Article on the Illuminati, from Robert Macoy's Dictionary of Freemasonry c. 19th. c.

ILLUMINATI, or THE ENLIGHTENED. During the second halF of the eighteenth century, among the numerous secret societies which were more or less connected with Freemasonry there was not one that attracted so much attention, received the support of so many distinguished men, and created so rich a literature, as this It was founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, professor of law, at Ingolstadt, a man of great originality and depth of thought, and remarkable for the earnestness of his character. The objects which he sought to effect by this association were the highest and noblest ever entertained by the human mind. He desired to assert the individuality of man as a fundamental principle--and hence was an apostle of civil and religious liberty--to discover the means of advancing human nature to a state of higher perfection-- to bind in one brotherhood men of all countries, ranks, and religions, and to surround the persons of princes with trustworthy counselors. Apostles, styled Areopagites, were sent into various parts of Europe to make converts, and in a short time the Order was flourishing in Germany, Holland, and Milan. Protestants, rather than Catholics, were preferred as members. The degrees were eight in number: 1. Novice; 2. Minerval; 3. Illuminatus Minor; 4. Illuminatus Major; 5. Knight; 6. Priest; 7. Regent; 8. King. Attracted by the liberality of its doctrines, and the grandeur of its objects, large numbers of illustrious Masons, and among them the celebrated author Knigge, became active members of it. In 1784 the society was dissolved by order of the Bavarian government. No association of men was ever more calumniated and misrepresented than the Order of Illuminati. It is common to dismiss them with the remark that they were "a body of men united together for the purpose of destroying society and religion," whereas, they were men of the profoundest religious convictions, and only desired such a reform in politics as would give man a greater degree of freedom, and afford him larger opportunities and facilities for the development of his faculties. It is humiliating to see that some Masonic writers have repeated the infamous calumnies of those high-priests of the lying fraternity, Robison and Baruel, in regard to them. If they were infidels and anarchists, then the whole American people are; for they were only inspired with, and sought to propagate, the ideas which we hold in the highest reverence, and have embodied in our institutions. This name has been borne by other orders, as the religious society of the Alombrados, in Spain, founded in the sixteenth century; the Order of Guerinets, in France, in the seventeenth; and many others before and since.
"MY BROTHER" said the fatherly old man with the twelve- for-a-quarter-white-string-tie, as he came over to Reddy, "I want you to do me a favor. You are better acquainted with our Master than I, and I want you to suggest that he take the lodge to divine service some Sabbath soon. It has been years since we attended in a body." "So it has, so it has," said Reddy "Where would you suggest we go? Now there is Brother Sweeny, who is a Spiritualist, and I don't believe any lodge has been to his church. We can hear lots of "knoching" from live Masons, but I think it would be a change to hear the dead ones rapping, or how about Bro. Levy? We have never been to the Synagogue that I remember of. Then, when you come to think of it, perhaps we had better go with Bro. Pierson to the Christian Science church; we might get "Humpy" Jones' back straightened out, or get 'em to grow a new leg for "Peg Leg" Wilson."
"It seems to me too serious a matter to be facetious about," was the reply, as the Brother with the twelve-for- a-quarter- white-string-tie placed the tips of his fingers in prayerful attitude. "Of course I spoke of the true Christian church. I am an Episcopalian."
"In that case I refuse to carry up the request, for I never could learn when to get up and when to sit down in your church. Why don't you get your parson to use a gavel? I have learned to obey the gavel."
I will have no further conversation with any man who scoffs at the true church." He turned on his heel and started away. Reddy called him back. "I believe I gave you a respectful hearing, didn't I? You say I am facetious. I will get as serious as a sore thumb. I honestly think I would be a chump to make the request of the Master, he a bigger one to grant it, and the Grand Master a still bigger one to grant the dispensation necessary to take this lodge to church service. You speak of the true church. Let me tell you, my brother, that the true church, from a Masonic point of view, does not exist. You were promised when you came into this order that you could worship God in your own way. Sweeny the Spiritualist, Levy the Jew, Pierson the Christian Scientist, or any man of any church has as much right to call his church the true one. The Holy Bible lies on our altar as a symbol, the same as the square and compass that lie on top of it. It symbolizes a belief in God. It contains the creed of the larger portion of Masons in this country, yet there is nothing in our rules that bars a Mohammedan. Masonry is not a religious order, and no member of it can make it such. If we are to accomplish anything in the line of our intention, which is to bring about a brotherhood of man, we must drop this church business. I know of nothing that men will fight over quicker than over church matters. It has been only a few years since we had "holy" wars and sticking swords in each other's bread baskets with prayer, and burning each other at the stake in the name of God. Masonry is too big and too broad for that rot. Our mission is to teach toleration; to teach men to forget these differences. The moment a Grand Master grants a dispensation for a lodge to attend a church service in a body, he has given official recognition to that church and has given the membership an opening to make fools of themselves by making a public display of their piety and to let their light shine out as Christians, when nine out of ten of the lot who attend have not been to church since they were married.
The only purpose Masons can have in mind when they attend church in a body is to try and make an impression on the profane, and show them how durned good they are, and convince them that they are not atheists and scoffers, but good pious men who take a drink only now and then.
Further, my good friend, from your conversation you do not recognize the religion of some of your brethren I have mentioned. You would not be pleased to go to some of the churches I have spoken of. How then do you expect those brethren to go to your church. Have they no prejudices? I tell you that if a black-hided cannibal in the forests of unexplored Africa worships an idol that looks like a Billiken and does it faithfully, and lives up to that religion as best he can, he deserves as much credit as you do and a Iittle more, for he is not trying to consign you and your denomination to eternal damnation for not believing as he does. He thinks it is right to put a bull ring in his nose and dance the hula-hula all night; you think it is the proper caper to say your creed and listen to a boy choir. Each is worshiping his own God after his own fashion. Let it alone I tell you! Let it alone!
The Grand Master who is not hide bound will never grant a dispensation to allow a lodge to go to church services. There is precedent enough for his refusal; at least five Grand Masters in a few years have refused these dispensations, and the boasted "universality of Masonry" is increased with each refusal. A Masonic body may have within it Jew, Christian Pharisee and Mohammedan, and they will, like the lamb and the lion, "lie down together," but you start three of these denominations to the house of worship of the fourth, and you will have broken vows and hearts and heads! Masonry is a common ground where the warring tribes all meet in peace. Keep religion out of the Masonic bodies if you don't want the followers in the footsteps of the meek and lowly Nazarene punching each other in the nose!"
"Oh, Nonsense! This is merely your opinion!"
"My opinion? Grand Master Bell of Illinois in refusing such a dispensation said: "For a Masonic lodge to attend religious service at a church, wearing the clothing and bearing the jewels and paraphernalia of a lodge, is largely a matter of mere parade. The church is not in any sense a Masonic ceremony or service, and it is in no wise necessary that the lodge participate therein. The lodge does nothing. Its members merely sit and listen. It may determine to attend services at some denominational church, and this inevitably leads to a discussion as to what church.' Other Grand Masters have expressed the same ideas in different words. There are true earnest worshipers of God in this lodge, whose ideas would seem to you like sacrilege, and the very fact of starting out as a body to religious service would open up discussions that would make toward hard feelings between the members rather than toward that beatific state of absolute love for each other that we Masons have - not."
"But if, as you say, masonry is not a religious order, why do we have a chaplain and open the lodge with prayer? Why not eliminate the Bible from our altars also?"
"My dear fellow, I have known men to open a jack pot with prayer! In some of the biggest wholesale murders - called battles - the world has ever known, the killing was begun with a supplication to the great white throne that the side praying be allowed to murder more of the other fellows than the other fellows could of them! The Shriners have gone us two better and put some other books on their's and inculcate specifically that "all religions deserve respect as good and worthy e'en though believing none," and whether a man believes in your particular route to heaven or not he may be a believer in God, after all; which is all the fraternity requires and all that should ever be allowed to enter into it. I can easily see why a lodge which was all Baptist, or all Jews should attend services as an immersion or at Yom Kippur, but where the membership is of different faiths you have no more right to ask the members to attend services at a denominational church than you have to ask them to go into a Democratic torch light parade or yell hurrah for a Spanish flag! Don't let that "religion, politics or the allegiance to your country" agreement get out of your mind for a moment. But I am thinking about something else tonight and haven't real time to talk to you about this matter, but if you would like my opinion at length come around to my house some night and I will talk to you about it. Just now I want to listen to the Master lecture the candidates on the Subject of Charity. Say where do you get them funny neck-ties you wear?"
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood Chapter #18 RAM

ONE of the oldest Masonic laws provides that every candidate shall stand the test of secret ballot, which must be unanimously favorable to elect. It is doubtful if any considerable number of Masons would consent to the modification of this provision, although aware that it has been the means of keeping men out who would have made good members.
Probably no unfavorable ballot was ever announced without causing some one to feel that injustice had been done, but so long as the law stands no Masons should complain at its consequences.
At times it might appear as though the secrecy of the ballot was being employed for the purpose of disturbing the peace and harmony of a lodge, but this should not be claimed unless the evidence be conclusive.
The secret ballot has always been considered the greatest bulwark of Masonry, and numerous safeguards have been thrown about the ballot for the protection of the brother desiring to cast a negative vote. Any attempt to obtain from officers or members information relative to the identity of the members casting a negative ballot should be met with a statement of the law and a friendly admonition to obey it. - Masonic Chronicler.
This is quoted as typical of every utterance ever made in the United States upon this subject. The Chronicler is no more ill-informed upon this subject than the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, which many years ago decreed that the secret ballot was one of the landmarks; or than the Grand Lodge of Indiana, from whose transactions of 1907 we quote: "If there is a well-defined landmark of Masonry it is the unanimity of the ballot; take that away and the great Masonic standard stands on ropes of sand." Commenting upon which the Correspondence Committee of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand remarked:
"This sounds lofty, but the every-day logic of experience has taught as that it is unwise to trust such tremendous power to one man, and our phenomenal success under the alternative system goes to prove that ropes of sand are not such a frail foundation after all."
None of these are any more ignorant than the Correspondence Committee of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, which in 1908 actually went so far as to express regret at the impossibility of legislating relative to the "one blackball evil" on account of its being a landmark that one blackball must exclude.
Nobody has any pre-eminence of misinformation on this subject. All American writers, authorities and experts have agreed, friends of the regulation and foes alike, that the secrecy and the unanimity of the ballot are two landmarks of Masonry and neither can be touched.
The fact is that both are American innovations.
The secret unanimous ballot may be a good thing or a bad thing. The question has never had any genuine consideration among us by reason of the prevalence of the misinformation referred to. The friends of the regulation have always based themselves upon the assumed antiquity of the rule and the brethren on the other side have always accepted the validity of that argument and its unanswerable quality.
One is irresistibly reminded of the two sailors one of whom bet the other a crown that the latter could not repeat the Lord's prayer. The money was put up and Jack started off confidently, "Now, I lay me down to sleep." "Hold on," said the other, "take the money you _________ educated ________ I didn't believe that you knew it."
It is not the purpose of this article to argue against the rule of a secret unanimous ballot. It is written in the hope of clearing away once for all the mists of ignorance which surround this question. After that has been done and we see the question clearly, perhaps we can hope for some rational arguments for and against.
It is also written, it may as well be frankly confessed, with the idea of still further discrediting the soi-disant Masonic authorities of the United States. What American Lodges and Grand Lodge Officers need more than anything else is a little modesty. They are too fond of displaying their ignorance in the way of setting up their own favorite innovations as "landmarks." They are too prone to measure all Masonry with their own little foot rule.
Masonry should be the broadest of institutions, the most tolerant, the most charitable. It is the reproach of American Masonry that, under the influence of the principle that a Grand Master or a Past Grand Master must be a Masonic expert, American Masonry has become the narrowest, most intolerant and most bigoted of American institutions.
It is our experience that a Masonic student will pass through three phases of opinion upon this question of the infallibility of Grand Masters and Grand Lodges. At first he will believe that they are all experts. As he learns a little he will find that they are not. His second opinion will be that they all ought to be experts. But the more a man learns the more charitable he becomes; and by the time a man has become a Masonic scholar himself he settles into his final opinion which will be this: That it is not necessary that a Grand Master or a Past Grand Master be a Masonic expert at all provided he has a little modesty and is willing to admit that he does not know it all and is willing to be taught.
Now after all this preface the demonstration of our thesis need take but little space. Nearly all of it is contained in a little article by W. J. Hughan, who is a Masonic scholar and is universally admitted to be:
>From the earliest, the regulations of the Premier Grand Lodge of England provided that candidates for initiation or for membership must be subject to the wishes of the members, and, wisely so; besides, the voting should be by ballot, because only by such means can the voting as respects the voters be kept private. When the voting is not unanimous, no one should reveal his vote. This should not be optional for if permitted, or allowed, the revealing how different members voted would lead to the discovery of those who "blackballed" and consequently the secrecy of the ballot would be abrogated.
"The 'Book of Constitutions' of A. D. 1723 thus provided for voting:
"VI. 'But no man can be entered a brother in any particular lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of that lodge then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the master, and they are to signify their consent or dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity.
"In the second edition of A. D. 1738 it is stated under date Feb. 19, 1724 (N. S.), that 'it was found inconvenient to insist upon unanimity in several cases, and therefore the Grand Masters have allowed the lodges to admit a member if not above three ballots are against him although some lodges desire no such allowance.' "
"The usage has continued to this date, three blackballs being prohibitive of necessity, but of course lodges can alter the adverse maximum to two, or make it unanious.
"The 'United Grand Lodge of England' A. D. 1901, has for its one hundred and ninetieth rule:
" No person can be made a Mason in or admitted a member of a lodge if, on the ballot, three blackballs appear against him, but the by-laws of a lodge may enact that one or two blackballs shall exclude a candidate."
"Rule 160, 'Constitution and laws of the Grand Lodge of Scotland' (1896) reads: Three blackballs shall exclude a candidate. Lodges in the colonies and in foreign parts may enact that two blackballs shall exclude.' "
"I have given the rules as to the ballot according to the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland, by which it will be seen that the custom and law of these Grand Lodges formed in 1717, 1725 (or Earlier) and 1736 respectively, provide that three blackballs must, but a lesser number may, exclude any candidate from initiation. Some lodges require unanimity, in fact many do: but to prevent the disagreeable duty of blackballing, some lodges I am connected with have an unwritten law that the members shall be privately consulted beforehand, and according as the private letters evince unanimity or otherwise, so the candidate is or is not proposed at the next lodge. Of course, if any member still wished, notwithstanding the probability of adverse votes, to propose such a candidate, he could. but few would be so foolish as to court the results that would assuredly follow."
"Now from this it appears that so far from being a landmark a unanimous ballot was never required in England, the original home of modern Masonry, except for a period of a few months in 1723-4, and then it was not required to be secret. No one would object to the requirement of a unanimous ballot now if it might be conducted in "our own prudent way." A prudent way would be perhaps when only one black ball appeared to require the one objector to stand up in lodge and say that he cast it and if he failed to do so to ignore it."
It is easy to understand how the unanimous ballot came to be a fetich among American grand lodges. All of them found themselves upon the constitutions and regulations of 1723. All of them look into that book alone for all their knowledge as to what ancient Masonry was and of the ancient regulations and landmarks of Masonry. Few of them have ever had enough knowledge of Masonry to know that the regulation there printed relative to the unanimous ballot was confessedly an innovation and that it was found so unsatisfactory it, practice that immediately it began to be dispensed with and at the first opportunity it was repealed and has never been in force since."
It will be noticed that Bro. Hughan still believes in a ballot and a secret one. Even this, however, he does not claim to be a landmark. This was not a requirement of the constitutions of 1723. Each lodge, so long as the rule of that constitution remained unchanged, might take the vote in "their own prudent way." Members signify their assent "either virtually or in form," In other words no formality whatever was necessary and we know from other evidence that in those days the commonest way of voting was for the Master to ask whether there was any objection to the candidate and if none appeared to declare him elected.
No greater liberty would be demanded by any one now-a- days than that which has always been the rule in England. For there, during the short period when the vote was required to be unanimous, it was not required to be secret, and since it has been made secret it is no longer required to be unanimous. Those who have had the most experience and who are accordingly the most disgusted with the American innovation of a secret unanimous ballot would perhaps all agree upon this principle. If not secret it may well be required to be unanimous. If not unanimous it is proper to make it secret. But to require it to be at once secret and unanimous is an American un-masonic innovation.
The quotation from New Zealand in the early part of this paper suggests another important fact, Not only has the secret unanimous ballot never been the law of the Grand Lodges of Great Britain but to this day it is not the law of most parts of the British Empire, probably of none except those most contaminated by American influence. This is important as bearing upon the qualifications of those among us that set up to be experts and leaders and teachers. It has been seen that they were all agreed and all wrong upon a question where the truth stares them in the face, where the every day practice of the greater part would refute their theory.
No greater service could be done to the Masons of America than this of teaching them that grand lodges are not infallible, that election to office does not make of an ignoramus a Masonic expert, that when a man undertakes to lay down the law dogmatically, if he is an American and a Mason, it is ten to one that he doesn't know that he is talking about and that if you want to know anything about Masonry the only safe way is to look it up yourself or to know something about the qualifications of your authority.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood Chapter #18 RAM

It began to shape itself to my intellectual vision into something more imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the world; like the Sphynx half buried in the desert. In its symbolism, which and its spirit of brotherhood are its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. It has the symbols and doctrines which, older than himself, Zarathrustra inculcated; and it seemed to me a spectacle sublime, yet pitiful the ancient Faith of our ancestors holding out to the world its symbols once so eloquent, and mutely and in vain asking for an interpreter. And so I came at last to see that the true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its other symbols; and that its symbolism is its soul.
----ALBERT PIKE, Letter to Gould
The Builders, By Joseph Fort Newton
The Working Tools
NEVER were truer words than those of Goethe in the last lines of Faust, and they echo one of the oldest instincts of humanity: "All things transitory but as symbols are sent." From the beginning man has divined that the things open to his senses are more than mere facts, having other and hidden meanings. The whole world was close to him as an infinite parable, a mystical and pro- phetic scroll the lexicon of which he set himself to find. Both he and his world were so made as to convey a sense of doubleness, of high truth hinted in humble, nearby things. No smallest thing but had its skyey aspect which, by his winged and quick-sighted fancy, he sought to surprise and grasp. Let us acknowledge that man was born a poet, his mind a chamber of imagery, his world a gallery of art. Despite his utmost efforts, he can in nowise strip his thought of the flowers and fruits that cling to it, withered though they often are. As a fact, he has ever been a citizen of two worlds, using the scenery of the visible to make vivid the realities of the world Unseen. What wonder, then, that trees grew in his fancy, flowers bloomed in his faith, and the victory of spring over winter gave him hope of life after death, while the march of the sun and the great stars invited him to "thoughts that wander through eternity." Symbol was his native tongue, his first form of speech--as, indeed, it is his last --whereby he was able to say what else he could not have uttered. Such is the fact, and even the language in which we state it is "a dictionary of faded metaphors," the fossil poetry of ages ago.
That picturesque and variegated maze of the early symbolism of the race we cannot study in detail, tempting as it is. Indeed, so luxuriant was that old picture-language that we may easily miss our way and get lost in the labyrinth, unless we keep to the right path. [Note 1] First of all, throughout this study of prophecy let us keep ever in mind a very simple and obvious fact, albeit not less wonderful because obvious. Socrates made the discovery --perhaps the greatest ever made--that human nature is universal. By his searching questions he found out that when men think round a problem, and think deeply, they disclose a common nature and a common system of truth. So there dawned upon him, from this fact, the truth of the kinship of mankind and the unity of mind. His insight is confirmed many times over, whether we study the earliest gropings of the human mind or set the teachings of the sages side by side. Always we find, after comparison, that the final conclusions of the wisest minds as to the meaning of life and the world are harmonious, if not identical. Here is the clue to the striking resemblances between the faiths and philosophies of widely separated peoples, and it makes them intelligible while adding to their picturesqueness and philosophic interest. By the same token, we begin to understand why the same signs, symbols, and emblems were used by all peoples to express their earliest aspiration and thought. We need not infer that one people learned them from another, or that there existed a mystic, universal order which had them in keeping. They simply betray the unity of the human mind, and show how and why, at the same stage of culture, races far removed from each other came to the same conclusions and used much the same symbols to body forth their thought. Illustrations are innumerable, of which a few may be named as examples of this unity both of idea and of emblem, and also as confirming the insight of the great Greek that, however shallow minds may differ, in the end all seekers after truth follow a common path, comrades in one great quest. An example in point, as ancient as it is eloquent, is the idea of the trinity and its emblem, the triangle. What the human thought of God is depends on what power of the mind or aspect of life man uses as a lens through which to look into the mystery of things. Conceived of as the will of the world, God is one, and we have the monotheism of Moses. Seen through instinct and the kaleidoscope of the senses, God is multiple, and the result is polytheism and its gods without number. For the reason, God is a dualism made up of matter and mind, as in the faith of Zoroaster and many other cults. But when the social life of man becomes the prism of faith, God is a trinity of Father, Mother, Child. Almost as old as human thought, we find the idea of the trinity and its triangle emblem everywhere--Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma in India corresponding to Osiris, Isis, and Horus in Egypt. No doubt this idea underlay the old pyramid emblem, at each corner of which stood one of the gods. No missionary carried this profound truth over the earth. It grew out of a natural and universal human experience, and is explained by the fact of the unity of the human mind and its vision of God through the family. Other emblems take us back into an antiquity so remote that we seem to be walking in the shadow of prehistoric time. Of these, the mysterious Swastika is perhaps the oldest, as it is certainly the most widely distributed over the earth. As much a talisman as a symbol, it has been found on Chaldean bricks, among the ruins of the city of Troy, in Egypt, on vases of ancient Cyprus, on Hittite remains and the pottery of the Etruscans, in the cave temples of India, on Roman altars and Runic monuments in Britain, in Thibet, China, and Korea, in Mexico, Peru, and among the prehistoric burialgrounds of North America. There have been many intrepretations of it. Perhaps the meaning most usually assigned to it is that of the Sanskrit word having in its roots an intimation of the beneficence of life, to be and well. As such, it is a sign indicating "that the maze of life may bewilder, but a path of light runs through it: 'It is well' is the name of the path, and the key to life eternal is in the strange labyrinth for those whom God leadeth." [Note 2] Others hold it to have been an emblem of the Pole Star whose stability in the sky, and the procession of the Ursa Major around it, so impressed the ancient world. Men saw the sun journeying across the heavens every day in a slightly different track, then standing still, as it were, at the solstice, and then returning on its way back. They saw the moon changing not only its orbit, but its size and shape and time of appearing. Only the Pole Star remained fixed and stable, and it became, not unnaturally, a light of assurance and the footstool of the Most High [Note 3] Whatever its meaning, the Swastika shows us the efforts of the early man to read the riddle, of things, and his intuition of a love at the heart of life. Akin to the Swastika, if not an evolution from it, the Cross, made forever holy by the highest heroism of Love. When man climbed up out of the primeval night, with his face to heaven upturned, he had a cross in his hand. Where he got it, why he held it, and what he meant by it, no one can conjecture much less affirm. [Note 4] Itself a paradox, its arms pointing to the four quarters of the earth, it is found in almost every part of the world carved on coins, altars, and tombs, and furnishing a design for temple architecture in Mexico and Peru, in the pagodas of India, not less than in the churches of Christ. Ages before our era, even from the remote time of the cliff-dweller, the Cross seems to have been a symbol of life, though for what reason no one knows. More often it was an emblem of eternal life, especially when inclosed within a Circle which ends not, nor begins--the type of Eternity. Hence the Ank Cross of Crux Ansata of Egypt, scepter of the Lord of the Dead that never die. There is less mystery about the Circle, which was an image of the disk of the Sun and a natural symbol of completeness of eternity. With a point within the center it became, as naturally, the emblem of the Eye of the World--that All-seeing eye of the eternal Watcher of the human scene. Square, triangle, cross, circle--oldest symbols of humanity, all of them eloquent, each of them pointing beyond itself, as symbols always do, while giving form to the invisible truth which they invoke and seek to embody. They are beautiful if we have eyes to see, serving not merely as chance figures of fancy, but as forms of reality as is revealed itself to the mind of man. Sometimes we find them united, the Square within the Circle, and within that the Triangle, and at the center the Cross. Earliest of emblems, they show us hints and foregleams of the highest faith and philosophy, betraying not only the unity of the human mind but its kinship with the Eternal--the fact which lies at the root of every religion, and is the basis of each. Upon this Faith man builded, finding a rock beneath, refusing to think of Death as the gigantic coffin-lid of a dull and mindless universe descending upon him at last.
From this brief outlook upon a wide field, we may pass to a more specific and detailed study of the early prophecies of Masonry in the art of the builder. Always the symbolic must follow the actual, if it is to have refer- enee and meaning, and the real is ever the basis of the ideal. By nature an Idealist, and living in a world of radiant mystery, it was inevitable that man should at- tach moral and spiritual meanings to the tools, laws, and materials of building. Even so, in almost every land and in the remotest ages we find great and beautiful truth hovering about the builder and clinging to his tools. [Note 5] Whether there were organized orders of builders in the early times no one can tell, though there may have been. No matter; man mixed thought and worship with his work, and as he cut his altar stones and fitted them together he thought out a faith by which to live. Not unnaturally, in times when the earth was thought to be a Square the Cube had emblematical meanings it could hardly have for us. From earliest ages it was a venerated symbol, and the oblong cube signified immensity of space from the base of earth to the zenith of the heavens. It was a sacred emblem of the Lydian Kubele, known to the Romans in after ages as Ceres or Cybele--hence, as some aver, the derivation of the word "cube." At first rough stones were most sacred, and an altar of hewn stones was forbidden. [Note 6] With the advent of the cut cube, the temple became known as the House of the Hammer--its altar, always in the center, being in the form of a cube and regarded as "an index or emblem of Truth, ever true to itself." [Note 7] Indeed, the cube, as Plutarch points out in his essay On the Cessation of Oracles, "is palpably the proper emblem of rest, on account of the security and firmness of the superficies." He further tells us that the pyramid is an image of the triangular flame ascending from a square altar; and since no one knows, his guess is as good as any. At any rate, Mercury, Apollo, Neptune, and Hercules were worshiped under the form of a square stone, while a large black stone was the emblem of Buddha among the Hindoos, of Manah Theus-Ceres in Arabia, and of Odin in Scandinavia. Everyone knows of the Stone of Memnon in Egypt, which was said to speak at sunrise--as, in truth, all stones spoke to man in the sunrise of time. [Note 8] More eloquent, if possible, was the Pillar uplifted, like the pillars of the gods upholding the heavens. Whatever may have been the origin of pillars, and there is more than one theory, Evans has shown that they were everywhere worshiped as gods. [Note 9] Indeed, the gods themselves were pillars of Light and Power, as in Egypt Horus and Sut were the twin-builders and supporters of heaven; and Bacchus among the Thebans. At the entrance of the temple of Amenta, at the door of the house of Ptah--as, later, in the porch of the temple of Solomon --stood two pillars. Still further back, in the old solar myths, at the gateway of eternity stood two pillars-- Strength and Wisdom. In India, and among the Mayas and Incas, there were three pillars at the portals of the earthly and skyey temple--Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. When man set up a pillar, he became a fellow-worker with Him whom the old sages of China used to call "the first Builder." Also, pillars were set up to mark the holy places of vision and Divine deliverance, as when Jacob erected a pillar at Bethel, Joshua at Gilgal, and Samuel at Mizpeh and Shen. Always they were symbols of stability, of what the Egyptians described as "the place of establishing forever,"--emblems of the faith "that the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He hath set the world upon them." [Note 10] Long before our era we find the working tools of the Mason used as emblems of the very truths which they teach today. In the oldest classic of China, The Book of History, dating back to the twentieth century before Christ, we read the instruction: "Ye officers of the Government, apply the compasses." Even if we begin where The Book of History ends, we find many such allusions more than seven hundred years before the Christian era. For example, in the famous canonical work, called The Great Learning, which has been referred to the fifth century B.C., we read, that a man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do to him; "and this," the writer adds, "is called the principle of acting on the square." So also Confucius and his great follower, Mencius. In the writings of Mencius it is taught that men should apply the square and compasses morally to their lives, and the level and the marking line besides, if they would walk in the straight and even paths of wisdom, and keep themselves within the bounds of honor and virtue. [Note 11] In the sixth book of his philosophy we find these words:
A Master Mason, in teaching apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the compass and square. [Note 12]
There are even evidences, in the earliest historic records of China, of the existence of a system of faith expressed in allegoric form, and illustrated by the symbols of building. The secrets of this faith seem to have been orally transmitted, the leaders alone pretending to have full knowledge of them. Oddly enough, it seems to have gathered about a symbolical temple put up in the desert, that the various officers of the faith were distinguished by symbolic jewels, and that at its rites they wore leather aprons. [Note 13] From such records as we have it is not possible to say whether the builders themselves used their tools as emblems, or whether it was the thinkers who first used them to teach moral truths. In any case, they were understood; and the point here is that, thus early, the tools of the builder were teachers of wise and good and beautiful truth. Indeed, we need not go outside the Bible to flnd both the materials and working tools of the Mason so employed: [Note 14]
For every house is builded by some man; but the builder of all things is God . . . whose house we axe. [Note 15] Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a tried stone, precious corner-stone, a sure foundation. [Note 16] The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner. [Note 17] Ye also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house. [Note 18] When he established the heavens I was there, when he set the compass upon the face of the deep, when he marked out the foundations of the earth: then was I by him as a master workman. [Note 19] The Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbllne, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more. [Note 20] Ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city. [Note 21] And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth. [Note 22] Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God; and I will write upon him my new name. [Note 23] For we know that when our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [Note 24] If further proof were needed, it has been preserved for us in the imperishable stones of Egypt. [Note 25] The famous obelisk, known as Cleopatra's Needle, now in Central Park, New York, the gift to our nation from Ismail, Khedive of Egypt in 1878, is a mute but eloquent witness of the antiquity of the simple symbols of the Mason. Originally it stood as one of the forest of obelisks surrounding the great temple of the Sun-god at Heliopolis, so long a seat of Egyptian learning and religion, dating back, it is thought, to the fifteenth century before Christ. It was removed to Alexandria and re-erected by a Roman architect and engineer named Pontius, B.C. 22. When it was taken down in 1879 to be brought to America, all the emblems of the builders were found in the foundation. The rough Cube and the polished Cube in pure white limestone, the Square cut in syenite, an iron Trowel, a lead Plummet, the arc of a Circle, the serpent-symbols of Wisdom, a stone Trestle-board, a stone bearing the Master's Mark, and a hieroglyphic word meaning Temple--all so placed and preserved as to show, beyond doubt, that they had high symbolic meaning. Whether they were in the original foundation, or were placed there when the obelisk was removed, no one can tell. Nevertheless, they were there, concrete witnesses of the fact that the builders worked in the light of a mystical faith, of which they were emblems. Much has been written of buildings, their origin, age, and architecture, but of the builders hardly a word-so quickly is the worker forgotten, save as he lives in his work. Though we have no records other than these emblems it is an obvious inference that there were orders of builders even in those early ages, to whom these symbols were sacred; and this inference is the more plausible when we remember the importance of the builder both to religion and the state. What though the builders have fallen into dust, to which all things mortal decline, they still hold out their symbols for us to read, speaking their thoughts in a language easy to understand. Across the piled-up debris of ages they whisper the old familiar truths, and it will be a part of this study to trace those symbols through the centuries, showing that they have always had the same high meanings. They bear witness not only to the unity of the human mind, but to the existence of a common system of truth veiled in allegory and taught in symbols. As such, they are prophecies of Masonry as we know it, whose genius it is to take what is old, simple, and universal, and use it to bring men together and make them friends.
Shore calls to shore That the line is unbroken!
1 There are many books in this field, but two may be named: The Lost Language of Symbolism, by Bayley, and the Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, by Churchward, each in its own way remarkable. The first aspires to be for this field what Frazer's Golden Bough is for religious anthropology, and its dictum is: "Beauty is Truth; Truth Beauty." The thesis of the second is that Masonry is founded upon Egyptian eschatology, which may be true; but unfortunately the book is too polemical. Both books partake of the poetry, if not the confusion, of the subject; but not for a world of dust would one clip their wings of fancy and suggestion. Indeed, their union of scholarship and poetry is unique. When the pains of erudition fail to track a fact to its lair, they do not scruple to use the divining rod; and the result often passes out of the realm of pedestrian chronicle into the world of winged literature.
2 The Word in the Pattern, Mrs. G. F. Watts.
3 The Swastika, Thomas Carr. See essay by the same writer in which he shows that the Swastika is the symbol of the Supreme Architect of the Universe among Operative Masons today (The Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Transactions, 1911-12).
4 Signs and Symbols, Churchward, chap. xvii.
5 Here again the literature is voluminous, but not entirely satisfactory. A most interesting book is Signs and Svmbols of Primordal Man by Churchward, in that it surveys the symbolism of the race always with reference to its Masonic suggestion. Vivid and popular is Symbolss and Legends of Freemasonry, by Finlayson, but he often strains facts in order to stretch them over wide gaps of time. Dr. Mackey's Symbolism of Freemasonry, though written more than sixty years ago, remains a classic of the order. Unfortunately the lectures of Albert Pike on Symbolism are not accessible to the general reader, for they are rich mines of insight and scholarship, albeit betraying his partisanship of the Indo-Aryan race. Many minor books might be named, but we need a work brought up to date and written in the light of recent research. 
6 Exod. 20:25.
7 Antiquities of Cornwall, Borlase.
8 Lost Language of Symbolism, Bayley, chap. xviii; also in the Bible, Deut. 32:18, II Sam. 22:3, 32, Psa. 28:1, Matt. 16:18, I Cor. 10:4.
9 Tree and Pillar Cult, Sir Arthur Evans.
10 I Sam. 2:8, Psa. 75:8, Job 26:7, Rev. 3:12.
11 Freernasonry in China, Giles. Also Gould, His. Masonry, vol. i, chap. i.
12 Chinese Classics, by Legge, i, 219-45.
13 Essay by Chaloner Alabaster, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. ii, 121-24. It is not too much to say that the Transactions of this Lodge of Research are the richest storehouse of Masonic lore in the world.
14 Matt. 16:18, Eph. 2:20-22, I Cor. 2:9-17. Woman is the house and wall of man, without whose bounding and redeeming influence he would be dissipated and lost (Song of Solomon 8:10). So also by the mystics (The Perfect Way).
15 Heb. 3:4.
16 Isa. 28:16.
17 Psa. 118:22, Matt. 21:42.
18 1 Pet. 2:5.
19 Prov. 8:27-30, Revised Version.
20 Amos 7:7, 8.
21 Ezk. 48:20.
22 Rev. 21:16.
23 Rev. 3:12.
24 II Cor. 5:1.
25 Egyptian Obelisks, H. H. Gorringe. The obelisk in Central Park, the expenses for removing which were paid by W. H. Vanderbilt, was examined by the Grand Lodge of New York, and its emblems pronounced to be unmistakably Masonic. This book gives full account of all obelisks brought to Europe from Egypt, their measurements, inscriptions, and transportation.
Article on the letter "G" By Robert Macoy, from "A Dictionary of Freemasonry" c. 19th c. 
This letter is deservedly regarded as one of the most sacred of the Masonic emblems. Where it is used, however, as a symbol of Deity, it must be remembered that it is the Saxon representative of the Hebrew Yod and the Greek Tau-the initial letters of the name of the Eternal in those languages. This symbol proves that Freemasonry always prosecuted its labors with reference to the grand ideas of Infinity and Eternity By the letter G--which conveyed to the minds of the brethren, at the same time, the idea of God and that of Geometry--it bound heaven to earth, the divine to the human, and the infinite to the finite. Masons are taught to regard the Universe as the grandest of all symbols, revealing to men, in all ages, the ideas which are eternally revolving in the mind of the Divinity, and which it is their duty to reproduce in their own lives and in the world of art and industry. Thus God and Geometry, the material worlds and the spiritual spheres, were constantly united in the speculations of the ancient Masons. They, consequently, labored earnestly and unweariedly, not only to construct cities, and embellish them with magnificent edifices, but also to build up a temple of great and divine thoughts and of ever-growing virtues for the soul to dwell in. The symbolical letter G-- * * * "That hieroglyphic bright, Which none but craftsmen ever saw,"
and before which every true Mason reverently uncovers, and bows his head--is a perpetual condemnation of profanity, impiety and vice. No brother who has bowed before that emblem can be profane. He will never speak the name of the Grand Master of the Universe but with reverence, respect and love. He will learn, by studying the mystic meaning of the letter G, to model his life after the divine plan; and, thus instructed, he will strive to be like God in the activity and earnestness of his benevolence, and the broadness and efficiency of his charity. "The letter G occupies a prominent position in several of the degrees in the American system; is found in many of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite; in Adonhiramite Masonry; and, in fact, in every one of the many systems in which the people of the sixteenth and seventeenth centu- ries were so prolific in manufacturing. Wherever we find this recondite symbol in any of the Masonic rites, it has the same significance---a substitute for the Hebraic jod, the initial letter of the Divine name, and a monogram tt;at expressed the Uncreated Being, principle of all things; and, inclosed in a triangle, the unity of God. We recognize the same letter G in the Syriac Gad, the Swedish Gud, the German Gott, and the English God--all names of the Deity, and all derived from the Persian Goda, itself derived from the absolute pronoun signifying himself. The young Fellow- Craft is the representative of a student of the sciences, and to him the letter G* represents the science of Geometry."
*" In my own opinion, the letter G, which is used in the Fellow-Craft's degree, should never have been permitted to intrude into Masonry; it presents an instance of absurd anachronism, which would never have occurred ff the original Hebrew symbol had been retained. But being there now, without the possibility of removal, we have only to remember that it is in fact but the symbol of a symbol."--MACKEY.

