 at Naissus, in Upper Moesae; died at Constantinople in 337. It is unnecessary to recite the biography of Constantine at length, but simply state that he seems to have been the first great potentate to embrace the Christian religion and to have given to the cross, that up to this time had been looked upon only as an ignominious instrument of death, the hallowed reverence and the inspiring influence it afterwards attained. History speaks of Constantine as a youth of fine physical appearance, endowed with great strength and courage. His first service was under Diocletian, the Emperor, and by his various efforts he rapidly rose to a place of great distinction. His successes in Egypt and Persia gained him the title of Tribune. Upon the death of his father in 306, he was made Emperor of the West, and Emperor of Rome in 310 after a decisive victory over Maxentius, at which time his victorious legions entered the imperial city. There he was greeted as the Emperor of the Roman Empire, Maxentius having been accidentally drowned. It was during this campaign that Constantine, while in camp near Mentz, is said to have seen in the sky a flaming cross, bearing the inscription in Greek "with this you will conquer." From that time the symbol of Christianity appeared on the shields of the soldiers and the banners of the Roman army. The life of Constantine the Great as given by different historians is full of contradictions. That he was cruel in some cases there can be no doubt, but justice governed oftener than a baser sentiment; and that he was one of the greatest princes none can deny. Tried by a standard of morality he might be found lacking. His character scarcely warrants the belief that he was ever troubled by compunctions of conscience or remorse; but as a statesman and politician, Constantine favoured and protected Christianity, though he was not baptized until just before his death. It is certainly wonderful the change that came by the advent and acceptance of the Christian religion by Constantine. The Christians had suffered all manner of persecution and torture at the hands of the pagans of Rome. Constantine changed all this by convening and attending the general Council at Nice, in 325 A. D. Constantine openly declared the Christian to be the official church of the Empire. Sunday was set apart for religious services instead of games, and every attempt to restrain the liberty of Christians was severely punished.

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The Exact Cross

This cross is composed of five squares, four squares on the sides of a central square, or two pieces crossed in the centre forming four right angles. As this figure is exact in every line, it was chosen to represent truth. It first appears as an Egyptian mark on obelisks and objects of art. The cross of St. George was modelled after this cross. Writers differ greatly about the identity of St. George, although the identity of this cross is fully established. Spencer selects St. George as the Red Cross Knight, the hero and champion of truth, who engages in a terrible combat with a great dragon which he conquers and destroys, rescuing Una, the pure and beautiful Goddess of Truth, from his awful folds. On examination of different authors on this subject our belief is the St. George who fought so valiantly under Diocletion is the real St. George, who with many other Christian Knights, after defending himself against seven Saracens and overcoming them, was finally captured by a greater force and suffered martyrdom, dying in defence of the cross. There are two other writers who declare that St. George was none other than the Bishop of Alexandria, and give him the title of the regular Calendar Saint. If this is true, the canonizing of this St. George was very strange, as his personal history reads very much like some things we read about in the public press of today. The story of this St. George is as follows:

George of Capadocia, or St. George, the Patron Saint of England, was born about the beginning of the fourth century at Epiphania in Celicia. His father was a fuller, and the future Saint himself had a long struggle against the disadvantages of a poor and humble birth. According to Gregory of Nacianzene, George distinguished himself in his early career as a parasite of so mean a type that he would sell himself for a cake. He became an army contractor, but it is said that he fulfilled his contracts on bacon so badly that he narrowly escaped death at the hands of the indignant soldiers. After this episode he fled to Alexandria, where he became a devout churchman, engaged in public business and finally became bishop of the city. It is said further that George owed his episcopate to the pliancy of his conscience and the readiness with which he lent himself to further the political views of the court. When George took possession of the See he found a fierce persecution going on against the Trinitarians. Instead of mitigating this evil he favoured the persecution to such an extent that he raised a rebellion against himself, and fled for his life; but being soon after reinstated by the court he returned to Alexandria and signalized himself by redoubling his cruelty, as might have been expected. His conduct raised up enemies against him, even among his own followers. His downfall could not be long delayed. A tyrannical act which he perpetrated toward the pagans in his diocese irritated the people so keenly that they rose up en masse, dragged him out of the fortress to which he had retired for safety, paraded him through the streets on the back of a mule, and, after tearing him to pieces, burnt his remains. Papebroche and Heylyn deny altogether that this Bishop of Alexandria is the patron saint of England and give versions of St. George's history which explain the reason why he is held in such high honour. Among the Greeks St. George was held in the highest veneration as a soldier and defendant of the Greek Church, the Christian religion, and the cross; and his cross was adopted by them as a sign of victory. In England his renown through song and story had increased to such an extent that by the time of Edward the Third he had become the Patron Saint of the Kingdom of England. The cross of St. George is a red cross in a field argent. This cross is also known as the Red Cross. It was worn by the nine companions in arms who had charge of the Holy Sepulchre, by permission of King Baldwin. It was placed upon the sleeves of their coats and to distinguish them for their zeal in the defense of the Christian religion, and to remind them that they must shed the last drop of their blood in the noble and glorious purpose for which they were enlisted. The principles to which they subscribed were piety, charity, truth, fidelity to Heaven and the fair.

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The Cross of St. Andrew

The next form of the cross to which I would call your attention is the form of the cross on which St. Andrew, the first disciple of Jesus Christ and brother of Simon Peter, was crucified.

This form of cross seems to have been built especially to try the faith and fortitude of the martyr, who with arms and legs extended and tied to this form of cross, with no support to the body, was left to linger for days before death relieved his sufferings. This was to give him time to confess or recant. It may be said here, that St. Andrew, pinioned to this cross, living for four days and recanting not, set forth the power of his faith.

The story of St. Andrew is short but pathetic. He was born at Bethsada in Galilee, and was the brother (as has been said before) of Simon Peter, and was the first of the disciples to become acquainted with Jesus, and introduced his brother Simon Peter to Him. On the day they met they continued in His company and went with Him to a wedding in Cana, and then returned to their ordinary occupations.

Some months after, Jesus coming upon them while they were fishing, called them to Him and promised to make them fishers of men. They immediately left their nets to follow and be with Him; and never afterwards separated from Him.

Tradition assigns Scythia, Greece, and Thrace as the scenes of St. Andrew's ministry. His crucifixion took place at Patrae in Achaia.

This cross (crux decussata) was adopted by that celebrated body of Knights known as the Knights of St. Andrew and the Scotch Order of the Thistle. On the banners of the Ancient Scotch kings may be seen this cross. It was ever borne by them as well as by the Knights of St. Andrew in many a sanguinary battle as a reminder of their faith that all followers of this standard must die for it, must never see it lowered; and it is a singular fact that it never has been lowered; for, combined with the Cross of St. George, on an area of red, it becomes the Standard of the Empire of England, and the sun never sets upon it. It is the greatest standard except one other floating under the canopy of Heaven today.

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The Cross of the Military Knights of Prussia

This cross is called the Teutonic Cross. As each of these crosses represent some important epoch in the history of church and state, none, perhaps, is of more importance than this which was adopted to be worn upon the standard of the Teutonic Knights. This celebrated order arose out of the misery which reigned among the besiegers at the celebrated siege of St. Jean D'Acre at the close of the twelfth century. The privations and sufferings of the Christian soldiers excited the compassion of certain German merchants who had been informed of their condition, and who went to the place of siege and erected hospitals made of tents and rendered other services of such value to the unhappy warriors that the German princes enrolled these princely merchants in this order of knighthood. Their title was Teutonic Knights of St. Mary of Jerusalem, and it had the special patronage of Pope Celestine III. None could be admitted besides these merchants, who had become ennobled, but those of noble birth. Their equestrian garment was a white mantle with a black cross; and this with bread and water constituted all the reward sought for by men who vowed to remain pure in body and mind, poor in purse, and to give succour to Christians where it was most needed. This vow, however, was strangely construed in later years.

At the beginning of the thirteenth century this Order was powerful and rich, and carried forward a bloody war in defence of the infant church of Prussia. So great was the hatred of the pagan proprietors, who then inhabited Lithuania, that when they captured a Teutonic Knight they immolated him in a most barbaric manner. One of these valiant knights, after making a most desperate stand against the force of these cruel foes, fell bleeding from a score of wounds and was captured. He was placed upon his horse, securely bound, and the knight and the horse burned alive. Thus perished Margarand Van Reschaun and many other followers of the Black Cross of the Teutonic Knights.

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The Cross of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem

The Eight-Pointed Cross

This cross was dedicated to St. John the Almoner, a Greek patriarch of Alexandria. The order bearing the above title was organized in the year of our Lord 1058, and existed for nearly seven hundred years, until extinguished by Napoleon in 1798, when he seized the Island of Malta while on his way to Egypt. They were called Hospitallers on account of their vow, in which they promised to devote their lives to charity, obedience, and poverty.

Their dress was a plain black robe, having an eight-pointed white cross on the left breast.

Of all the orders that have flourished in the past, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem must hold the highest place upon the walls of fame. This order had its beginning in a small chapel and two hospitals, near the Holy Sepulchre.