TO the questioning of this title the rubric provideth an answer, and the average "bright Mason" quotes glibly, with never a thought how he has improved himself in Masonry.
The query is pertinent and important, brother mine, beyond any usage of the ritual. For unless there has been improvement - gain of some tangible sort - Masonry has been for you a thing useless; nay, worse than useless, for you have expended money, and perhaps time, more or less, upon something which has returned no shadow of benefit.
Where gain of any kind is promised, and is not received, the fault must lie with one or other party to the transaction. In the present case, supposing you can not count the gain, the alternative may be thus stated: Either you have been deceived; have been wrought upon by false pretenses or preconceived opinions into joining an organization that fails to fulfil the promises made for it: or else you have been so negligent, so indifferent, so lacking in opportunity' or so obtuse, that your initiation was a failure, your membership an absurdity, and the emblem you wear a palpable and continuing lie. Which?
As for the gain, what have you sought? If the improvement desired and expected from Masonry, was in material things, then you have indeed misunderstood the whole purpose and spirit of the institution. Unless. in such case you can begin over again, seeking the right preparation of heart and mind, you are not, and never can be a Mason; and this none the less though you be adorned with insignia like an eastern potentate on dress parade. If you have imagined that membership in a Masonic Lodge, or in the Concordant Orders, or even in the execrescent associations that have attached themselves to Masonry, would increase your business, improve your social status, or give you added facilities wherewith to overreach your fellows in the affairs of life, you have failed in improvement, utterly and miserably. And not only have you deserved such failure, but also the condemnation and contempt of all right-minded men and Masons.
Or have you counted only on the gain that comes from association with good men and true, in Lodge and out? Are you content thus to remain in the Court of the Gentiles, nor desire to pass with the real Initiates into the penetralia of the Temple? Yet, if you will no more, you have in some measure improved yourself in Masonry. It is something to listen at times to a recital of the elementary moralities, lest they be altogether forgotten, It is well, as occasion offers, to join at the banquet table with pleasant fellows and to trade stories with them over the post-prandial cigars. It is heartwarming and benefiting to have part in some quiet deed of loving charity; to assist some unfortunate brother, or to make the roughened pathway easier for the widow and orphans of one who has forever dropped the working tools of life. It may even be that you have gained in the virtues of patience and forbearance by sitting through the tedious windiness of orators, who presume to discourse upon the beauties and significances of an institution of which they are profoundly ignorant.
But if, my brother, you have honestly sought for real light in Masonry, and still remain in darkness; if you have essayed to understand the mysteries, and have found no clue to guide you through the labyrinth; if the working tools once placed in your hands as things of use, has since been to you no more than ornaments or idle toys. then must blame attach to those who pose so pompously as Masters of Craft, and are utterly unfit to "set the brethren at work and give them proper instruction." To the discredit and detriment of Freemasonry it is too often the case that self-assertive ignorance gains preferment, and volubility is esteemed of higher worth than Masonic skill and knowledge. Is it to be wondered at, while Masters and Wardens are rotated into office, or are pushed into place by cliques, without thought of fitness, that the Apprentices and Fellows remain ignorant, become indifferent, and are finally lost for any usefulness to the Fraternity. It is surely time that more be required of Lodge officers than ability to mouth their portions of the ritual; a phonogragh would do that as well, or better. Shame upon him who takes the place and title of Master, and is unable to instruct his brethren in the things that are truly Masonic! If because of the laxity or indifference or ignorance of those who are placed as overseers of the work you have not improved yourself in Masonry, then have you been wounded in the house of your friends, and are to be sympathized with rather than blamed.
Again, you may have made progress, and can show gain in Masonic knowledge to your own benefit and that of the brethren. You have entered the Temple, and have joined with those who look upon the solemnities and mystic rites with understanding eyes. These things are known only to the real Initiate, yet they are no more than the Lesser Mysteries. But, my brother, have you as yet approached the Holy of Holies, and dared to lift the veil of symbolism with which the adytum is shrouded, and looked for yourself upon the secret things which Masonry conceals from all but the elect? Here, again, must one come in humility and receptive mind, acknowledging blindness, yet seeking the light. And here, as before to the neophyte who is duly and truly prepared, there are revealed significances that can not be made matter of speech; mysteries the meaning of which can not be conveyed to outward sense, be the hierophant never so wise, nor the aspirant however receptive and sincere.
You have, my brother, improved in Masonry, if you have lived up to the full measure of opportunity; if you have sought and gained knowledge for its own sake; if you have fulfilled the manifold duties of the Craft with increasing kindliness of heart, and growing love for the brethren - then can you answer to the question, "What came you here to do," with a truth and meaning undreamed of by the glib reciters of catechetical replies.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 H Norwood Chapter #18 RAM

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
Operative Freemasonry
THE WORD "MASON" was the name of a workman in the building Craft in the Middle Ages. In England that Craft was divided into five or six branches, called by different names, such as tilers, quarrymen, wailers, setters, etc., and each one of these was separately organized with its own officers, rules and regulations; in the large centers of population they were organized as Masons' Companies, each with a building of its own, and working under the borough (municipal) ordinances which governed Companies of all the trades, arts, and professions. These branches and companies were a part of the general gild system in which the whole of Medieval work and trade was organized, and which was governed as a whole by a large body of gild laws; these laws belonged to the Law of the Realm; and since there was also in operation a body of laws enforced by the church, of authority equal to that of the state, and called The Ordinances of Religion, each gild was under a triple government: its own rules and regulations; civil laws; church laws. If some custom, rule, or symbol was preserved by a Craft, and if it continues to be in use, it does not follow that it had its origin in some practice in the work of the gild, but may have been a church practice, or a practice required by the civil law.
Among the five or six branches of the general Craft of builders was one which confined itself to architecture properly so called, which is listed among the fine arts, and the practice of which is a profession. This branch belonged to the gild system in the sense that it came under general gild laws, but in a narrower sense was not a gild but was a fraternity; because after a member of it had finished his work in one place he moved on to another, some times from one country to another. The Craftsmen in this Fraternity were called Freemasons. It was from this particular branch, and not from the building craft in general, that our own Fraternity of Free & Accepted Masons descended. As a convenience, and to distinguish the first half of Masonic history from its later half, we call the workmen in the first period Operative Freemasons, and in the later period Speculative (or Accepted, or nonOperative) Freemasons, but this distinction must not be pushed very far, because as we have learned from the past half century of historical research there is not as much difference between Speculative and Operative as we once believed; in Freemasonry as a fraternity there has been an unbroken continuity from the end of the Dark Ages (about the Tenth Century) to the present time.
In order to make our history yet more intelligible we must carry the distinction between the Freemasons branch of the early building craft and other branches to a farther point. In the Fourteenth Century a number of Freemasons (though not all of them) began to organize permanent Lodges. After that date any given Freemason might or might not belong to one of those Lodges. A further step came when among the two or three hundred Lodges in Britain a few of them in London set up a Grand Lodge in 1717 A.D.; each and every regular Lodge or Grand Lodge now in the world traces its history to that Grand Lodge. The line of our history can therefore be plainly drawn: from the general Craft of Masonry (or building) at the end of the Dark Ages, through the branch of it called Freemasonry, through the permanent Lodges first set up among Freemasons in the Fourteenth Century, through the Grand Lodge set up in 1717 A.D., by a few of those permanent Lodges. We came from Medieval Operative Masonry, but we came from it along that particular path; in each year since the beginning, large areas of the building craft have remained outside the area which that path has traversed.
Architects were called Freemasons rather than Masons partly because they were in a fraternity and free to move about, partly because they worked in free-stone, and partly for a number of other and lesser reasons - the word in itself can tell us little about our history. These Freemasons designed and constructed the cathedrals, churches, chapels, monasteries, nunneries, palaces, guildhalls, borough halls, college buildings, forts, and other structures of a monumental type, for public purposes, which then as now, and everywhere, are architecture properly so called, and which stand far apart, almost in another world, from the simple structures of residences, stores, factories, barns, etc., which any man with normal skill and a few years of experience can learn to design and construct. The Freemasons were in a class apart from other Masons because their buildings were in a class apart from other buildings.
But it was not this superiority of the art of architecture to other building construction which alone gave Freemasons their great preeminence in the Middle Ages. In the long period between the end of the Dark Ages and the Reformation, in which there was a general illiteracy, and the sciences were forbidden, architecture was the only art to reach greatness, and next to the church itself it accomplished more to shape the world of the Middle Ages than any other agency - even now the Middle Ages are often represented or typified by a picture of a cathedral. Freemasons were then what specialists in the pure sciences are now, picked men, of extraordinary native ability and talents; they were given a long and severe training and education in a system of apprenticeship, and they each one had to be equally adept in engineering, geometry, building design, ornamentation, carving, sculpture - they had to be past masters in the use of stone, that grandest and most difficult of all the materials with which men have ever had to work. And since the structures which they designed and constructed were not only for public use but also in their design and ornamentation had to express the spirit and ideas of religion, government, education, and society the Freemasons built at the center of those realms of culture because their work carried them there; for more than two centuries they were the supreme men in Britain and Europe for their intelligence, knowledge, ability, and character. No other society in the world can look back to an ancestry nobler than our own.
Our pride in that ancestry could have been almost as great as it is had the Operative Freemasons done nothing more than to carry on at a normal level of excellence the old Roman architecture, called Romanesque, which they had recovered from the wreckage of the Dark Ages; but it happens that in the Twelfth Century they made a great new discovery of their own which was so epoch-making that in the whole history of the world's architecture only one other discovery (the Greek) can be compared with it. This was their invention of the extraordinary, radically new Gothic Style. It was this style which made the cathedrals possible (1500 of them), and which after it had percolated down to such details as the design of buttons and the shape of written letters of the alphabet gave to Europe that shape, form, and color which in all cultural matters is meant by "Medieval." It called forth a Freemason who was a new kind of man, who mastered arts and sciences not known to others at the time, a man as great in mind as in skill. That particular development within the wide expanse of the building Craft which finally led to our own Fraternity might have occurred if all architects for many generations had not been exclusively trained in the Gothic Style, but probably it would not have done so; therefore 1140 A.D., the date of the first Gothic building, is important in the history of Freemasonry.
The work of using a hammer and chisel on a block of stone was only one among many elements in the Fraternity of Freemasons. A Freemason had his family with him; if he had an apprentice that apprentice was as much a part of his own family as a foster son; the families of the Freemasons at work in the same place were grouped together in a separate quarter, or neighborhood; the Craftsmen at work, their Lodge, and their neighborhood, along with everything belonging to each of them, comprised the Masonic Community; and the rules and regulations, with the responsibilities of the Officers, included their Community and were not restricted to the Lodge only. Apprentices had training, schooling, education. Adult Craftsmen had to give as much of their time to thinking, to study, and to designing as to work with their hands, for without geometry, engineering, and carving they could do nothing. They were an organized Community, therefore there were Officers, meetings and conferences. The Community had its own funds, its own religious observances, its amusements, feasts, sports, its social life, and cared for its own injured, crippled, dead, the widows, and orphans. In the meantime the State and the Church were never far away, and civil laws and religious ordinances entered deeply into the Freemason's daily life to shape it in many ways. Much (and the present writer would say "most") of what we now call Speculative Freemasonry was in the practice of the Fraternity eight centuries ago.
When a bishop decided to build a cathedral he set up a board, usually, with himself at the head of it, which was called an Administration, or a Foundation. This Foundation employed a Master of Masons who was a Freemason of high reputation and after they had agreed with him on the general design of the building and on costs they and he together made a contract. He then sent out word for Craftsmen. When a Craftsman applied he identified himself, was examined, and if satisfactory was "signed on," his family to follow. When a sufficient number were signed up the Master called them together, and they formed themselves into a Lodge, which continued to exist as long as the work was in progress and was dissolved when the work was completed. The first act of the Lodge was to secure housing for its members and their families; its next step was to erect a building for its own use (sometimes two), which also was called the Lodge. This building was the headquarters for daily work, a meeting place, and was also sometimes used as a work room. By "Lodge" was meant a body of men organized for the sole purpose of working together as a unit, therefore when the Master had instructions for this body as a whole he called it into Communication. The Freemasons worked according to a set of rules and regulations of their own, centuries old, among them being a number of Landmarks, and such questions of organization or of work as arose in any given Lodge were settled according to those rules; and since the same rules were in force wherever Freemasons worked, and each Apprentice and Fellow was under oath never to violate them, it was this body of rules which gave its unity and consistency to a Fraternity which had no national organization or national officers, and until the Fourteenth Century did not even have permanent local organizations, and which at the same time preserved its rules and trade secrets in the memory of its members and taught them to Apprentices by word of mouth.
In a period when Freemasons had the use of no books, handbooks, treatises, or blue-prints anything they thought, or learned, or put into practice which appeared to have permanent worth either had to be enacted on the floor of the Lodge, or else had to take an oral form. In order to preserve such things in their purity, and to guard against alteration, these forms necessarily had to be repeated over and over; such forms, thus repeated in exactly the same detail generation after generation, are what historians mean by forms, ceremonies, and symbols. If the word "symbolic" is used as a general name for the whole body of such fixed forms then it is not an exaggeration to say that there was as much of this "Symbolic" Freemasonry in the earliest periods of the Operative Freemasonry as there is now in Speculative Freemasonry; and if we are willing to hazard an over-simplification we also may say that if we grasp the eight or ten centuries of the history of Freemasonry as a whole, the only fundamental difference between Operative Freemasonry in an early century and Speculative Freemasonry now, is that a Speculative Freemason does not use Freemasonry as a means of livelihood, but for another purpose. 
If we take the Twelfth Century as the great formative period of the Fraternity, and if we return to it to see what it was that among the thousands of gilds and fraternities at the time gave to the one Fraternity of Freemasonry the secret of surviving after other gilds had perished, and of developing into a world-wide Fraternity, the facts as given in the paragraph above show us what to look for. Whatever it was that those Freemasons learned which was to be preserved through future centuries they learned in and from their work; and once they learned it they did not put it into the form of abstract ideas, or doctrines, or books (as we do) but incorporated it into their practices and customs; instead of becoming a book, or a lecture, or a creed, it became a ceremony, or rite, or symbol. The Freemasons as men of mind stood far above the theologians, philosophers, and scholars of Britain for more than two centuries, and under "theologians" are included such men as Thomas Aquinas, Abelard, Roger Bacon, etc.; what the theologians thought, they could write down in treatises; what the Freemasons thought, they embodied in their practices, customs, and symbols. The subject of theology the Freemasons left to the theologians; they devoted their own great minds to the great subject of work, and as will be explained in detail in later chapters they were the first men in the world until that time to discover the truth about that subject. We modern Speculative Masons have therefore a double reason for looking back to the fathers and founders of our Fraternity: we give them the veneration which men give everywhere to fathers and founders; and we look up to them, as also do historians of philosophy and of theology, as having been great men of thought whose achievement as thinkers was even more epoch-making than their discovery of the Gothic Style in architecture. If they did not write down in a book the new truths about work which they discovered it does not matter; any trained Mason can read the Ritual as easily as an open book.
The Operative Period of Freemasonry was brought to a close and gave place to the Transition Period by a series of historical events which, by one of the most extraordinary coincidences known in history, occurred within a few years of each other. Henry VIII broke Great Britain's tie with the Pope and prepared the way for the Reformation. The same King also abolished the gild system - which was followed by the Mercantile System, a period in business and finance which present - day theorists in economics find it convenient to forget! The Renaissance broke into final flower, in the form of the printing press, printed books, and changed the mental climate in Britain as much as in Europe generally. The discovery of America by Columbus opened the sluice-gates to the Age of Exploration, a wild and adventurous time in which Europe exploded itself over all the world. Gothic architecture gave way with an almost abrupt suddenness to a new style in architecture which originated in Italy and has since passed under many names, such as Classical, Neo Classical, Italian, Palladian and Wren. The old trade secrets of the Operative Freemasons could be kept secret no longer after Euclid's Geometry was published in print, along with many other lesser, old secrets in the arts and sciences. The center of control in Freemasonry passed from the individual Freemason going here and there in his work, and from his temporary Lodges, into the permanent Lodges which were constituted under authority of manuscript copies of the Old Charges, and from them passed into the new Grand Lodge System after 1717 A.D.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 H Norwood Chapter #18 RAM