A number of sojourning pilgrims entered these hospitals and devoted themselves to this service. At the time of the first Crusade, Peter Gerard was rector of the hospital. After the conquest of Palestine the Hospitallers experienced high flavor with the Crusaders, many of whom, following that illustrious example of the illustrious Knight Godfrey de Bullion, bestowed landed property in Europe upon them. In 1113 Pope Pascal II sanctioned this order by a bull, conferring special privileges upon it. Gerard, now First Superior, established branch hospitals in different parts of Europe. Upon the death of Gerard, in 1118, Raymond de Puy became his successor. He was a man of strong martial instincts and tastes, and he proposed to his brethren that while they should still maintain their vows previously taken they should add to them that of bearing arms in defence of religion. A proposition so strictly in accordance with the spirit of the age was promptly acceded to, and the order became a military fraternity and was organized as such by De Puy, who became its first Grand Master and impressed his character upon it.

Passing rapidly to fame as a military fraternal body, and to opulence from the gifts of pious persons, the followers of the White Cross struck terror to the hearts of its enemies in the East. Their deeds of conspicuous valour are recorded in history from their earliest formation until the close of the eighteenth century. Their campaign against the Saracens was one of signal brilliancy and one of their most notable achievements on land.

About this time we find a new cross making its appearance: The Union Cross of the Knights of St. John and St. Mary of Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Malta, known as the Maltese Cross.

The history of this cross is so closely interwoven with the other that its origin must be traced as a contingent of the other which has just been described.

It is a compound cross, made by joining four triangles at their apexes. When the fortress of Acre fell into the hands of the Saracens, in 1291, the Hospitallers were established at Limmoesa in Cypress, where they were recruited by drafts on all the Commanderies in Europe. In this Insular residence they became sailors and navigators, and this was probably the time that they assumed their naval character, as their vessels were continually in service conveying pilgrims to the Holy Land. This led to sea fights in which the brethren became as distinguished for skill and valour as they had been on land. In 1309, the combined forces of Knights of St. John, St. Mary, and the Templars seized the Island of Rhodes, which had been the home and headquarters of Mohammedan corsairs and pirates, and soon converted that island into so strong a Christian fortress that it gave its name to the fraternity. They held that island for more than two hundred years, though assailed many times by the Mohammedans. They took Smyrna and retained possession of that place until it was taken by Tamerlane. The first siege of Rhodes took place in 1480 and was successfully defended by the knights under the command of Sir Peter de Aubusson, their Grand Master. A second siege took place in 1522, and the knights under the then commanding Grand Master, Philip Villiers de Lislle Adam, after holding the Turks at bay for six months, made an honourable capitulation to the Sultan Suleiman, the Magnificent.

The remnants of the order proceeded first to Candia, then to Messina, and then to the mainland of Italy.

Charles the Fifth ceded to them the islands of Malta and Gozzo and the City of Tripoli, March twenty-fourth, 1530. Malta was then a barren rock, but the knights made it one of the strongest fortresses in the world; and they carried on the war with the Turks, then the dread of Christendom, with so much energy that their new abode furnished them with a new name, and a new triangle was added to the triple triangle, forming the Cross of St. John, St. Mary, Rhodes, and Malta.

For two and one-half centuries the Knights of Malta wielded a powerful influence in European affairs. Piracy, that dread scourge of the eastern seas, was destroyed by their valour; but in the later years of their existence, forgetting their former vows, it seems that a fitting climax ended their career when that wonderful soldier and man of destiny, Napoleon, the Emperor of the French, closed it in 1798.

The last cross which we shall consider will be the signal cross of the Crusaders, or the rallying cross. Borne by the Crusaders it appeared upon the banners of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe for the deliverance of the Holy Land from the domination of Saracens and Turks.

About seventy years after the death of Christ, Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Titus; but sixty years afterwards the city was rebuilt by Hadrian, and the Christians were permitted to return. Their occupancy only existed by precarious tolerance until Constantine embraced the Christian religion and proclaimed it to be the religion of the Empire.

For about two hundred years, until Jerusalem was taken by the Saracens in 637, the Christians held sway in the Holy City; but all toleration ceased when the Turks took the city in 1063. That wild fanatical horde, though superior in force and military power, were immeasurably inferior to the people whom they had expelled; and as they made no scruple to plunder, insult, and kill the Christians, pilgrims to Jerusalem began to bring back serious reports concerning their suffering in the Holy Land.

This state of things continued until Peter the Hermit took up the mission and began to preach the redemption of the City of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the infidels. The fame of this mighty and pious design now became universally diffused. The greatest prelates, nobles, and princes attended upon the preachings of Peter and became so infused and inspired at one of his discourses that they arose and exclaimed as with one voice: "God willeth it! God willeth it!"

The first Crusade occurred in the year of our Lord 1096. We quote from the Princess Commena, who expressed herself thus:

"The whole of Europe seems shaken from its foundation and ready to precipitate itself in one united body upon Asia."

All orders of men now deemed the Crusade the only road to Heaven and became impatient to open the way with their swords to the Holy City. Nobles sold their castles and belongings at any price. The infirm and aged contributed to the expedition by giving money and valuables, and many of them not satisfied with this attended in person, being determined to reach and behold with their dying eyes, if possible, the city where Jesus Christ had died for the human race.

The hosts of the Crusaders increased so fast that their leaders became apprehensive lest the very size of the great host should prove the cause of the failure of the enterprise. For this reason they permitted an undisciplined multitude, computed at more than three hundred thousand, to go on before them under the command of Peter the Hermit and Walter Gaultier. These took the road through Hungary and Bulgaria towards Constantinople, and so sublime was their faith that they trusted that Heaven would supply their necessities and made no provision for their march. The more disciplined moved under their leaders, and having passed the straits of Constantinople they landed and mustered on the plains of Asia over seven hundred thousand men. Every one of these Crusaders bore the emblem of the Cross. Their great desire was to once more place in the ascendency in the Holy Land that precious symbol of their faith. Even women concealed their sex by encasing themselves in the steel armor of a knight and accompanied this vast host as a part of it, in many cases their sex only becoming known after they had been slain. That they were moved by the same impulse to do and dare for the cross was amply proven by their zeal and valor in many a fierce and personal encounter with the infidels. Barret in verse says:

Not she with traitorous kiss the Saviour stung –
Not she denied Him with unholy tongue.
She while apostles shrank could danger brave –
Last at His Cross and earliest at His Grave.

The second Crusade was preached by St. Bernard of the monastic Order of Bernardines, of which he was the founder, and conducted in 1146. It was headed by the Emperor Conrad III and Louis VII of France, with more than three hundred thousand men.

They were defeated by the Turks near Iconium, and with difficulty escaped to Antioch. Louis' army suffered reverses to such an extent that it was not strong enough to keep the peace in Asia for the Christian principalities, and their destruction soon followed.

It was at this period that the great Soldam of Egypt appeared, and, having crushed both Christian and Turk, entered the Holy City of Jerusalem as a conqueror. He held the city for about forty years.

The third Crusade was undertaken in 1188 by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick, Duke of Seabia, his second son. Frederick defeated the Soldam of Egypt at Iconium, but his son Frederick having joined forces with Guy of Lussignan, King of Jerusalem, in vain endeavoured to reduce St. Jean D'Acre.

At this time Richard Coeur DeLion took command of the united forces of England and France, laid siege to this important fortress and captured it, defeating the mighty Saladin. His success was productive of nothing but glory, for in the end he was obliged to return to Europe without even a remnant of his army.

The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth Crusades were undertaken between the years 1195 and 1270 under leaderships of Henry the Sixth, Louis the Ninth, and other nobles, princes, and knights, and were alike unsuccessful.

But let us now suppose that the Crusades had succeeded to the fullest extent, what in that case would have been the effect? Egypt, Syria, Greece, and even Turkey would have been under the influence of the Cross and the Christian religion with all its attendant elevating influences, and the dread of a mighty struggle that must come at no distant date between the adherents of the Crescent and the followers of the Cross would not cast its dark shadow over the eastern hemisphere.

This glorious emblem, which we here have considered in its various detailed forms, stands for the mighty uplifting of the human races. Its significance is deep as the sea, broad as the earth, and high as the heavens. And as we look upon it let us not forget that it is the symbol of our religion, which is the religion of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

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By Bro. E. M. Showalter, P. G. M., Virginia

AT this hour, on this day, in each year, in every asylum of Knights Templar under the jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment of the United States, do members of this order assemble to plight anew their vows of Christian knighthood; and to reverently drink to the toast "For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord." And to its response also, which has been heralded in anthems of praise and in the consecrated devotions of men through nineteen centuries of unceasing struggle to bring themselves within the full rays of the light of its interpretation, "Peace on Earth, good will to men."

As you lift your goblets from the triangle about which you assemble on this occasion, yours is the inheritance of the chivalry of the ages. In partaking of these several libations, you do so, not as primitive creatures ignorant of the elements which compose them and of the principles of which they are the symbols, but as rational men who by intellectual development and culture have been brought to a reasonable comprehension of these rites and observances and their significance. And as you go from this place refreshed, having plighted your unsullied honor in a reenlistment under the banner of King Immanuel, you do so with the assurance that the sovereignty of your King is universal and eternal, and that under the banner of His cross you can not fail to conquer.

Thus on each succeeding Christmas do we celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace, and acknowledge the sovereignty of Jesus of Nazareth. Not because of the antiquity of the religious system which He gave the world, for Confucianism, Buddhism, and Brahmanism antedated it by several centuries. Not because of imposing and enduring monuments and temples and statues erected to Him, for in that respect we were excelled in the very morning of civilization in the valley of the Nile, where for thousands of years have stood temples set in avenues of sphinxes and obelisks with statues of Athor and Osiris in granite, that have outlived the gods which they represent. Nor yet because of the miracle of His birth, the humble surroundings of His childhood or His crucifixion; for the birth of Gotama is attributed to divine interposition; and we are told that many of the Greek heroes were descended directly from the gods; and it is claimed that prototypes of divinity in other religious systems have even suffered death like unto the crucifixion on Calvary.

But you do have this assurance of victory and you do celebrate this day of His birth; because, the system of religious philosophy which is embodied in His teachings and in the sermon on the Mount, and exemplified in His pure and blameless life, being an appeal to Man's intelligence, to do right, not because of future reward or punishment, but because it is right; to be just because it is just, and to love truth for truth's sake; constitutes the purest philosophy and the highest standard of living ever conceived by gods or men; whose foundation and capstone, whose ritual and creed, whose confession of faith are all included in one word of one syllable – LOVE.

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I ask not for forgiveness, Lord, nor help,
Nor strength nor mercy at Thy hand.
Give me just faith, Oh Lord, sincere and true,
Faith in my fellowman.
I see, Oh Lord, the wonder of Thy work
But ask not understanding of Thy plan
Grant me a faith to guide me in the world,
Faith in my fellowman..
– George Gatlin.

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By Bro. Ossian Lang, Grand Historian, G.L. of New York


Ossian Lang was born October 29, 1865, of Scotch-English parentage, at Bradford, Yorkshire, England; educated in England, France and Germany; editor of several prominent educational magazines, "The Social Center," New York City, 1912-1913, "The School Journal," Teacher's Magazine, and "Educational Foundations," New York City, for twenty years, 1892-1912, "Young America," 1900-1901, and contributing editor to "The Forum," 1902-1907; author of a number of educational biographies, pedagogical studies, and story books for children; served as President, Board of Fire Commissioners of the city of Mount Vernon, N.Y., in 1910, Alderman, 1910-1912, President, Board of Aldermen, 1912-1914, President, Recreation Commission, 1915, President Board of Education, 1916; Master oœ John Stewart Lodge No. 871, F. and A. M., 1910 and 1911, District Deputy Grand Master, 12th Masonic District of New York, 1911-1912; Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of New York since 1913; High Priest Mount Vernon Chapter No. 228, R. A. M., 1906-1907; Grand Royal Arch Captain, Grand Chapter of New York, 1911; Master of Phoenix Council No. 70, R. and S M., 1906-1907; Correspondent Grand Council of New York since 1913; Commander, Bethlehem Commandery No. 53, Knights Templar, 1907-1908; also active in Scottish Rite Bodies.


Lodges of accepted Masons were to be found outside of London, as well as in the bosom of the London Company, during the seventeenth century. Admission was accompanied by a short ceremony consisting of an oath of fealty and the communication of "certain signs" of recognition. It appears, further, that the "Constitutions" were read to the initiates. These Constitutions contained what purported to be the "History and Rules of the Craft of Masonry." The "History" was essentially the information contained in the later Grand Lodge Constitutions of 1722-3, at least so far as the portion relating to Britain is concerned. Many of the men admitted to membership in the secret brotherhood were particularly interested in the pursuit of the sciences and the study of history and archeology, the names of some of these men appearing later on the register of the Royal Society. A sort of connection between the Lodges of these "accepted" Masons and the gild of operative Masons is demonstrable in London. A "dual condition" existed in the London Company of Masons, the members of the Lodge or Lodges of "accepted" Masons there forming a distinct body. The Lodges of "accepted" Masons appear to have no continuous existence, their history representing rather a series of sporadic revivals of "an old order." The final "revival" resulted in the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, from which year onward we have a continuous, clear and historic development of Freemasonry.

As the Grand Lodge was formed by representatives of Lodges which appear to have been sheltered, before 1700, by the London Company of Masons, we shall have to inquire somewhat further into the history of that Company.

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First, a word about gilds in general:

When and how craft gilds – or any sort of gilds, for that matter – came into existence, is one of the many unsolved questions of history antedating the invention of the printing press. At one time it was quite generally believed that they represented an Anglo-Saxon continuation, analogy, or adaptation of the Roman colleges or solidarities of artificers. Since the publication of Hallam's "Middle Ages," this guess has been abandoned, and the gild is now looked upon as of AngloSaxon origin.1

In Saxon times, they were associations of neighbours or townspeople, devoted more or less to religious and charitable purposes and formed a sort of artificial family, whose members were bound together by the bond, not of kinship, but of an oath.2 They assembled for common worship and feasting and served often also as benefit societies and burial clubs. They acted in many cases as private tribunals. Women were equally with men eligible to membership. An oath of obedience to the gild ordinances was administered to each member as he or she joined. Gild day was the day of the saint to whom the gild was dedicated, and formed the occasion for the annual feast.

Gross, in an article on gilds, in the "Encyclopedia Britannica," gives this summary description, based upon a study of the oldest ordinances: "Prayers for the dead, attendance at funerals of gildsmen, periodical banquets, the solemn entrance oath, fines for neglect of duty and for improper conduct, contributions to a common purse, united assistance in distress, periodical meetings in the gild hall – in short, all the characteristic features of the later gilds already appear in these Anglo-Saxon fraternities."

The Norman Conquest marked a new era for the fraternities, as it did for all England. The "Constitutions" of 1723, which indicate to those who have "the Key of Fellowcraft" very clearly the evolution of Freemasonry, record that "as soon as the Wars ended and Peace was proclaim'd, the Gothic Masonry was encourag'd, even in the Reign of the Conqueror."

Under Norman rule, the gilds were recognized officially as established institutions and were invested with important privileges. Only those who were members of some gild or "mistery" were allowed to take part in municipal government. Gilds were in many cases the chief or sole medium for acquiring citizenship in a town.3 As a result there was a rapid multiplication of gilds. Life in a medieval town made membership in a local gild or fraternity quite desirable. The merchant gilds and craft gilds gradually rose in importance. Men naturally chose membership in the particular organization in which they made their living or which corresponded most satisfactorily to their personal interests.

The craft gilds were composed chiefly, though never exclusively, of handicraftsmen or artisans. Aside from fostering more or less mutual protection and advancement, they undertook the regulation of wages and apprenticeship, and the schooling of their members in the technique of their craft or "mistery." Some of them became veritable seminaries of technical education.

In the course of time, conflicts arose between the master artisans and workmen. The former ruled the gild. The journeymen or yeomen struggling for independence began to set up separate fraternities in defence of their rights, but these soon disappeared again, or fell under the supervision and control of the masters' gilds.

At London, in 1375, the right to election to civic dignities, together with that of electing members of Parliament, was transferred from the Wards to the City Companies. "Thence forward, and for many years, the Companies engrossed political and municipal power in London."4

A further increase of the importance of the Companies resulted when these obtained charters from the Crown. The charter from the King or Queen gave to the Company a virtual monopoly of the trade it represented. "No one was allowed to carry on any particular trade unless he was a member of the Company… The quality of his goods must satisfy the requirements of the Court of the Company… The Courts (of the Companies) also appointed some of their fraternity to examine the work of their members and to see that no one carried on his trade upon Sundays or Saints' Days."5

In Ditchfield's "London Survivals," we read that "the highest personages in Church and State were eager to be enrolled as members," the reason being that the Companies enjoyed valuable municipal privileges and played a prominent part in the social life of the city.

Many of the Companies had their own stately halls and have them to this day. "These halls are the homes of ancient usage and customs which have lingered on through the ages and seem to defy changes wrought by utilitarianism and the modern spirit of the age."6

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The London Fellowship of Masons

How did the gild of Masons fare? We find that, in 1356, rules for the guidance of the Masons of London were passed before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs of the city. The Masons' Fellowship, it appears from this record, was a Company "by prescription" and had its ordinances and by-laws passed and sanctioned, from time to time, by the Court of Aldermen.

That the Masons' Company, first known as Fellowship of Masons, existed at that time, is proved by the records at Guildhall, which show that it was represented on the Court of Common Council, in 1375.

In 1530, the name of the Fellowship was changed to the Company of Freemasons. This, so Conder reminds us, was about the time "when Masons' fraternities connected with religious houses fell into a state of collapse." The title, "Freemasons," continued down to 1653, when the designation "free" was dropped from the title of the Company.

Perhaps we ought to add a few additional items of information concerning the Company to round out our references to that organization. I have gathered these chiefly from Parliamentary Reports, particularly those of 1884:

The tendency of centralization of political government, which gradually weaned the gilds away from the authority of the town government and brought them under the rule of the crown, is shown also in the history of the Masons' Company. In 1472, a coat-of-arms was granted to the "Craft and Fellowship of Masons."7 The earliest royal charter now in possession of the Company was obtained from Charles II, in 1677, on "petition by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Masons in London." A new charter was granted by James II, after "the Master, Wardens, Assistants and commonality of the Company had surrendered all their powers." The former charter by Charles II, after being "inspected and approved by Queen Anne," was reissued, following a recital that "by an Act of the fifth year of Queen Elizabeth, the art or occupation of a Mason is reckoned as a distinct art or occupation, and that all persons exercising the said art were enabled and might be compelled to take apprentices to be instructed in the occupation."

Members consist of freemen and liverymen. An applicant must be "a male of full age and a subject of the crown." He may qualify either by patrimony (if at the time of the applicant's birth his father was free of the Company), by servitude (serving an apprenticeship of seven years to a member of the Company), or by redemption (by purchase). Membership may also be conferred as an honour. The governing body, composed of the Masters, Wardens, and Court of Assistants, has been for centuries the "admitting" authority; in other words, it controls the "calling" to the livery The liverymen represent a small, select body, who pay an admission fee of 15 pounds ($75.00).