"The Builders" By Joseph Fort Newton Part 1, Chapter 3, "The Drama of Faith"
And so the Quest goes on. And the Quest, as it may be, ends in attainment--we know not where and when: so long as we can conceive of our separate existence, the quest goes on--an at- tainment continued henceforward. And ever shall the study of the ways which have been followed by those who have passed in front be a help on our own path. It is well, it is of all things beautiful and per- fect, holy and high of all, to be conscious of the path which does in fine lead thither where we seek to go, namely, the goal which is in God. Taking nothing with us which does not belong to ourselves, leaving nothing behind us that is of our real selves, we shall find in the great attain- ment that the companions of our toil are with us. And the place is the Valley of Peace.
--ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, The Secret Tradition
The Drama of Faith
MAN does not live by bread alone; he lives by Faith, Hope, and Love, and the first of these was Faith. Nothing in the human story is more striking than the persistent, passionate, profound protest of man against death. Even in the earliest time we see him daring to stand erect at the gates of the grave, disputing its verdict, refusing to let it have the last word, and making argu- ment in behalf of his soul. For Emerson, as for Addison, that fact alone was proof enough of immortality, as re- vealing a universal intuition of eternal life. Others may not be so easily convinced, but no man who has the heart of a man can fail to be impressed by the ancient, heroic faith of his race. Nowhere has this faith ever been more vivid or vic- torious than among the old Egyptians. [Note 1] In the ancient Book of the Dead-which is, indeed, a Book of Resurrec- tion--occur the words: "The soul to heaven; the body to earth;" and that first faith is our faith today. Of King Unas, who lived in the third millennium, it is written: "Behold, thou has not gone as one dead, but as one liv- ing." Nor has any one in our day set forth this faith with more simple eloquence than the Hymn to Osiris, in the Papyrus of Hunefer. So in the Pyramid Texts the dead are spoken of as Those Who Ascend, the Imperishable Ones who shine as stars, and the gods are invoked to witness the death of the King "Dawning as a Soul." There is deep prophecy, albeit touched with poignant pathos, in these broken exclamations written on the pyramid walls:
Thou diest not! Have ye said that he would die? He diest not; this King Pepi lives forever! Live! Thou shalt not die! He has escaped his day of death! Thou livest, thou livest, raise thee up! Thou diest not, stand up, raise thee up! Thou perishest not eternally! Thou diest not! [Note 2]
Nevertheless, nor poetry nor chant nor solemn ritual could make death other than death; and the Pyramid Texts, while refusing to utter the fatal word, give wistful reminiscences of that blessed age "before death came forth." However high the faith of man, the masterful negation and collapse of the body was a fact, and it was to keep that daring faith alive and aglow that The Mys- teries were instituted. Beginning, it may be, in incanta- tion, they rose to heights of influence and beauty, giving dramatic portrayal of the unconquerable faith of man. Watching the sun rise from the tomb of night, and the spring return in glory after the death of winter, man reasoned from analogy--justifying a faith that held him as truly as he held it--that the race, sinking into the grave, would rise triumphant over death.
There were many variations on this theme as the drama of faith evolved, and as it passed from land to land; but the Motif was ever the same, and they all were derived, directly or indirectly, from the old Osirian passion-play in Egypt. Against the background of the ancient Solar religion, Osiris made his advent as Lord of the Nile and fecund Spirit of vegetable life--son of Nut the sky-god- dess and Geb the earth-god; and nothing in the story of the Nile-dwellers is more appealing than his conquest of the hearts of the people against all odds. [Note 3] Howbeit, that history need not detain us here, except to say that by the time his passion had become the drama of na- tional faith, it had been bathed in all the tender hues of human life; though somewhat of its solar radiance still lingered in it. Enough to say that of all the gods, called into being by the hopes and fears of men who dwelt in times of yore on the banks of the Nile, Osiris was the most beloved. Osiris the benign father, Isis his sorrowful and faithful wife, and Horus whose filial piety and hero- ism shine like diamonds in a heap of stones--about this trinity were woven the ideals of Egyptian faith and family life. Hear now the story of the oldest drama of the race, which for more than three thousand years held captive the hearts of men. [Note 4] Osiris was Ruler of Eternity, but by reason of his visible shape seemed nearly akin to man--revealing a divine humanity. His success was chiefly due, however, to the gracious speech of Isis, his sister-wife, whose charm men could neither reckon nor resist. Together they labored for the good of man, teaching him to discern the plants fit for food, themselves pressing the grapes and drinking the first cup of wine. They made known the veins of metal running through the earth, of which man was ignorant, and taught him to make weapons. They initiated man into the intellectual and moral life, taught him ethics and religion, how to read the starry sky, song and dance and the rhythm of music. Above all, they evoked in men a sense of immortality, of a destiny be- yond the tomb. Nevertheless, they had enemies at once stupid and cunning, keen-witted but short-sighted--the dark force of evil which still weaves the fringe of crime on the borders of human life. Side by side with Osiris, lived the impious Set-Typhon, as Evil ever haunts the God. While Osiris was absent, Typhon-whose name means serpent--filled with envy and malice, sought to usurp his throne; but his plot was frustrated by Isis. Whereupon he resolved to kill Osiris. This he did, having invited him to a feast, by persuading him to enter a chest, offering, as if in jest, to present the richly carved chest to any one of his guests who, lying down inside it, found he was of the same size. When Osiris got in and stretched himself out, the conspirators closed the chest, and flung it into the Nile. [Note 5] Thus far, the gods had not known death. They had grown old, with white hair and trembling limbs, but old age had not led to death. As soon as Isis heard of this infernal treachery, she cut her hair, clad herself in a garb of mourning, ran thither and yon, a prey to the most cruel anguish, seek- ing the body. Weeping and distracted, she never tarried, never tired in her sorrowful quest. Meanwhile, the waters carried the chest out to sea, as far as Byblos in Syria, the town of Adonis, where it lodged against a shrub of arica, or tamarisk--like an acacia tree. [Note 6] Owing to the virtue of the body, the shrub, at its touch, shot up into a tree, growing around it, and protecting it, until the king of that country cut the tree which hid the chest in its bosom, and made from it a column for his palace. At last Isis, led by a vision, came to Byblos, made herself known, and asked for the col- umn. Hence the picture of her weeping over a broken column torn from the palace, while Horus, god of Time, stands behind her pouring ambrosia on her hair. She took the body back to Egypt, to the city of Bouto; but Typhon, hunting by moonlight, found the chest, and having recog- nized the body of Osiris, mangled it and scattered it beyond recognition. Isis, embodiment of the old world- sorrow for the dead, continued her pathetic quest, gathering piece by piece the body of her dismembered husband, and giving him decent interment. Such was the life and death of Osiris, but as his career pictured the cycle of nature, it could not of course end here. Horus fought with Typhon, losing an eye in the battle, but finally overthrew him and took him prisoner. There are several versions of his fate, but he seems to have been tried, sentenced, and executed--"cut in three pieces," as the Pyramid Texts relate. Thereupon the faith- ful son went in solemn procession to the grave of his father, opened it, and called upon Osiris to rise: "Stand up! Thou shalt not end, thou shalt not perish!" But death was deaf. Here the Pyramid Texts recite the mortuary ritual, with its hymns and chants; but in vain. At length Osiris awakes, weary and feeble, and by the aid of the strong grip of the lion-god he gains control of his body, and is lifted from death to life. [Note 7] Thereafter, by virtue of his victory over death, Osiris becomes Lord of the Land of Death, his scepter an Ank Cross, his throne a Square.
Such, in brief, was the ancient allegory of eternal life, upon which there were many elaborations as the drama unfolded; but always, under whatever variation of local color, of national accent or emphasis, its central theme remained the same. Often perverted and abused, it was everywhere a dramatic expression of the great human aspiration for triumph over death and union with God, and the belief in the ultimate victory of Good over Evil. Not otherwise would this drama have held the hearts of men through long ages, and won the eulogiums of the most enlightened men of antiquity--of Pythagoras, Soc- rates, Plato, Euripides, Plutarch, Pindar, Isocrates, Epic- tetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Writing to his wife after the loss of their little girl, Plutarch commends to her the hope set forth in the mystic rites and symbols of this drama,: as, elsewhere, he testifies that it kept him "as far from superstition as from atheism," and helped him to ap- proach the truth. For deeper minds this drama had a double meaning, teaching not only immortality after death, but the awakening of man upon earth from ani- malism to a life of purity, justice, and honor. How nobly this practical aspect was taught, and with what fineness of spiritual insight, may be seen in Secret Sermon on the Mountain in the Hermetic lore of Greece: [Note 8]
What may I say, my son? I can but tell thee this. When- ever I see within myself the Simple Vision brought to birth out of God's mercy, I have passed through myself into a Body that can never die. Then I am not what I was before. . . . They who are thus born are children of a Divine race. This race, my son, is never taught; but when He willeth it, its memory is restored by God. It is the "Way of Birth in God." . . . Withdraw into thyself and it will come. Will, and it comes to pass.
Isis herself is said to have established the first temple of the Mysteries, the oldest being those practiced at Memphis. Of these there were two orders, the Lesser to which the many were eligible, and which consisted of dialogue and ritual, with certain signs, tokens, grips, passwords; and the Greater, reserved for the few who approved themselves worthy of being entrusted with the highest secrets of science, philosophy, and religion. For these the candidate had to undergo trial, purification, danger, austere asceticism, and, at last, regeneration through dramatic death amid rejoicing. Such as endured the ordeal with valor were then taught, orally and by symbol, the highest wisdom to which man had attained, including geometry, astronomy, the fine arts, the laws of nature, as well as the truths of faith. Awful oaths of secrecy were exacted, and Plutarch describes a man kneeling, his hands bound, a cord round his body, and a knife at his throat--death being the penalty of violating the obligation. Even then, Pythagoras had to wait almost twenty years to learn the hidden wisdom of Egypt, so cautious were they of candidates, especially of foreigners. But he made noble use of it when, later, he founded a secret order of his own at Crotona, in Greece, in which, among other things, he taught geometry, using numbers as symbols of spiritual truth. [Note 9] From Egypt the Mysteries passed with little change to Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome, the names of local gods being substituted for those of Osiris and Isis. The Grecian or Eleusinian Mysteries, established 1800 B.C., repre- sented Demeter and Persephone, and depicted the death of Dionysius with stately ritual which led the neophyte from death into life and immortality. They taught the unity of God, the immutable necessity of morality, and a life after death, investing initiates with signs and pass- words by which they could know each other in the dark as well as in the light. The Mithraic or Persian Mysteries celebrated the eclipse of the Sun-god, using the signs of the zodiac, the processions of the seasons, the death of nature, and the birth of spring. The Adoniac or Syrian cults were similar, Adonis being killed, but revived to point to life through death. In the Cabirie Mysteries on the island of Samothraee, Atys the Sun was killed by his brothers the Seasons, and at the vernal equinox was re- stored to life. So, also, the Druids, as far north as Eng- land, taught of one God the tragedy of winter and sum- mer, and conducted the initiate through the valley of death to life everlasting. [Note 10] Shortly before the Christian era, when faith was fail- ing and the world seemed reeling to its ruin, there was a great revival of the Mystery-religions. Imperial edict was powerless to stay it, much less stop it. From Egypt, from the far East, they came rushing in like a tide, Isis "of the myriad names" vieing with Mithra, the patron saint of the soldier, for the homage of the multitude. If we ask the secret reason for this influx of mysticism, no single answer can be given to the question. What influ- ence the reigning mystery-cults had upon the new, up- rising Christianity is also hard to know, and the issue is still in debate. That they did influence the early Church is evident from the writings of the Fathers, and some go so far as to say that the Mysteries died at last only to live again in the ritual of the Church. St. Paul in his mis- sionary journeys came in contact with the Mysteries, and even makes use of some of their technical terms in his epistles; [Note 11] but he condemned them on the ground that what they sought to teach in drama can be known only by spiritual experience--a sound insight, though surely drama may assist to that experience, else public worship might also come under ban.
Toward the end of their power, the Mysteries fell into the mire and became corrupt, as all things human are apt to do: even the Church itself being no exception. But that at their highest and best they were not only lofty and noble, but elevating and refining, there can be no doubt, and that they served a high purpose is equally clear. No one, who has read in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius the initiation of Lucius into the Mysteries of Isis, can doubt that the effect on the votary was profound and purifying. He tells us that the ceremony of initiation "is, as it were, to suffer death," and that he stood in the presence of the gods, "ay, stood near and worshiped." Far hence ye profane, and all who are polluted by sin, was the motto of the Mysteries, and Cicero testifies that what a man learned in the house of the hidden place made him want to live nobly, and gave him happy hopes for the hour of death. Indeed, the Mysteries, as Plato said, [Note 12] were established by men of great genius who, in the early ages, strove to teach purity, to ameliorate the cruelty of the race, to refine its manners and morals, and to restrain society by stronger bonds than those which human laws impose. No mystery any longer attaches to what they taught, but only as to the particular rites, dramas, and symbols used in their teaching. They taught faith in the unity and spir- ituality of God, the sovereign authority of the moral law, heroic purity of soul, austere discipline of character, and the hope of a life beyond the tomb. Thus in ages of dark- ness, of complexity, of conflicting peoples, tongues, and faiths, these great orders toiled in behalf of friendship, bringing men together under a banner of faith, and train- ing them for a nobler moral life. Tender and tolerant of all faiths, they formed an all-embracing moral and spir- itual fellowship which rose above barriers of nation, race, and creed, satisfying the craving of men for unity, while evoking in them a sense of that eternal mysticism out of which all religions were born. Their ceremonies, so far as we know them, were stately dramas of the moral life and the fate of the soul. Mystery and secrecy added im- pressiveness, and fable and enigma disguised in impos- ing spectacle the laws of justice, piety, and the hope of immortality. Masonry stands in this tradition; and if we may not say that it is historically related to the great ancient orders, it is their spiritual descendant, and renders much the same ministry to our age which the Mysteries ren- dered to the olden world. It is, indeed, the same stream of sweetness and light flowing in our day--like the fabled river Alpheus which, gathering the waters of a hundred rills along the hillsides of Arcadia, sank, lost to sight, in a chasm in the earth, only to reappear in the fountain of Arethusa. This at least is true: the Greater Ancient Mysteries were prophetic of Masonry whose drama is an epitome of universal initiation, and whose simple symbols are the depositaries of the noblest wisdom of mankind. As such, it brings men together at the altar of prayer, keeps alive the truths that make us men, seeking, by every resource of art, to make tangible the power of love, the worth of beauty, and the reality of the ideal.
1. Of course, faith in immortality was in nowise peculiar to Egypt, but was universal; as vivid in The Upanishads of India as in the Pyramid records. It rests upon the consensus of the insight, experience, and aspiration of the race. But the records of Egypt, like its monuments, are richer than those of other nations, if not older..Moreover, the drama of faith with which we have to do here had its origin in Egypt, whence it spread to Tyre, Athens, and Rome--and, as we shall see, even to England. For brief exposi- tions of Egyptian faith see Egyptian Conceptions of Immortalitey, by G. A. Reisner, and Religion and Thought in Egypt, by J. H. Breasted.
2 Pyramid Texts, 775, 1262, 1453, 1477.
3. For a full account of the evolution of the Osirian theology from the time it emerged from the mists of myth until its con- qeust, see Religion and Thought in Egypt, by Breasted, the latest, if not the most brilliant, book written in the light of the completest translation of the Pyramid Texts (especially lecture v).
4. Much has been written about the Egyptian Mysteries from the days of Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride and the Metamorphoses of Apuleius to the huge volumes of Baron Sainte Croix. For popular readings the Kings and Gods of Egypt, by Moret (chaps. iii-iv), and the delightfully vivid Hermes and Plato, by Schure, could hardly be surpassed. But Plutarch and Apuleius, both initiates, are our best authorities, even if their oath of silence prevents them from telling us what we most want to know.
5. Among the Hindoos, whose Chrisna is the same as the Osiris of Egypt, the gods of summer were beneficent, making the days fruitful. But "the three wretches" who presided over winter, were cut off from the zodiac; and as they were "found missing," they were accused of the death of Chrisna.
6. A literary parallel in the story of AEneas, by Vergil, is most suggestive. Priam, king of Troy, in the beginning of the Trojan war committed his son Polydorus to the care of Polymester, king of Thrace, and sent him a great sum of money. After Troy was taken the Thracian, for the sake of the money, killed the young prince and privately buried him. AEneas, coming into that country, and accidentally plucking up a shnlb that was near him on the side of the hill, discovered the murdered body of Polydorus. Other legends of such accidental discoveries of unknown graves haunted the olden time, and may have been suggested by the story of Isis.
7. The Gods of the Egyptians, by E. A. W. Budge; La Place des Victores, by Austin Fryar, especially the colored plates.
8. Quests New and Old, by G. R. S. Mead.
9 Pythagoras, by Edouard Schure---a fascinating story of that great thinker and teacher. The use of numbers by Pythagoras must not, however, be confounded with the mystical, or rather fantastic, mathematics of the Kabbalists of a later time.
10 For a vivid accouunt of the spread of the Mysteries of Isis and Mithra over the Roman Empire, see Roman Life from Nero to Aurelius, by Dill (bk. iv, chaps. v-vi). Franz Cumont is the great authority on Mithra, and his Mysteries' of Mithra and Oriental Re- ligions trace the origin and influence of that cult with accuracy, in- sight, and charm. W. W. Reade, brother of Charles Reade the novelist, left a study of The Veil of Isis, or Mysteries of the Druids, finding in the vestiges of Druidism "the Emblems of Masonry."
11. Col. 2:8-19. See Mysteries Pagan and Christian, by C. Chee- than; also Monumental Christianity, by Lundy, especially chapter on "The Discipline of the Secret." For a full discussion of the atti- tude of St. Paul, see St. Paul and the Mystery-Religions, by Ken- nedy, a work of fine scholarship. That Christianity had its esoteric is plain-as it was natural from the writings of the Fathers, in- cluding Origen, Cyril, Basil, Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and others. Chrysostom often uses the word initiation in respect of Christian teaching, while Tertullian denounces the pagan mysteries as counterfeit imitations by Satan of the Christian secret rites and teachings: "He also baptises those who believe in him, and prom- ises that they shall come forth, cleansed of their sins." Other Christian writers were more tolerant, finding in Christ the answer to the aspiration uttered in the Mysteries; and therein, it may be, they were right.
12. Phaedo.
The American Freemason - January 1910
"WELL, Reddy, I have lived to be an old man as a member of this Lodge. but I never expected to see the day when we would come to this pass!"
"It's too bad; too bad!" said Reddy, with a solemn mien, "but what is it all about?"
"I was sitting over there in the corner when a brother of this Lodge came up to me, gave me his card and solicited my patronage! I never was more indignant in my life! What is Masonry coming to, anyway. when men use it as a means of furthering their business ends?"
"My dear brother, if you would strive to do a little more 'pointing with pride,' and a little less 'viewing with alarm,' you would be a better Mason. I hope you will never have to depend on the brand of Masonic charity you dispense. You paid no attention to the brother's statement, and you have started up the wrong music-box when you dropped a nickel in my slot on this proposition. It was at my suggestion he gave you the card. If you had looked at the card you would have noticed that he is a house painter and is out of work, and that he has a wife and three children at home who have formed the habit of eating, and lie wants to try and allow them to continue it. He has asked neither this Lodge nor you for charity. He only wants a chance to earn a living, and I knew you owned some houses and thought you might have some work for him. He has done nothing undignified nor unmasonic. On the contrary, it is you who are unmasonic and sadly lacking in that great Masonic virtue, Charity, which assumes its highest form in giving the applicant a chance to do something for himself, just as it assumes its lowest form in alms-giving. He was perfectly right in giving you his card, and you have wronged him in blaming him. I would suggest that your apology take the form of a job; he would appreciate it more if it came in that form. It is also a more practical form of Masonry.
"You may be right and I wrong in this particular instance, but at does not alter the fact that today many men are using Masonry to further their business ends."
"Bosh! Some few little half-dried business men may be doing so, but I doubt it. Fortunately, where the cases come up they defeat their own ends, and business advertising in fraternal orders is without doubt a boomerang. It hinders instead of helps. However, you lose sight of one fact: if Masons lived their Masonry in their every-day lives there would be no danger from the source you suspect. The true and underlying good of Masonry is mutual help. The last analysis is 'help one another,' and there is no way that has ever been figured out by philosopher or sage in which you can so much help a man as to put the coin of the realm in his pocket. You can get up on high moral ground all you please; you can roll out resonant sentences and well-rounded periods about the uplift of mankind, the brotherhood of man, and all that sort of stuff; but the true secret of brotherhood, and the reason brotherhood is used as the symbol of ideal manly relations, is because brothers pull together for the good of each other's bank accounts. I say to you that when you go down town to buy a hat, and do not buy it from a member of the Masonic fraternity, you have not lived up to the principles of your Masonry. There are men in the organization in this city who sell hats; sell just as good hats as can be bought, and at just as low a price as they can be had. When you pass such a man's door and turn your five dollar bill into the till of a profane, you have done Masonry an injury, and I am not so sure you have not violated certain of your obligations - you have at least violated the spirit if not the letter of them. I lay it down as a cut and dried positivity that the man who, all other things being equal, does not spend his money with a member of the fraternity, has no more excuse for wearing the emblems of Masonry than an adult frog has for wearing the tail of a pollywog."
"But, Reddy, it seems to me this is putting Masonry on a very mercenary basis."
We claim to be brothers, do we not? Do you think if you had a brother selling anything, from pork to real estate, in this town that you would be likely to purchase your ham or your house from another? We are living in the right now. This is a financial age; money is almost king! The dollar occupies the throne, and poor sentiment has been banished.
"Regardless of all this, however, I contend that a Mason can use his fraternal connections in a business way, and yet not violate the most rigid rules of the ethics of the Order. Any man's affiliation with a fraternal order will bring him friends provided he devotes his time and his efforts to the various duties of the order. If he does the work that comes to his hands and does it with earnestness and with good nature, the friendship of all the other active men in that organization will come to him and will cling to him as naturally as the armature clings to the magnet. No business man who thinks fails to realize that his friends are a part of his assets. Any man who mixes and mingles with his fellow men on a friendly basis will not fail to make friends, and a man's friends are his customers no matter what he sells. We all have something for sale. The doctor, the dentist, the lawyer, as well as the shop keeper, have something for sale and as one's acquaintance extends his market is increased. Briefly, any business man who increases his list of friends increases his list of patrons. This is legitimate, and more yet, it is right. I do not advocate membership in fraternal orders for business reasons, and believe that any man who goes into them for that purpose gets stung; but I do believe we should spend our money with our Masonic brethren just the same as we do with our blood brethren, which we most certainly would do. I do not believe the man lives who could go into fraternal life for business reasons and not have it found out. But given a man in Masonry who can render me the same service for the same money, and I will go blocks out of my way to patronize him. I am a coarse, unlettered man. I do not understand the subtle beauties of esoteric Masonry like I do the beauty of buying a suit of red flannel underwear from a Mason, nor can I realize the sublime advantage of having a man "in the most friendly manner remind me of my faults," when he might be giving me a job nailing boards on his back fence."
Take this lesson to your heart, my friend, if you can; but what is a sight more important, take it to your pocketbook and go over and get that fellow to paint one of those houses of yours. His kiddies cannot eat a diet of Masonic ethics and thrive to any great extent."
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
Transition (From Operative to Speculative Masonry)
FOR HALF of the eight centuries or more of its existence Freemasonry consisted of craftsmen who worked for daily wages in one of the branches of architecture, and since they were workmen giving their full time to building in its literal and material sense they are called Operative, and the centuries in which the Fraternity consisted wholly of them is called the Operative Period. Since the first quarter of the Eighteenth Century the same Fraternity has been composed wholly of non-Operatives; these are called Speculative Masons and the period of between two and three centuries since the Craft passed into their hands is called the Speculative Period. The great and central problem for Masonic historians to solve has been the problem of how the Operative Fraternity was transformed into the Speculative Fraternity.
The almost complete lack of written records left behind by the Operative Masons has made the problem an exceptionally difficult one to solve, yet historical scholars are almost unanimously agreed that the crossing from the Operative Period to the Speculative Period was a slow one, and carried on step by step, without planning, without conscious purpose, and that therefore it lasted over at least more than two centuries; that long stretch of time is called the Transition Period. The whole history of Freemasonry therefore arranges itself under three general heads, or into three large periods, The Operative, The Transitional, and The Speculative.
Masonic historians were agreed on this arrangement as early as the latter half of the Eighteenth Century, but from then until about one half century ago they were not in agreement as to what it was which had occurred in The Transition Period; their disagreement was so wide that a number of them gave up the hope of explaining how Operative Freemasonry could turn itself into something as unlike itself as Speculative Freemasonry; a number of them abandoned the belief that the Speculative Fraternity had ever derived from the Operative Fraternity and began to seek its origin elsewhere. During the past half century, and thanks partly to an increase in the efficiency of Masonic research, and partly to an increasingly successful hunt for written records, Masonic historical scholars have been reaching an agreement on the position that the Operative Fraternity was preserved and perpetuated in all its essentials except for literal building work, and that Speculative Freemasonry consisted of putting that ancient Fraternity, as thus preserved and perpetuated, to a new use; the question of why they did so, and how they did so, is the subject matter of this history of the Transition Period.
If a history includes far more facts than non-historians can carry in their memory or may be expected to possess, and if it involves problems that are too difficult, or complex, or erudite to be intelligible to a non-historian, the writer of that history has no choice except to over-simplify. To omit essential parts, to make a problem appear to be easier than it is, to over-simplify, these are crimes against truth which no honorable historian can tolerate. Yet what would you? Non historians desire or need to read history; what then is an historian to do? Thus far no historian has found a way out of his dilemma except to go ahead and oversimplify and then to make a full and candid confession that he has done so; and after he has thus absolved himself he can address to his non-historian readers that ancient and wise adage that "We must do our best with what we have." It is one of the few instances in which the sly and somewhat lying motto of Caveat emptor becomes pertinent and true.
Such a confession must be made by the author of this book because its subject matter involves not only the well-nigh insoluble problem of the Transition Period but almost every other difficult Masonic problem. The quintessential substance of the book can be stated in a few sentences: Our Fraternity began as a Fraternity of Operative Freemasons at work in Britain and Europe long before, but the particular Fraternity from which ours has descended with no break in continuity began with the Fraternity of those Operative Freemasons who discovered and perpetuated the Gothic style of architecture, and since the first known Gothic building was erected in Paris in 1140 - 1150 A.D., that is our earliest date; the real movement leading to Speculative Freemasonry was the constituting of permanent and chartered Lodges about 1450 A.D.; non Operatives sought membership in those Lodges because they found in them a number of truths not to be found elsewhere; these were truths about the subject of work; and these non-Operatives, once they were in control of the ancient Fraternity, put it to the new use of preserving and teaching those truths to men of any and all crafts, arts, trades, or professions; and our Speculative Fraternity is a continuation of that use. This is an over-simplification; but it is not a falsification. The argument on which it rests is such that if any Mason reads through and thinks through the whole body of our records and our literature he will arrive at the same conclusion.
Non-Operatives were accepted into the permanent, chartered Lodges one at a time. There was never a planned, or concerted movement of them. It is doubtful if any Lodge became wholly Speculative (or "Accepted") before about 1600 A.D. But the explanation of the Transition from an Operative to a Speculative Fraternity does not lie in the increasing number of those accepted, non-Operatives, because the Operative membership could have stopped accepting them any time it wished; rather the secret lies in the new use which these accepted non-Operatives made of Operative Freemasonry; and since the Operative Masons themselves did not close the door on accepted non-Operatives (except in Lodges here and there) it follows that the Operative Masons themselves approved of the new use to which their Fraternity was being put. A number of Lodges refused to have themselves put to that new use; many of them continued to make use of Freemasonry for Operative and for Speculative purposes at the same time; but that is neither here nor there; that which carried Freemasonry through the Transition Period was the fact that finally so many Lodges were wholly devoted to the new use that they were by 1717 A.D. able to erect a Grand Lodge System and were able by means of it to make Freemasonry wholly Speculative. Operative Masonry in the sense of architecture and building activities continued as before, through the Transition and until now; in England these builders organized a Fraternity of their own no fewer than three times, and they have one now; but these societies of practicing (or Operative) Masons lie outside the Speculative Fraternity, have no place in it, and have not had any say about it, and they pass out of the ken of the historian of our own Fraternity at about 1650 A.D.
In his Concise History of Freemasonry published in 1903 A.D., Robert Freke Gould accounted for the Transition on the theory that the practice of accepting non-Operatives of itself, and without help from other facts or practices, led to the setting up of a Fraternity wholly Speculative. As instances of such acceptances he gave a small list of members who left some record of their initiation behind them; his list has been repeated by almost every other historian since. In it were such instances as: Boswell the Laird of Auchinleck was accepted into the Lodge of Edinburgh in 1600 A.D.; the City Company of Masons in London had a division, possibly a side order, called "The Accepcion" at least as early as 1620 A.D.; Elias Ashmole was made a Mason in a wholly Speculative Lodge at Warrington in 1646 A.D.; Dr. Robert Plot referred to Freemasons in a book he published in 1686 A.D.; Randle Holme described himself as a Freemason in a book he published in 1688 A.D. A Lodge at Aberdeen prepared what it called The Lodge Book in 1670 A.D., and proved itself to be part Operative, part Speculative, and to have an outdoor ceremony (which sounds like our Third Degree); there was a Speculative Lodge at York in 1705 A.D.; the Book of Constitutions published in 1738 A.D., referred to Lodges and to Christopher Wren as Grand Master in the period following the London fire, which occurred in 1666 A.D.; etc., etc. So far as the individuals mentioned are concerned they mean nothing because doubtless some non-Operative members had been accepted into Operative Lodges, temporary or permanent, from the first; the principal value of such a catalog of instances lies in its proof that there were Speculative Lodges at least as early as 1646 A.D. The oldest version of the Old Charges mention non-Operatives as having been in the Craft in ancient times, and does so without further comment.
Gould's theory was in substance that at about 1600 A.D. a few non-Operatives were accepted into membership; that while the number was few at first it slowly increased; and that Speculative Freemasonry resulted when the number of Accepted Masons (or Speculatives - the terms are here used interchangeably) overtook the number of Operative members; the problem of the Transition would be thus explained by a theory of simple arithmetical increase; but this is only to state the problem, and does not solve it - why did the number of Accepted Masons increase? William James Hughan had a theory of another kind; namely, that Speculative Freemasonry, of itself, "grew out of," or developed out of, Operative Freemasonry, and therefore his explanation of the Transition means that the Transition represented nothing but the mere passage of time. But this leaves too much unexplained. Why did not Speculative "grow out of" Operative centuries before? It had plenty of time. Why did it grow up out of it in England only, when Operative Freemasonry had been the same on the Continent as there? When the first Lodges either half Speculative or wholly Speculative were formed there was a vast amount of Operative Masonry outside those Lodges; why did not it develop into Speculative Freemasonry? There is an even larger amount of Operative building now, organized in hundreds of unions - is there anywhere in it any trace of Speculative Freemasonry in process of formation? If the whole body of Operative Freemasonry in Britain grew up and grew into Speculative Freemasonry, why is it that the history of our own Fraternity leads invariably back to a (comparatively) few and small permanent Lodges using copies of the Old Charges Neither the idea of growth nor of inevitable development can explain the Transition. Something special was at work, something new arose. Speculative Freemasonry did not come out of Operative Freemasonry in general, but out of that something new and something special. What that was has been already explained; in a few early permanent Lodges their members began to put Freemasonry to a new use, and whether this was done by the Operative members first or the Speculative members first does not matter; they both approved it, and they joined together in doing it.
If an historian had a sufficiently pictorial eye he could lay out the whole two and one-half centuries in the form of a panoramic picture. As this was unrolled from the top it would show, in one chronological portion of the picture after another, the following: There had always been much of what we now call Speculative in the earliest Operative Craft. It was not only the ideas, customs, and usages of the Lodges and the Craftsmen at work that we inherited, but the essentials of the whole Masonic Community. Our own particular Speculative Fraternity came to us through the Lodges which became permanent, and used the Old Charges beginning at about the middle of the Fourteenth Century. Accepted Masons took the same oath to preserve the secrets and not to violate the Landmarks as did Operative members. Their historic mission was not to destroy an old Fraternity in order to put a new one in its place (why go to that trouble?) but to preserve and to perpetuate the old Fraternity and yet at the same time to put it to a new use. The subsequent history of what they did proves that that new use was of very great and very vital importance to the world. There were some hundreds of self-constituted Lodges in England, Scotland, and Ireland before 1717 A.D. some of them wholly Operative, some wholly Speculative, some a mixture of both. When a few of these constituted a Grand Lodge in London in 1717 A.D., it did not disturb the local Lodges already at work. It was not until the new Grand Lodge System proved so extraordinarily effectual over the period about 1750 A.D., that the whole Fraternity became completely Speculative. It would be a mistake to suppose that this Transition was carried through by the Accepted (or non-Operative, or Speculative) members and Lodges only, and as against Operative opposition: Operative Lodges were always able to refuse to accept a non-Operative petitioner, and would have done so had they been in opposition; the Accepted Masons saw more clearly than the Operatives the possible universality and world importance of Freemasonry; nevertheless the Fraternity (speaking on the whole) was brought through the Transition by Operatives and Speculatives combined.
Superficially akin to Gould's theory that the Transition was effected by an adding of members and to Hughan's theory of inevitable growth was the theory, once widely held, that Speculative Freemasonry emerged from Operative because tradition has always had a powerful appeal to Englishmen. The Operative Masons, so the argument runs, kept up a set of customs and usages for many generations; after these customs and usages had ceased to have any value to Operative Masons non-Operatives continued to keep them going because they did not have the heart to see anything so venerable, or so beautiful (like old ivory) because of its age, brought to an end. According to this theory the Transition had consisted of nothing more than the willingness of a large number of non-Operatives to keep alive a set of customs after the men to whom those customs had belonged were no longer willing to continue them. This theory had almost everything wrong with it that could be wrong with a theory. Speculative Freemasonry began long before Operative Masons had ceased to keep up their usages and customs. Speculative Freemasonry has old customs and usages in it but does not consist of them - is not a repetition for the sake of repetition. It is possible to believe that a few Englishmen would rather continue old customs than see them die but the number of Masons in England has never been few. The theory cannot explain why some millions of Americans would be willing to keep up a set of old English customs - in the Revolutionary War Period when our National Fraternity was established, Americans were not enamored of old English customs!
The theory never had in it anything more than guesswork, and of an amateurish kind at that. But it was no more completely a piece of guesswork than was a companion theory which once had a vogue in the United States, and which was that Operative Freemasonry died, came to a dead stop, fell into ruins, and that a number of gentlemen of the clubable type set up in London a new Fraternity for which, for the sake of making it more venerable in appearance, and to give it a cachet of mystery or secrecy, they borrowed the trappings of defunct Freemasonry. If this theory were true historians would drop the Transition Period from the books, because there could have been no Transition; there was a dead end to Operative Freemasonry, there was then a short gap, and then a wholly new society was organized among the ruins. Of the many facts which stand ready to refute this amazing notion one will suffice; it completely ignores the many Speculative Lodges which were at work a century before 1717 A.D., it ignores the Speculative elements which were always in Operative Freemasonry, it ignores the fact that Operatives as much as Speculatives built up the Speculative Fraternity, and it ignores the fact that the new Grand Lodge of 1717 A.D., was not created out of hand, but was an action taken (even during its first two or three years) by at least twenty lodges which were in existence before 1717 A.D.