Women are not admitted to membership, although eligible in most gilds; the Tylers and Bricklayers' Company, for instance, in which women can become members and are admitted to the freedom.

The annual election of officers takes place on St. Basil Day, June 14. The membership consists principally of architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, masons, and stone masons, but the Company has always had also a considerable number of members not connected with any department of the building trade.

It is characteristic of Anglo-Saxon gilds that persons not identified with any trade, might and did obtain membership in them.8 Almost every craft gild had "gentlemen" among its members. "Gentlemen Masons" is a designation met with quite frequently.

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Brotherhood of Accepted Freemasons

How can we now account for the existence down to the close of the seventeenth century, within the bosom of the Masons' Company, of a Lodge or Lodges of "accepted" Masons, all members of the Company and given to literary, scientific, archeological and other pursuits apparently in nowise related to operative Masonry ?

Other trade corporations had "gentlemen members," too, but nothing like this. The oft-repeated statement that the non-operative element formed a separate club, just because it was not interested in mere trade regulations and shop talk, explains nothing. The twelve principal livery companies of London would by reason of their prominence and power have seemed to be far more attractive to the gentlemen and scholars, who joined the Masons' Company, which is number 30 among the minor companies. Why did they not join the Merchant Tailors' Company, for instance, which did much for the advancement of education? Why did they join the Masons ?

A sort of answer may be derived from Conder's "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons," where we read that the Masons' Company, of London, preserved "the ancient traditions of the Guild when the monastic guilds fell into chaos." The archaic character of these traditions undoubtedly had much interest for antiquarians and the searcher after curious things. However, that is a mere surface view of conditions.

The search for the beginning of the "curious secret brotherhood" yields equally unsatisfactory results, as far as explanation of its connection with Craft Masonry is concerned. There are indications, rather vague, that it existed during the reign of Henry IV (1399-1413), and that it experienced a revival, some years after the monastic gilds had collapsed – my own guess is that it was in 1570 or thereabout. After a brief period of intermittent activity, it appears in Masons' Hall, in 1620, as Conder noted. Another "revival" occurred soon after 1653. The "symbolic" portion left the Company for good, soon after Ashmole's visit in 1682. Next we have the final "revival" in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Accepted Free-Masons.

Searching the "Constitutions" of 1723 for significant clues, we shall find, for a starter, the following record:

"Now though in the third Year of the said King Henry IV while an Infant of about four Years old, the Parliament made an Act that affected only the working Masons, who had contrary to the Statutes for Labourers, confederated not to work but at their own Price and Wages; and because such agreements were supps'd to be made at the General Lodges, call'd in the Act CHAPTERS and CONGREGATIONS of MASONS, it was then thought expedient to level the said Act against the said Congregations…. Nor is there any Instance of executing the Act in that, or in any other Reign since, and the Masons never neglected their Lodges for it, nor ever thought it worth while to employ their noble and eminent Brethren to have it repeal'd; because the working Masons, that are free of the Lodge, scorn to be guilty of such Combinations; and the other Free Masons have no Concern in Trespasses against the Statutes for Labourers."

The closing part of the latter sentence tells, as plainly as anything can be told, that brethren of the Lodges, which constitute the "curious secret brotherhood," within the bosom of the craft corporation, had "no concern with trespasses against the statutes for labourers." This disposes of the oft-repeated fallacy which would have us derive Freemasonry from operative masonry. The book of Constitutions is quite insistent on this point, as for instance in a footnote, where we read:

"Many in all Ages have been more curious and careful about the Laws, Forms and Usages of their respective Societies, than about the Arts and Sciences thereof. But neither what was convey'd, nor the Manner how, can be communicated by writing; as no Man indeed can understand it without the Key of a Fellow Craft."

In other words: Whatever suggestions of craft origins you man find in the "Laws, Forms and Usages," they explain nothing of the true derivation which must be looked for rather in "the Arts and Sciences," that is in the secret teachings of the fraternity. "Without the Key" of a fellow or initiated associate member of the operative body, "no Man indeed" can understand this.9

The Act of 1425 seems to have troubled the members of the Grand Lodge of 1717-1723 more than they were willing to admit. They printed it in full in the historical preface, added a lengthy footnote to their comments on it, and tucked away a space-filling "Postscript" between the "Charges" and the "General Regulations," an "Opinion of the Great Judge Coke upon the Act against the Masons." The footnote is particularly interesting. It reads as follows:

"That Act was made in ignorant Times, when true Learning was a Crime, and Geometry condem'd for Conjuration; but it cannot derogate in the least Degree from the Honour of the ancient Fraternity, who to be sure would never encourage any such Confederacy of their working Brethren. But by Tradition it is believ'd, that the Parliament-Men were then too much influenc'd by the illiterate Clergy, who were not accepted Masons, nor understood Architecture (as the Clergy of some former Ages) and generally thought unworthy of this Brotherhood; yet thinking they had indefeasible Right to know all Secrets, by virtue of auricular Confession, and the Masons never confessing anything thereof, the said Clergy were highly offended, and at first suspecting them of Wickedness, represented them as dangerous to the State during that Minority, and soon influenc'd the Parliament-Men to lay hold of such supposed Agreements of the working Masons, for making an Act that might seem to reflect Dishonour upon even the whole worshipful Fraternity, in whose Favour several Acts had been both before and after that Period made."

The insistence that the Accepted Masons had no concern with trade regulations is significant, as we have already pointed out. So is the further intimation that "Geometry" and an understanding of "Architecture" were a distinctive possession of the Accepted Masons. Here we have, in my opinion, the principal explanation of the puzzling connection which we have noted between the Masons' Company and the secret Fraternity existing within its bosom.

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Architecture as the Sovereign Art

I shall be very brief in my remarks on this point, as a fuller discussion would carry us too far away from the specific purpose of the present discussion.

The medieval churches were sermons written in stone, wood and glass. They were veritable books, as Emile Male has most convincingly proved in his remarkable work on "Religious Art in France of the Thirteenth Century." Victor Hugo, though he doubtless erred in some conclusions, has made the fact vivid and clear in that remarkable chapter in his "Notre Dame de Paris," which is headed "Ceci tuera cela." ("This will kill That.")

Those who have read Victor Hugo's book will recall the scene where the archdeacon "threw open his cell window and pointed to the vast church of Notre-Dame, the dark outline of its towers, its stone walls, and its hip-roof silhouetted against the starry sky, and looking like a gigantic sphinx seated in the middle of the town." You will recall how "the archdeacon stood a while without speaking, contemplating the stupendous edifice," and how "then with a sigh he pointed with his right hand to the book lying on the table, and with his left to Notre-Dame, and, looking sorrowfully from one to the other, said: "Alas! this will kill that – ceci tuera cela." The printed book will kill the art of writing in stone – "printing will kill architecture."

Then Victor Hugo goes on to explain. Let me pick out for you a few sentences here and there, which may be helpful to our discussion:

"The human race has had two books, two registers, two testaments – architecture and printing, the Bible of stone and the Bible of paper. Up to the time of Gutenberg, architecture was the chief and universal mode of writing. In those days if a man was born a poet he turned architect. Genius scattered among the masses, kept down on all sides by feudality, escaped by way of architecture, and its Iliads took the form of cathedrals. From the moment that printing was discovered, architecture gradually lost its virility, declined and became denuded. Being no longer looked upon as the one all-embracing, sovereign and enslaving art, architecture lost its power of retaining others in its service. Carving became sculpture; imagery, painting; the canon, music. It was like the dismemberment of an empire on the death of its Alexander – each province making itself a Kingdom."

Victor Hugo's characterization of architecture is true to fact, particularly so far as the medieval age is concerned. Architecture during that period was virtually "the one all-embracing, sovereign, and enslaving art," commanding the services of all other arts.

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Laboring Together in Unity

Back of this architecture – inspiring, shaping, regulating it – was the all-powerful Church. Arts and sciences, political and civil life, practically everything, was subject to the supreme rule of theology as defined by the doctors of the Roman Papacy. Individualism was submerged in and by the unity of the whole. Western Europe constituted one ecclesiastic solidarity, a brotherhood of men guided by the dogmas of the Mother Church. Community life, as a natural sequence, had its center in the church or cathedral. As all acts of civil life were profoundly penetrated by the religious spirit of the age, this social center opened its portals freely to every sort of cooperative undertaking. It served as a place of reunion for the townspeople; fairs were held there; discussions of grievances and plans for improvement were heard; gossip and news, accounts of other lands by returned travelers, and other matters of interest were unfolded; festivals, sacred and profane, were celebrated; the prices of labor and merchandise were regulated. Life turned around the church. No wonder, then, that the building of a cathedral was an event affecting everyone in town and claiming everybody's keenest interest.

A letter written by a French abbot to the Religious at Tutburg, England, in 1145, gives an idea of what profound concern the building of a church was to the whole community:

"Who has ever seen anything like this ? Princes, powerful and rich men, nobles by birth, proud and beautiful women, bowed their necks under the yoke of chariots loaded with stones, wood, corn, wine, oil and other material needed for the building and the sustenance of the workmen. One could see as many as a thousand men and women in harness drawing the car, so heavy was the load it carried. Advance was slow and laborious. There was no boisterousness, no shouting. All laboured in solemn silence, so great was the emotion filling their hearts, conscious they were helping to do the work of God."

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The Cathedral Community

The monastic orders, which occupied themselves with church building, often furnished the principal artisans from among their own numbers. The masons, carpenters, plasterers, plumbers, metal and ivory workers, painters, glaziers, decorators, together with a host of labourers, constituted a veritable craftsmen's city, under the rule of a "master architect," or principal conductor of the work. Usually a tent or frame structure was pitched against the rising walls of the building, which served as a "lodge," or headquarters. Here the principal artisans met to receive their orders, discuss technical difficulties, settle disciplinary matters, and unite in worship. The most important room of the lodge was that set aside for the master of the work; there he designed and gathered the models of the various portions of the edifice.

The families of the artisans lived in close vicinity to the church. An interesting side-light on conditions is obtained from a record made by Archbishop Leger, of Vienna, in 1050, telling how one of his faithful, a physician named Aton, interested himself in the improvement and beautifying of the "little houses" (domnuncula) occupied by the women employed in gold embroidery for vestments and other articles for divine service. A school for the children of the craftsmen's city often grew up in the shadow of the cathedral and developed in the course of time into an important foundation. In short, the host of craftsmen, with their families, who were gathered together for the building of a church, formed a centre of cooperation for divers industries and arts, labouring as a unit in the service of the Great Architect of the Universe.

The form and spirit of such a union was just what our "secret brotherhood" sought to cultivate. That explains, perhaps, why its members affiliated themselves with Masonic gilds and particularly the Masons' Company of London, considering, no doubt, the traditions of the descendants of the cathedral builders best suited for their own purposes.

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The "Geometry" of Masonry

However, there is a deeper and more clearly defined reason. It is suggested in the "geometry" of the Cathedral. Orientation, forms, grouping, position, – the building as a whole and every detail of it, were regulated by a fixed code of symbolism. Nothing was left to individual caprice. The cathedral, as we said before, was a book, the Bible of the humble. The Bishop decreed what it was to teach, the lessons it was to convey. Dogma, science, story, ethics were spelled out in characters and signs having specific meanings attached to them by the church authorities. The cathedral might represent a biography, catechism, church history, an essay on eternity, a martyrology, Bible story, combinations of divers subjects, an Encyclopedia or a symphony; whatever it was, the same rules and conventions were followed. Accordingly, there was something impersonal about the product, much as about a modern newspaper. Artists and artisans take their law from the master of the work and they must submit to the dictates of the code, from one end of Europe to the other. Art was organized as dogma was organized, to the smallest detail.

The symbolism of the church services familiarized the faithful with the symbolism of the building, as Male has shown. When the printed book appeared and the recording of thought in buildings fell into disuse, symbolic art declined rapidly. Architecture became a thing of individual fancy. Cathedral symbolism would be beyond the power of the present age to interpret and at least three hundred years of the history of the human race would be largely unintelligible, if the sacred traditions had not been zealously guarded and transmitted from generation to generation by a secret brotherhood, composed chiefly of architects, sculptors, painters, musicians, poets and philosophers, who possessed the key to "geometry" and knew the grammar of symbolism. This brotherhood is the same we met with in Masons' Hall, at London, at Wiltshire and elsewhere.

The presence of students of the natural sciences in the lodges of the brotherhood is easily explained. Vincent de Beauvais's "Mirror of Nature" and the history of science in the medieval age were to be read best in the carvings on cathedral facades. Besides, the scientists were themselves attempting to build up a code of symbols for the service of the developing physics and chemistry. There were other reasons which we cannot discuss at this time.

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A Distinctively Anglo-Saxon Development

I have purposely left unanswered all questions relating more directly to the beginning and development of the "symbolic" fraternity which, in England, met under the shelter of the Masonic craft gild, until the close of the seventeenth century. On the continent it had no such connections. The reason, already suggested, was that continental craft gilds were exclusively trade organizations.

I have also refrained from touching the problem of the origin of the symbology of the medieval church. This and other related matters cannot well be considered here.

I trust, however, that I have made it seem to you quite natural that, in London, the "symbolic" fraternity should have been identified, in some sort of way, with the Masons' Company, until the close of the seventeenth century. It probably is fairly clear to you also now why a portion of that fraternity should have become identified with the founding of the Royal Society "for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge," and why the later formed Grand Lodge of Accepted Free-Masons should in turn have drawn some of its most valuable members from that society.

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If you accept my findings, we shall agree:

  1. That Freemasonry, as we know it, is in nowise derived from operative Masonry.
  2. That a "symbolic" fraternity existed, whose members, under Anglo-Saxon conditions, frequently chose to obtain the freedom of the Masonic craft gild by "acceptance."
  3. That the explanation for the preference accorded to the Masonic gild may be inferred from the aspect of cathedral building in the medieval age, more especially the function of Masons, to give form to symbols of predetermined significance, the brotherhood striving to unite men of diverse interests and to preserve the "geometry" of sacred things.
  4. That on the European continent the brotherhood had not even an elbow-touch connection with craft gilds, the latter being exclusively trade organizations.
  5. That the history of the "Laws, Forms and Usages" of the Fraternity, while of less significance than that of "the Arts and Sciences thereof," nevertheless is of considerable interest, and serves to interpret much that could not otherwise be accounted for.
  6. That "Laws, Forms and Usages" are largely derived from association with Masonic craft gilds and form merely the outer shell or mold into which the substance was poured-which developed into the kind of Freemasonry we know.

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By Bro. William Howard Taft

Very many of our Masonic bodies and the Brethren have shown a lively and helpful interest in the activities of the Red Cross, contributing freely to its resources. This account of the work was specially prepared for the National Masonic Research Society through the courtesy of Brother William Howard Taft, formerly President of the United States.

THE Red Cross idea was fundamentally the relief of soldiers wounded in battle. The dreadful carnage and unmitigated suffering of the wounded on the battlefield of Solferino, in 1859, was witnessed by the great Swiss humanitarian, M. Henri Dunant. Dunant personally ministered to the wounded, organizing volunteers in the vicinity to help him in the work. That was the start of the Red Cross movement of today which has resulted in highly developed relief organizations in practically every civilized country for the care of the wounded in battle.

As the only agency authorized by the United States government to co-operate with the War and Navy Departments in the care of sick and wounded soldiers and sailors, the American Red Cross has accepted this as its first duty. The efficient conduct of this war work has required the establishment of a very complex and highly systematized organization which must be prepared to handle any emergency which may arise. The further development of the idea has resulted in various phases of Red Cross work which, while having an indirect bearing on the care of the soldier and sailor, have been shown to play an important part in relieving the misery created, directly and indirectly, by war.

The big men composing the Red Cross War Council have taken the broadest possible view of the duty confronting the American Red Cross in the present conflict. They hold it their duty not only to care for the soldiers of this country, giving relief to its civilian population, but as far as possible to care for the soldiers of the allies and the peoples of the allied nations. In fact, the first army organization ordered abroad by the War Department were six Red Cross base hospitals sent at the request of the British Commission in advance of any American troops. They were needed to care for the English and French wounded.

These base hospitals constitute the principal service rendered by the American Red Cross in time of war. They are the highest possible development of the volunteer service first organized by Dunant at Solferino. The hospital staff includes a minimum of 26 physicians, two dentists, 65 Red Cross nurses, and 150 enlisted men of the Medical Corps. The nurses are all highly trained and registered nurses, and the physicians and dentists have to measure up to the strict requirements of the medical corps of the army and navy.

Base hospitals are located at a safe distance from the front, the wounded and sick being carried to the hospitals in ambulances, of which there are 64,000 on the French front. The American Red Cross now has more than twelve base hospitals in France and nearly thirty others are awaiting the call of the War Department to be mustered into service of the Army Medical Corps. There are today more than fifteen hundred Red Cross nurses doing war work in France.

The Red Cross also organizes ambulance companies which are composed of a captain, four first lieutenants, two first-class sergeants, eleven sergeants, six corporals, one mechanic, three cooks and 96 privates – a total of 124 men.

Forty-five of these companies have already been organized by the Red Cross, many of which are now seeing foreign service, while the others are on duty in this country.

These ambulance companies approach the nearest of any Red Cross organization to the actual fighting front and theirs is a work fraught with much danger. Red Cross nurses are kept at the base hospitals in comparative safety, the battlefield service of the Red Cross nurse having been discontinued years ago.

Everything that highly developed professional skill can do to relieve the suffering of the wounded soldier has been enlisted by the American Red Cross for his care. The wounded man is first taken to a "first aid" station where his wounds are bandaged. These stations are just back of the fighting line and are in charge of physicians who are regular members of the Army Medical Corps, a service organized wholly independent of the Red Cross. From here the wounded man is either returned to the trenches or, if his condition is serious and further treatment is required, he is taken to the base hospitals where the professional services are on a par with that of the leading hospitals in this country. From the hospital the soldier may be returned to the front, discharged or sent home on furlough.

The work of the American Red Cross for the soldier today, however, begins far in advance of his reaching the trenches.

Many of the troops had their first experience with the Red Cross in connection with the recent canteen service rendered by thousands of Red Cross workers to the troops enroute from their homes to the various cantonments. This same canteen service has been arranged to follow the men on their trip to the front after crossing to France.

Following some preliminary training after their arrival at French seaports, the American expeditionary forces again entrain for a trip across the country to stations in the proximity of the firing lines, where many are now in training. The congested condition of French railroads makes quick travel impossible and three days are required for the journey. One hundred American women have gone to France to take charge of the American Red Cross canteens and rest stations which are scattered along the routes travelled by the men in going to and from the French front. These stations are equipped with lunch rooms, baths, laundries, reading and writing rooms, and a store of such delicacies and small articles as the men may wish. Commendatory as was this work, it does not compare in importance with the great work being done by the millions of patriotic lay women of America who are today working day and night in Red Cross Chapters without recognition or spotlight, in the making of thousands of surgical dressings, hospital garments, comfort kits and knitted articles for the soldier.