George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

From Robert Macoy's "Dictionary of Freemasonry," c. 19th c.
MASONIC COLORS. Every grade of Masonry is furnished with its peculiar and emblematic color. An important and mystic meaning has always been applied to colors, and they are used as the distinguishing mark of different nations. The colors best known, and almost universally adapted to Masonry, are seven, viz:
1. BLUE. This is the great color of Masonry. It is the appropriate tincture of the Ancient Craft degrees. It is to the Mason an emblem of universal friendship and benevolence, teaching us that in the mind of a brother those virtues should be as extensive as the blue arch of heaven itself. It is, therefore, the only color, except white, which should be used in a Master Mason's Lodge. Besides the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, this color is also to be found in several other degrees, especially of the Ancient and Accepted rite, where it bears various symbolic significations; all, however, more or less related to its original character, as an emblem of universal friendship and benevolence. This tincture was held in high veneration among all the nations of antiquity. It symbolically expressed heaven, the firmament, truth, constancy, and fidelity. 2. PURPLE, being formed by a due admixture of blue and scarlet, is intended to remind us of the intimate connection and harmony that exists between symbolic Masonry and the Royal Arch degree. In the religous services of the Jews purple is employed on several occasions. It is one of the colors of the curtains of the tabernacle, and is symbolical of the element of water. It is also used in the construction of the ephod and girdle of the High Priest, and the cloths for divine service. Among the Gentile nations of antiquity purple was considered rather as a color of dignity than of veneration, and was deemed an emblem of exalted office. Pliny says it was the color of the vestments worn by the early kings of Rome, and it has ever since. even to the present time, been considered as the becoming insignia of regal or supreme authority. 3. SCARLET, Red, or Crimson, for it is indifferently called by each of these names, is the appropriate color of the Royal Arch degree, and symbolically represents the ardor and zeal which should actuate all who are in possession of that sublime portion of Masonry. Scarlet was used as one of the vails of the tabernacle, and was an emblem of the elements of fire. Scarlet was, among the Jews, a color of dignity, appropriated to the most opulent or honorable. In the middle ages, those Knights who engaged in the wars of the crusades, and especially the Templars, wore a red cross as a symbol of their willingness to undergo martyrdom for the sake of religion. Scarlet is in the higher degrees of Masonry as predominating a color as blue is in the lower. These three colors--BLUE, PURPLE, and SCARLET--were called, in the early English lectures, "the old colors of Masonry," and were said to have been selected "because they are royal, and such as the ancient kings and princes used to wear; and sacred history informs us that the vail of the temple was composed of these colors." 4. WHITE is one of the most ancient as well as most extensively diffused of the symbolic colors. It is to be found in all the ancient mysteries, where it constituted, as it does in Masonry, the investure of the candidate. It always, however, and everywhere has borne the same signification, as the symbol of purity and innocence. White was the color of one of the curtains of the tabernacle, where it was a symbol of the element of earth. Among the ancients the highest reverence was paid to this color. It was, in general, the garment of the Gentile as well as ot the Hebrew priests in the performance of their sacred rites. It is regarded as the emblem of light, religious purity, innocence, virginity, faith, joy, and life. in the judge, it indicates integrity; in the sick man, humility; in the woman, chastity. We see, therefore, the propriety of adopting this color in the Masonic system, as a symbol of purity. This symbolism commences in the York rite, where the lambskin or white apron is presented to the Entered Apprentice as an emblem of purity of life and rectitude of conduct, and terminates in the Ancient and Accepted rite, where the Sovereign Inspectors of the 33d degree are invested with a white scarf as an emblem of that virtuous deportment, above the tongue of all reproach, which should distinguish the possessors of that exalted grade. 6. BLACK. As white is universally the emblem of purity, so black, in the Masonic ritual, is constantly the symbol of grief. This is perfectly consistent with its use in the world, where black has, from remote antiquity, been adopted as a garment of mourning. In Masonry this color is confined to but a few degrees, but everywhere has the same single meaning of sorrow. Black is in the world the symbol of the earth, darkness, mourning, wickedness, negation, death, and was appropriate to the Prince of Darkness. White and black together signify purity of life, and mourning or humiliation. 6. GREEN, as a Masonic color, is confined to a few of the degrees. It is employed as a symbol of the immutable nature of truth and victory. In the evergreen the Master Mason finds the emblem of hope and immortality. In all the ancient mysteries, this idea was carried out, and green symbolized the birth of the world, and the moral creation or resurrection of the initiate. 7. YELLOW. Of all the Masonic colors, yellow appears to be the least important, and the least used. It is a predominating color in a few of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted rite. It was a significant symbol of the sun, of the goodness of God, of initiation or marriage, faith, or faithfulness. In an improper sense, yellow signifies inconstancy, jealousy, and deceit.
"The Builders" By Joseph Fort Newton Part 1, Chapter 5
This society was called the Dionysian Artificers, as Bacchus was supposed to be the inventor of building theaters; and they performed the Dionysian festivities. From this period, the Science of Astronomy which had given rise to the Dionysian rites, became connected with types taken from the art of building. The Ionian societies... extended their moral views, in conjunction with the art of building, to many useful purposes, and to the practice of acts of benevolence. They had significant words to distinguish their members; and for the same purpose they used emblems taken from the art of building.
--JOSEPH DA COSTA, Dionysian Artificers
We need not then consider it improbable, if in the dark centuries when the Roman empire was dying out, and its glorious temples falling into ruin; when the arts and sciences were falling into disuse or being enslaved; and when no place was safe from persecution and warfare, the guild of the Architects should fly for safety to almost the only free spot in Italy; and here, though they could no longer practice their craft, they preserved the legendary knowledge and precepts which, as history implies, came down to them through Vitruvius from older sources, some say from SoIomon's builders themselves.
--Leader Scott, The Cathedral Builders
The Collegia
SO far in our study we have found that from earliest time architecture was related to religion; that the working tools of the builder were emblems of moral truth; that there were great secret orders using the Drama of Faith as a rite of initiation; and that a hidden doctrine was kept for those accounted worthy, after trial, to be entrusted with it. Secret societies, born of the nature and need of man, there have been almost since recorded history began;[1] but as yet we have come upon no separate and distinct orders of builders. For aught we know there may have been such in plenty, but we have no intimation, much less a record, of the fact. That is to say, history has a vague story to tell us of the earliest orders of the builders. However, it is more than a mere plausible inference that from the beginning architects were members of secret orders; for, as we have seen, not only the truths of religion and philosophy, but also the facts of science and the laws of art, were held as secrets to be known only to the few. This was so, apparently without exception, among all ancient peoples; so much so, indeed, that we may take it as certain that the builders of old time were initiates. Of necessity, then, the arts of the craft were secrets jealously guarded, and the architects themselves, while they may have employed and trained ordinary workmen, were men of learning and influence. Such glimpses of early architects as we have confirm this inference, as, for example, the noble hymn to the Sun-god written by Suti and Hor, two architects employed by Amenhotep III, of Egypt.[2] Just when the builders began to form orders of their own no one knows, but it was perhaps when the Mystery-cults began to journey abroad into other lands. What we have to keep in mind is that all the arts had their home in the temple, from which, as time passed, they spread out fan-wise along all the paths of culture. Keeping in mind the secrecy of the laws of building, and the sanctity with which all science and art were regarded, we have a key whereby to interpret the legends woven about the building of the temple of Solomon. Few realize how high that temple on Mount Moriah towered in the history of the olden world, and how the story of its building haunted the legends and traditions of the times following. Of these legends there were many, some of them wildly improbable, but the persistence of the tradition, and its consistency withal, despite many variations, in a fact of no small moment. Nor is this tradition to be wondered at, since time has shown that the building of the temple at Jerusalem was an event of world-importance, not only to the Hebrews, but to other nations, more especially the Phoenicians. The histories of both peoples make much of the building of the Hebrew temple, of the friendship of Solomon and Hiram I, of Tyre, and of the harmony between the two peoples; and Phoenician tradition has it that Solomon presented Hiram with a duplicate of the temple, which was erected in Tyre.[3] Clearly, the two nations were drawn closely together, and this fact carried with it a mingling of religious influences and ideas, as was true between the Hebrews and other nations, especially Egypt and Phoenicia, during the reign of Solomon. Now the religion of the Phoenicians at this time, as all agree, was the Egyptian religion in a modified form, Dionysius having taken the role of Osiris in the drama of faith in Greece, Syria, and Asia Minor. Thus we have the Mysteries of Egypt, in which Moses was learned, brought to the very door of the temple of Solomon, and that, too, at a time favorable to their impress. The Hebrews were not architects, and it is plain from the records that the temple--and, indeed, the palaces of Solomon--were designed and erected by Phoenician builders, and for the most part by Phoenician workmen and materials. Josephus adds that the architecture of the temple was of the style called Grecian. So much would seem to be fact, whatever may be said of the legends flowing from it. If, then, the laws of building were secrets known only to initiates, there must have been a secret order of architects who built the temple of Solomon. Who were they? They were almost certainly the Dionysian Artificers--not to be confused with the play-actors called by the same name later--an order of builders who erected temples, stadia, and theaters in Asia Minor, and who were at the same time an order of the Mysteries under the tutelage of Bacchus before that worship declined, as it did later in Athens and Rome, into mere revelry.[4] As such, they united the art of architecture with the old Egyptian drama of faith, representing in their ceremonies the murder of Dionysius by the Titans and his return to life. So that, blending the symbols of Astronomy with those of Architecture, by a slight change made by a natural process, how easy for the master-artist of the temple- builders to become the hero of the ancient drama of immortality.[5] Whether or not this fact can be verified from history, such is the form in which the tradition has come down to us, surviving through long ages and triumphing over all vicissitude.[6] Secret orders have few records and their story is hard to tell, but this account is perfectly in accord with the spirit and setting of the situation, and there is neither fact nor reason against it. While this does not establish it as true historically, it surely gives it validity as a prophecy, if nothing more.[7] After all, then, the tradition that Masonry, not unlike the Masonry we now know, had its origin while the temple of King Solomon was building, and was given shape by the two royal friends, may not be so fantastic as certain superior folk seem to think it. How else can we explain the fact that when the Knights of the Crusades went to the Holy Land they came back a secret, oathbound fraternity? Also, why is it that, through the ages, we see bands of builders coming from the East calling themselves "sons of Solomon," and using his interlaced triangle-seal as their emblem? Strabo, as we have seen, traced the Dionysiac builders eastward into Syria, Persia, and even India. They may also be traced westward. Traversing Asia Minor, they entered Europe by way of Constantinople, and we follow them through Greece to Rome, where already several centuries before Christ we find them bound together in corporations called Collegia. These lodges flourished in all parts of the Roman Empire, traces of their existence having been discovered in England as early as the middle of the first century of our era.
Krause was the first to point out a prophecy of Masonry in the old orders of builders, following their footsteps-not connectedly, of course, for there are many gaps-through the Dionysiac fraternity of Tyre, through the Roman Collegia, to the architects and Masons of the Middle Ages. Since he wrote, however, much new material has come to light, but the date of the advent of the builders in Rome is still uncertain. Some trace it to the very founding of the city, while others go no further back than King Numa, the friend of Pythagoras.[8] By any account, they were of great antiquity, and their influence in Roman history was far-reaching. They followed the Roman legions to remote places, building cities, bridges, and temples, and it was but natural that Mithra, the patron god of soldiers, should have influenced their orders. Of this an example may be seen in the remains of the ancient Roman villa at Morton, on the Isle of Wight.[9] As Rome grew in power and became a vast, all-embracing empire, the individual man felt, more and more, his littleness and loneliness. This feeling, together with the increasing specialization of industry, begat a passion for association, and Collegia of many sorts were organized. Even a casual glance at the inscriptions, under the heading Artes et Opificia, will show the enormous development of skilled handicrafts, and how minute was their specialization. Every trade soon had its secret order, or union, and so powerful did they become that the emperors found it necessary to abolish the right of free association. Yet even such edicts, though effective for a little time, were helpless as against the universal craving for combination. Ways were easily found whereby to evade the law, which had exempted from its restrictions orders consecrated by their antiquity or their religious character. Most of the Collegia became funerary and charitable in their labors, humble folk seeking to escape the dim, hopeless obscurity of plebeian life, and the still more hopeless obscurity of death. Pathetic beyond words are some of the inscriptions telling of the horror and loneliness of the grave, of the day when no kindly eye would read the forgotten name, and no hand bring offerings of flowers. Each collegium held memorial services, and marked the tomb of its dead with the emblems of its trade: if a baker, with a loaf of bread; if a builder, with a square, compasses, and the level. From the first the Colleges of Architects seem to have enjoyed special privileges and exemptions, owing to the value of their service to the state, and while we do not find them called Free-masons they were such in law and fact long before they wore the name. They were permitted to have their own constitutions and regulations, both secular and religious. In form, in officers, in emblems a Roman Collegium resembled very much a modern Masonic Lodge. For one thing, no College could consist of less than three persons, and so rigid was this rule that the saying, "three make a college," became a maximum of law. Each College was presided over by a Magister, or Master, with two decuriones, or wardens, each of whom extended the commands of the Master to "the brethren of his column." There were a secretary, a treasurer, and a keeper of archives, and, as the colleges were in part religious and usually met near some temple, there was a sacerdos, or, as we would say, a priest, or chaplain. The members were of three orders, not unlike apprentices, fellows, and masters, or colleagues. What ceremonies of initiation were used we do not know, but that they were of a religious nature seems certain, as each College adopted a patron deity from among the many then worshiped. Also, as the Mysteries of Isis and Mithra ruled the Roman world by turns, the ancient drama of eternal life was never far away. Of the emblems of the Collegia, it is enough to say that here again we find the simple tools of the builder used as teachers of truth for life and hope in death. Upon a number of sarcophagi, still extant, we find carved the square, the compasses, the cube, the plummet, the circle, and always the level. There is, besides, the famous Collegium uncovered at the excavation of Pompeii in 1878, having been buried under the ashes and lava of Mount Vesuvius since the year 79 A.D. It stood near the Tragic Theater, not far from the Temple of Isis, and by its arrangement, with two columns in front and interlaced triangles on the walls, was identified as an ancient lodge room. Upon a pedestal in the room was found a rare bit of art, unique in design and exquisite in execution, now in the National Museum at Naples. It is described by S. R. Forbes, in his Rambles in Naples, as follows:
It is a mosaic table of square shape, fixed in a strong wooden frame. The ground is of grey green stone, in the middle of which is a human skull, made of white, grey, and black colors. In appearance the skull is quite natural. The eyes, nostrils, teeth, ears, and coronal are all well executed. Above the skull is a level of colored wood, the points being of brass; and from the top to the point, by a white thread, is suspended a plumb-line. Below the skull is a wheel of six spokes, and on the upper rim of the wheel there is a butterfiv with wings of red, edged with yellow; its eyes blue .... On the left is an upright spear, resting on the ground; from this there hangs, attached to a golden cord, a garment of scarlet, also a purple robe; whilst the upper part of the spear is surrounded by a white braid of diamond pattern. To the right is a gnarled thorn stick, from which hangs a coarse, shaggy piece of cloth in yellow, grey, and brown colors, tied with a ribbon; and above it is a leather knapsack .... Evidently this work of art, by its composition, is mystical and symbolical.
No doubt; and for those who know the meaning of these emblems there is a feeling of kinship with those men, long since fallen into dust, who gathered about such an altar. They wrought out in this work of art their vision of the old-worn pilgrim way of life, with its vicissitude and care, the level of mortality to which all are brought at last by death, and the winged, fluttering hope of man. Always a journey with its horny staff and wallet, life is sometimes a battle needing a spear, but for him who walks uprightly by the plumb-line of rectitude, there is a true and victorious hope at the end.
Of wounds and sore defeat I made my battle stay, Winged sandals for my feet I wove of my delay. Of weariness and fear I made a shouting spear, Of loss and doubt and dread And swift on-coming doom I made a helmet for my head, And a waving plume.
Christianity, whose Founder was a Carpenter, made mighty appeal to the working classes of Rome, As Deissmann and Harnack have shown, the secret of its expansion in the early years was that it came down to the man in the street with its message of hope and joy. Its appeal was hardly heard in high places, but it was welcomed by the men who were weary and heavy ladened. Among the Collegia it made rapid progress, its Saints taking the place of pagan deities as patrons, and its spirit of love welding men into closer, truer union. When Diocletian determined to destroy Christianity, he was strangely lenient and patient with the Collegia, so many of whose members were of that faith. Not until they refused make a statute of AEsculapius did he vow vengeance and turn on them, venting his fury. In the persecution that followed four Master Masons and one humble apprentice suffered cruel torture and death, but they became the Four Crowned Martyrs, the stow of whose heroic fidelity unto death haunted the legends of later times.[10] They were the patron saints alike of Lombard and Tuscan builders, and, later, of the working Masons of the Middle Ages, as witness the poem in their praise in the oldest record of the Craft, the Regius MS. With the breaking up of the College of Architects and their expulsion from Rome, we come upon a period in which it is hard to follow their path. Happily the task has been made less baffling by recent research, and if we are unable to trace them all the way much light has been let into the darkness. Hitherto there has been a hiatus also in the history of architecture between the classic art of Rome, which is said to have died when the Empire fell to pieces, and the rise of Gothic art. Just so, in the story of the builders one finds a gap of like length, between the Collegia of Rome and the cathedral artists. While the gap cannot, as yet, be perfectly bridged, much has been done to that end by Leader Scott in The Cathedral Builders: The Story of a Great Masonic Guild-- a book itself a work of art as well as of fine scholarship. Her thesis is that the missing link is to be found in the Magistri Comacini, a guild of architects who, on the break-up of the Roman Empire, fled to Comacina, a fortified island in Lake Como, and there kept alive the traditions of classic art during the Dark Ages; that from them were developed in direct descent the various styles of Italian architecture; and that, finally, they carried the knowledge and practice of architecture and sculpture into France, Spain, Germany, and England. Such a thesis is difficult, and, from its nature, not susceptible of ab- solute proof, but the writer makes it as certain as any- thing can well be. While she does not positively affirm that the Comacine Masters were the veritable stock from which the Freemasonry of the present day sprang, "we may admit," she says, "that they were the link between the classic Colegia and all other art and trade Guilds of the Middle Ages. They were Freemasons because they were builders of a privileged class, absolved from taxes and servitude, and free to travel about in times of feudal bondage." The name Free-mason--Libera muratori--may not actually have been used thus early, but the Comacines were in fact free builders long before the name was employed --free to travel from place to place, as we see from their migrations; free to fix their own prices, while other workmen were bound to feudal lords or by the Statutes of Wages. The author quotes in the original Latin and Edict of the Lombard King Rotharis, dated November 22, 643, in which certain privileges are confirmed to the Magistri Comacini and their Colligantes. From this Edict it is clear that it is no new order that is alluded to, but an old and powerful body of Masters capable of acting as architects, with men who executed work under them. For the Comacines were not ordinary workmen, but artists, including architects, sculptors, painters, and decorators, and if affinities of style left in stone be adequate evidence, to them were due the changing forms of architecture in Europe during the cathedral-building period. Everywhere they left their distinctive impress in a way so unmistakable as to leave no doubt. Under Charlemagne the Comacines began their many migrations, and we find them following the missionaries of the church into remote places, from Sicily to Britain, building churches. When Augustine went to convert the British, the Comacines followed to provide shrines, and Bede, as early as 674, in mentioning that builders were sent for from Gaul to build the church at Wearmouth, uses phrases and words found in the Edict of King Rotharis. For a long time the changes in style of architecture, appearing simultaneously everywhere over Europe, from Italy to England, puzzled students.[11] Further knowledge of this powerful and widespread order explains it. It also accounts for the fact that no individual architect can be named as the designer of any of the great cathedrals. Those cathedrals were the work, not of individual artists, but of an order who planned, built, and adorned them. In 1355 the painters of Siena seceded, as the German Masons did later, and the names of individual artists who worked for fame and glory begin to appear; but up to that time the Order was supreme. Artists from Greece and Asia Minor, driven from their homes, took refuge with the Comacines, and Leader Scott finds in this order a possible link, by tradition at least, with the temple of Solomon. At any rate, all through the Dark Ages the name and fame of the Hebrew king lived in the minds of the builders. An inscribed stone, dating from 712, shows that the Comacine Guild was organized as Magistri and Discipuli, under a Gastaldo, or Grand Master, the very same terms as were kept in the lodges later. Moreover, they called their meeting places loggia, a long list of which the author recites from the records of various cities, giving names of officers, and, often, of members. They, too, had their masters and wardens, their oaths, tokens, grips, and passwords which formed a bond of union stronger than legal ties. They wore white aprons and gloves, and revered the Four Crowned Martyrs of the Order. Square, compasses, level, plumb-line, and arch appear among their emblems. "King Solomon's Knot" was one of their symbols, and the endless, interwoven cord, symbol of Eternity which has neither beginning nor end, was another. Later, however, the Lion's Paw seems to have become their chief emblem. From illustrations given by the author they are shown in their regalia, with apron and emblems, clad as the keepers of a great art and teaching of which they were masters. Here, of a truth, is something more than prophecy, and those who have any regard for facts will not again speak lightly of an order having such ancestors as the great Comacine Masters. Had Fergusson known their story, he would not have paused in his History of Architecture to belittle the Freemasons as incapable of designing a cathedral, while puzzling the while as to who did draw the plans for those dreams of beauty and prayer. Hereafter, if any one asks to know who uplifted those massive piles in which was portrayed the great drama of mediaeval worship, he need not remain uncertain. With the decline of Gothic architecture the order of Freemasons also suffered decline, as we shall see, but did not cease to exist--continuing its symbolic tradition amidst varying, and often sad, vicissitude until 1717, when it became a fraternity teaching spiritual faith by allegory and moral science by symbols.
Note--Whatever the origin of Freemasonry, its practical value remains the same. The Nile blessed Egypt whether the origin of it was the Mountains of the Moon, or a Lake in Central Africa; so of the fertilizing stream of Masonry. None the less we should go as far back as we can in search of the source, and so far we have been picking our way amidst many cults and rites in quest of hints and prophecies of the Craft. Naturally the record is less definite than in the pages following, but it has its value and much remains to be explored in the Museum of Antiquity. Meanwhile we may observe: I--The Dionysiac Artificers are the first order of architects, of which we have record, who were a secret order practicing the rites of the Mysteries. Prof. Robinson writes: "We know that the Dionysiacs of Ionia were a great corporation of architects and engineers, who undertook, and even monopolized, the building of temples and stadia, precisely as the fraternity of Freemasons monopolized the building of cathedrals and conventual churches in the Middle Ages. Indeed, the Dionysiacs resembled in many respects the mystic fraternity now called Freemasons. They allowed no strangers to interfere in their employment; they recognized each other by signs and tokens; they professed certain mysterious doctrines under the tutulage of Bacchus, (who represented the Sun, and was the outward symbol of One God, so that the worship of the Dionysiaes resolved itself into a worship of the One God) to whom they built a magnificent temple at Teos, where they celebrated his mysteries at solemn festivals, and they called all other men profane because not admitted to their mysteries."
(Article on the Arch in Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia ). II While the contention of Leader Scott that the Comacine Masters are the real ancestors of Freemasonry has not yet been entirely established and may never be put beyond question, it is believed that it puts us on track of the truth. Further researches by W. Ravenscroft, in his essay on The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Successors, tend to confirm it, albeit we may not be able to accept his theory about their predecessors. Still, the investigation is not yet adjourned, and we may wisely wait its further results. It does offer an explanation, first, of the building of the cathedrals, which could not have been erected by Guildmasons; and the Comacines did have the forms and symbols of Masonry very like what they are today. They were an order of Artists, an aristocracy, to be sure, but an aristocracy of service, of talent, such as Carlyle and Ruskin would have admired. They were also democratic, because industry and merit enabled a worthy workman to attain the highest honors. In spirit, therefore, as well as in form and symbol, they were Masonic. (See a noble passage in Michelet's History of France on the spirit of cathedral Masonry. ) III If in the following pages emphasis is laid upon the historical
development of Masonry, it is because this is a book of history. Many mystical influences entered into the making of Masonry, but they are of a kind which cannot be traced historically or estimated accurately. Traces of Gnosticism, of Mithraism, are found, remnants of rites long forgotten; and the impress of the Kabalah is unmistakable, as Bro. Waite has shown in his lecture on Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Syvnbolism (see also "Freemasonry Illustrated by the Kabalah," by W. W. Westcott. A. Q. C. i, 55). It has been deemed better, in a book of Introduction, to fix attention
on the historical aspects of Craft, leaving the student free to follow further as his inclination and studies may direct.
[1] Primitive Secret Societies, by H. Webster: Secret Societies of all Ages and Countries, by W. C. Heckethorn.
[2] We may add the case of Weshptah, one of the viziers of the Fifth Dynasty in Egypt, about 2700 B.C., and also the royal architect,
for whom the great tomb was built, endowed, and furnished by the king (Religion in Egypt, by Breasted, lecture ii); also the statue of Semut, chief of Masons under Queen Hatasu, now in Berlin.
[3] Historians His. World, vol. ii, chap. iii. Josephus gives an elaborate account of the temple, including the correspondence between Solomon and Hiram of Tyre (Jewish Antiquities., bk. viii, chaps. 2-6 ).
[4] Symbolism of Masonry, Mackey, chap. vi; also in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Masonry, both of which were drawn from History of Masonry, by Laurie, chap. i; and Laurie in turn derived his facts from a Sketch for the History of the Dionysian Artificers, A Fragment, by H. J. Da Costa (1820). Why Waite and others brush the Dionysian architects aside as a dream is past finding out in view of the evidence and authorities put forth by Da Costa, nor do they give any reason for so doing. "Lebedos was the seat and assembly of the Dionysian Artificers, who inhabit Ionia to the Hellespont; there they had annually their solemn meetings and festivities in honor of Bacchus," wrote Strabo (lib. xiv, 921). They were a secret society having signs and words to distinguish their members (Robertson's Greece), and used emblems taken from the art of building (Eusebius, de Prep. Evang. iii, c. 12). They entered Asia Minor and Phoenicia fifty years before the temple of Solomon was built, and Strabo traces them on into Syria, Persia, and India. Surely here are facts not to be swept aside as romance because, forsooth, they do not fit certain theories. Moreover, they explain many things, as we shall see.
[5] Rabbinic legend has it that all the workmen on the temple were killed, so that they should not build another temple devoted to idolatry (Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Freemasonry"). Other legends equally absurd cluster about the temple and its building, none of which is to be taken literally. As a fact, Hiram the architect, or rather artificer in metals, did not lose his life, but, as Josephus tells us, lived to good age and died at Tyre. What the legend is trying to tell us, however, is that at the building of the temple the Mysteries mingled with Hebrew faith, each mutually influencing the other.
[6] Strangely enough, there is a sect or tribe called the Druses, now inhabiting the Lebanon district, who claim to be not only the descendants of the Phoenicians, but the builders of King Solomon's temple. So persistent and important among them is this tradition that their religion is built about it--if indeed it be not something more than a legend. They have Khalwehs, or temples, built after the fashion of lodges, with three degrees of initiation, and, though an agricultural folk, they use signs and tools of building as emblems of moral truth. They have signs, grips, and passwords for recognition. In the words of their lawgiver, Hamze, their creed reads: "The belief in the Truth of One God shall take the place of Prayer; the exercise of brotherly love shall take the place of Fasting; and the daily practice of acts of Charity shall take the place of Alms-giving." Why such a people, having such a tradition? Where did they get it? What may this fact set in the fixed and changeless East mean? (See the essay of Hackett Smith on "The Druses and Their Relation to Freemasonry," and the discussion following, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, iv. 7-19. )
[7] Rawlinson, in his History of Phoenicia, says the people "had for ages possessed the mason's art, it having been brought in very early days from Egypt." Sir C. Warren found on the foundation stones at Jerusalem mason's marks in Phoenician letters (A. Q. C., ii, 125; iii, 68).
[8] See essay on "A Masonic Built City," by S. R. Forbes, a study of the plan and building of Rome, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, iv, 86. As there will be many references to the proceedings of the Coronatorum Lodge of Research, it will be convenient hereafter to use only its initials, A. Q. C., in behalf of brevity. For an account of the Collegia in early Christian times, see Roman Life from Nero to Aurelius, by Dill (bk. ii, chap. iii); also De CoIlegia, by Mommsen. There is an excellent article in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, and Gould, His. Masonry, vol. i, chap. i.
[9] See Masonic Character of Roman Villa at Morton, by J. F. Crease (A. Q. C., iii, 38-59).
[10] Their names were Claudius, Nicostratus, Simphorianus, Castorius, and Simplicius. Later their bodies were brought from Rome to Toulouse where they were placed in a chapel erected in their honor in the church of St. Sernin (Martyrology, by Du Saussay). They became patron saints of Masons in Germany, France, and England (A. Q. C., xii, 196). In a fresco on the walls of the church of St. Lawrence at Rotterdam, partially preserved, they are painted with compasses and trowel in hand. With them, however, is another figure, clad in oriental robe, also holding compasses, but with a royal, not a martyr's crown. Is he Solomon? Who else can he be? The fresco dates from 1641, and was painted by F. Wounters (A. Q. C., xii, 202). Even so, those humble workmen, faithful to their faith, became saints of the church, and reign with Solomon! Once the fresco was whitewashed, but the coating fell off and they stood forth with compasses and trowel as before.
[11] History of Middle Ages, Hallam, vol. ii, 547.

Taken from - The American Freemason - January 1913
THE following, taken from an address delivered to the Grand Lodge of Scottish Freemasonry in India by Brother Col. Col. R. H, Forman, then Grand Master, is pithy and pertinent. The extract is from The Freemason (London);
Permit me, brethren, to draw your attention to a point in Masonic ethics which is always too prominently in evidence. I may well describe it as the straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel. Freemasonry must be one of two things: either it is a mere allegorical olla podrida of empty forms and ceremonies. dressed in a fictitious and tawdry cloak of mysticism; or it is a something far nobler and grander, containing within it those deeper and profounder truths which are at once the hope and the despair of all religions and of philosophies. Did I believe that the former was its sole aim and object-did I think that its symbolism had to be accepted solely at its face value, so to speak-I would resign my position tomorrow. wash my hands of a puerile and contemptible farce, whose only petty claim to respect is a childish clinging to obsolete superstition, and I would recommend every self-respecting and intelligent man to follow my example. But believing, as I do, that it is much more, and knowing that its deeper truths are obscured by a slavish adherence to the letter to the extinction of the spirit- that controversy which is as old as humanity - I stand by the Craft, hoping that I may be able, be it in ever so small a degree, to lift the cloud which oppresses her.
May I illustrate my meaning by example? Freemasonry acknowledges no ritual, and rightly enough, looked at from one point of view; yet we find individuals and Lodges continually bickering over points of ceremonial, as often as not contained in some printed ritual which it has pleased some brother to write, and which gradually assumes the dignity of a sacred volume, especially in the eyes of the neophyte. Ay, more, we frequently find ruling bodies flatly contradicting themselves - on the one hand denying any existence to ritual, and on the other delivering ponderous rulings on points of ritual. So common has this become that there is danger that ceremonial may take precedence of the landmarks, the outward form overshadow the inward meaning, the husk replace the kernel, the spirit succumb to the letter. I am not advocating slipshod working. On the contrary, I am a strong supporter of uniformity and thoroughness, recognizing that the frame sets off the picture; but what I want to insist upon is that the frame is not the picture, but an adjunct thereto. Ceremonial and ritual are good things in their way, but they never were, and never will be, of the essence of Freemasonry. There has been many a stout pillar of the Craft who has never known a word of ritual, and similarly there has been, I regret to add, many an impressive ritualist whose subsequent actions gave the lie direct to his professions, and stamped him a recreant. We argue, and hotly contest, such trivialities as the knocks which should be given at the closing of a degree, and get solemn rulings thereon from august bodies in conclave assembled, or prate of the sacredness of the ballot when some Lodge, or members of a Lodge, with as much grasp of the true meaning of Freemasonry as an infant has of the differential calculus, black-balls en bloc Brother Masons of high repute. Verily a straining at the gnat and swallowing of the camel!
I plead, Brethren, with all the earnestness at my command, for the cultivation of the spirit and the relegation of the letter to its proper place. In that direction, and in that direction only, the future welfare of the Craft lies. Without the motive power of the spirit the Order degenerates into a whited sepulchre, pure without, corrupt within; and only rescued from contempt by reason of its efforts in the cause of Charity. Nor need it plume itself too much on that virtue, as the records of a Peabody, a Mitchell, a Carnegie - or, nearer home, a Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy - clearly show. We don't want secrecy, mystical ceremonies, and general bogyism to inculcate the lessons of ordinary morality; why should we?
Two days ago an old P.M. related to me an incident, with, I am afraid, a certain degree of approbation, anent a Lodge refusing admission to a well-known and distinguished Brother because he did not know the P.W., it having pleased them to decree that the t. of g. p. was that P.W. It was quoted as an instance of the strict adherence to Masonic principles - save the mark - maintained in that Lodge, Do you know what I would term it? Childish rudeness and impertinence, with a strong flavoring of perjury, in that they had sworn never to do an unkind action to a Brother. Little wonder that the Brother in question washed his hands of an Institution which tolerated nonsensical mummery of this kind. I plead for broad-mindedness in Freemasonry, for tolerance, for brotherly love. Ignore the gnat, Brethren - it will not choke you; and strive to see that Masonry is a thing that soars far above mere forms and ceremonies, being, as it is, an expression of man's yearning towards the divine which is within him, and having ever before it the ideal of the regeneration of humanity. To those who can pierce through the outward seeming to the inner soul, I appeal, for therein lies the vindication of Freemasonry. Behind the veil there stands the awful Eidolon, the Pleroma filling more than conceivable space, dispensing with the conditions of form, and obtruding beyond the upper and nether ring of eternity,
<> <> << >> << >> << >> << >> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> <<>> George Helmer FPS <<>> <<>> PM Norwood Lodge #90 <<>> <<>> Grand Lodge of Alberta <<>> <<>> H. Norwood Chapter #18 <<>> <<>> Grand Chapter of Alberta <<>> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> << >> << >> ====== ====== Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him/her to be untrue or unsound. - Morals and Dogma 

"The Builders" by Joseph Fort Newton Part 2 Chapter 2 Section 1 "Fellowcrafts"
Noe person (of what degree soever) shalbee accepted a Free Mason, unless hee shall have a lodge of five Free Masons at least; whereof one to be a master, or warden, of that limitt, or divi- sion, wherein such Lodge shalbee kept, and an- other of the trade of Free Masonry. That noe person shalbee accepted a Free Mason, but such as are of able body, honest par- entage, good reputation, and observers of the laws of the land. Thart noe person shalbee accepted a Free Ma- son, or know the secrets of said Society, until hee hath first taken the oath of secrecy...
--HARLEIAN MS, 1600-1650
Having followed the Free-masons over a long period of of history, it is now in order to give some account of the ethics, organization, laws, emblems, and workings of their lodges. Such a study is at once easy and difficult by turns, owing to the mass of material, and to the fur- ther fact that in the nature of things much of the work of a secret order is not, and has never been, matter for record. By this necessity, not a little must remain obscure, but it is hoped that even those not of the order may derive a definite notion of the principles and practices of the old Craft-masonry, from which the Masonry of today is descended. At least, such a sketch will show that, from times of old, the order of Masons has been a teacher of morality, charity, and truth, unique in its genius, noble in its spirit, and benign in its influence. Taking its ethical teaching first, we have only to turn to the Old Charges or Constitutions of the order, with their quaint blending of high truth and homely craft-law, to find the moral basis of universal Masonry. These old documents were a part of the earliest ritual of the order, and were recited or read to every young man at the time of his initiation as an Entered Apprentice. As such, they rehearsed the legends, laws, and ethics of the craft for his information, and, as we have seen, they insisted upon the antiquity of the order, as well as its service to man- kind-a fact peculiar to Masonry, for no other order has ever claimed such a legendary or traditional history. Having studied that legendary record and its value as history, it remains to examine the moral code laid before the candidate who, having taken a solemn oath of loyalty and secrecy, was instructed in his duties as an Apprentice and his Conduct as a man. What that old code lacked in subtlety is more than made up in simplicity, and it might all be stated in the words of the Prophet: "To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God,"--the old eternal moral law, founded in faith, tried by time, and approved as valid for men of every clime, creed, and condition. Turning to the Regius MS, we find fifteen "points" or rules set forth for the guidance of Fellowcrafts, and as many for the rule of Master Masons.[Note 1] Later the number was reduced to nine, but so far from being an abridg- ment, it was in fact an elaboration of the original code; and by the time we reach the Roberts and Watson MSS a similar set of requirements for Apprentices had been adopted--or rather recorded, for they had been in use long before. It will make for clearness if we reverse the order and take the Apprentice charge first, as it shows what manner of men were admitted to the order. No man was made a Mason save by his own free choice, and he had to prove himself a freeman of lawful age, of legitimate birth, of sound body, of clean habits, and of good repute, else he was not eligible. Also, he had to bind himself by solemn oath to serve under rigid rules for a period of seven years, vowing absolute obedience --for the old-time Lodge was a school in which young men studied, not only the art of building and its symbol- ism, but the seven sciences as well. At first the Appren- tice was little more than a servant, doing the most menial work, his period of indenture being at once a test of his character and a training for his work. If he proved him- self trustworthy and proficient, his wages were increased, albeit his rules of conduct were never relaxed. How aus- tere the discipline was may be seen from a summary of its rules: Confessing faith in God, an Apprentice vowed to honor the Church, the State, and the Master under whom he served, agreeing not to absent himself from the service of the order, by day or night, save with the license of the Master. He must be honest, truthful, upright, faithful in keeping the secrets of the craft, or the confidence of the Master, or of any Free-mason, when communicated to him as such. Above all he must be chaste, never com- mitting adultery or fornication, and he must not marry, or contract himself to any woman, during his apprentice- ship. He must be obedient to the Master without argu- ment or murmuring, respectful to all Freemasons, courte- ous, avoiding obscene or uncivil speech, free from slander, dissension, or dispute, He must not haunt or frequent any tavern or alehouse, or so much as go into them except it be upon an errand of the Master or with his consent, using neither cards, dice, nor any unlawful game, "Christmas time excepted." He must not steal anything even to the value of a penny, or suffer it to be done, or shield anyone guilty of theft, but report the fact to the Master with all speed. After seven long years the Apprentice brought his masterpiece to the Lodge--or, in earlier times, to the annual Assembly [Note 2]--and on strict trial and due examina- tion was declared a Master. Thereupon he ceased to be a pupil and servant, passed into the ranks of Fellow- crafts, and beeame a free man capable, for the first time in his life, of earning his living and choosing his owm employer. Having selected a Mark [Note 3] by which his work could be identified, he could then take his kit of tools and travel as a Master of his art, receiving the wages of a Master--not, however, without first reaffirming his vows of honesty, truthfulness, fidelity, temperance, and chastity, and assuming added obligations to uphold the honor of the order. Again he was sworn not to lay bare, nor to tell to any man what he heard or saw clone in the Lodge, and to keep the secrets of a fellow Mason as inviolably as his own--unless such a secret imperiled the good name of the craft. He furthermore promised to act as mediator between his Master and his Fellows, and to deal justly with both parties. If he saw a Fellow hewing a stone which he was in a fair way to spoil, he must help him without loss of time, if able to do so, that the whole work be not ruined. Or if he met a fellow Mason in distress, or sorrow, he must aid him so far as lay within his power. In short, he must live in justice and honor with all men, espeeially with the members of the order, "that the bond of mutual charity and love may augment and continue." Still more binding, if possible, were the vows of a Fel- lowcraft when he was elevated to the dignity of Master of the Lodge or of the Work. Once more he took solemn oath to keep the secrets of the order unprofaned, and more than one old MS quotes the Golden Rule as the law of the Master's office. He must be steadfast, trusty, and true; pay his Fellows truly; take no bribe; and as a judge stand upright. He must attend the annual As- sembly, unless disabled by illness, if within fifty miles-- the distance varying, however, in different MSS. He must be careful in admitting Apprentices, taking only such as are fit both physically and morally, and keeping none without assurance that he would stay seven years in order to learn his craft. He must be patient with his pupils, instruct them diligently, encourage them with increased pay, and not permit them to work at night, "unless in the pursuit of knowledge, which shall be a sufficient excuse." He must be wise and discreet, and undertake no work he cannot both perform and complete equally to the profit of his employer and the craft. Should a Fellow be overtaken by error, he must be gentle, skil- ful, and forgiving, seeking rather to help than to hurt, abjuring scandal and bitter words. He must not attempt to supplant a Master of the Lodge or of the Work, or belittle his work, but recommend it and assist him in improving it. He must be liberal in charity to those in need, helping a Fellow who has fallen upon evil lot, giving him work and wages for at least a fortnight, or if he has no work, "relieve him with money to defray his reasonable charges to the next Lodge." For the rest, he must in all ways act in a manner befitting the nobility of his office and his order. Such were some of the laws of the moral life by which the old Craft-masonry sought to train its members, not only to be good workmen, but to be good and true men, serving their Fellows; to which, as the Rawlinson MS tells us, "divers new articles have been added by the free choice and good consent and best advice of the Perfect and True Masons, Masters, and Brethren." If, as an ethic of life, these laws seem simple and rudimentary, they are none the less fundamental, and they remain to this clay the only gate and way by which those must enter who would go up to the House of the Lord. As such they are great and saving things to lay to heart and act upon, and if Masonry taught nothing else its title to the respect of mankind would be clear. They have a double aspect: first, the building of a spiritual man upon immutable moral foundations; and second, the great and simple religious faith in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the Life Eternal, taught by Masonry from its earliest history to this good day. Moral- ity and theistic religion--upon these two rocks Masonry has always stood, and they are the only basis upon which mans may ever hope to rear the spiritual edifice of his life, even to the capstone thereof.