Millions of bandages and compresses and hospital garments were needed in the equipment of the many base hospitals; these were made by the 25,000 women who had taken the special courses in the making of surgical dressings conducted by various Red Cross chapters. Thousands of comfort kits have already been made and supplied United States troops, and a million more are now in the making. An equal number of Christmas packages are being prepared by Red Cross workers to carry Christmas cheer to the American soldiers in this country and France. A request for a million and a half each of sweaters, mufflers, wristlets and socks has come from Major Grayson M. P. Murphy, Red Cross Commissioner to Europe, upon which Red Cross workers all over the country are engaged, knitting under the direction of Miss Florence Marshall, director of the Woman's Bureau at national headquarters.

Another notable achievement on the part of the women workers of the American Red Cross recently was the supplying of thousands of bandages and compresses on very short notice to each of 188 United States battleships and cruisers. This work was done at the request of William C. Braisted, Surgeon General of the United States Navy, the Navy Department supplying the gauze and raw material used in their manufacture.

Probably the most important phase of Red Cross work at this time, next to the preparations for the immediate care of the sick and wounded soldiers and sailors, is the Red Cross "Home Service" among the families of soldiers and sailors in this country. Nearly a million and a half men are now enlisted in the various branches of the military and naval service of the United States. Despite the care which is being exercised to select men without dependents, and despite the contemplated provision by the government, for the granting of separation allowances and for securing the assignment of pay, there will be many homes – there are, indeed, now many homes – in which, except for prompt, sympathetic and capable help, there would be suffering during the absence of men at the front or on the high seas.

Families which would ordinarily be hard put to it by an attack of sickness, the sudden need for an operation, the loss of a job, the advent of either death or birth, now, without the judgment and counsel of the men of the household, are unable to cope with the difficulties besetting them. During the stress of war, with its rising cost of food, its industrial changes, its uncertainties in living conditions, the home is handicapped by the withdrawal of the very person upon whom at such a time it would depend most for aid in solving its problems.

Usually the man of the household has been accustomed to transact all of the more important business of the home. He it is who knows what to do when the mortgage matures, when the insurance policy expires, when it becomes necessary to move into another neighborhood, or when the oldest boy is graduated from school and needs to be started in the right sort of job. Without his advice, the bewildered family makes mistakes and the home is faced with danger and disaster.

This need was clearly foreseen by the Red Cross War Council. To relieve the situation as far as is humanly possible, the War Council organized the Red Cross "Home Service" employing hundreds of trained social workers under the direction of W. Frank Persons, Director General of Civilian Relief. While the Red Cross cannot assume the financial care of dependent families, a responsibility too large for any organization except the United States government itself, grants and loans of money will be made to tide over financial depressions which are bound to occur in many households.

With the return of the head of the home, discharged because of wounds or sickness, the problem is likely to become more difficult of solution. The reeducation of the breadwinner in some new line of work will be necessary in many cases in order that he and his family may not remain a permanent charge on the community. The Red Cross is already conducting investigations abroad looking to the establishment of an institute in New York for the re-education of soldiers discharged because of the loss of limb, sight, or other cause which incapacitates them for further military service and also makes impossible the resumption of their previous occupations.

Another work which is being performed by the Red Cross in this country for the soldier is that of the Sanitary Service in connection with the various cantonments and Army posts. This Sanitary Service, under the direction of Dr. W. H. Frost, surgeon of the Public Health Service, was established to co-operate with local and state health boards in taking care of the peculiar sanitary conditions which naturally arise from the congregation of large bodies of men in one locality. In many cases it presents a problem which the local health authorities do not consider themselves equipped to handle. To the same end, the Red Cross is providing five laboratory cars which, stationed at convenient centers, can be hurried to any of these cantonments to assist in quelling outbreaks of epidemics.

This work for the American soldier in this country has already resulted in the appropriation of more than $1,500,000, while a part of the $12,000,000 appropriated for Red Cross work in Europe has been for the care of our own troops. All this has been made possible by the generosity of the American people in the raising of the hundred million dollar Red Cross War Fund, the largest sum ever secured by voluntary subscription for humanitarian work. This fund is being added to constantly by contributions from all over the country.

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If You Could
But know the world, and rule its mart,
And knowing, ruling have no heart;
But sail the sea, and dread no storm,
And sailing miss the dawn of morn;
But climb the mount, and thread the maze,
And climbing find no note of praise;
But rise above the moving throng,
And rising losse the sweetest song.
You Could
Both know the world and feel its heart,
And knowing, feeling bear the smart;
Both dream your dream, and find your work
An endless task you would not shirk;
Find Joy, and Duty ever blending,
The broken fragments ever mending,
Within, without, below, above
One call and answer, – love then
If your soul could hear the voice
Pray which of all would be your choice?
— James T. Duncan.

Justice is always violence to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.
– Defoe.

A fool is never master of himself, much less of his people and wealth.
– Buddha

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Nothing on earth can smile but man! Gems may flash reflected light, but what is a diamond-flash compared to an eyeflash and a mirth-flash ? Flowers cannot smile; this is a charm that even they cannot claim. It is the prerogative of man; it is the color which love wears, and cheerfulness and joy – these three. It is a light in the windows of the face, by which the heart signifies it is at home and waiting. A face that cannot smile is like a bud that cannot blossom, and dries up on the stalk. Laughter is day, and sobriety is night, and a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both – more bewitching than either.
– Henry Ward Beecher.

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"Someone has said that when the Creator had made all the good things there still remained some work to do; so He made beasts and reptiles and poisonous insects, and when He had finished there were some scraps left; so He put all these together, covered it with suspicion, wrapped it with jealousy, marked it with a yellow streak and called it a Knocker.

"This product was so fearful to contemplate that He had to make something to counteract it; so He took a sunbeam, put in it the heart of a child, the brain of a man, wrapped these in civic pride, covered it with brotherly love, gave it a mask of velvet and a grasp of steel, and called it a Booster; made him a lover of fields and flowers and manly sports, a believer in equality and justice; and ever since these two were, mortal man has had the privilege of choosing his own associates."

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Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg


Foundation of the Course

THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Clegg.

Main Outline

The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:

Division I Ceremonial Masonry. A. The Work of a Lodge. B. The Lodge and the Candidate. C. First Steps. D. Second Steps E. Third Steps.

Division II Symbolical Masonry. A. Clothing. B. Working Tools. C. Furniture. D. Architecture. E. Geometry. F. Signs. G. Words. H. Grips.

Division III Philosophical Masonry. A. Foundations. B. Virtues. C. Ethics. D. Religious Aspect. E. The Quest. F. Mysticism. G. The Secret Doctrine.

Division IV Legislative Masonry. A. The Grand Lodge. 1. Ancient Constitutions. 2. Codes of Law. 3. Grand Lodge Practices. 4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges. 5. Official Duties and Prerogatives. B. The Constituent Lodge. 1. Organization. 2. Qualifications of Candidates. 3. Initiation, Passing and Raising. 4. Visitation. 5 Change of Membership.

Division V Historical Masonry. A. The Mysteries – Earliest Masonic Light. B. Study of Rites – Masonry in the Making. C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics. D. National Masonry. E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study. F. Feminine Masonry. G. Masonic Alphabets. H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft. I. Biographical Masonry. J. Philological Masonry – Study of Significant Words.

The Monthly Instalments

Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Clegg who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.

Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.

The monthly instalments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the instalment in THE BUILDER.

References for Supplemental Papers

Immediately following each of Brother Clegg's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.

How to Organize for and Conduct the Study Meetings

The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted – all possible time to be given to the study period.

After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Clegg's paper.

Program for Study Meetings

  1. Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
  2. Discussion of the above.
  3. The subsequent sections of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
  4. Question Box.

Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavour to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.


The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all enquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.

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Helpful Hints to Study Club Leaders

By Bro. Robert I. Clegg

From the following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire to discuss Even were but five minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here given will afford individual Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit their own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study meeting each month if desired by the members.

In conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavour to hold the discussions closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or enquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened

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1. What impressed you most on the night you took the First Degree? Did your Lodge have a "preparation room" ? If so, in what condition was it ? Did members there present say anything to cause you to lower your estimate of Masonry? If so, why? Have you been guilty of frivolous talk to a new brother in the preparation room for the first time ? "First impressions are the most lasting": what impressions should make themselves felt on a candidate ? Do those impressions help to shape his future Masonic activities ? How is a young man prepared to enter college? the army? married life? Do the same mental laws apply in all such cases ?

2. If entrance to Masonry were made more difficult would the Craft mean more to its members ? Do you believe in "social clubs" in lodges? If so, why? If not, why not? What is the relationship of the social life to Masonry ? of amusements ? What is the function of amusement in human life ? What is he difference between an "amusement" and a "recreation"?

3. Have you ever thought of Masonry as a school? Does it have a course of studies? What are they? What does Masonry teach ? Why is that teaching difficult to understand ? Does the Second Degree make you think of a school ? Why ? Can you tell how it came to have its present character? Can Masonry today be made to perform an educational function ? How? What is education? Would it be a good thing to have schools for candidates in which they could be taught the principles of the Order prior to initiation? How could that be done in this country?

4. Has clothing a symbolical meaning ? Any kind of clothing ? Do "clothes make the man" ? If not, why not ? What dictates the style of dress? Is the present style custom a good one? What are the advantages of changes of style in dress? Do you believe that Masons should have a uniform in which to appear in public ? If not, why not? Is the apron a part of a uniform ? What is its function ? Why do Masons wear aprons in the Lodge room ?

5. Why is darkness always thought of as a symbol of ignorance? Why do we say "Darkest Africa"? Why is light associated with knowledge? What is the meaning of the word enlightenment" ? How does Masonry give enlightenment ? What is "the shock of enlightenment"? What is its meaning?

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1. Have you ever observed the effect on your own feelings of wearing clothing (a uniform, for example), to which you were unaccustomed ? What was the effect on your emotions when you found yourself clothed for entrance into the Masonic Lodge? Did these emotions help you in appreciating what followed ?

2. Do you know of groups of men who seem to be hoodwinked by ignorance and prejudice ? Do you know if any political, social, religious hoodwinks? What can Masonry do to remove such blinders?

3. Does a man ever need a cable-tow in his growth and development? Should a man be held in restraint by his superiors until he is able to govern himself ? Is the restraint under which a boy is kept by his school teacher similar to the significance of the Masonic Cable Tow?

4. Can a man get anything out of a business venture, or job, or a college education, etc., who does not throw himself into it ? How can a man expect to get anything out of Masonry if he puts no energy into it? What is the cure for so-called "Masonic Indifference" ?

5. What preparation must a man make to get into the army? into a new job? into college? A man cannot enter into any new field of experience until he is prepared: does Masonic Preparation symbolize for you the laws governing all types of preparation? Is your mind prepared to understand Masonry? Are you prepared to interpret it to new Brethren?

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First Impressions of Greatest Consequence

THE first contact of the candidate and the Lodge is of greatest consequence. First impressions are lasting. A candidate seldom if ever forgets the conditions under which he first came to the Lodge. Every detail stands out distinctly in his memory. Years pass and many later incidents are effaced by time but the first experiences remain with him almost as fresh and vivid as ever. All the more responsible, therefore, is the burden upon those in authority that the Lodge is first presented to the candidate, and he to it, in a manner fully worthy of the occasion.

Candidate's First Impressions of Masonry

The candidate in entering the building and passing through the Lodge parlours and anteroom to the preparation room should meet nothing that will give him aught but the most appropriate reflections. Naturally he is in a serious mood. He has asked for membership in the most mysterious of societies and has been summoned to appear for initiation. Nothing is known by him of what is in store. That the ceremonies will be impressive and inspiring may be taken for granted by him. So much at least he can guess from the well-known reputation of the fraternity. An institution of such prominence and permanence is likely to be neither dull nor crude in what it does with the candidate.

With these elementary facts firmly fixed as our foundation let each one of us frankly picture in our minds the circumstances under which we first visited a Lodge. If there then occurred anything not calculated to maintain the high regard of the candidate for the fraternity the newcomer was not to blame for either the plan or the surroundings. Whatever has occurred since our initiation in that Lodge, as far as it concerns the reception of a candidate, is to some extent a part of our personal responsibility.

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Conducting Candidate to Lodge

Let us proceed with the candidate to his Lodge. He may or may not go alone. If he is taken there by some member of the brotherhood let us hope most heartily that the guide is something more than congenial. Discretion was never more needed. Light talk is out of place. Other trivial acts are foolish if indeed they are not positively wicked on the way to Lodge. Coming from the candidate's home to his Lodge family of friends may there be no halt anywhere along the road.

Assuming that nothing has interfered with the solemn and serious reflections of the applicant for initiation while on his way to the Lodge, we may enter the building and here under the very roof of official Masonry we can sometimes discover conditions far from the best for the purpose. We may present to him the spectacle of a card room and one not too clean at that, or of a smoking room not too free of fog and odour – and the latter be it remembered is quite objectionable to some people, and in order to avoid offence it is well to bar all possibilities of unpleasantness until we are certain there is absolutely no danger of offending.

For we must assume that now we are trying to make the best possible impression in the most permanent manner. What we do must be lasting, not blasting. At this moment the candidate takes the impress from his surroundings as if he were wax but he is as marble or brass to retain them.

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Preserve the Strength of the Ritual

Far be it from the intention of the writer of this paper to decry or oppose the installation of Masonic clubs and of all the attendant innocent pleasure that rightly accompany them. Games, the reading of popular literature, and the enjoyment of tobacco are without vice when pursued with due restrictions upon the user's habits and with proper regard to the rights of others. In general, is it not safe to say nevertheless, that these should not be mixed up with the ritual ?

Before going further with our candidate in his journey toward an American Lodge we may inquire as to how far this account of his travel is in accord with the practice elsewhere at the present day and how closely is it in agreement with the customs of the early Freemasons. Some of the Lodges claiming to be following in other lands the pioneer practices of the fraternity have sundry customs of much interest. These are founded upon the very desirable purpose that the first impression shall be as healthy as it is permanent.

Beginning long before the time set for the ceremonial, the candidate is caused to travel far and near from one objective point to another, receiving and conveying and delivering messages that are calculated to impress him with a due sense of the labor and zeal and knowledge required of a Mason.

Thus he continues during the day until footsore and weary, but neither discouraged nor disheartened he finally arrives at the Lodge room just in time for the remainder of the ceremony of initiation. Under this system of ritualism the tests of sincerity and devotion are severe as might be expected. They are distinctly different from what are familiar to us but of course possess peculiar merits of their own.

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The Masonic School

Masonry is a school. Character is taught. Everything that is done has the one end, to engrave upon the candidate certain things never to be erased. To do this deeply is the purpose of the ritual and the duty of the ritualists. Candidates are students in the school of Masonry listening to lectures and receiving instruction through eye and ear.

When we teach a child to write and to figure we adopt certain well established rules. We show him examples and we make him memorize formulas. Then we cause him to do the things we have done, to do for himself what he has seen and to obey when he has been told. We explain the use of the plus and minus signs as well as of other symbols. He soon sees that they are very handy because they group a lot of explanation in a few simple signs.

The child is taught that position is of importance, his hands and feet and body have all an influence on what he does and that while they are directed by his mind and this in turn is an expression of the work of his brain, the mind and particularly the memory reflects what he has seen and what he was then doing. Childhood is shown and told because we have found it advisable to appeal to as many as possible of the senses at once in order to cause the more lasting effect.

The thoughtful Mason will see the application of these truths. Masonry employs all these approved resources of the teacher's art. In the light of these reminders the use of our system of instruction is clearly seen to be standing on solid and substantial ground.

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Clothing as a Symbol

Reduced to its simplest expression the true clothing of a Mason is the apron. Sometimes, as on the occasion of public processions, white gloves are added to the street attire. In certain foreign jurisdictions a sword is worn. Unless clothed befittingly as becomes his Masonic advancement a member can not enter or take part in Lodge labours.

There is unity in uniforms. Aside entirely from the symbolism of clothing, of being clothed or unclothed, it is a fact that a body of men is the more closely united when dressed alike in any suitable clothing. Just as their garments are apparently of the one piece of cloth so are they themselves parts of the one substance, fragments fused by a common bond into unity and uniformed accordingly.

Every Mason in the uniformity of his clothing, and the similarity of the experiences with clothing through which he and his brethren have passed, is thereby again reminded of the lessons taught by these means.

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Light and Sight, Darkness and Blindness

We learn that in the ancient mysteries the candidate first encountered complete darkness and thence progressed toward more enlightened conditions. To shut off the sense of sight is therefore to repeat the initial experience in the mysteries of the ancients.

Cable-Tow and Obligations

A tow-line enables a tug-boat to draw a ship after it. There is a sense in which such a cable-tow connects the source of energy with that which can not, for the time, be self-propelling. When a stronger tie, bond or pledge is assumed, then the old material connection can be cast aside. He that is bound to the brotherhood by the abiding strength of love, devotion and light, needs no other harness on his limbs.

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Candidate is a Free Agent

We welcome not the unwilling. Neither reservation nor evasion or reluctance may mark the applicant for the mysterious Masonic rights and benefits. Uninvited he comes and upon him is no compulsion born of us. No restraint from us relieves him of fullest responsibility. He is free to act in man fashion, not as a child or slave.

Intentions of the Candidate

By a time-honoured declaration the candidate announces his intentions. This is done before witnesses. In some countries the solemnity of the proceedings is increased by the use of a special room for the purpose, called the Chamber of Reflection.

So much importance rightly belongs to this part of the proceedings that all possible care may well be taken to have the announcement of the candidate heard with all dignity and fervour. He asserts that he has no unworthy motives, that he offers himself of his own accord as a candidate and will conform to all the established customs of the fraternity. There are other items of consequence but these are contained in the various Monitors and Codes and need not be repeated here.

The form of the declaration is very old and as usually given is similar to what is found as far back as the era of Preston.

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Mental as Well as Physical Preparation

Too much care can not be devoted to the use of the preparation room. This work is sometimes alloted to young and inexperienced members of the Lodge. Then the case is bad enough. But it is very much worse when the labour is undertaken by the indifferent or negligent or flippant. If the Master and the other officers of the Lodge will reflect that the better the candidate is physically and mentally prepared the easier it is for them to make an impression, then they will realize how they are affected by the shortcomings of the Stewards.

It is proper here to assert that the true initiation of a candidate begins long before he enters the Lodge room. There is in this fact a lesson of deportment. Are we always cautious in what we say and do? Not only before the candidate but ever before the brethren do we need to maintain carefully the conduct of a real Mason.