[Note 1] Our present craft nomenclature is all wrong; the old order was first Apprentice, then Master, then Fellowcraft--mastership being, not a degree conferred, but a reward of skill as a workman and of merit as a man. The confusion today is due, no doubt, to the cus- tom of the German Guilds, where a Fellowcraft had to serve an additional two years as a journeyman before becoming a Master. No such restriction was known in England. Indeed, the reverse was true, and it was not the Fellowcraft but the Apprentice who prepared his masterpiece, and if it was accepted, he became a Master. Having won his mastership, he was entitled to become a Fellowcraft--that is. a peer and fellow of the fraternity which hitherto he had only served. Also. we must distinguish between a Master and the Master of the Work, now represented by the Mas- ter of the Lodge. Between a Master and the Master of the Work there was no difference, of course, except an accidental one; they were both Masters and Fellows. Any Master (or Fellow) could become a Master of the Work at any time, provided he was of suf- ficient skill and had the luck to be chosen as such either by the employer, or the Lodge, or both.
[Note 2] The older MSS indicate that initiations took place, for the most part, at the annual Assemblies, which were bodies not unlike the Grand Lodges of today, presided over by a President--a Grand Master in fact, though not in name. Democratic in government, as Masonry has always been, they received Apprentices, examined candidates for mastership, tried eases, adjusted disputes, and regu- lated the craft; but they were also occasions of festival and social good will. At a later time they declined, and the functions of in- itiation more and more reverted to the Lodges.
[Note 3] The subject of Mason's Marks is most interesting, particularly with reference to the origin and growth of Gothic architecture, but too intricate to be entered upon here. As for example, an essay en- titled "Scottish Mason's Marks Compared with Those of Other Countries," by Prof. T. H. Lewis, British Archaeological Associa- tion, 1888, and the theory there advanced that some great un- known architect introduced Gothic architecture from the East, as shown by the difference in Mason's Marks as compared with those of the Norman period. (Also proceedings of A. Q. C., iii, 65-81.)
"The Builders" By Joseph Fort Newton Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 2
Imagine, now, a band of these builders, bound together by solemn vows and mutual interests, journeying over the most abominable roads toward the site selected for an abbey or cathedral. Traveling was attended with many dangers, and the company was therefore always well armed, the disturbed state of the country rendering such a precaution necessary. Tools and provisions belonging to the party were carried on pack-horses or mules, placed in the center of the convoy, in charge of keepers, The company consisted of a Master Mason directing the work, Fellows of the craft, and Apprentices serving their time. Besides these we find subordinate laborers, not of the Lodge though in it, termed layers, settlers, tilers, and so forth. Masters and Fellows wore a distinctive costume, which remained almost unchanged in its fashion for no less than three centuries.[Note 1] Withal, it was a serious com- pany, but in nowise solemn, and the tedium of the journey was no doubt beguiled by song, story, and the humor incident to travel. "Wherever they came," writes Mr. Hope in his Essay on Architecture, "in the suite of missionaries, or were called by the natives, or arrived of their own accord, to seek employment, they appeared headed by a chief sur- veyor, who governed the whole troop, and named one man out of every ten, under the name of warden, to overlook the other nine, set themselves to building tem- porary huts for their habitation around the spot where the work was to be carried on, regularly organized their different departments, fell to work, sent for fresh sup- plies of their brethren as the object demanded, and, when all was finished, again they raised their encampment, and went elsewhere to undertake other work." Here we have a glimpse of the methods of the Free- masons, of their organization, almost military in its order and dispatch, and of their migratory life; although they had a more settled life than this ungainly sentence allows, for a long time was required for the building of a great cathedral. Sometimes, it would seem, they made special contracts with the inhabitants of a town where they were to erect a church, containing such stipulations as, that a Lodge covered with tiles should be built for their ac- commodation, and that every laborer should be provided with a white apron of a peculiar kind of leather and gloves to shield the hands from stone and slime.[Note 2] At all events, the picture we have is that of a little community or village of workmen, living in rude dwellings, with a Lodge room at the center adjoining a slowly rising ca- thedral--the Master busy with his plans and the care of his craft; Fellows shaping stones for walls, arches, or spires; Apprentices fetching tools or mortar, and when necessary, tending the sick, and performing all offices of a similar nature. Always the Lodge was the center of interest and activity, a place of labor, of study, of de- votion, as well as the common room for the social life of the order. Every morning, as we learn from the Fabric Rolls of York Minster, began with devotion, followed by the directions of the Master for the work of the day, which no doubt included study of the laws of the art, plans of construction, and the mystical meaning of orna- ments and emblems. Only Masons were in attendance at such times, the Lodge being closed to all others, and guarded by a Tiler [Note 3] against "the approach of cowan [Note 4] and eavesdroppers." Thus the work of each day was be- gun, moving forward amidst the din and litter of the hours, until the craft was called from labor to rest and refreshment; and thus a cathedral was uplifted as a mon- ument to the Order, albeit the names of the builders are faded and lost. Employed for years on the same building, and living together in the Lodge, it is not strange that Free-masons came to know and love one another, and to have a feeling of loyalty to their craft, unique, peculiar, and enduring. Traditions of fun and frolic, of song and feast and gala-day, have floated down to us, telling of a comradeship as joyous as it was genuine. If their life had hardship and vicissitude, it had also its grace and charm of friendship, of sympathy, service, and commu- nity of interest, and the joy that comes of devotion to a high and noble art. When a Mason wished to leave one Lodge and go elsewhere to work, as he was free to do when he desired, he had no difficulty in making himself known to the men of his craft by certain signs, grips, and words[Note 5] Such tokens of recognition were necessary to men who traveled afar in those uncertain days, especially when references or other means of identification were ofttimes impossible. All that many people knew about the order was that its members had a code of secret signs, and that no Mason need be friendless or alone when other Masons were within sight or hearing; so that the very name of the craft came to stand for any mode of hidden recognition. Steele, in the Tatler, speaks of a class of people who have "their signs and tokens like Freemasons." There were more than one of these signs and tokens, as we are more than once told--in the Harleian MS, for example, which speaks of "words and signs." What they were may not be here discussed, but it is safe to say that a Master Mason of the Middle Ages, were he to return from the land of shadows, could perhaps make himself known as such in a Fellowcraft Lodge of today. No doubt some things would puzzle him at first, but he would recognize the officers of the Lodge, its form, its emblems, its great altar Light, and its moral truth taught in symbols. Be- sides, he could tell us, if so minded, much that we should like to learn about the craft in tee olden times, its hidden mysteries, the details of its rites, and the meaning of its symbols when the poetry of building was yet alive.
Note 1 History of Masonry, Steinbrenner. It consisted of a short black tunic---in summer made of linen, in winter of wool---open at the sides, with a gorget to which a hood was attached; round the waist was a leathern girdle, from which depended a sword and a satchel. Over the tunic was a black scapulary, similar to the habit of a priest, tucked under the girdle when they were working: but on holydays allowed to hang down. No doubt this garment also served as a coverlet at night, as was the custom of the Middle Ages, sheets and blankets being luxuries enjoyed only by the rich and titled (History of Agriculture and Prices in England, T. Rogers). On their heads they wore large felt or straw hats, and tight leather breeches and long boots completed the garb.
Note 2 Gloves were more widely used in the olden times than now, and the practice of giving them as presents was common in medi- aeval times. Often, when the harvest was over, gloves were dis- tributed to the laborers who gathered it (History of Prices in Eng- land, Rogers), and richly embroidered gloves formed an offering gladly accepted by princes. Indeed, the bare hand was regarded as a symbol of hostility, and the gloved hand a token of peace and goodwill. For Masons, however, the white gloves and apron had meanings hardly guessed by others, and their symbolism remains to this day with its simple and eloquent appeal. (See chapter on "Masonic Clothing and Regalia," in Things a Freemason Should Know, by J. W. Crowe, an interesting article by Rylancls, A. Q. C., vol v, and the delightful essay on "Gloves," by Dr. Mackey, in his Symbolism of Freemasonry. ) Not only the tools of the builder, but his clothing, had moral meaning.
Note 3 Tiler-like the word cable-tow-is a word peculiar to the language of Masonry, and means one who guards the Lodge to see that only Masons are within ear-shot. It probably derives from the Middle Ages when the makers of tiles for roofing were also of mi- gratory habits (History of Prices in England, Rogers), and accom- panied the Freemasons to perform their share of the work of cov- ering buildings. Some tiler was appointed to act as seninel to keep off intruders, and hence, in course of time, the name of Tiler came to be applied to any Mason who guarded the Lodge.
Note 4 Much has been written of the derivation and meaning of the word cowan, some finding its origin in a Greek term meaning "dog." ( See "An Inquiry Concerning Cowans," by D. Ramsay, Re- view of Freemasonry, vol. i. ) But its origin is still to seek, unless we accept it as an old Scotch word of contempt (Dictionary of Scottish Language, Jamieson). Sir Walter Scott uses it as such in Rob Roy, "she doesna' value a Cawmil mair as a cowan" (chap. xxix). Masons used the word to describe a "dry-diker, one who built without cement," or a Mason without the word. Unfortunate- ly, we still have cowans in this sense---men who try to be Masons without using the cement of brotherly love. If only they could be kept out! Blackstone describes an eavesdropper as "a common nui- sance punishable by fine." Legend says that the old-time Masons punished such prying persons, who sought to learn their signs and secrets, by holding them under the eaves until the water ran in at the neck and out at the heels. What penalty was inflicted in dry weather, we are not informed. At any rate, they had contempt for a man who tried to make use of the signs of the craft without knowing its art and ethics.
Note 5 This subject is most fascinating. Even in primitive ages there seems to have been a kind of universal sign-language employed, at times, by all peoples. Among widely separated tribes the signs were very similar, owing, perhaps, to the fact that they were natural gestures of greeting, of warning, or of distress. There is intimation of this in the Bible, when the life of Ben-Hadad was saved by a sign given (I Kings, 20:30-35). Even among the North American Indians a sign-code of like sort was known (Indian Ma- sonry, R. C. Wright, chap iii). "Mr. Ellis, by means of his knowl- edge as a Master Mason, actually passed himself into the sacred part or adytum of one of the temples of India" (Anacalypsis, G. Higgins, vol. i, 767). See also the experience of Haskett Smith among the Druses, already referred to (A. Q. C., iv, 11). Kipling has a rollicking story with the Masonic sign-code for a theme, en- titled The Man Who Would be King, and his imagination is posi- tively uncanny. If not a little of the old sign-language of the race lives to this day in Masonic Lodges, it is due not only to the exigencies of the craft, but also to the instinct of the order for the old, the universal, the human; its genius for making use of all the ways and means whereby men may be brought to know and love and help one another.
Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
Masonry as an Order
EVERY NEWLY-MADE MASON is confused by hearing the Fraternity called by a half dozen other descriptive names, now one and now another, with apparent casualness, and as if its own members had never yet decided in their minds whether it is in reality a Fraternity or is a Lodge, or a Brotherhood, or an Association, or a Society, or a Craft, or an Order, or a Rite, or a Fellowship, or a Gild, or an Art; and at one time it might also have been called by the now obsolete or unfamiliar names of mystery, or covine, or sodality. What, exactly, is it? The only exact answer that can possibly be given is that it is Freemasonry, which cannot be classified with anything else, but that within itself it possesses properties or forms of many kinds of association, so that when a Mason calls it first a Lodge and then a society, etc., he is but one aspect of it and at another time is thinking about another aspect of it. Freemasonry is in strict and literal fact many kinds of associations, and is all of them at one time. It is multiform. A Mason is not compelled to make his choice of one descriptive name out of many but may use any one of them as best suits his needs.
The word Order is neither poetical nor pleasant, and has an air about it of something hard, something arbitrary, and is always connected in our minds with the days when a parent "ordered us about" at home, or a teacher in school, or a sergeant snapped out orders in the army, or a foreman yelled orders in the shop; it carries with it in consequence overtones of arbitrariness, authority, harshness and the use of force. Also it has an air of being undemocratic, and is closely and necessarily connected with the idea of rank, or ranks. The word rank itself has a curious history in one language because we have not only two words, rank and rank, both of which have the same spelling and pronunciation, but two words which mean, it so happens, the complete opposite of each other. One rank is an Anglo-Saxon term and means unlicensed, untamed, unordered, as when we speak of a rank growth of vegetation. The other rank is French but was originally the Greek word for ring, and is a first cousin of the word range; it describes the ranging of men or things in ranks, or lines, or circles. Order has in it these and a number of other related meanings. It is as it stands a Latin word, and means that men or things are in an arrangement, that each thing is placed, that there is no confusion, that everything is planned and ranked according to such categories as time, or size, or function.
The word also is connected in our minds with a certain type of organizations which have been called "Orders" for the past 1500 years, such as the Order of the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Order, the Benedictine Order, the Order of the Garter, the Order of Malta, the Order of the Hospital, and many others. These associations and organizations did not give the word its meaning, and except in Templarism we Masons are careful not to permit the use of the word to define for us what we mean when we say that our Fraternity is an Order, because it has very little in common with the rules and regulations of the Orders of Chivalry, etc.; in Ancient Craft Masonry we use the word in its common and original sense whereas the Orders use it in a special sense; those Orders of which the Order of the Temple is the most familiar example were established by some one man, a Pope, an Abbot, a King, etc., and began with a set of rules drawn for the purpose and at that time; that in Freemasonry which makes it an Order was on the other hand never initiated by any one man but came about gradually, and in consequence of historical causes; that which makes the Order of the Garter an order, is almost wholly unlike that which makes Ancient Craft Masonry an order.
When a Lodge of Operative Freemasons began work on a new building they employed the same principle as that which is the secret of the assembly line in a factory using the method of mass production; they laid out their work in a series of steps, or stages, or degrees in such a way that they would do one thing first, and then because they had done it could go on to do a second thing, and then a third, so that the separate tasks fell into a series, like the letters in an alphabet. To be able to see beforehand how many steps would be needed, and in what order they would come, was one of the most difficult and important arts in the work of building, because in order to do it the Craftsmen had to understand the whole idea and general plan of the building. The building work, therefore, had a serial order.
A building occupied space - if it was to be a cathedral it might occupy an acre or more; it had for that reason to be laid out, or planned, spatially. The where was as important as the when. A stake was set at the place where the cornerstone would be laid; from it the whole structure was oriented; a given wall of a given length was to stand at a certain spot, each pillar or column was to come at a given point, a door was to be placed here, a window there, an entablature from this point to that point, the base of the tower was to stand so many feet from this and so many feet from that, and this arrangement in space was carried down to a point so fine that any given small piece of mosaic was to have a place of its own. Once these points, positions, places were fixed in the plans they came to have a magisterial function because they always dictated where a given workman was to work, and what he was to do there. There was a general orientation, and this was of a sort so organic that in most instances the shifting of one element of the building to another place necessitated a revision of the whole plan. Therefore the spatial ordering of the structure was a law which the craftsman had to obey; it ordered, or gave orders, to him, and it mattered not if he might prefer to work in one place rather than another because his preferences did not count. As a Craftsman he belonged to an order because his work was ordered, and was so of necessity.
In our modern customs of work nothing differs more from customs of work in the Middle Ages than the role of management, or superintendence. In modern customs the superintendent "keeps his distance" in the physical sense as well as in the sense of his picturing himself as a sort of monarch who issues fiats from a distance. Among Operative Freemasons both the Master and his Wardens were themselves workmen, reported in at the same time as others, and came through the same apprenticeship; it could never have crossed their minds that they were to stand back giving commands while other men did the work because an idea so puerile had not yet been conceived; they were workmen like other workmen, worked for wages, worked the same hours, and a craftsman who was superintendent, or Master of Masons, at one place might not be such a one at another, and if so it was never taken that he had been "demoted."
Where a Master of Masons (or other Officers) differed from other craftsmen was not in the difference between one man who works and another man who "bosses" (Operative Masons would have tolerated no "bosses") but in the difference between a craftsman who did one kind of work and a craftsman who did another kind. It was necessary to send orders to the quarries for stones, their number, kind and date of delivery; to order them cut and finished by a certain time and in given dimensions; to have some of them carved; to furnish the models or patterns; to see that a carved stone was put in a certain place at a certain time; to coordinate the work being done at one place by one man with work being done (perhaps hundreds of feet away) by another man; to keep records; to pay wages; to employ men as needed and to dismiss them when not needed; to call assemblies and to preside over them; to smooth differences among craftsmen and to resolve their quarrels; and to act as spokesman for the Craft to check on civil authorities or to the administration which employed the men. These functions were themselves forms of work, as toilsome as any other and even more exacting; the officers were craftsmen selected or "told off" to do those kinds of work, and if Officers had a rank, honors, prerogatives, and powers it was because the nature of architectural work required that they should have.
In the meantime there were always a certain number of apprentices busy about the place. The fundamental difference between these apprentices and full craftsmen (or "fellows") was that where an adult craftsman was answerable for doing his own work to orders and plans or to the officers, each apprentice was answerable personally to his own particular Master, and answerable to him only. He was never anything more than a helper. He could decide nothing, could undertake nothing on his own initiative, was not responsible for any form of work, had no voice and no vote. His station was therefore wholly unlike the status of a Master Craftsman, or an Officer.
The whole organization of the Craft thus was one made necessary by the nature of the work itself; we discuss theories or principles of organization in the abstract, and among ourselves prefer some one among the many possible theories such as collective, cooperative, dictatorial, communistic, democratic, etc., and we argue about these as theologians once argued about doctrines, but no Medieval Freemason could even have guessed what these arguments were about, because he did not have "theories" or "doctrines," but ordered and arranged and organized his craft in the form made necessary by the nature of the art of building; if any man had said to him, "But your Craft is not democratic," or "Is not monarchic" he would have answered, "What of it?" When therefore it turned out that his Craft was an order, that it had in it three ranks, or grades, or degrees of status, that these were sharply separated from each other, that each Craftsman had a station, or place, or rank of his own, that these were fixed in Craft rules and regulations and Landmarks, it was not because he had a "belief" in such a system, or had been talked into it by organizers or stump-orators, or liked it better, but because the nature of the work (or art) of architecture made such a form of organization necessary. He could not see that he had a choice of having it any other way. There are some of us even in our talk-raddled United States, certainly among us Freemasons there are those of us, who believe that the Medieval Freemason was far nearer the truth of things than our own schools of economists, and our after dinner speakers, and our newspapers with their catchwords and their propaganda; if there is a certain kind of work that needs to be done if we are to continue to exist, then let us go to work and do it, and if to do it makes it necessary for us to do it in a certain way, then let us do it in that way and not waste our efforts in arguing about the method of doing it.
For such reasons, and in such a sense, Operative Freemasonry was an order. It was not as if there had been beforehand such a thing as Freemasonry, that this Freemasonry chose to be an order, and that it could have chosen another form of organization; Freemasonry was itself an order, and was one to begin with; to destroy Freemasonry as an order would have destroyed Freemasonry. And the order which it was during the centuries of its Operative period it still is; there was no change made in it in respect of that fact in its transition from Operative to Speculative. Every regular Lodge in the world is an order, and no man could make it otherwise without destroying the Lodges.
During the twenty-year period between World Wars I and II the Fascists (using that word in its most inclusive sense) undertook to set up a single Fascist System in the countries of Europe. Freemasonry was an obstacle, at least they believed it to be one; to remove it they set up an Anti-Masonic organization, with its principal bureau in Paris, and this organization had some hundreds of books published in order to persuade the rank and file of ordinary men that they ought not to be Masons. They accused Freemasonry of many things, but one of the commonest of their accusations was to say that Freemasonry is a revolutionary society; and they tried to make this plausible by asserting that Freemasonry had plotted the French Revolution, and that the Revolutionary motto of "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" was the motto of Freemasonry.
This was one of the falsest, or at least one of the most mistaken accusations ever made against Freemasonry not only because it was mistaken in fact at one point or another but because it was false as a whole. "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" is not the motto of the Fraternity, and it never has been; at no moment in its long history has the Fraternity ever been within view of that motto, and certainly there has never been a moment when it could have believed in it; and the facts set forth in this present chapter show why this is true.
By "liberty" the French revolutionists meant "without restraint." When a Candidate enters the door he is hoodwinked cable-towed, and conducted, and from then on continues to move through the Three Degrees under the narrowest of restraints, and after he has become a Lodge member, and though he may be a Lodge member for sixty years, he is always under those same restraints. By "equality" the revolutionists meant the obliteration of status, grades, ranks; the Fraternity has never believed in doctrinaire libertarianism, and never will, because it cannot, for libertarianism would abolish half the Landmarks since those Landmarks are in themselves ranks, grades, differences in status. The Fraternity believes in the free man, which is an idea far away from libertarianism in its many forms. By "fraternity" the revolutionists meant that "wherever you and I are we can be brothers together"; so little is such a notion true of Freemasonry that an Apprentice cannot sit in Lodge as the brother of a Fellowcraft, and a Fellowcraft cannot sit in Lodge with Master Masons, and only one out of the whole number of members in a Lodge can sit in the East, and no Mason can visit or demit to another Lodge at his own pleasure.
Under the American Constitution which grants and protects the many rights of free association to its citizens any number of men can at will form themselves into a group; they can choose their own name, select their own officers, write their own rules they can be free, each of them, to have a voice about anything, to discuss anything, to have a vote about anything; they can at any time, whenever their own whim or circumstances suggest, reorganize and remodel their organization from top to bottom, can alter its rules, and can even wholly change its purposes - and these things are done in the United States almost every day in the year.
But they are never done in a Masonic Lodge. Its own members cannot say what it is, or is not. They cannot make Freemasonry over to suit themselves. If one of them attempts an innovation of the Landmarks he is reprimanded, suspended or expelled. What the Lodge was before any one of them came into it, it continues to be; it will continue to be that same thing after every one of them has gone. A Candidate cannot take one degree, or seven, or seventy, but must take three, and three only, and he himself has no voice in what these Degrees are, nor has the Lodge itself. Once the Candidate has become a member he has a place or station; he must sit on the side-lines, and cannot move at will. Each Officer has a place or station, and he and he only can occupy it and he cannot even do that until after he is installed. The Communication of a Lodge is at a fixed date and place; it uses fixed rites and ceremonies, and conducts its affairs in compliance with its By-Laws and the Order of Business. The Ritual itself is an orderly arrangement of degrees, rites, ceremonies, steps, parts, and each symbol comes at a place or time of its own. Each member has a voice or a vote about certain things, no voice or vote about other things; the Master is supreme within the jurisdiction of his own office, has no authority beyond it. Nothing is fluid, or footloose, nothing is unrestrained. There is no equalitarianism, and neither is there any factionalism, or partying, or bossism. Within the whole of it, like the skeletonal frame-work in the body of a man, stand the Landmarks, and not even a Grand Lodge can alter them, nor could the whole number of Grand Lodges working together, because, Masonically speaking, they are of the nature of things. It is only another way of saying that Freemasonry is an Order, and anything said or written which contradicts that fact cannot possibly be true.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

FEELING that Brother Pitts, in the second number of THE AMERICAN FREEMASON, treats of a subject that is of deep interest to the fraternity; and also feeling that his views an that subject, as expressed therein, are not supported by the evidence, indulgence is requested for an opportunity to present the matter from another point of view, using the same authorities, with two more that I am sure Brother Pitts will accept cheerfully.
The "Book of Constitutions, 1723," quoted by Brother Pitts, is a volume composed of four separate and distinct parts, having no connection with each other, as noted below:
A History of Masonry, (which is only read as a curiosity.)
The Old Charges.
General Regulations, compiled first by Mr. George Payne. A. D. 1720, and approved by the Grand Lodge on St. John Baptist's day, A. D. 1721.
The Ancient Manner of Constituting a Lodge, by Grand Master the Duke of Wharton, and a number of Masonic songs.
Of these several parts, the "General Regulations" were first written by Mr. George Payne, Grand Master in 1820, and Master of one of "the Four Old Lodges" - No. 4 in 1717 - and these were
- approved, ratified and confirmed by one hundred and fifty brethren, at an annual Assembly and Feast held at Stationers' Hall, on St. John the
Baptist's Day. 1721, and in their presence was subscribed by the Masters and Wardens of the Four Old Lodges on one part; and by Phillip
Duke of Wharton, Grand Master, Theopilus Desaguliers, LL.D. and F.R.S., the Deputy Grand Master; Joshua Timson and William Hawkins, the Grand Wardens, and the Masters and Wardens of sixteen Lodges constituted between 1717 and 1721, on the other part.
Of these Regulations it has been said by Brother Hughan: It will be noted that these laws are really the only legislative portion of the volume, being the only Constitutions agreed to by the Grand Lodge in 1721.
As these "Constitutions" are the only record we have, they are entitled to great weight in studying the customs and usages in the early Grand Lodge era. So in considering the question of the ballot, it is imperative that we lay aside the "New Book of Constitutions of 1738," and confine ourselves to the one of 1723. In order that we study it intelligently, it is necessary that we read Regulation VI in its entirety, which is as follows:
VI. But no man can be entered a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted a member thereof, Without THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THAT LODGE then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the Master; and they are to signify their Consent or Dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity, nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; because the members of a
particular Lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious member should be imposed upon them, it might spoil their harmony or hinder their freedom. or even break or disperse the Lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true brethren.
Here we have, first, a plain. concise statement of the law, given as "the inherent privilege of the Lodge," made by a Grand Master in 1720, or three years after the formation of the Grand Lodge, and approved and ratified, as before stated, in the following year. and, second, a formal protest against any Grand Master assuming power to violate it.
If we cannot accept these words as portraying the usages of Speculative Freemasonry in the first years of the premier Grand Lodge, then we are absolutely without any authority. It appears to me that a careful reading of this Regulation must convince anyone that this was one of the laws inherited from "the Four Old Lodges," and was the invariable practice as late as 1722, at least.
Confusion has arisen over this Regulation through too much reliance being placed in a later publication - "The New Book of Constitutions, by James Anderson, D. D., 1738."
In this work Dr. Anderson is supposed to have reprinted the "Old Regulations" in a "distinct opposite column," but even a cursory examination of the former, side by side with the first edition of 1723, will reveal the fact that the reproduction was not only carelessly done, but that in several instances departures from the regular text are to be detected, so much so as to considerably lessen the value of the reprint. - Hughan, Introduction to the Reprint of the New Book of Constitutions, by the Lodge Quatuor Coronati.
In this new Book of Constitutions, in the parallel column alongside of "Old Regulation VI," before quoted, appears:
VI. On 19 Feb., 1723-4.
But it was found inconvenient to insist on Unanimity in several cases;
and therefore the Grand Masters have allowed the Lodges to admit a Member, if not above three ballots are against him, though some Lodges
desire no such allowance.
Of this Brother Upton said, it is "the earliest record of a Grand Master 'allowing' what the law said he should not allow."
In this connection it should be noted that the above New Regulation was written at a time when, as stated by Brother Gould: It is sufficiently clear that the New Book of Constitutions (1738) . . . was compiled by Dr. Anderson at a period when troubles crowded thickly upon him, and very shortly before his death. This of itself would tend to detract from the weight of authority with which such a publication should descend to us. . . . The history of the Grand Lodge, as narrated by Anderson, is, to say the least, very unsatisfactoriIy attested.
The actual minutes of that meeting (19 Feb., 1723-4) are:
Grand Lodge in ample form at the aforesaid Crown 19 Feb. 1723-4, with former G. officers, and those of 26 Lodges.
And yet, all that can be shown by the later book (1738) is that some Grand Masters, for reasons that can only be surmised, saw fit to ignore the law, as was written, and "in several cases granted dispensations to ignore it and admit petitioners 'if not more than 3 ballots are against him."'
Regulation VI of the new Regulations is simply a statement of fact, not of law, and is constantly paralleled by American Grand Masters, when in their annual reports they announce that for good and sufficient reasons they have granted a dispensation to Blank Lodge to confer the Master Mason degree in less than the statutory time. How this repeals the law in the case, I fail to see,
In the article of Brother Hughan's, quoted by Brother Pitts, after giving the law of the ballot in England and Scotland, appear these words:
I have given the rules as to the ballot according to the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland.
But for some unaccountable reason, the rule in Ireland is not given. That the record may be complete, and as possibly being of interest to Brother Pitts, I will insert it here:
Rule 108. Balloting must in all cases be with beans, one black bean to
exclude, except in the case of brethren already members of the Order seeking affiliation, when admission may be according to the by-laws of
the Lodge. If a Lodge has no by-law on the subject, the admission must
be unanimous. - Laws and Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, Ireland, 1876.
To the Lodges holding under the Irish Constitutions must we go today to find the purest Ancient Craft Masonry.
------------------------ AUTHORITIES CITED - Anderson's Constitutions, 1723, (Kennings' Archeological Library, Vol. I); The New Book of Constitutions, 1738, (Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. VII); Introduction to Above, by W. J. Hughan; Gould's "Four Old Lodges" and "History of Freemasonry."
<> <> << >> << >> << >> << >> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> <<>> George Helmer FPS <<>> <<>> PM Norwood Lodge #90 <<>> <<>> Grand Lodge of Alberta <<>> <<>> H. Norwood Chapter #18 <<>> <<>> Grand Chapter of Alberta <<>> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> << >> << >> ====== ====== Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him/her to be untrue or unsound. - Morals and Dogma 