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Symbolism of the Preparation and Enlightenment

To me this stage of the First Degree of Masonry is deeply significant. There is a new birth. Out of the womb of the labouring blindly-groping world there comes to the altar of friendship a willing sacrifice. The old garb of ignorance is cast aside and the clothing of knowledge is assumed. Eyes that were blind are opened and he that was in darkness beholds the Eastern rays of the rising sun. New duties are defined in the light of the dawning day. God, country, neighbor, self – for each is to be held the balance true of our faith, our patriotism, our service and our character.

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References for Supplemental Papers

The following articles to be found in Mackey's Encyclopedia and THE BUILDER all have a bearing upon the subject treated in the foregoing paper by Brother Clegg. Lodge and Study Club Committees should decide upon those which they may wish to use and then assign to some of their interested members the task of preparing and presenting them as supplemental papers at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is used.

Mackey's Encyclopedia: Cable Tow; Declaration of the Candidate; Discalceation; Heart; Hoodwink; Qualifications; Seeing; Shoe. THE BUILDER: Cable Tow, The, vol. 1, p. 215, (Q. B.); p. 276, (Cor.); p. 278, (Cor.); vol. III, C. C. B. p. 5, this issue. "Divested of all Metallic Substances," vol. III, p. 384, this issue. Metallic Tokens, vol. II, p. 205. Preparing the Candidate, vol. II, p. 205.

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By R.W.Bro. S. Clifton Bingham, P. M.

It has been said, and I think well said, that "Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." Whilst I have heard many other definitions, and so probably have you, I think all will agree that it correctly conveys to all our minds in the fewest possible words the aim and object of our fraternity. Some doubtless look upon it as a convivial organization only, but I rejoice to be able to say that the number of those amongst us are steadily diminishing.

If we would understand the sublime teachings of Freemasonry it is absolutely necessary that we should study the meaning conveyed to us by the symbols brought forcibly before us at every meeting. By such means alone can we hope to attain perfection and qualify to become a stone in "that eternal mansion, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

A symbol has been defined as a visible sign by or with which a spiritual feeling, emotion, or idea, is conveyed. Is not the level to us always a symbol of equality? the plumb, of uprightness? the square, of rectitude ?

If we carry ourselves back to the earlier years, when our system was probably of a much simpler character than it is today, and when comparatively few people had any degree of education, the only method of conveying ideas to the large mass of people would be by the use of symbols. The crown is to us a symbol of royalty; the sceptre, of power. Indeed, what is our alphabet but a system of symbols, the letters of which, combined in different ways, convey to us different meanings. The symbol to which I intend particularly to refer this evening is apparently in universal use amongst Freemasons, viz., the cable tow. In the earliest rituals extant, and the pretended exposures which were so numerous in the first part of the eighteenth century, this symbol was invariably used in preparation of candidates for our Order.

What is a cable tow? The word "tow" signifies, properly, a line wherewith to draw. One dictionary I consulted defines it as "that which tuggeth, or with which we tug to draw." A cable tow, therefore, is a rope or line for drawing or leading. In one of the earliest so-called exposures it is called "cable rope." In its first inception the cable tow seems to have been used only as a physical means of controlling the candidate, and such interpretation is given in the E. A. degree. One writer says it is emblematical of the dangers which surround us in this life, especially if we should rashly stray from the paths of duty. It will also remind the initiated to submit, while he is in ignorance, to being guided by those whom he knows to be enlightened.

In the United States this symbol is used in each of the three Craft degrees. In the E. A. exactly as we do; in the F. C. it is coiled twice around his waist; and in the M. M. three times. This seems a symbolic use of the symbol. I might here mention that my ignorance of this use of the cable tow evidently caused me some doubt in the mind of the worthy brother testing me at the door of a Lodge in the States. The monitors says that the variation in the second and third degrees are to symbolise the covenant with which all Freemasons are tied, thus reminding us of the passage in the writings of the prophet Hosea, "I drew them with cords of a man, with bonds of love." Some of the brethren will recollect the use of this symbol in other degrees.

Whence came the cable tow? That is a question somewhat difficult to answer. Fellows, author of an interesting work on the mysteries, says: – "The necks of the Druidical priests were decorated with gold chains in the performance of their religious rites." In these is to be seen the arch type of the cable tow or tow rope, worn about the neck of the aspirant to Masonic secrets, which is the subject of much ridicule amongst the uninitiated. Indeed, the fraternity themselves do not seem to be aware of its true import. They are not conscious that this humble badge is a testimony of their belief in God, their dependence on Him, and their solemn obligations to devote themselves to His will and service.

How long is it? How many of us have troubled to find out, and yet if we carry our minds back to the solemn obligation we took as M. Ms. we cannot overlook the point contained therein, "if within the reach of my cable tow." Gadicke, a German writer on Freemasonry, defines the length as three miles for an Entered Apprentice. I am not in a position to argue this point, nor I expect are you. In ancient times every adult had to present himself yearly before the sheriff or chief authority of the county to renew his oath of fealty to his liege lord and the King, nor were any excused from this service except they were a considerable distance away; some writers say over fifty miles, a very considerable journey in those days.

The subject of the length of a cable tow was one of the questions for discussion at a National Masonic Convention held in the City of Baltimore, U. S. A., in the year 1842. Mackey says that after considerable discussion on the matter of definition of "within the scope of man's reasonable ability" was arrived at.

History tells us that the burghers of Calais, when that city was besieged by the English under Edward, the Black Prince, came out in procession with ropes round their necks in token of their submission.

According to Grimm, quoted by Gould in his History of Freemasonry, a cord about the neck was used symbolically in criminal courts to denote that the accused submitted his life to the judgment of the court. When used upon the person of a freeman it signified a slight degree of subjection or servitude. You will remember also that when Benhadad's servants after his defeat by Ahab approached the latter King, asking for mercy, "they girded sackcloths on their loins and put ropes on their heads." This with the remaining portion of the verses, has been used by many Freemasons to prove the existence of our Fraternity in those days. If we accept the reasoning, we could hardly mistake the meaning of the ropes.

Its use amongst our operative brethren is referred to by Bro. W. J. Shaw as follows: – "As a poetic symbol it has a special reference to the idea of rescue and assistance, and as a form of expression it has that significance in our Masonic rites. Upon the cable depended the safety of the ship riding at anchor, the salvation of the man overboard and in peril. On land it was also a means of aid and rescue upon mountain and plain, and especially so in the use that operative masons made of it in the construction of those magnificent buildings with which they adorned Europe. Doubtless from every great structure, in their work of decoration, men dangled by ropes from dizzy heights, and were rescued from perilous situations by means of the cable tow of some fellow workman.

Our obligation, therefore, simply is that, as the length of the Freemason's cable tow, or long rope, is the measure of his means and ability to aid and rescue, it is his aid and rescue his fellow if within the reach of his means and ability.

We are told that the timber of the building of King Solomon's Temple was felled in the forest of Lebanon and sent down in floats by sea to Joppa. Necessarily these floats or rafts of timber must have been towed and connected to the boats used for that purpose by strong ropes or cables. The use to which such a cable would be put would cause it to be known as a cable tow. Hence, possibly, the expression "the length of my cable tow."

When the floats reached Joppa they would be released from the boats and secured to the shore (which we are told was very precipitous) by the same cables with which they had been towed. The expression so familiar to us, "a cable tow's length from the shore," will be brought to our thoughts at once.

In this connection the cable tow may be considered an apt symbol of obedience – that is of obedience to the requirements of the ceremonies of our Institution and the principles of morality and virtue inculcated thereby. Obedience to the dictates of our Masonic duty, which must be performed even under the most adverse circumstances, and if need be without fee or reward, except that gratifying test of a good conscience.

As the float by aid of the cable tow follows unduratingly the course intended by those who row the boat, so should the seeker for light attend to the truths revealed to him and faithfully follow the instructions and heed the solemn admonition of those who are guiding him into the Temple of Light and Truth.

Let us remember that while candidates are asked to yield a mere blind obedience for the time, no unreasonable demands or unintelligible requirements are made.

Does not the cable tow, by which metaphorically we lead our candidates into the Temple, remind us that we too have duties to fulfil ? Let it be to us a symbol of that love and affection with which the Masonic Brotherhood seeks to draw the initiates from the darkness of ignorance to the glorious light and liberty of our Fraternity. In humble imitation of the Divine plan, let us endeavour to draw our brethren by the tenderest chords of affection, and bind them to us forever more by the sweetest bonds of love.

You have heard the phrase used occasionally in one of our ceremonies – "a two-fold cord is strong, but a three-fold cord is not easily broken." I do not know if a cable tow is composed of three principal strands or not, but if so the reference in both instances surely is the three great principles of our Institution – Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. – Transactions of the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge, No. 130, New Zealand.

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In the article "Evolution of the Operative into the Speculative Craft," by Brother Wm. F. Kuhn, an error was made by the compositor using a duplicate typeslug in place of one left out entirely in the seventeenth line from the top of the inside column on page 341 of the November BUILDER. It should read: "Dr. Desaguliers, above all others, is the great figure who changed the operative into the speculative craft. By birth, education, training, and in his associations with the scientific and philosophical schools, he was preeminently qualified for this work."

A Canadian Grand Master and an American Past Grand Master are now at work compiling a series of articles for us on French Masonry which will present the subject from two different angles – the American and the Canadian. This series should be of vital interest especially to our Canadian and American members who are now in the service of King George and Uncle Sam and those who may be called later. We expect to be able to publish the first of these articles at an early date – possibly in the January BUILDER.

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Continued in Part 2

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