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
The Symbolic Degrees
A CANDIDATE learns what a degree is twice over, once while it is being
conferred upon him, and again when he learns it by heart; he discovers
that there is nothing indefinite about any one of them because each one begins at a fixed moment, at a specified place, with a given action, then proceeds in a fixed order, step after step, until it comes to a clean-cut end with a given action, at a given place - there is no ambiguity or uncertainty in it, nothing extemporized, but it is as definitely cut and patterned as a diamond. As a man's body is composed of many parts and organs and yet is not the name for the sum of those organs when added up but is itself both more and different and has an identity of its own, so a Degree, though it also is composed of parts, or rites, or elements, is not a mere addition of them but is itself a unity, has an
identity, and a name.
Where did Freemasons find the idea of a Degree? How did they come to adopt Degrees as the means for making a Mason? Those questions call for long answers, but the first of them can be compressed into the statement that they found the idea nowhere, and did not consciously adopt Degrees as a means for making Masons. Degrees arose of themselves, one bit at a time, and came almost unintentionally and more or less accidentally; the Operative Freemasons out of whose practices the Degrees were made never had heard of a Degree, had none, and would not have known what the word meant because they did not have it. It is for this reason that a complete history of the Degrees cannot be written except in the form of a complete history of Freemasonry.
A Degree is a single organized system of rites and ceremonies. They are not mentioned in our two oldest documents, the Regius and the Cooke MSS., although they both make sharp distinctions among Apprentices, Fellows, and Lodge Officers. In all probability Degrees properly so called came first into use in the Seventeenth Century, although the elements or rites or ceremonies incorporated in them were much older. There is mention of our present penalties as used in our present Third Degree in 1700 A.D., and we know that when the Mother Grand Lodge was constituted in 1717 A.D. the Lodges were conferring two Degrees; and it is likely that the formation of Degrees (as such) had its first germ in the acceptance of non-Operative (Speculative) members by Operative Lodges (probably in the latter half of the Fourteenth Century) because
Degrees are almost the only possible means by which the old Operative practices, rules, regulations, rites, and ceremonies could have been put to a new use by the Speculative Freemasons.
>From the discovery of the Regius MS. in 1838 A.D. until Gould began writing his History about 1870 A.D. the majority of Masonic scholars, with W. J. Hughan as their leader, believed that before the Grand Lodge of 1717 A.D. Lodges had conferred only one Degree; Gould himself set up a powerful argument in favor of the theory that they had conferred two Degrees. At the time of writing, three-quarters of a century after
Gould, a circle of scholars believe that Lodges before 1717 A.D. conferred three Degrees. The debate has been a long one, and has been so thoroughly discussed that with the exception of the subject of
the Old Charges more Masonic learning has gone into the discussion than into any other single question in our history.
It is now beginning to appear that the debate will be transformed by bringing to bear upon it a new set of ideas in which the question of one, or two, or three Degrees will lose its meaning - it is the position accepted in these paragraphs. The principal one among these new ideas derives from the fact that before 1717 A.D. (and possibly as late as 1740 A.D.) Freemasons did not think in the terms of Degrees, but in the terms of Lodges. It was a Lodge of Apprentices into which a Candidate was first
initiated, not a Degree; and so with Fellows, and so (later) with Masters. Historical facts support this hypothesis, but even if we had no historical facts any reasonable analysis of Speculative practices would support it because to this day an Apprentice does not become a member of an Apprentice Degree but of an Apprentice Lodge; and so with Fellows, and
with Masters - a Degree is used by a Lodge, but the Lodge consists of many things besides its Degree. There could therefore have been Lodges of Apprentices and Lodges of Fellows long before there were any Degrees of Apprentices or Fellows; either of those Lodges could have used a greater or a lesser amount of materials, obligations, charges, lectures, modes of identification, rites, or ceremonies, but could have used them in an unorganized form, and no two Lodges needed to use them in the same order or in the same amount. To sum up, it is probable that there were Lodges of Apprentices and Lodges of Fellows long before there were Degrees by those names, using "Degree" in the sense of an organized system of rites, a single unity from beginning to end, conferred the same way each time, and the same Degree from one Lodge to another.
If this be a true account of the history of the Degrees, did Masons have two Lodges or one Lodge before 1717 A.D.? Before this question can be answered without confusion a risk of complicating the question must be
taken in order to point out the often overlooked fact that at the present time we have in Ancient Craft Masonry not three Lodges (one for each Degree) but four, although to make this true the word "Lodge" is used in the fourth instance with a meaning not quite the same as in the other instances. We have the regular, local, chartered Lodge which can meet monthly or semi-monthly without conferring any Degrees - it is what almost every Mason means by "the Lodge," and it should be noted that this chartered Lodge consists of its members only, and that not even a
Master Mason (one Raised in the Third Degree) is by virtue of being a Master Mason a member of that Lodge but must be elected to it. If this
chartered Lodge be called "a Lodge" (as why should it not be?) then when it is added to the Lodge of Apprentices and the Lodge of Fellows and the Lodge of Masters it makes a total of four Lodges. If we count the chartered Lodge in as a fourth Lodge, and continuing to think of it in that same sense, there must have been three Lodges before 1717 A.D., the Lodge of Apprentices, the Lodge of Fellows (also called Master Mason) and the regular permanent Lodge which could meet and transact business without conferring a Degree. What W. J. Hughan's theory of only one Degree before 1717 A.D. really meant was that (according to him) a regular local Lodge met for the purpose of making a Mason, and did so in a single sitting. Why could Hughan's colleagues not accept this theory? Because it was unthinkable that three or four or five Apprentices could have been permitted to remain in Lodge while Candidates were receiving the Obligations, Modes of Identification, and other secrets belonging to Fellows of the Craft (or Master Masons; the two names meant the same thing then); even when Candidates were Entered as Apprentices and made Fellows ("Raised") in one evening the Brethren had to open a Lodge of Apprentices, Enter the Apprentices, close it, open a Lodge of Fellows, etc. (Even if the rites and ceremonies as then used were not organized and crystallized into single units, or Degrees, as now, it does not follow that Lodges from 1350 A.D. to 1717 A.D. had
short, or meager, or bare, or simple rituals; the probability is that they used more ritual than we use now - we have written records to prove that Lodges conferring only two Degrees were embarrassed by a superabundance of Ritual as early as 1725 A.D.)
As the geological history of the earth is discoverable from the elements now making up the surface of it so is the history of the Degrees written in the material of which they are composed, somewhat cryptically, here a little and there a little, the jig-saw pieces needing to be fitted together, nevertheless in a broad outline which becomes clear upon analysis. No Degree is composed of forms or formality; it is not even composed, except in parts, of symbols and ceremonies; it has also in it much law, a number of practicable things (such as the Modes of Recognition), teachings, charges, lectures, instructions, clothing, money, etc., etc.; at some points it is completely symbolic, at other points it is wholly literal; the Secretary and the Treasurer have a place in it as well as the Master and his Wardens - it is more like a world than it is like an essay, or a play, or a lecture. We say that a Degree is conferred on a Candidate, or that he "takes it"; in reality he enters a Lodge (of Apprentices, or Fellows, or of Masters), and the Degree is only a part of that Lodge.
We Americans are so tangled up in our complexities and our size of population and the size and variety of our country that we find ourselves always talking wholesale with such omnibus words as labor, capital, politics, isolationism, internationalism, prosperity etc., large words, empty as a sky, dry, abstract, and very difficult to bring to bear on any given John Jones. The Operative Freemasons like other men in the Middle Ages had none of these sweeping and universal abstractions. If we were to attempt to recover the use of apprenticeship in our country
(as we ought to do) we should immediately begin to call it the apprenticeship system; the Medieval Masons did not think of it as a system, nor did they discuss its general and abstract merits. When a youth of twelve or so, with his father's consent, asked to be taught the art of architecture, the Freemasons did not say "Here is another specimen; give him number 128, 932, 465," nor drop him into an impersonal mill where he vanished from view except in the disguise of some indistinguishable unit among the ten thousand other indistinguishable units, as happens to a boy in one of our own big industrial plants; to them he was Robin, he came from near Essex, his father was a yeoman farmer, on the estate belonging to Sir Montmorency Clittenhouse; they looked him over, they looked him in the
eyes, their question was how to make a Freemason out of this particular boy, and they refused to bind him an apprentice to some particular Master until they were sure that he would be happy with that particular boy.
Such a boy was investigated, and examined, and stood up before the Lodge. The government of the King's Most Excellent Majesty had found and declared and promulgated laws to protect and to regulate just such
boys, and the Lodge had to be mindful of those laws. The boy was given
an oath or obligation; he was charged; he was given such secrets as belonged to his status; he was indentured to one of the Master Masons in the Lodge, and that Master took the boy home with him, gave him clothes, supplied him with a few tools, took him into the family, introduced him to the neighbors, and in return for the help he received from this new apprentice, he had to teach him everything there was to be learned about the art of architecture, and from then on the boy was a member of the Masonic Community. According to the Regius MS., such a boy remained in apprenticeship for seven years; and if he entered apprenticeship in a Lodge with a membership of fifty or sixty, employed on a large building which it would take ten to twenty years to complete, he would find eight or ten other boys in the Lodge at various stages of their terms of apprenticeship.
Since such a youth was the Lodge's ward, was present for work during the same hours as the Master Masons, it is inconceivable that the Lodge officially was finished with him after he had taken his obligation and his name had been entered on the books; there must have been many occasions for him to be in Lodge alone or with his fellow apprentices; if any questions arose as to his well-being, or his skill, or his conduct he would be called before his elders, and in the many ceremonies, processions, feast days, etc., he and his fellow apprentices had parts, places, and costumes of their own, and the Lodge had a body of rules for their regulation and guidance. The life and career of an Operative
Apprentice was not shortened down to one night, nor could the many actions of the Lodge concerned with him have been reduced to one organized degree; what he had was not a degree but a status.
It was this status and everything connected with it which was permanent and unchangeable in the Fraternity, and it was around this status that
there began, probably in the Fourteenth Century, to gather an organized body of rites, ceremonies, rules and symbols, which, once the Lodges had become wholly Speculative, rapidly crystallized into the present Entered Apprentice Degree. That Degree as we now have it, with its words and its phrases and its actions, compounded into the single unity of an indivisible Degree, would possibly be unrecognizable to a Master
Mason brought back from a Twelfth Century grave, and yet at the same time he would instantly recognize certain things in it because its own
theme is apprenticeship, and he had seven years in which to learn that
theme "on his own skin "
In one of our own Lodges a Candidate usually is a stranger when he arrives for his initiation; when he takes his Second Degree two or four weeks later he continues to be almost a stranger. In Operative Freemasonry it was far otherwise. After seven years every fellow Craftsman knew him as well as he knew himself; in the home of his own Master he had by now become almost a foster son; meanwhile he had enjoyed acquaintanceship with many Freemasons traveling through, or stopping off for temporary work (there were many specialists in the Craft), and from these he had his first-hand report about cities which he had never seen and of countries of which he had never before heard. It
was no stranger therefore who at the end of his apprenticeship entered
the Lodge to be given his test of skill in the form of a Master's piece, to have reports made about him, and then, if all was favorable, to be given the oath of a Fellow which made him a member of the Lodge. Insofar as he had learned everything about the work a youth in his tutelage was able to learn, and had mastered his skill, he was called a Master Mason; insofar as he had now become a full-fledged member, was given a new status, could work for wages and have apprentices of his own, and could have a vote, a voice, and could hold office, he was called a Fellow of
the Craft.
In his case, as in that of the Apprentice, his own relation to the Craft and to the Lodge could not be summed up in a single Degree, or completed in one evening, but was spread out over many years, and took the form of the many duties, rights, privileges, prerogatives, rules, regulations, and obligations which went along with his status. And, once again, it was this status which remained unchanged until the Eighteenth Century, and
the many elements belonging to it were the materials out of which the Second Degree crystallized.
This culmination of his full membership in the Second Degree in Lodges
until well toward the middle of the Eighteenth Century is puzzling and
may even be perplexing to Freemasons who from their first day and ever since have neither known nor heard of any Ancient Craft Masonry except in three Degrees; it also was a puzzle to our Speculative forbears who, about 1740 A.D., added on a new, or Third, Degree, because they had to disturb much in the old Second Degree in order to add it, and the raw sutures have never healed - such solecisms as the symbolism inside
the Middle Chamber in the Second Degree, and the appearance of Fellowcraft in the Third Degree are instances of the impossibility of reorganizing the Tri-Gradal System without falling into inconsistency in detail; the Brethren at the time could not reorganize everything, they did the best they could.
On the Engraved List of Lodges issued by the Mother Grand Lodge in 1725 A.D., a "Masters' Lodge" appears for the first time. Others were to follow during the next decade, and many others were constituted (as we
can discover from Lodge Minutes) which did not appear on the Lists. Although this new type of Lodge, which apparently had no predecessors,
appeared late in Masonic history and at the capital of the then Masonic world, and although it was to have a revolutionizing effect upon Speculative Freemasonry, surprisingly little is known about them, partly because nothing of any ritual was written or printed even by Lodge Secretaries, and partly because Masters' Lodges appear to have kept themselves almost hidden from sight. By adding together such data as we have, by correlating them with others known by facts about the Fraternity at the time, and by the use of reasoning, there is good ground for believing that the following statements of facts are dependable.
1. In the beginning Masters' Lodges consisted of Masters or Past Masters, which were variously styled Past, or Passed, or Pass Masters;
later it appears that any experienced Craftsman, acceptable to a Masters' Lodge, could petition for membership provided he took some oath, or pledge, or ceremony - perhaps this was the origin of the phrase "Virtual Past Masters."
2. A Masters' Lodge met separately from regular chartered Lodges, and in many instances held communications on Sunday afternoon; they might meet in a room of their own, or in a room adjacent to a Lodge Room, or might use a regular Lodge Room when the Lodge owning it was not in Communication. How many there were is not known; it is even impossible to guess; but as the middle of the century approached (1740 - 1750 A.D.) their number must have greatly increased.
3. One Lodge after another began to incorporate a Masters' Lodge into itself (the Lodges of the Antient Grand Lodge appear to have done so from the beginning) until finally it had become the standard in practice; when this was done the Masters' Lodge became the Third Degree.
4. The indications are that the Ritual of a Masters' Lodge included, at least in part, that which later became organized as the Royal Arch Degree. This Degree was a Side Degree connected with Lodges until separate Chapters and Grand Chapters were organized; this doubtless explains why the Antient Grand Lodge continued to insist that the Royal Arch was an integral part of Ancient Craft Masonry, and with such tenacity that as late as the Union in 1813 A.D. it forced through a resolution to the effect that Ancient Craft Masonry consists of the Three Degrees and the Holy Royal Arch. It is possible that the portion of the Third Degree called The Raising, and of which HA.. is the center, may originally have belonged to a single Degree of which the Royal Arch Degree was also a part; if that were true the long search for the origin of the Rite of the Raising (HA.'.), which has always failed, may have failed because the searchers should have been seeking the origin of a Rite of
a different kind. Also, the fact that a Masters' Lodge was first mentioned in 1725 A.D. does not fix the earliest date possible for it; years before that date, in both England and Ireland, there were a number of Masonic
Side Orders, and it may be that the first Masters' Lodge was one of those Side Orders turning itself into a Lodge; as a Side Order it may have been in use a century before 1725 A.D.; a certain reference to Penalties in 1700 A.D. suggests that the central ceremony may at least
have been older than that date.
5. The work, duties, powers, prerogatives, and privileges of officers in Operative Lodges, even at the earliest date, and in Lodges the most temporary, gave officers a status unlike the status of either Fellows or Apprentices. The Master ruled and governed in literal fact; under some
circumstances he wielded authority now exclusively reserved to a civil
government; his Wardens belonged to the same category as himself because it was their function to assist him to rule and govern (this ignores differences in the names of offices then and now); the Secretary was responsible for keeping the books, the Treasurer for keeping the funds; and their duties were not confined to either the work or the Lodge but extended to the whole Community. Around the status of Officers there grew up in time as many ceremonies, rites, symbols, rules, and regulations, etc., as around the status of Fellows or Apprentices. This status of Officers, with all its ramifications, was a Landmark, and has been preserved or has persisted ever since; the Third Degree, as a Degree, is an organized system of rites and ceremonies which crystallized about the status of Officers, and that status is the theme of the Degree. Instead of being called Master Mason Degree it ought to be
called Master of Masons Degree, because it is a drama of government, and it is not the Craft or the Building around which the Degree revolves but about the Master of Masons.

George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

The name of Baal Berith in Judges 9:46 is evidently intended to be the same as El Eerith in the eighth chapter and thirty- third verse, and this will bear out the contention that "El" and "Baal" are common names for the same conception of Lordship and also show that it was not out of place to apply either of the names. Certainly if the idea contained in Baal was altogether repugnant to the Hebrew concept of God there were frequent and unexpected departures from the right application of the term. Even Gideon was called Jerubbaal (Baal contends), while Saul named one of his sons Ishbaal (the man of Baal), and Jonathan's son was named Meribbaal. A father would scarcely put his own son under the ban by affixing a name conveying an evil impression, which would be the case were the compounds of Baal indicative of proscribed worships If El Berith and Baal Berith are acceptably synonymous and connect the two terms El and Ball in acceptable and interchangeable relations, these must have been understood to have existed elsewhere in the common usage of the people. It thus would have been as proper then for Haggar to have used the name "Baal Roi," for "God of seeing," as the name "El Roi," which she did use. In her time and with the feebler concept which was then held, there would have been no disrespect shown by the use of such a name as Baal from a woman filled with gratitude for a special deliverance from a greater danger. The close relation in the popular mind between the two terms would have made the use of either an indication of great thankfulness for relief. God saw her and heard her prayer, and she called Him by the name most familiar to her, while the other would have been used by another person of that time under similar circumstances.
We come now to a consideration of the Special name used by the Hebrews to designate God. We are not so much at a loss as to the root meaning of the word JEHOVA. Whatever may have been the method of pronouncing the name, we have the idea of Beings Existence, independent of causation and as essential to the nature of God. This name in its several forms was to the Jews the great and sacred Name of such wonderful import. Its utterance was so strongly prohibited that at last its rightful pronunciation was lost, and we are left with no clue to the mystery. The sounds of the vowel points of the other names of God, "ELOHIM" and "ADONAI," were used instead of the rightful name, in consequence of misinterpreting Ex. 20:7, Lev. 24:11, 15, Deut. 28:58, and others. What the real vowels and consequently the proper pronunciation should be, is not known. It is probable that, like EL, this name was either of Phoenician or Aramaen origin, and when appropriated received an added meaning. Etymologically it is closely related to the Phoenician name for the Sun-god "IOA," which Name was also used in Chalelaic in the same form of "IOA" for "The Intelligent Light," and the transition from this idea to that of "I am that I Am" - Self Existence or Pure Being - was easy and natural. The Egyptian temple of Isis at Sais had this inscription: "I am what was, and is, and is to come. No mortal hath yet unveiled me." Compare, "Jesus the same yesterdays to-day and forever," and Rev. 1:4, with the meaning given to Moses at the Burning Bush. It is the other contents of the concept in this name which indicate the great advancement which use assures. In its enlarged meaning EL became the "Master," "Maker," and "Possessor," but while heaven and earth are His, there is no trace of close appropriation and special relation. Other nations had "ELOHIM" in common with the Hebrews, and were as much entitled to their protection but the use of the new special name with its larger content introduces the idea of Hebrew independence. JEHOVAH to them is the National God, and as such He is conceived of as above all other gods; and as for the nation it should know no others. He becomes the "Preserver" of the nation, and sustains a peculiar relation of intimacy with all of the stock of Abraham. He becomes naturally the Theocratic Ruler, the "First and the Last," still more the "ONLY TRUE GOD," the Ever-Living "Defender," the "LORD OF HOSTS." Intimately associated with the name of JEHOVAH, all of the legislation of the nation was based on the Theocratic idea. The supreme civil rule, whether Lawgiver, Military Leader, Judge or King, all were the vicegerents of JEHOVAH, and the High Priest was His spokesman, as were also the Prophets appearing from time to time in the crises of the national life. The explicit declaration that the name JEHOVA was not known until its revelation to Moses at the Burning Bush involves us in a difficulty which vanishes when we agree with the higher critics that this statement is part of the late Priestly Code, and reflects only a backward light along the course of history. But it is not necessary to resort to this dismemberment of the Book, for it is possible to find in the development of the Hebrew ideal from the time of the Patriarchs sufficient advancement to make the name practically new, and certainly new as to its content. There is a vast difference between the name of a merely local god, even the "God of the Thunderstorm," such as JEHOVAH evidently was originally, and that larger concept of Leadership, and Omnipotent Beings endowed with the specific attributes of Righteousness and Holiness, and sustaining such close relations to all the details of government which became the content of the Name later.
What then is the later inner meaning of the chosen name of Deity given to Moses at the Mount? "HIH" is the imperfect tense of the very TO BE, of which the present tense form is "IHIH." By apocopated form the first person is "IHI." The meaning was a growth.
We learn that the name itself then was a symbol of Creation, an anagram, and that in the special forms in which it was sometimes written was embodied the conception of the union of God with His creations, as expressed in the Universe. The letter H was considered to be the agent of Almighty power, and as this was found in all the pronouns which designated sex, and was also more than any other Ietter in evidence in the special Divine name, it was felt that the great mystery of Fatherhood and Motherhood, the idea of power of reproduction was concealed in the Name. As other religions were based on Nature worship, and as that was most familiar to those who had been under the influence of Egypt, and who were environed by tribes whose worship was of the same sexual type, the Israelites doubtless in the earliest times made the name JEHOVAH contain much of the dogma with which they were most familiar. A reversal of the letters gave the personal sex pronouns, the male and female, and thus they could contemplate with the concept of Being that thought which in Egypt was wrapped up in the names "Isis," "Osiris" and Chorus," and which, in the land of their own inheritance, confronted them in the yearly feasts of the Canaanites and veiled itself in the lamentations of the women over the death of "Tammuz," slain in the darkness of the North. In JEHOVAH all sex was contained, hence none could be slain, and all had continuing life. He was therefore the only True God, as the only one not subject to evil power.
Moses learned in Egypt the doctrine of God as Eternal, Invisible, Omniscient, Just and Powerful. Those attributes attached themselves to the "Jehovah" of the Mountains, and henceforth were part of the concept. The Mountain and Desert tribes knew "Jehovah," but to them He was the "God of the Thunderstorm," "the God of Lightning." We believe this, because it seems reasonable to suppose that as Moses found the name "JEHOVAH" at the Burning Bush in the Sianitic region where he lived for so many years, that the name was familiar to the people who lived thereabout, who were probably of the same original stock as Israel, and more, that it could not have been an unfamiliar name to the enslaved Hebrews in Egypt, for it was to be to them the assurance of the Divine approval of their Exodus. It was to be a Name to establish immediate confidence, and must have meant to the Children of Israel a powerful protector, more than the equal of the united gods of Egypt. Evidently the name JEHOVAH represented to them the most powerful deity, who, while especially located at Sinai (as there it was that He had directly manifested Himself), yet was both able and willing to exert His power in behalf of the descendants of the Patriarchs. This idea of habitat or localization was held by the Hebrews fear a long time, and finds frequent expression. It was perhaps for this reason that they were so ready to take their journey into "the wilderness," knowing that they were going to the Mount of God, and could there enter into covenant relations with Him. Perhaps also, because of this idea of relation to the region of the great mountain, the association of the name "Adonai," the equivalent of "Moloch," or "Adonis," came into general use, for "Adonis" was a term for a principal god all along the coast which was dominated by the great Desert mountain. If the term "OLAM" (eternal) could be applied to BAAL, BEL, MOLOCH, and ADONAI, it would of course be part of the enlarged concept of JEHOVAH, when all the attributes of these powerful deities were passed over to him as the proper attributes of the National God.
In Egypt, when Israel was led by Moses, the sun-god was "Ammon-Ra," for while Ammon, the supreme, was originally the "concealed god," and regarded like Jupiter as "the father of gods and men," he became associated in the common mind with "Ra," and the two were recognized in the Sun. "Ammon-Ra" was thus the equivalent of "Appollo," the sungod of the Greeks, and "Baal," the sun-god of the Phoenecians, and "Bel," the sun-god of Babylon, and "Asshur," the sun-god of the Assyrians, while he also contained the enlarged idea of supremacy with which the Greeks and Romans invested their "Zeus" and "Jupiter." The Persian "Mithra," the god of fire and light, and thus the sun-god, was not represented by images, but in all these other instances where the names indicated that substantially the same belief obtained, the "Ephod" or image was a necessary part of the furniture of the Temple) a more approachable representation of the Deity than the fierce and distant sun. The Persians conceived also of a Creator who was beyond and superior to the sun, and of whom the glorious sun was a symbol - "Ahura-Mazda," or "Ormudz," who was "invisible and eternal and righteous," a far loftier conception than that embodied in Jupiter. To this Persian concept doubtless the Jews owed much of the content of their own later thought of Deity. As commerce and other relations were close for many centuries, it is reasonable to suppose that what was best and loftiest was appropriated anal made part of the concept of JEHOVAH. As the loftiest thought and most advanced ideals were there found, it was to be expected that the developing Nation would make use of the intellectual conquests of the other. It was this discriminating and extensive appropriation of ideas which finally completed the Hebrew concept of the Most High.
Another side-light slowing development concerns the recognition of human sacrifice, which under certain conditions, was not only allowable at first but was to be commended. The cruel sacrifice of the male firstborn to "Moloch" or ''Adonis'' among the Hebrews was commuted by the consecration of the first-born to the service of JEHOVAH, and by exchange made the Levites servants (slaves) of JEHOVAH, bound to His service, and with their lives at His disposal. That the first-born were not slain was not because the rite was altogether abhorrent, for even in late times it was common, but because, as in the case of Abraham, a substitute was provided, both for person and for worsen. There was no substitute for Jeptha's daughters In the mails, it can hardly be denied that the cult associated with the name JEHOVAH was due largely, so far as form was concerned, to the influence of the Canaanite and Egyptian people, the former always active until fully absorbed in Israel. But sacrifice and worship was the bond between the children of Israel and their God, and as JEHOVAH was their God, and not the God of any other people, whatever was borrowed from the Canaanites or other nations became holy, when it was used only to still further honor Him, and make His presence and power more manifest. The idea of sacrifice among the Baal worshippers was that it partook of the nature of a bribe to turn away anger, or a gift to win favor, and the ordinary mind among the Hebrews so associated these thoughts with the sacrificial service to JEHOVAH, that it had to be clearly and constantly taught that the most acceptable service was not sacrifice but heart service and holiness. Until the element of personal righteousness entered into the scheme of life as that which would make men most acceptable to JEHOVAH, because most like Him, the worship of Israel differed but little except in name from the worship of BAAL or ADONIS, or BEL, or RA. It was the enlarged conception of the nature of God which worked the complete change, but the change needed centuries. Even until the time of Christ the influence of the early cult inherited from the Canaanites was discernible. For one thing, the rise of the priestly office itself, evidenced the influence of the BAAS cult, for until in late times the priestly function in sacrifice and prayer was part of the investiture of the head of the household It was when it became necessary to hear the voice of the Oracle that some consecrated person was called in, and generally in early times this was a person who possessed an "Ephod," or image of God, but when the concept of JEHOVAH was filled out by the absorption or adoption of the desirable attributes of other gods, the development of a settled priesthood and an orderly service was natural. As long as Israel was nomadic it was not possible to have more than the germ of the magnificent service which grew into completeness with the permanent location of shrines and temples.
For a simple wandering people the simplest form of altar was sufficient, and the sacrifice one which could be offered by any person. This was at first in the nature of a meal provided for JEHOVAH, of which the offerer partook with all his household as guests of God. These simple essentials were enough to give scope to the reverent feelings of the soul, and renew the bond between JEHOVAH and His people. Worship then was in simple form, without money and without price or toll to priestly intercessor, totally unlike what it became in those later years when a numerous priesthood held the keys of heaven and made worship a matter of much cost to the worshipper and of gain to the priest who officiated. The Patriarchs had built up their rude altars wherever the spirit moved them, and the names which they gave to them were indicative of the spiritual experience through which they had passed in that place, but later on when the growth of Priesthood and the broadened concept of God led to an amplified ritual of worship, the early freedom which prompted men to build simple altars was lost, and the more elaborate ritual required instead the maintenance of the great Temple even at the sacrifice of the earlier shrines. The thought was if JEHOVAH could be induced to leave the Mount of Manifestation, His favorite abode, it would be when He had a suitable House for a habitation, a House more perfect in all its appointments than any which had ever been erected to BAAL or other of the country gods. To maintain such a Temple and its Priesthood properly would require the united support of all the people, and the abolition of local Temples (Bamoth), which were, after the manner of the Canaanites, common on the high places and in the groves throughout the land. The presence of JEHOVAH sanctified the Temple above all other shrines, and made it the peculiarly appropriate place for all the people to worship, and made certain the voice of the Oracle to those who ha(l desire to consult it. Thus when the Temple was completed and all the courses of priestly service fully established, the influence of the Temple enlarged the concept of God held by the people and finally led to a partial abandonment of the simpler practices which, in the earlier times, were associated with the name EL. The people had then left the more simple service, with a more simple Name, and its concept, and yet had carried into the enlarged service all of the more valuable elements pertaining to the older. Thus it is still possible to see in the Temple the necessary development of what had gone before. But the Temple itself was mainly a reproduction of the older Temple of Baal in its forts as well as in the arrangement of much of its ceremonial, and it is this power of adaptation and of appropriation of all that was best in what had gone before, which made the strength of the Jehovistic worship. It was as though out of the mire and filth of idolatry the jewel of faith was rescued and was made to do service in the adornment of true worship. The Targum says that originally "Abraham was called from the service and worship of the stars in order that the nation to be born from him might be established in the worship of Him who made the stars, and Arab tradition has it that even in their own land it was hard to hold back the people from the worship of the heavenly bodies until in the Temple they behold the glory of JEHOVAH. Out of the false beliefs, the superstitions and vanities which environed them, and by the natural yet slow process of growth and absorption of whatever was found most fit, was built up at last that which has, in the goodness of God, resulted to the advantage of all the races and all the ages of Man. Through feebleness and uncertainty, often in conflict with those things which the world has found most degrading, yet still ever impelled by spiritual forces not apprehended at the time, the Hebrew mind was led from gross darkness into more of the divine brightness than any other people of old enjoyed.
>From all this then we come to the conclusion that the special name of God meant originally only that JEHOVAH was the National God of Israel, and that it was not till late in the National development that the Name grew into the broadened conception of the God of the Universe, the only true and the only wise, besides whom was none other. It is true also that the Name became an anagram, and that even Moses allowed the people to retain many of the older ideas, the ideas of the fathers and of Egypt and that these were finally dropped, enlarged, or purified in the moral development of the Nation. In this respect Israel, then, is an example of the normal course of moral anti spiritual development through which many other people have already passed or must pass. The germ or seed thought which made development along right lines possible to them was the idea that God took a personal and direct interest in the welfare and concerns of His people. In a peculiar sense He became to the people Isarel's God to whom they could look for help in time of trouble, and whose Justice was infallible. They began National life by struggles against better equipped people for the possession of Canaan, hence the prominence of the militant ideal. JEHOVAH was a Mighty War-God - EL TSABAOTH - the Lord of Hosts, the Mighty Defender, whose presence was light and glory to Israel, but darkness and disaster to all enemies. Thus the concept grew as did the Nation, until He became to them the Alpha and Omega - IOA - the All in All, not only for Israel and on Earth, but for the Universe of which He was the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer, EL SHADAI, the Everlasting Father, in whom all live and move and have their being - a fitting preparation for God manifest in Christ.
Our study of the subject has led us to the following convictions:
First. That climatic and purely physical conditions affect the idea of God which men hold, and that this to a large extent conditioned the earlier concept which appears in Hebrew history.
Second. That the amplified conception of God was an evidence of mental energy, and also an indication of spiritual development, such a conception being necessarily based upon enlarged ideals only possible to those whose intellectual growth had outworn the narrower limits of the earlier age, and whose spiritual development had awakened loftier moral ideas.
Third. Every change in the National character was a direct consequence of a change in the National ideal of God, for while the change was at first an individual one, it spread so rapidly that soon it embraced the people as a whole. Moses was one man, but he was able to matte JEHOVAH a reality to all his people.
Fourth. The final Theology of the Hebrew people was a natural outgrowth of the final idea of JEHOVAH, coupled with the National development, and testifies to the strong influence of environment, as well as to the bitter experiences through which the people were called to pass.
Fifth. The ideal embodied in the name JEHOVAH has broadened and enlarged during each century since first the Name was given at the Burning Bush, and each century has had some part in shaping the final concept and has also contributed something of value to it drawn from its own experience.
Sixth. The Masonic use of the Name has been helpful to the enlargement of the concept, in that it has made the moral attributes prominent in all its work, and has sought to develop the spiritual side of men through the emphasis which it places upon the duty of worship and service, as well as by the stimulus which it gives to the study of the Divine character as exhibited in the Universe.
Seventh. The present Masonic use of the Name is meaningless if there be and departure from the homage which the principles of Masonry inculcates, and the use of the Great Light is an emphatic declaration that Masonry recognizes righteousness as the source of its power and the assurance of its continuance and prosperity, and that the protection of the Most High is given in answer to the prayer of faith, which itself is consequent upon a high ideal of the Divine Nature.
<> <> << >> << >> << >> << >> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> <<>> George Helmer FPS <<>> <<>> IPM Norwood Lodge #90 <<>> <<>> Grand Lodge of Alberta <<>> <<>> H. Norwood Chapter #18 <<>> <<>> Grand Chapter of Alberta <<>> <<>> <<>> <<>> ============================== <<>> << >> << >> ====== ====== Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him/her to be untrue or unsound. - Morals and Dogma 

BROTHERS and BUILDERS:, The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry. BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON (Litt.D.)
THE basis of Freemasonry is a Faith which can neither be demonstrated nor argued down - Faith in God the wise Master-Builder by whose grace we live, and whose will we must learn and obey. Upon this basis Masonry builds, digging deep into the realities of life, using great and simple symbols to enshrine a Truth too vast for words, seeking to exalt men, to purify and refine their lives, to ennoble their hopes; in short to build men and then make them Brothers and Builders.
There is no need - nay, it were idle - to argue in behalf of this profound and simple Faith, because any view of life which is of value is never maintained, much less secured, by debate. For though God, which is the name we give to the mystery and meaning of life, may be revealed in experience He cannot be uttered, and in a conflict of words we easily lose the sense of the unutterable God, the Maker of Heaven and earth and all that in them is, before whom silence is wisdom and wonder becomes worship. It is enough to appeal to the natural and uncorrupted sense of humanity, its right reason, its moral intuition, its spiritual instinct. Long before logic was born man, looking out over the rivers, the hills and the far horizon, and into the still depths of the night sky, knew that there was Something here before he was here; Something which will be here when he is gone.
Happily we are not confronted by a universe which mocks our intelligence and aspiration, and a system of things which is interpretable as far as we can go by our minds, must itself be the expression and embodiment of Mind. What is equally wonderful and awful, lending divinity to our dust, is that the Mind within and behind all the multicolored wonder of the world is akin to our own, since the world is both intelligible by and responsive to our thought - a mystery not an enigma. And, if one door yields to our inquiry, and another door opens at our knock, and another and another, it only requires a certain daring of spirit - that is, Faith - to believe that, if not yet by us, why, then, by those who come after us, or, mayhap, by ourselves in some state of being in which we shall no longer be restrained by the weaknesses of mortality, or befogged by the illusions of time, the mind of man shall find itself at home and unafraid in the universe of God, a son and citizen of a City that hath foundations.
What, now, precisely, does this profound faith mean to us here? Obviously, it means that we are here in the world to do something, to build something, to be something - not simply to pass the time or to wear out shoes - and what we do and build ought to express and perpetuate our personality, our character. There is one kind of immortality which we should earn in the world, by adding something of worth to the world, by so building ourselves into the order of things that whatever immortality this world may have, our life and labour shall share in it. Once, in the south of England, I heard a little poem which seemed to me to have in it a bit of final philosophy-not a great poem but telling a great truth :-
"The good Lord made the earth and sky, The rivers and the sea, and me, He made no roads; but here am I as happy as can be. It's just as though He'd said to me, `John, there's the job for thee.' "
The idea in the rhyme is that in a very real sense God has completed nothing; not because He has not the power or the will to do so, but out of a kind of respect for men, so to put it, offering us a share in His creative work. He makes no roads, He builds no houses. True, he provides us with the material; He supplies us with firm foundations - and models of every shape of beauty - but the road and the house must be the work of man. Our good and wise poet, Edwin Markham, was right when he wrote:-
"We men of earth have here the stuff Of Paradise - we have enough! We need no other thing to build The stairs into the Unfulfilled - No other ivory for the doors - No other marble for the floors - No other cedar for the beam And dome of man's immortal dream. Here on the paths of everyday - Here on the common human way - Is all the busy gods would take To build a heaven, to mould and make New Edens. Ours the stuff sublime To build Eternity in time."
Not only are we here in the world to build something, but we are here to build upon the Will of God, in obedience to His purpose and design. The truth of a will within and behind everything is a truth which has far too little place in our lives; hence our impatience, our restlessness, and our sense of futility. Yet this truth of the Will of God as final has been the strength and solace of man in all his great days. The first fact of experience, if not the last truth of philosophy, is that the world has a mind of its own, which we call the will and purpose of God. Manifestly the only man who builds rightly is the man who builds with due regard for the laws, forces and conditions of the world in which he lives.
Not one of us would trust ourselves to a house which had been built casually and haphazard. We demand of a wall that it shall have been built with respect to the centre of gravity of this earth, and to the position of the polar star. Our work, if it is to be of any worth, must be in harmony with the nature of things; and this is equally true when we think of the House of the Spirit not built with hands, but which, none the less, we are set to build in the midst of the years. Here also we build wisely only when we build in harmony with the Will of God as we believe and see it. All history enforces the truth that there is a Will, holy and inexorable, which in the end passes judgment upon our human undertakings. Men do not make laws; they discover them. Faith in God advises us, warns us, to regard the revelations of the moral, as well as the physical, Will of God, else our proudest fabric will totter to ruin.
Therefore we are here in the world to build upon the Will of God with the help of God, invoking His help in words of prayer and worship, but also in our efforts and acts of obedience, and proving ourselves worthy of that help, and retaining it, by keeping in the midst of it by humble fidelity. A wise man, especially a Freemason - if he knows his art - will rebuke himself and recall himself from any vagrant lapse or prolonged neglect, lest he go too far. Here is a matter which even the best of us too often forget. God no more wishes us to live without His aid than He wishes us to live without air. He is the breath of our spirit. Truly has it been said that the final truth about man is not that way down in the depths he is alone; but that in the depths he is face to face with God.
Long ago it was said: "Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it." What the Psalmist means is that the great things in the world are not accomplished by man, either by his anxieties or by his ingenuities. By these lower, lesser faculties by cunning, by cleverness - we may achieve small and passing things. The truth is, rather, that the great things, the enduring things, are accomplished - not, indeed, apart from us, and yet not wholly as the result of our efforts - by One wiser than ourselves by whom we are employed in the fulfilment of a design larger than we have planned and nobler than we have dreamed. Those of our race who have wrought the most beautiful and enduring works confess themselves to have been used by a Hand and a Will other than their own, as if caught up into the rhythm of "one vast life that moves and cannot die. "
Here is no abstract and unreal platitude, but a truth, a fact, a source to which we may apply a daily test, and which we need to invoke if we are to face the difficulties and embarrassments - aye, the tragedies - of these our days and years. Even the strongest of us need such resource the better to confront the issues of the day, as well as to face the vaster problems and mysteries which lie on all the horizons of our life.
Such is the foundation of Freemasonry, and the faith by which it makes us builders upon the Will of God and by His help, and brothers one of another. Upon this foundation is erected an elaborate allegory of human life in all its varied aspects: the Lodge a symbol of the world in which man lives, moves and goes forth to his labour; initiation our birth into a world in which we are to learn morality and charity; if counted worthy passing out of youth into manhood with its wider knowledge and heavier responsibilities; and finally, if we have integrity and courage, the discovery that we are citizens of Eternity in time: an ideal world ruled by love, wisdom, strength and beauty. It is a great day for a young man when Masonry reveals its meaning to him, unveiling its plan of life, its purpose, and its prophecy of a Temple of Brotherhood.
A great Freemason of Scotland, who recently climbed ahead to work up in the dome of the Temple, left us a legacy of inspiration and instruction in a book which is at once a mentor and a memorial: "Speculative Masonry," by A. S. MacBride, Lodge Progress, Glasgow. Even now it is a classic of our literature, a light to lead his Brethren toward the truth after he has vanished from among us. The book is wise rather than clever, beautiful rather than brilliant; but there is hardly a page that does not yield some insight to illumine, some epigram to haunt the mind. The beauty of the book is inwrought, not decorative; in the build of its thought even more than in the turn of its sentences, and still more in its spirit in which spiritual vision and practical wisdom are blended. There are passages of singular nobility, as witness this one on the Great Landmark:-
"Why is Masonry here, in this world of selfishness and strife? Wherefore has it been developed, amid war and incessant conflict, along the lines of peace and love; and so marvellously moulded and developed that in every land it is now known and by every race made welcome? Has all this been done that it may live for itself alone? No, there, on its Trestleboard is the Plan of the Great Architect and its mission is to work out that plan. Out of the rough hard quarries of a quarrelling humanity it has to build a Temple of Brotherhood and Peace. This Temple is the Great Landmark - the highest and grandest ideal of Masonry. To build, strengthen and beautify it, we must bring in the aid of all the arts and sciences, apply every resource that civilization and progress can give us, and exercise all the powers and gifts with which we have been endowed.
"'What nobler work can we be engaged in, Brethren ? Yet, how far we are, as a rule, from understanding it. We seem to be groping in the dark. Yet, it is ignorance more than unwillingness that hinders the work. Like the ingenious craftsman at the building of the Temple at Jerusalem, we appear to be without plan and instruction, while, in reality, our plan and instruction lie in the work itself. Then, like him, we shall some day have our reward, and will gratefully exclaim: Thank God, I have marked well."
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
Symbols and Symbolism
THE SUN as it shines full, and at the top of the day, is as real, as actual, as material as it is possible for anything to be; an artist drawing a decoration for the wall of a room could represent that sun by a golden circle; such a circle would be, as we say, a symbol. But a writer, perhaps a poet, could dispense with even the diagrammatic circle and use the sun itself as a symbol by letting it stand for anything of any kind which gives light, which illuminates, which reveals the presence of things to the eye. In neither event would the symbolist turn the sun itself into anything other than itself, would not turn it into a circle, or a picture, or an idea, or a word; the sun would be the same actual and material sun after this symbolic use of it that it had been before; if it did not, the symbols would lose their meaning.
Rifles in the hands of a squad of soldiers or guns unlimbered in the turrets of a battle-ship have in warfare a use which we describe, as the contexts of language require, as practical, or literal, or operative; if the same rifles are fired by the same squad of soldiers at the burial of a soldier or the same cannons are fired in salute to the President they are then in use symbolically; the act of firing has become a symbolic act. We know from literature, music, painting, sculpture, and ritual that almost anything can be put to symbolic uses, and almost everything has, a farmer sowing grain, a ship under full sail, a tree falling under the axe, a child playing on the beach, a light in a window. the wave of a hand, a rock in the sea, there is scarcely an object or event or a tool or an experience which has not been somewhere used for symbolic purposes. A gnarled old man hoeing his turnips is nothing but a man hoeing his turnips; but he is also "The Man With a Hoe," a symbol of labor. A symbol therefore is like the earth's path around the sun, an ellipse about the poles, one of them being the actual, literal, real thing itself, the other the meanings which it has that go beyond itself and may be carried elsewhere. It is always false symbology to suppose that when a thing is used symbolically the thing has been made unreal and turned into a species of make-believe.
A symbol may be any one of a large number of devices, an object, a picture, a diagram, a word, etc., and as such it may have a form wholly unlike the thing which it is using, as when a sword is used as a symbol of war though it does not look like war, or a pen may be a symbol of authorship though it is not a picture of authorship, and a man using a hoe is not a picture of labor; nevertheless the meaning of the symbol must be true of the thing used or the symbol is false, as when the meaning of a sword is war, and the meaning of a pen is writing, and the meaning of a hoe is labor. If this be true, why use symbols? Because they are so convenient. A given thing has a meaning, but if it is a thing used in a context its own use is part of a larger use, as when plowing is used as a symbol; plowing is not only an actual part of farming but is convenient to be used as a type of the other practices in farming; if plowing is used as a symbol the symbolist is saved hundreds of words needed to describe the whole of farming - it is like a man pointing at a landscape. Also the meaning one thing has may be found again in many other things; thus if we use a pair of scales as a symbol of weight the one form of weight used in the scales is identical with weight in millions of other things, and the symbol saves us many repetitions. There is thus nothing strained, or queer, or exceptional in the use of symbols, but it is as familiar as gestures and as universal as languages, and every man is a symbolist all his days whether he is conscious of being one or not - Alfred N. Whitehead, who had one of the best intellects of the Twentieth Century, and was co-author with Bertrand Russell of Principia Mathematica, was so impressed by the universality of the use of symbolism that he built around it a whole system of philosophy.
If it would thus falsify symbols to have them represent things not actual and real or to have meanings not true of those things, so would it also falsify them if they were, as so many men have believed a device for concealing or disguising the truths, meanings, and ideas which belong to them. Nothing is more difficult for a symbologist to understand than the prevalence of the notion that it is the function of a symbol to make a meaning secret, or to hide it, or to camouflage it, or to turn it into a species of cypher, when he knows that the purpose of any genuine symbol is the opposite of that. It is the function of a symbol to express a truth, not to be mute about it; to reveal a meaning, not to conceal it; to say something, not to keep silence about it; unless it can make some fact or truth or idea more intelligible, more evident, more easily comprehended it has failed of its purpose, and is not a true symbol but a false one.
What is the meaning of a symbol? If by symbol is meant (as necessarily it is) the object, picture, device, etc., which is used to represent something else the meaning is never to be found in the symbol but always is to be found in that which it represents or denotes or stands for. The Letter G is a symbol of Geometry; an ingenious theorist could write a book about the letter G itself, its history, its shape, etc., and could collect a hundred myths, legends, and tales about it, but the meaning of G as the seventh letter of the alphabet is not the meaning of The Letter G as a symbol; its meaning is one of the many meanings of geometry, and any interpretation of The Letter G which is not true about geometry, or about men's use of geometry, is not a true interpretation of the symbol. Many of the things which have often been used in symbology are so rich with meanings that it may be represented by many meanings; or some one symbol of it may be used for many purposes. An instance of the former of these two cases is the moon, which has been symbolized by a long and varied list of figures and pictures such as Moses, a goddess, a hunchback, a prophet, a Queen of Night, a scimitar, the night-time, etc.; an instance of the second case is the North (or Pole) Star. The swastika has been used as a symbol for at least 4,000 years, and Count Goblet d' Alviela believed it to be the oldest symbol still in use, but the swastika itself has been employed by many peoples and religions for at least a hundred different purposes. For this reason one of the first rules of symbology is that any given symbol must be interpreted in its context, and in the light of the purpose for which it is used.
These many uses of the swastika (the word has more than twenty spellings) involves a rule in symbology the violation of which has made so many writings on symbols of no value; whether a symbol represents one meaning or many the meanings belong to it itself; the function of the interpreter is not to give meanings to the symbol but is to find the meanings already there. They are not his, but the symbol's meanings. No mathematician would dream of giving to the number 9 any value he might take a fancy to; it has its own value, and he must use it accordingly; he can, if he wishes, say that it is the ninth in the series of numbers, or the number between 8 and 10, or the square of 3, he could write a book about its properties (it has been done), but he cannot out of his own fancy attribute to it a value it does not already possess. An interpreter of a symbol is equally bound; he cannot read into the symbol, or fashion for it, or attribute to it any meaning not already its own. The compasses are a symbol; they represent a circle; it may be any circle, a geometrician's, an artist's, a hostess's circle of guests, the sky, the horizon (a circle of which a man can see only an arc), there are many uses of the circle, and each use means something, but any interpretation of the circle as a symbol is false if it is false to the facts and properties of a circle. If a man lying horizontally on the ground is raised to the vertical to stand on his feet, the act may be symbolical; it may be pictured by a square; but the meaning of the square when thus used cannot mean more or other than is meant by the action of raising a man from the level to the perpendicular. The doctrine so often heard, even in Lodge Rooms, which says, "You can give a symbol any meaning you choose," is a false doctrine.
Freemasonry is probably the world's most magnificent masterpiece of symbolism. It is more symbolic from top to bottom, is richer in symbols of every type, has a larger number of them, and has carried symbology nearer to perfection than any other association; for a man who responds to symbols as a musician responds to music, it has an infinite, a never- wearying fascination, and if he gives his career to it he is not throwing his life away, because he will find in its 200 symbolisms a work by masters in this art, sublime, of profound meanings, inexhaustibly rich, and of that great beauty which is never found except in the supreme masterpieces. And if he does pursue it he will in consequence find in it, embodied and exemplified and at work, the whole complement of facts, principles, standards, and rules which comprise his own art; Freemasonry could not be a great system of symbolism if he didn't, because symbolism is in this respect like a circle, either it is perfect or it does not exist. The explanation and rules of symbology which have been given in this chapter can be superimposed upon Freemasonry, and will correspond to it at every point, and will furnish a Newly-Made Mason with a guide to the Ritual; they are given here for that purpose.
It is not true, as a century ago it was so widely believed, that Operative Freemasonry came to a virtual end in about the Sixteenth Century; that in the Transition Period new growths, and of a new kind, began to spring up among the Operative ruins; and that in 1717 A.D. these suddenly flowered into a new kind of Freemasonry. What occurred during that long history of the Fraternity occurred in another region, and was of a kind wholly different from that. The ancient, time-immemorial Operative Fraternity was preserved intact; during the Transition Period each new member, Operative or Accepted, pledged himself on oath that he would never be guilty of introducing innovations; and we today continue to give that same pledge. The one and only large and fundamental change was to put the ancient Operative Fraternity to a new use, and that new use would have been pointless had not the old Fraternity remained there to be used. This putting the old Freemasonry to a new use was the real transition, the only transition, from Operative Freemasonry to our Speculative Freemasonry; and when we say that Speculative Freemasonry is Symbolic Freemasonry it is that new use which is meant. But Symbolic Freemasonry is not the whole of Speculative Freemasonry; the Speculative Fraternity preserved and continues to perpetuate the ancient Fraternity but in doing so it did not employ each thing which it thus perpetuated for symbolic purposes; many customs, usages, Landmarks, laws are not symbolic, but are still as literal and as "operative" as they were eight centuries ago; only that in the Fraternity which is presented, or shown, or taught by means of symbols belongs to Symbolic Masonry.
The 200 or so symbolisms in our Ancient Craft Masonry are in each and every instance wholly and exclusively Masonic; not one was imported into it from outside; any Mason is free, as reader or student, to study symbols as they are used elsewhere, for he is under no censorship, but he cannot bring the meanings of symbols which he elsewhere finds back into Freemasonry with him because each and every Masonic symbol has a use and a meaning exclusively its own; it is Freemasonry itself which uses its own symbols and decides what symbols it is to use; what ideas, or facts, or teachings it may express by means of them is not for any outside cult, or fraternity, or religion to decide; what does it have to do with them? Let other associations have their own symbols, and use them for their own purposes; we contend that they should always be free to do so, because it is what we do ourselves. Their symbols, and the meanings of their symbols, are useful and valid for them; they can be only an irrelevancy to us. Thousands of symbols are sown throughout the Old Testament and the New, in the Koran, the Zend Avesta, the Vedas, in Kabbalism. Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and other forms of Medieval hermetism, but they are not our symbols, and their meanings have nothing to do with the meaning of our Ritual. Any symbol in the Three Degrees is a Masonic Symbol, and it can be interpreted only in the terms of its Masonic use - that is the first law, the great Landmark, of Masonic symbology.
Each and every one of our 200 or so symbolisms can be traced back to some period in our history when a practice or custom in Craft work came to be used for the purpose of presenting something or saying something; no one of them was thought up or devised by any one man, nor came out of the thoughts and theory of any one man's head or out of the heads of any group of men; they became symbols of themselves, and they therefore, and without exception, originated historically; that fact includes the concomitant fact that each symbol has a history of its own, and it is often by means of its history and its long-continued use that it can be best explained.
Each symbol represents or makes use of something which is actual, is real, is in practice, and often is of a material kind, or else to something which was in actual and literal practice or existence in the past. Instead of leading us away from actual and ponderable things toward some realm of abstractness or mysticism they do the opposite, and lead us more closely to actual things or help us to penetrate more deeply into them. The operative Mason used a metal trowel to spread his plaster or his cement; Speculative Masons use the trowel as a symbol but it is the same metal trowel - the meaning of the trowel for actual use is the meaning of the trowel when used as a symbol. When the Ritual speaks about a building it is of an actual structure of stone or brick that it speaks, and the same meanings, which belong to the Operative Masons' building are the meanings of the Rituals' building. When a Speculative Mason takes the place and acts the part of an Operative Mason he is acting symbolically, but it is the actual, flesh-and-blood Operative Mason who is thus symbolized, not a phantom, or a ghost, or an idea. When in the Third Degree a Candidate takes the place of a Master of Masons, his doing so does not reduce the Master of Masons to an abstraction; there are some fourteen or so thousands of Masters of Masons in the United States at any given time, and they would know what to think of a man who questioned their visible actuality. Always in the Three Degrees it is some object, some actual man, some concrete event, or visible occurrence, or literal practice which is used as a symbol, and it is the function of symbology to show what it is and what it means for Masons.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM

"The Builders" By Joseph Fort Newton Section 2, Chapter 3, Part 1
The SYSTEM, as taught in the regular LODGES, may have some Redundancies or Defects, occa- sion'd by the Ignorance or Indolence of the old members. And indeed, considering through what Obscurity and Darkness the MYSTERY has been deliver'd down; the many Centuries it has sur- vived; the many Countries and Languages, and SECTS and PARTIES it has run through; we are rather to wonder that it ever arrived to the present Age, without more Imperfection. It has run long in muddy Streams, and as it were, under Ground. But notwithstanding the great Rust it may have contracted, there is much of the OLD FABRICK re- mining: the essential Pillars of the Building may be discov'd through the Rubbish, tho' the Super- structure be overrun with Moss and Ivy, and the Stones, by Length of Time, be disjointed. And therefore, as the Bust of an OLD Hero is of great Value among the Curious, tho' it has lost an Eye, the Nose or the Right Hand; so Masonry with all its Blemishes and Misfortunes, instead of appear- ing ridiculous, ought to be receiv'd with some Candor and Esteem, from a Veneration of its ANTIQUITY.
--Defence of Masonry, 1730
Accepted Masons
Whatever may be dim in the history of Freemasonry, and in the nature of things much must remain hid- den, its symbolism may be traced in unbroken succession through the centuries; and its symbolism is its soul. So much is this true, that it may almost be said that had the order ceased to exist in the period when it was at its height, its symbolism would have survived and de- veloped, so deeply was it wrought into the mind of man- kind. When, at last, the craft finished its labors and laid down its tools, its symbols, having served the faith of the worker, became a language for the thoughts of the thinker. Few realize the Service of the science of numbers to the faith of man in the morning of the world, when he sought to find some kind of key to the mighty maze of things. Living amidst change and seeming chance, he found in the laws of numbers a path by which to escape the awful sense of life as a series of accidents in the hands of a capricious Power; and, when we think of it, his insight was not invalid. 'All things are in numbers,' said the wise Pythagoras; "the world is a living arithmetic in its development--a realized geometry in its repose." Nature is a realm of numbers; crystals are solid geometry. Music, of all arts the most divine and exalting, moves with measured step, using geometrical figures, and can- not free itself from numbers without dying away into discord. Surely it is not strange that a science whereby men obtained such glimpses of the Unity and order of the world should be hallowed among them, imparting its form to their faith.[1] Having revealed so much, mathe- matics came to wear mystical meanings in a way quite alien to our prosaic habit of thinking--faith in our day having betaken itself to other symbols. Equally so was it with the art of building--a living allegory in which man imitated in miniature the world- temple, and sought by every device to discover the secret of its stability. Already we have shown how, from earliest times, the simple symbols of the builder became a part of the very life of humanity, giving shape to its thought, its faith, its dream. Hardly a language but bears their impress, as when we speak of a Rude or Polished mind, of an Upright man who is a Pillar of Society, of the Level of equality, or the Golden Rule by which we would Square our actions. They are so natural, so inevitable, and so eloquent withal, that we use them without know- ing it. Sages have always been called Builders, and it was no idle fancy when Plato and Pythagoras used imagery drawn from the art of building to utter their highest thought. Everywhere in literature, philosophy, and life it is so, and naturally so. Shakespeare speaks of "square men," and when Spenser would build in stately lines the Castle of Temperance, he makes use of the Square, Circle, and Triangle: [2]
The frame thereof seem'd partly circulaire And part triangular: O work divine! Those two the first and last proportions are; The one imperfect, mortal, feminine.
The other immortal, perfect, masculine, And twixt them both a quadrate was the base, Proportion'd equally by seven and nine; Nine was the circle set in heaven's place All which compacted made a goodly diapase.
During the Middle Ages, as we know, men revelled in symbolism, often of the most recondite kind, and the emblems of Masonry are to be found all through the literature, art, and thought of that time. Not only on cathedrals, tombs, and monuments, where we should expect to come upon them, but in the designs and decora- tions of dwellings, on vases, pottery, and trinkets, in the water-marks used by paper-makers and printers, and even as initial letters in books--everywhere One finds the old, familiar emblems.[3] Square, Rule, Plumb-line, the perfect Ashlar, the two Pillars, the Circle within the parallel lines, the Point within the Circle, the Compasses, the Winding Staircase, the numbers Three, Five, Seven, Nine, the double Triangle--these and other such sym- bols were used alike by Hebrew Kabbalists and Rosi- crucian Mystics. Indeed, so abundant is the evidence--if the matter were in dispute and needed proof---especially after the revival of symbolism under Albertus Magnus in 1249, that a whole book might be filled with it. Typical are the lines left by a poet who, writing in 1623, sings of God as the great Logician whom the conclusion never fails, and whose counsel rules without command: [4]
Therefore can none foresee his end Unless on God is built his hope. And if we here below would learn By Compass, Needle, Square, and Plumb, We never must o'erlook the mete Wherewith our God hath measur'd us.
For all that, there are those who never weary of trying to find where, in the misty mid-region of conjecture, the Masons got their immemorial emblems. One would think, after reading their endless essays, that the symbols of Masonry were loved and preserved by all the world-- except by the Masons themselves. Often these writers imply, if they do not actually assert, that our order begged, borrowed, or cribbed its emblems from Kab- balists or Rosicrucians, whereas the truth is exactly the other way round--those impalpable fraternities, whose vague, fantastic thought was always seeking a local habi- tation and a body, making use of the symbols of Ma- sonry the better to reach the minds of men. Why all this unnecessary mystery--not to say mystification when the facts are so plain, written in records and carved in stone? While Kabbalists were contriving their curious cos- mogonies, the Masons went about their work, leaving record of their symbols in deeds, not in creeds, albeit holding always to their simple faith, and hope, and duty --as in the lines left on an old brass Square, found in an ancient bridge near Limerick, bearing date of 1517:
Strive to live with love and care Upon the Level, by the Square.
Some of our Masonic writers [5]--more than one likes to admit--have erred by confusing Freemasonry with Guild-masonry, to the discredit of the former. Even Oliver once concluded that the secrets of the working Masons of the Middle Ages were none other than the laws of Geometry--hence the letter G; forgetting, it would seem, that Geometry had mystical meanings for them long since lost to us. As well say that the philosophy of Pythagoras was repeating the Multiplication Table! Albert Pike held that we are "not warranted in assuming that, among Masons generally--in the body of Masonry --the symbolism of Freemasonry is of earlier date then 1717." [6] Surely that is to err. If we had only the Mason's Marks that have come down to us, nothing else would be needed to prove it an error. Of course, for deeper minds all emblems have deeper meanings, and there may have been many Masons who did not fathom the sym- bolism of the order. No more do we; but the symbolism itself, of hoar antiquity, was certainly the common in- heritance and treasure of the working Masons of the Lodges in England and Scotland before, indeed centuries before, the year 1717.
[1] There is a beautiful lecture on the moral meaning of Geometry by Dr. Hutchinson, in The Spirit of Masonry---one of the oldest, as it is one of the noblest, books in our Masonic literature. Plu- tarch reports Plato as saying, "God is always geometrizing" (Diog. Laert., iv, 2). Elsewhere Plato remarks that "Geometry rightly treated is the knowledge of the Eternal" (Republic, 527b), and over the porch of his Academy at Athens he wrote the words, "Let no one who is ignorant of Geometry enter my doors." So Aristotle and all the ancient thinkers, whether in Egypt or India. Pythag- oras, Proclus tells us, was concerned only with number and mag- nitude: number absolute, in arithmetic; number applied, in music; and so forth--whereof we read in the Old Charges (see "The Great Symbol," by Klein, A. Q. C., x, 82).
[2] Faerie Queene, bk. ii, canto ix, 22.
[3] Lost Language of Symbolism, by Bayley, also A New Light on the Renaissance, by the same author; Architecture of the Renais- sance in Engiand, by J. A. Gotch; and "Notes on Some Masonic Symbols," by W. H. Rylands, A. Q. C., viii, 84. Indeed, the litera- ture is as prolific as the facts.
[4] J. V. Andreae, Ehreneich Hohenfelder yon Aister Haimbb. A verbatim translation of the second line quoted would read, "Unless in God he has his building."
[5] When, for example, Albert Pike, in his letter, "Touching Ma- sonic Symbolism," speaks of the "poor, rude, unlettered, unculti- vated working Stone-masons," who attended the Assemblies, he is obviously confounding Free-masons with the rough Stone-masons of the Guilds. Over against these words, read a brfiliant article in the Contemporary Review, October, 1913, by L. M. Phillips, en- titled, "The Two Ways of Building," showing how the Free- masons, instead of working under architects outside the order, chose the finer minds among them as leaders and created the dif- ferent styles of architecture in Europe. "Such," he adds, "was the high limit of talent and intelligence which the creative sparit fostered among workmen .... The entire body being trained and educated in the same principles and ideas, the most backward and inefficient, as they worked at the vaults which their own skillfill brethren had planned, might feel the glow of satisfaction arising from the conscious realization of their own aspirations. Thus the whole body of constructive knowledge maintained its unity .... Thus it was by free associations of workmen training their own leaders that the great Gothic edifices of the medieval ages were constructed .... A style so imaginative and so spiritual might al- most be the dream of a poet or the vision of a saint. Really it is the creation of the sweat and labor of workingmen, and every iota of the boldness, dexterity and knowledge which it embodies was drawn out of the practical experience and experiments of manual labor." This describes the Comacine Masters, but not the poor, rude, unlettered Stone-masons whom Pike had in mind.
[6] Letter "Touching Masonic Symbolism."
BROTHERS and BUILDERS:, The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry. BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON (Litt.D.)
IN the olden time it was no easy matter for a man to become a Freemason. He had to win the right by hard work, technical skill, and personal worth. Then, as now, he had to prove himself a freeman of lawful age and legitimate birth, of sound body and good repute, to be eligible at all. Also, he had to bind himself to serve under rigid rules for seven years, his service being at once a test of his character and a training for his work. If he proved incompetent or unworthy, he was sent away.
In all operative Lodges of the Middle Ages, as in the guilds of skilled artisans of the same period, young men entered as Apprentices, vowing absolute obedience, for the Lodge was a school of the seven sciences, as well as of the art of building. At first the Apprentice was little more than a servant, doing the most Menial work, and if he proved himself trustworthy and proficient his wages were increased; but the rules were never relaxed, "except at Christmastime," as the Old Charges tell us, when there was a period of freedom duly celebrated with feast and frolic.
The rules by which an Apprentice pledged himself to live, as we find them recorded in the Old Charges, were very strict. He had first to confess his faith in God, vowing to honour the Church, the State and the Master under whom he served, agreeing not to absent himself from the service of the Order save with the license of the Master. He must be honest and upright, faithful in keeping the secrets of the Craft and the confidence of his fellows. He must not only be chaste, but must not marry or contract himself to any woman during the term of his apprenticeship. He must be obedient to the Master without argument or murmuring, respectful to all Freemasons, avoiding uncivil speech, free from slander and dispute. He must not frequent any tavern or ale-house, except it be upon an errand of the Master, or with his consent.
Such was the severe rule under which an Apprentice learned the art and secrets of the Craft. After seven years of study and discipline, either in the Lodge or at the Annual Assembly (where awards were usually made), he presented his "Masterpiece," some bit of stone or metal carefully carved, for the inspection of the Master, saving, "Behold my experience!" By which he meant the sum of his experiments. He had spoiled many a hit of stone. He had dulled the edge of many a tool. He had spent laborious nights and days, and the whole was in that tiny bit of work. His masterpiece was carefully examined by the Masters assembled and if it was approved he was made a Master Mason, entitled to take his kit of tools and go out as a workman, a Master and Fellow of his Craft. Not, however, until he had selected a Mark by which his work could be identified, and renewed his Vows to the Order in which he was now a Fellow.
The old order was first Apprentice, then Master, then Fellow - mastership being, in the early time, not a degree conferred, but a reward of skill as a workman and of merit as a man. The reversal of the order today is due, no doubt, to the custom of the German Guilds, where a Fellow Craft was required to serve two additional years as a journeyman before becoming a Master. No such custom was known in England. Indeed, the reverse was true, and it was the Apprentice who prepared his masterpiece, and if it was accepted, he became a Master. Having won his mastership, he was entitled to become a Fellow - that is, a peer and Fellow of the Craft which hitherto he had only served. Hence, all through the Old Charges, the order is "Masters and Fellows," but there are signs to show that a distinction was made according to ability and skill.
For example, in the Matthew Cooke MS. we read that it had been "ordained that they who were passing of cunning should be passing honoured," and those less skilled were commanded to call the more skilled "Masters." Then it is added, "They that were less of wit should not be called servant nor subject, but Fellow, for nobility of their gentle blood." After this manner our ancient Brethren faced the fact of human inequality of ability and initiative. Those who were of greater skill held a higher position and were called Masters, while the masses of the Craft were called Fellows. A further distinction must be made between a "Master" and a "Master of the Work," now represented by the Master of the Lodge. Between a Master and the Master of the Work there was no difference, of course, except an accidental one; they were both Masters and Fellows. Any Master could become a Master of the Work provided he was of sufficient skill and had the fortune to be chosen as such either by the employer or the Lodge, or both.
What rite or ritual, if any, accompanied the making of a Master in the old operative Lodges is still a matter of discussion. In an age devoted to ceremonial it is hard to imagine such an important event without its appropriate ceremony, but the details are obscure. But this is plain enough: all the materials out of which the degrees were later developed existed, if not in drama, at least in legend. Elaborate drama would not be necessary in an operative Lodge. Even to-day, much of what is acted out in an American Lodge, is merely recited in an English Lodge. Students seem pretty well agreed that from a very early time there were two ceremonies, or degrees, although, no doubt, in a much less elaborate form than now practiced. As the Order, after the close of the cathedral-building period, passed into its speculative character, there would naturally be many changes and much that was routine in an operative Lodge became ritual in a speculative Lodge.
This is not the time to discuss the origin and development of the Third Degree, except to say that those who imagine that it was an invention fabricated by Anderson and others at the time of the revival of Masonry, in 1717, are clearly wrong. Such a degree could have been invented by anyone familiar with the ancient Mystery Religions; but it could never have been imposed upon the Craft, unless it harmonized with some previous ceremony, or, at least, with ideas, traditions and legends familiar and common to the members of the Craft. That such ideas and traditions did exist in the Craft we have ample evidence. Long before 1717 we hear hints of "The Master's Part," and those hints increase as the office of Master of the Work lost its practical aspect after the cathedral-building period. What was the Master's Part? Unfortunately we cannot discuss it in print; but nothing is plainer than that we do not have to go outside of Masonry itself to find the materials out of which all three degrees, as they now exist, were developed.
Masonry was not invented; it grew. To-day it unfolds its wise and good and beautiful truth in three noble and impressive degrees, and no man can take them to heart and not be ennobled and enriched by their dignity and beauty. The first lays emphasis upon that fundamental righteousness without which a man is not a man, but a medley of warring passions - that purification of heart which is the basis alike of life and religion. The Second lays stress upon the culture of the mind, the training of its faculties in the quest of knowledge, without which man remains a child. The Third seeks to initiate us, symbolically, into the eternal life, making us victors over death before it arrives. The First is the Degree of Youth, the Second the Degree of Manhood, the Third the consolation and conquest of Old Age, when the evening shadows fall and the Eternal World and its unknown adventure draw near.
What, then, for each of us to-day, is meant by the Master's Piece? Is it simply a quaint custom handed down from our ancient Brethren, in which we learn how an Apprentice was made a Master of his Craft? It is that indeed, but much more. Unless we have eyes to see a double meaning everywhere in Masonry, a moral application and a spiritual suggestion, we see little or nothing. But if we have eyes to see it is always a parable, an allegory, a symbol, and the Master's Piece of olden time becomes an emblem of that upon which every man is working all the time and everywhere, whether he is aware of it or not-his character, his personality, by which he will be tested and tried at last. Character, as the word means, is something carved, something wrought out of the raw stuff and hard material of life. All we do, all we think, goes into the making of it. Every passion, every aspiration has to do with it. If we are selfish, it is ugly. If we are hateful, it is hideous. William James went so far as to say that just as the stubs remain in the check book, to register the transaction when the check is removed, so every mental act, every deed becomes a part of our being and character. Such a fact makes a man ponder and consider what he is making out of his life, and what it will look like at the end.
Like the Masons of old, apprenticed in the school of life, we work for "a penny a day." We never receive a large sum all at once, but the little reward of daily duties. The scholar, the man of science, attains truth, not in a day, but slowly, little by little, fact by fact. In the same way, day by day, act by act, we make our character, by which we shall stand judged before the Master of all Good Work. Often enough men make such a bad botch of it that they have to begin all over again. The greatest truth taught by religion is the forgiveness of God, which erases the past and gives another chance. All of us have spoiled enough material, dulled enough tools and made enough mistakes to teach us that life without charity is cruel and bitter.
Goethe, a great Mason, said that talent may develop in solitude, but character is created in society. It is the fruit of fellowship. Genius may shine aloof and alone, like a star, but goodness is social, and it takes two men and God to make a brother. In the Holy Book which lies open on our altar we read: "No man liveth unto himself; no man dieth unto himself." We are tied together, seeking that truth which none may learn for another, and none may learn alone. If evil men can drag us down, good men can lift us up. No one of us is strong enough not to need the companionship of good men and the consecration of great ideals. Here lies, perhaps, the deepest meaning and value of Masonry; it is a fellowship of men seeking goodness, and to yield ourselves to its influence, to be drawn into its spirit and quest, is to be made better than ourselves.
Amid such influences each of us is making his Master's Piece. God is all the time refining, polishing, with strokes now tender, now terrible. That is the meaning of pain, sorrow, death. It is the chisel of the Master cutting the rough stone. How hard the mallet strikes, but the stone becomes a pillar, an arch, perhaps an altar emblem. "Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. " The masterpiece of life, at once the best service to man and the fairest offering to God, is a pure, faithful, heroic, beautiful Character.
"Oh! the Cedars of Lebanon grow at our door, And the quarry is sunk at our gate; And the ships out of Ophir, with golden ore, For our summoning mandate wait; And the word of a Master Mason May the house of our soul create!
"While the day hath light let the light be used, For no man shall the night control! Or ever the silver cord be loosed, Or broken the golden bowl, May we build King Solomon's Temple In the true Masonic Soul!"
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM You can look for me on the IRC EFnet channel #Freemasons mIRC program can be downloaded at:

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
SOME SIX HUNDRED YEARS before the Birth of Christ a number of Greek thinkers and scientists made the discovery that while there are countless separate, individual things, plants, animals, and men, each one completely real, and no two identical, they nevertheless belong to a single, all- inclusive unity; to this they gave the name cosmos; the Latins after them gave it the name universe; we ourselves use both words, and we also use the word world, but we prefer universe. A century later Socrates made a discovery almost as important when he found that although there are countless men, and each man has a mind of his own, the mind is everywhere and always the same thing; no two men use their minds for the same purposes, or think about the same thing at the same time, and one man cannot use another's man's mind, but each and every man, White, Black, or Yellow, uses conceptions, knowledge, comprehension, facts, ideas, reasoning, and understanding whenever he uses his mind, and these activities are the same in every man. This discovery by Socrates gave to thinking men the best hope they had ever had of being able to think, or to think out, the cosmos; no one man can know or comprehend the cosmos by himself, because he cannot think hard enough or live long enough, but if thinking and knowing are everywhere the same thing then mankind can hope to know and understand the world because there are billions of men to do the thinking and they have all the time there is to do it in.
Among the many early Greek thinkers and scientists who discovered that the multitudinousness of things has a single all-inclusive unity, and together belong to the cosmos, a number devoted themselves to thinking about the cosmos itself, and did so by attempting to answer the question. "How was the cosmos made?" This question inevitably broke into many questions: When did it begin? Of what is it made? Who or what made it? Or is it eternal? How was it done? There have never been in the world before or since a larger number of thinkers of the highest ability, or of more powerful minds, than the Greeks who labored to answer those questions. To their collective attempt to find the answer to that question Pythagoras gave the name of philosophy. The philosophers were as cautious and ingrown in their thinking, as systematic, as careful not to wander away from known facts, as were mathematicians; their thinking therefore took the form of systems, hence the phrase "systems of philosophy"; a large number of men, generation after generation, could work together in, or for, the same system.
One system was named and distinguished from the others by the general idea which it used to describe and explain the cosmos. If a system attempted to explain the cosmos by the idea of matter it was called a materialistic philosophy. If it used the idea of life, it was called a biological philosophy. There were many general ideas thus used: mind, atoms, cause and effect, change, progress, time, etc., etc. The system founded by Democritus and of which Epicurus and Lucretius became champions attempted to explain the cosmos by the idea of atoms. Plato believed that the largest and most-inclusive of things is mind, and therefore he explained everything in terms of it; Aristotle used a different method but in the end he agreed closely with Plato; from their time until now more thinkers have accepted their system than any other. The United States has thus far produced one new system, called Pragmatism, established by William James and John Dewey, which attempts to explain or describe cosmos in the terms of the idea of practice, or experience, or doing.
The founders of early Christianity were theologians but many of them had a philosophy as well as a theology; among those who did, the majority followed Plato, though many preferred Aristotle. But when after the time of Constantine the Church set out to destroy non-Christian philosophy, science, mathematics, art, and literature they spared neither of these Greek philosophers, but ordered every copy of their books to be burned, and even abolished the old university at Athens, which Plato had established centuries before.
But in the meantime many copies of those books had been carried down into Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Arabia where they were translated into texts to be used in schools. Of the two Greek philosophers the Arabs preferred Aristotle; and when in their conquests of the Near East, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain they set up schools and universities in one city after another Aristotle was always ranked first among their texts and teachers; Averrhoes and Avicenna, the greatest of their scholars and thinkers, were both Aristotelians.
Across southern Spain the Mohammedans (called Moors) developed a very high civilization, with cities of dream-like beauty, a great literature, and many of the best schools and universities the world had ever known. Europe at that time was a cultural vacuum, which had no civilization, no roads, no cities, no schools (or almost none), and both ignorance and illiteracy were preached as religious virtues; they did not even have medicine but in their dark, earth-floored huts depended on witchcraft. The result was that more and more Europe began to look to Spain for knowledge, science, art, and education, and more than one Pope called in Mohammedan (or Spanish Jewish) physicians, and there came a time when it began to appear that Mohammedans thought their theology, as well as their armies, might conquer Europe as they had conquered North Africa.
It was when this danger was most critical that the Church was blessed with three champions whose fame even after seven centuries has not yet begun to diminish; these were Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, and Abelard. The three were worth thirty armies, and it was their work far beyond the victories of any of the warriors (the Mohammedans were then the world's greatest warriors) which confined Mohammedanism to Spain and prevented its spread across France, Italy, the Lowlands, and Britain.
It is impossible to describe or to explain their work in one paragraph; it would be difficult to explain it to an American even in many volumes, because it is so remote from our language and ways of thought; but it is not impossible to see the general purpose or point of it. Aristotle's name had come to stand among Mohammedan peoples for medicine, mathematics, zoology, astronomy, and architecture as well as for philosophy; the Christian Church had condemned Aristotle and all he stood for; but unless Europe could have the arts and sciences (medicine especially) true Christianity would be destroyed and when it was Mohammedanism would move in.
What the three Christian champions did, (and Thomas Aquinas principally) was to find a way to reconcile Christian theology on the one hand with Aristotle on the other, and to do it with out destroying either; and also - what was equally necessary - to persuade the Pope to accept that reconciliation. The new system they developed was so large and complex that it could not be characterized by any one name, but since it was worked out and taught and completed in the theological schools it was called "schoolism," or Scholasticism. It was officially adopted as its one and only authorized philosophy by the Roman Church. A member of that Church was thereby officially committed by his vows of faith to accept the theological doctrines which had been promulgated by St. Augustine, the Church's official theologian, and the philosophical doctrines of Aristotle.
The Operative Freemasons of the Middle Ages were closer to the Church than any other body of men not in monasteries or the priesthood because they were the Church's builders. A modern American builder can erect a church for any denomination because he uses manufactured materials and works from blueprints. The Medieval Freemason got out and processed his own materials, or supervised the doing of it, planned his work as he went along, unit by unit, made the designs and models for each part, and these were designs made for the building especially, not taken out of stock or copied from books; to work under such conditions he had to be in continual association with the churchmen for whom he was working, and since his decorations, carvings, arrangements, and sculpture had to portray in stone or wood the teachings, ideas, feelings, and doctrines of the church, and since the builder had to think them out and design them himself he could do so only from having a thorough knowledge of church doctrines and practices. He had to put into stone, and into the form of a building, a whole system of ideas in which philosophy and theology were combined.
This philosophy was Scholasticism. Wherever the Freemason went, he was surrounded by and saturated with Scholasticism. It was his mind's world. To define the Gothic Style as Scholasticism in the form of architecture would not be an adequate definition, because the Freemasons and not the Scholastic philosophers invented the Style, but it would be as adequate as any other definition. Even when the Freemason worked on castles, palaces, and mansions or other private buildings, or on colleges, halls, and guildhalls and other public buildings, he did not escape from Scholasticism because it pervaded everything, and gave its shape to the British and European mind for three hundred years.
Nevertheless when we turn to the records of the early Operative Freemasons to find what their work was and what they did in their Lodges, when we analyze the Rules and Regulations and the Old Charges, and read the oldest Lodge Minutes or histories, we find nowhere any trace of the Scholastic philosophy; no Assembly or Lodge stated it, or adopted it, or endorsed it, or championed it, or approved it nor any other philosophy. When an historian asked the Operative Fraternity what its philosophy was, nothing but silence replied to him; it had no philosophy, preferred no one system to any other, and it did not because the Freemasons could not see that either their Craft or their work was concerned with any system of philosophy, one way or another.
When the control, or the part control, of the Lodges by Operative Masons gave way after the Grand Lodge System was established and the Fraternity became wholly Speculative in the sense that its members made use of the ancient Craft solely for Speculative purposes, there was no Scholasticism left in England except in the Roman Catholic Church, in Oxford University, and in a few small circles. Copernicus, Galileo, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Christopher Columbus among them, each in his own way, had battered it to pieces, and made it impossible for free minds, and competent persons, any longer to believe in it.
But when the Mother Grand Lodge began to warrant its Lodges here and there across the counties of England it was itself surrounded as closely by a system of philosophy as the Operative Lodges had been surrounded by Scholasticism. The country had a philosophy of its own; here and there an occasional school, or circle, or thinker might have a different philosophy, but with these exceptions the whole of England had but one philosophy, and Englishmen thought out many of their questions in religion, government, morality, and business in terms of it. Historians have called it the British Philosophy; professional philosophers call it British Empiricism. John Locke (who probably was a Mason) was to it what Aquinas had been to Scholasticism, and Isaac Newton was believed to be the greatest scientist in history because the English believed (and not without reason) that his science had proved Empiricism to be true. The governing idea of this philosophy was experience. The gist of it was: trust your senses, learn from experience, see how things work out, experiment; try this, try that, then abide by the results; what ever works out best is truest. When turned upside down and translated into the terms of ignorance, it takes the form of "muddle through."
The Speculative Fraternity had its birth and its first growth in the midst of this ubiquitous Empiricism, yet nowhere in the revised Rules and Regulations, or in the Book of Constitutions, or in any of the Charters, or anywhere in the reorganized Ritual is that philosophy so much as even mentioned; no Petitioner is asked to be an Empiricist; the Monitor contains no lectures on it. This is true also of the earliest Lodges here; American Colonists in the Eighteenth Century were as saturated with the ideas of Empiricism as was the home-land (Franklin was the prophet here), and John Locke's fame here was as great as at home, but for all that no reference to that system of philosophy was ever made in Lodge or Grand Lodge histories and Minutes, or in Grand Lodge Constitutions.
These facts about Medieval Operative Freemasonry, and about early Speculative Freemasonry, are historical facts, and not theories; therefore they are decisive, and since they are, a Mason can state without fear of contradiction that at no point in its history has the Fraternity adopted, or endorsed, or championed any one system of philosophy. If ever it had done so it is almost certain that it would have (for historical reasons) given its endorsements to one or more of the systems of philosophy which have been named after Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, or John Locke, and if it had, each Candidate would have been compelled to believe in it, but it never has done so, and no Mason or non-Mason has grounds for saying that Freemasonry ever has favored any one system of philosophy, or exhibited any interest in the subject of philosophy. It is true that the Landmarks would be inconsistent with a certain number of philosophies, but if so it is for a Candidate to decide for himself whether his own philosophy (if he has one) is one of them or not, for in the Degrees he is submitted to no philosophic inquisition.
The systems of philosophy differ much among themselves; they differ so much that more than one-half of the interestingness of the subject comes from the clash of one with another, and not even a Greek sophist could find much in common between the idealism of Bishop Berkeley and the materialism of Professor Haeckel, or between the Scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas and the evolutionism of Charles Darwin. Nevertheless all the systems of philosophy must necessarily use a certain number of ideas, just as men in the many branches of mathematics must use the natural numbers. These ideas belong not to philosophy but are necessary in any kind of thinking; therefore every man must use them whenever he thinks, and no matter what he thinks about; among these are such ideas as truth, reality, goodness, cause and effect, time, space, reasoning, life, matter, etc., etc. They belong to the mind, not to the philosopher's mind, but to any man's mind; to the mind itself. Since this is true any man has on hand the materials out of which he can make a system of philosophy if he desires to. Arid many men do; it is always a mistake to suppose that the only philosophers are the professional philosophers; there is not a town of one thousand population in the United States that does not have at least one man in it with a coherent, organized philosophy of his own, and fifty men who have thought much about philosophic subjects.
There may therefore be such a man as has an organized philosophy of his own; he is neither a professor nor an author, delivers no lectures about it, and does not argue about it; he has not formed it idly, nor is it a plaything of his mind; it contains principles according to which he shapes the conduct of his life. Such a man is as free as any other man to petition for the Degrees of Freemasonry. It may be that his philosophy is consistent with the Landmarks of the Fraternity; it may be that it is in conflict with them; it is for him to discover the fact for himself, and the Lodge trusts him to have the honor and truthfulness to do it. If he finds that his philosophy is in accord with the Landmarks, and if he is made a Mason, he will enjoy Masonry all the more for being a philosopher, for while Freemasonry is not a philosophy, and has never officially adopted a philosophy, it has in it a number of those fundamental ideas in which philosophers of the many schools and systems have always been interested, and has in itself also that sweep of thought and that vastness of scope in which a philosopher feels at home. There is as much in Freemasonry for the mind as there is for the hands and the heart.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM You can look for me on the IRC EFnet channel #Freemasons mIRC program can be downloaded at:

A more beautiful, a more accurate, or a more compre- hensive definition of Freemasonry never has and never will be given in so few words than that is "A system of Morality veiled in Allegory and illustrated by Symbols."3 It is truly a SYSTEM. It is not a mere hodge-podge of rules, maxims, and precepts thrown together without order or design, as ignorant Masons often suppose. It is a sytem of MORALITY. The word morality in its first and broadest sense, "the doctrine of right and wrong in human conduct," (Standard Dictionary -Italics) covers the whole field. It is veiled in ALLEGORY. Rightly understood the whole system is an allegory of human life. An allegory is a departure from the direct mode of speaking in which the real subject is not mentioned by name but is more or less thinly veiled, though not hidden, beneath figures of speech. It is illustrated by SYMBOLS. What might otherwise be unintelligible in the allegory is made plain by the symbols accompanying it. The meanings of most of these symbols, though sometimes forgotten and hence not obvious, may be ascertained by study and reflection. In our view two other facts may be regarded as setting a limit in a loose sort of way to the meaning of Masonic symbols. One is that Masonry is derived from an opera- tive society; the other that the symbols are obviously de- signed to teach moral and religious truths. We must conclude, therefore, that to our ancient brethren they meant and were designed to teach moral and religious truths of the need of which they were concscious. These are such only as would appeal to a man of practical com- mon sense. It is folly to talk of these symbols meaning the same to them that they have meant at times to societies of philosphers and mystics. These additional meanings may be just as true and legitimate, but they are not Ma- sonic meanings. The rules we have just laid down is 
3Mackey, (Symbolism of Freemasonry-Italic), p. 10.
general enough to admit of opinions different enough as to any symbol. Reliance must at last be placed on a liberal measure of common sense. One fact is un- doubted and that is that Speculative Freemasonry is a development from the operative Masons' guilds of former times. But when this change began or when it became complete are points of controversy. When we come to consider the time and manner, when and how the sepera- tion occured there is a great uncerainty. Without attempting to state the evidence on which the conclusion is based, it is generally agreed that certainly as early as A.D. 1600, Speculative Masonry was in existence though still maintaining a sort of connection with the operative craft. Just what this connection then was is not precisely known. The complete divorcement of Speculative from operative Masonry, according to the most reliable authori- ties, seems to have taken place a few years prior to A.D. 1717. Just here a whole troop of questions begin to press for answer. Whence did the Speculative Masons derive their esoteric, symbolical and philisophical teachings, if not from the operative guilds? If from them, whence and how did they in their turn derive them? And our understanding of the meanings of the Masonic symbols must in a measure wait the answering of these questions. Our present knowledge is not sufficient to enable us to answer them. Brother Gould has said that the one great and pressing duty of Freemasonry was, he thought, to try and recover the lost meanings of many Masonic symbols, and to do this effectively it would be desirable to ascertain whether the symbolism they possessed became theirs by inherit- ance, or was by the accidental poduct of adoption (or assimilation). If this symbolism was inherited, then the analogous customs of remote antiquityshould form the subject of their study and investigation; but if on the contrary, it was introduced at a comparatively recent date into Freemasonry, then the way it was actually understood by those who introduced it ought to have the first claim upon their intention.4
Initiation is now, and has been for countless ages, employed as a symbol of the birth and endless develop- ment of the human mind and soul. The Entered Ap- prentice Degree represents birth and the preparatory stage of life, or in other words, youth; the Fellow Craft represents the constructive stage, or manhood; the Master Mason represents the reflective stage, or old age, death, the resurrection, and the everlasting life. This explana- tion of the three degrees is given breifly in our lecture on the (Three Steps-Italics) delineated on the Master's Carpet.
THE LODGE(centered)
Is it true that the lodge symbolically represents the world? We might say to begin with that some have thought the word "lodge" derived from the Sanskrit word "loga," meaning the world. However this may be, our Monitors tell us that the form of a lodge is an "oblong square" from East to West and between North and South, from eart to heaven and from surface to centre. This of course, if it means anything, can mean nothing less than the entire known habitable earh and Masonic scholars universally so inerpret it. This meaning was more manifest at the period when Freemasonry is sup- posed to have had its origin, for the then known world lying around the shores of the Mediterranean was literally in the form of an "oblong square." One doubt-
4(A.C.Q.-Italic), Vol. III, p. 43.
ing this may consult any map of the ancient world, especially that of Cosmas Indicopleustes of the sixth cen- tury or that of Strabo A.D. 18. Dudley, in his (Naology-Italics) (p. 7), says that the idea that the earth was a level surface and of a square form may be justly supposed to have prevailed generally in the early ages of the world. It is certain that down to a com- paratively recent date it was believed that beyond a cer- tain limit northward life was impossible because of the darkness and cold, and likewise that beyond a certain limit southward it was impossible because of the blinding glare and intense heat of the sun. It was even supposed that in the farthest South the earth was yet molten. The biblical idea was that the earth was square. Isaiah (xi, 12) speaks of gathering "the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth": and in the Apocalypse (xx, 9) is the vision of "four angels standing on the four corners of the earth." So thoroughly grounded were these beliefs that in ancient times the "square," now the recognised symbol of the lodge, was the recognised symbol of the earth, as the circle was of the sun. In this antiquated expression "oblong square," we therefore have not only an apt de- scription of the ancient world and evidence that the lodge is symbolical thereof,5 but also a remarkable evidence of the great age of Freemasonry. It tends strongly to date our institution back to the time when the human mind conceived the earth to be a plane surfaceand was ignorant of its spherical character. Likewise the lodge, which is sometimes defined as "the place where Masons work," symbolises the world or the place where all men work. Again, its covering is said to be a clouded canopy or
5(Universal Cyclopedia-Italic), "Rome," Vol. X; (The Times Atlas-Itlaic), Plate II; Mackey, (Symbolism of Freemasonry-Italics), p. 101.
starry decked heaven, a description that could not have the slightest application to anything else but the world. If the lodge symbolises the world and the Mason symbolises man, it follows that intiation must symbolise the introduction of the individual into the world, or the birth of the child. It was so regarded in the ancient sys- tems of initiation and is now so understood by Masonic scholars everywhere. It is the least important view to consider it merely as the method of admitting one to membership in a society.
The preparation of the candidate andthe plight in which he is admitted an Entered Apprentice strikingly typifies the helpless, destitute, blind and ignorant condi- tion of the newly born babe. But initiation means more than this; by all the authorities it is agreed to by a sym- bolical representation of the process bu which not only the child has been brought into existence and educated into a scholary and refined man but that by which the race has been brought out of savagery and barbarism into civilisation. The state in which a candidate enters as an Entered Ap- prentice lodge fittingly typifies the barbaric, not to say savage, state in which man originally moved when he knew not the use of metals and out of which he has been brought to his present condition. It is precisely this that has led to the application of the term "barbarian" to the unititiated. On this point, we quote Brother Albert Pike again; he says:
"In that preparation of the candidate which sym- bolises the condition of the Aryan race especially in its infancy, he represents the condition of the race when there were no manufacturers and the fabrics of the loom were unknown, when men dressed in the skins of animals, and, when the heat made these a burden, were hardly clothed at all. He represents their blindness of ignorance, even of the most useful arts, and altogether of divine truths; and that in which the number 3 appears, the bonds in which they held were of their sensual appetites, their passions that were their masters, anger, revenge, hatred, and all the evil kindred of these; and their superstitious fears."
The preparation of the candidate is symbolical of that equality of all men which is one of fundemental doc- trines of our society. He is stripped of everything that indicates any difference in fashion, station or wealth. All evidences of artificial distinctions are obilterated. The onlooker could not tell whether he is prince or a pauper, a millionaire or a beggar. On the other hand, he is not deprived of any of those qualities of heart, mind, or char- acter which mark the real superiority of one man over another. From the very beginning of initiation he is urged to make the utmost use of these in an effort to excel in all that is noble and worthy. A little study and reflection will show that every Ma- sonic symbol has an apt application not only to the moral and intellectual life history of the individual but also to that of the race considered collectively. Biologists tell us that this parallel between the individual and the race holds good in the material realm and that that in the physical growth and development of every child from the moment of its conception till it is a fully grown man, there is epitomised the history of the evolutionary development of the race through all the ages that have passed. How- ever this may be, it is certain that an exact parallel does exist between the moral and intellectual growth of the child and the process which history indicates the race as a whole has passed through.
One of the very first lessons taught the candidate and impressed upon him symbolically and in an unforgettable manner is the duty of secrecy. The secret signs, tokens, and words, which usually excite the greatest curiosity among the uninitiated, are in fact the least important parts of Freemasonry. All understand this who have ever passed through the solemn ceremony of being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Still they are not without their value. They are a pro- tection against impostors; they are a passport to the attention and assistance of the initiated everywhere. They have arrested the uplifted hand of the destroyer; they have arrested the despoiler of female virtue; they have softened the asperities of the tyrant; they have subdued the rancor of the malevolent and broken down the barriers of political animosity any religious intolerance. may our secrets be forvever preserved inviolate! But the chief value of this lesson lies in the fact that few persons are able to keep a secret. It is a priceless but rare virtue, and yet one where little effort is made to teach or practise it. If Masonry couold do no more than train its membership to preserve sacredly (except where a higher duty commands disclosure) the secrets of others confided to them, it would have done a great work and one which alone would entitle it to continued existence. The ancients so prized this virtue that they allotted a god to it. It is said of Aristotle that, when asked what thing appeared to him most difficult of performance, he replied, "To be secret and silent." I fear we moderns would more nearly deify gossip. The ancient symbol of secrcy is a finger laid across the lips. The manner of the candidate's reception is symbolical of the pricks of a violated conscience for any departure from those institutions of secrecy and virtue laid upon them in the course of initiation. Rites similar to our own at this point were in vogue among the ancients.
TOOL SYMBOLS(centered)
One of the things first noticed in the Entered Ap- prentice Degree and continued throughout all the degrees is the employment of the tools of the operative Mason as emblems of moral qualities. This peculiarity of Free- masonry is well known even to outsiders. Brother George Fleming Moore, former editor of "The New Age" and Past Sovereign Grand Commander, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdic- tion, declares that it is clear that the ancient Chinese philosophers used our present Masonic symbols "in almost precisely the same sense in which they are used by us in modern Freemasonry."6 The tools with which men labor are not inappropriate for use as moral symbols: they are neither humble nor trivial. They are worthy emblems of the highest and noblest virtues. Tools have performed an astonishing part in civilizing and enlightening mankind. They are one of the few things that distinctly mark man as im- measurably superior to the other animals. Some scientists have even contended that it is alone man's ability to fashion and use tools that has raised him above the level of the brute creation. But radical as this view must be, it can not be denied by any thoughtful man that the use of tools has been one of the chief instrumentalities in all 
6 "Rome," Vol. XVII, p. 283 
human progress, not only material but mental and spir- itual. Without tools we could not till the soil, or work the mines, or reduce the metal; we could enjoy only the rudest shelters; and all the creations of art which appeal to our spiritual natures would be impossible. The very stages of human advancement are named from the char- acter of the tools that were employed during them; thus, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, etc. Scientists suppose the first great achievement of man in his progress from savagery to civilization to have been the development of articulate speech; the second, the discovery of the uses of fire; the third, they believe to have been the invention of a tool, namely, the bow and arrow. But doubtless this was preceded by the discovery of the use of the club even if the club did not precede the development of speech, as has been the case with the great anthropoid apes. Pottery, another class of utensils, they hold to have been the fourth; the domestication of animals, the fifth; and the discovery of the manufacture and use of iron, the sixth. The seventh was the art of writing which also involved the use of a tool. Thus we see that four of the epoch making strides of savage and barbaric man had to do with the use of tools. With civilized man, the case has been even more strik- ing. Among his early discoveries or inventions were gun- powder, the mariner's compass, the manufacture of paper, and printing with movable type. Another was the demonstration by Copernicus (1530) that the earth re- volved on an axis and that the sun did not daily make a circuit around her. The steam engine, machines for weav- ing and spinning, apparatus for generating and utilising the boundless possibilities of electricity, the gasoline engine and the flying machine are all achievements made possible by the invention and use of new tools. And it must be remembered that the discovery of Copernicus,

was rendered possible only through the use of another tool. To the Palmist the heavens declared the glory of God's handiwork, but a thousand times more solemnly and impressively do they now disclose it through the medium of the telescope. It was nothing less than an inspiration that prompted our ancient brethren to sym- bolize the tools with which they produced those creations of art and architecture whose sight causes our breasts to heave with the highest emotions of which we are capa- ble. Professor Henry Smith Williams, (7) after pointing out the many material advantages involved in the use of tools, says that we must not "overlook the esthetic influence of edged implements." And then what must be said of the tools that make our music? If there is a glimpse of heaven obtainable on earth, it is in the wonderful art made possible through our marvelous musical instruments. How our various working tools acquired the particular symbolical meanings we now attach to them we do not always know. In some instances we know that they have borne them for ages. At any rate, it is with peculiar fitness that the material tools, which contribute so essentially to the building and the beautifying of the material structure, should be made to symbolize those virtues which are so essential to the building and beautifying of human character, that moral and spiritual building not reared with hands. It is by the use of tools that the architect designs, erects, and adorns the building. So also is it by the practice of the moral, intellectual, and religious virtues human char- acter is perfected. In a system, therefore, where a per- fect building is made to symbolize the perfect character, it is not syrprising but it is altogether appropriate that the
7 (Encyclopedia Britannica,-Italic) Vol. VI, p. 404.
tools which produce the one should symbolise the virtues which make the other.
is a symbol of time but not in the sense, as we learn in the Third Degree, that the scythe symbolises time. The scythe denotes the fleetness of time and the brevity of all thiings human, while the Twenty-Four Inch Gauge typifies time well spent. It teaches us the value of our time, that time wasted can never be regained, that it is a priceless commodity, that there is a time for all things, a time for labour, a time for rest, a time for amusement, a time for worship, and a time for the relief of distress. It is the same lesson so beautifully taught in Ecclesiastes iii, 1-8, or as redacted by Jastrow in (A Gentle Cynic-Italics), p. 209:
"Everything has its appointed time and there is a time for every occurence under the sun. There is a time to be born, And a time to die, There is a time for planting, And a time for uprooting." 
In other words, let everything be done in time and in order, so that none of this most valuable gift of God to man shall be wasted. How few of us place an adequate estimate upon the value of our time! Note those who sit around and whittle and chew tobacco. The gauge being divided into twenty-four inches it naturally, in a system like ours, became the symbol of the twenty-four hours of the day.
S&F James Picard SD & Webmaster, Lynn Valley 122 B.C.R -- (Remove the REMOVETHIS to reply)

BROTHERS and BUILDERS:, The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry. BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON (Litt.D.)
NOTHING in Freemasonry is more beautiful in form or more eloquent in meaning than the First Degree. Its simplicity and dignity, its blend of solemnity and surprise, as well as its beauty of moral truth, mark it as a little masterpiece. Nowhere may one hope to find a nobler appeal to the native nobilities of man. What we get out of Freemasonry, as of anything else depends upon our capacity, and our response to its appeal; but it is hard to see how any man can receive the First Degree and pass out of the Lodge room quite the same man as when he entered it.
What memories come back to us when we think of the time when we took our first step in Freemasonry. We had been led, perhaps, by the sly remarks of friends to expect some kind of horseplay, or the riding of a goat; but how different it was in reality. Instead of mere play-acting we discovered, by contrast, a ritual of religious faith and moral law, an allegory of life and a parable of those truths which lie at the foundations of manhood. Surely no man can ever forget that hour when, vaguely or clearly, the profound meaning of Freemasonry began slowly to unfold before his mind.
The whole meaning of initiation, of course, is an analogy of the birth, awakening and growth of the soul; its discovery of the purpose of life and the nature of the world in which it is to be lived. The Lodge is the world as it was thought to be in the olden time, with its square surface and canopy of sky, its dark North and its radiant East ; its centre an Altar of obligation and prayer. The initiation, by the same token, is our advent from the darkness of prenatal gloom into the light of moral truth and spiritual faith, out of lonely isolation into a network of fellowships and relationships, out of a merely physical into a human and moral order. The cable tow, by which we may be detained or removed should we be unworthy or unwilling to advance, is like the cord which joins a child to its mother at birth. Nor is it removed until, by the act of assuming the obligations and fellowships of the moral life, a new, unseen tie is spun and woven in the heart, uniting us, henceforth, by an invisible bond, to the service of our race in its moral effort to build a world of fraternal goodwill.
Such is the system of moral philosophy set forth in symbols to which the initiate is introduced, and in this light each emblem, each incident, should be interpreted. Thus Freemasonry gives a man at a time when it is most needed, if he be young, a noble, wise, time-tried scheme of thought and moral principle by which to read the meaning of the world and his duty in it. No man may hope to see it all at once, or once for all, and it is open to question whether any man lives long enough to think it through - for, like all simple things, it is deep and wonderful. In the actuality of the symbolism a man in the first degree of Freemasonry, as in the last, accepts the human situation, enters a new environment, with a new body of motive and experience. In short, he assumes his real vocation in the world and vows to live by the highest standard of values.
Like every other incident of initiation, it is in the light of the larger meanings of Freemasonry that we must interpret the Rite of Destitution. At a certain point in his progress every man is asked for a token of a certain kind, to be laid up in the archives of the Lodge as a memorial of his initiation. If he is "duly and truly prepared" he finds himself unable to grant the request. Then, in one swift and searching moment, he realizes - perhaps for the first time in his life - what it means for a man to be actually destitute. For one impressive instant, in which many emotions mingle, he is made to feel the bewilderment, if not the humiliation, which besets one who is deprived of the physical necessities of life upon which, far more than we have been wont to admit, both the moral and social order depend. Then, by a surprise as sudden as before, and in a manner never to be forgotten, the lesson of the Golden Rule is taught - the duty of man to his fellow in dire need. It is not left to the imagination, since the initiate is actually put into the place of the man who asks his aid, making his duty more real and vivid.
At first sight it may seem to some that the lesson is marred by the limitations and qualifications which follow; but that is only seeming. Freemasons are under all the obligations of humanity, the most primary of which is to succor their fellow men in desperate plight. As Mohammed long ago said, the end of the world has come when man will not help man. But we are under special obligations to our Brethren of the Craft, as much by the promptings of our hearts as by the vows we have taken. Such a principle, so far from being narrow and selfish, has the indorsement of the Apostle Paul in his exhortations to the early Christian community. In the Epistle to the Ephesians we read: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." It is only another way of saying that "charity begins at home," and for Masons the home is the Lodge.
So, then, the destitute to which this Rite refers, and whose distress the initiate is under vows to relieve, as his ability may permit, are a definite and specific class. They are not to be confused with those who are poverty stricken by reason of criminal tendencies or inherent laziness. That is another problem, in the solution of which Masons will have their share and do their part - a very dark problem, too, which asks for both patience and wisdom. No, the needy which this Rite requires that we aid are "all poor, distressed, worthy Masons, their widows and orphans"; that is, those who are destitute through no fault of their own, but as the result of untoward circumstance. They are those who, through accident, disease or disaster, have become unable, however willing and eager, to meet their obligations. Such are deserving of charity in its true Masonic sense, not only in the form of financial relief, but also in the form of companionship, sympathy and love. If we are bidden to be on our guard against impostors, who would use Masonry for their own ends, where there is real need our duty is limited only by our ability to help, without injury to those nearest to us.
A church, if it be worthy of the name, opens its doors to all kinds and conditions of folk, rich and poor alike, the learned and the unlearned. But a Lodge of Masons is different, alike in purpose and function. It is made up of picked men, selected from among many, and united for unique ends. No man ought to be allowed to enter the Order unless he is equal to its demands, financially as well as mentally and morally, able to pay its fees and dues, and to do his part in its work of relief. Yet no set of men, however intelligent and strong, are exempt from the vicissitudes and tragedies of life. Take, for example, Anthony Sayer, the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England. Towards the end of his life he met with such reverses that he became Tyler of Old King's Arms Lodge, No. 28, and it is recorded that he was assisted "out of the box of this Society." Such a misfortune, or something worse, may overtake any one of us, without warning or resource.
Disasters of the most appalling kind befall men every day, leaving them broken and helpless. How often have we seen a noble and able man suddenly smitten down in mid life, stripped not only of his savings but of his power to earn, as the result of some blow no mortal wit could avert. There he lies, shunted out of active life when most needed and most able and willing to serve. Life may any day turn Ruffian and strike one of us such a blow, disaster following fast and following faster, until we are at its mercy. It is to such experiences that the Rite of Destitution has reference, pledging us to aid as individuals and as Lodges; and we have a right to be proud that our Craft does not fail in the doing of good. It is rich in benevolence, and it knows how to hide its labors under the cover of secrecy, using its privacy to shield itself and those whom it aids.
Yet we are very apt, especially in large Lodges, or in the crowded solitude of great cities, to lose the personal touch, and let our charity fall to the level of a cold, distant almsgiving. When this is so charity becomes a mere perfunctory obligation, and a Lodge has been known to vote ten dollars for the relief of others and fifty dollars for its own entertainment!
There is a Russian story in which a poor man asked aid of another as poor as himself: "Brother, I have no money to give you, but let me give you my hand," was the reply. "Yes, give me your hand, for that, also, is a gift more needed than all others," said the first; and the two forlorn men clasped hands in a common need and pathos. There was more real charity in that scene than in many a munificent donation made from a sense of duty or pride.
Indeed, we have so long linked charity with the giving of money that the word has well nigh lost its real meaning. In his sublime hymn in praise of charity, in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, St. Paul does not mention money at all, except to say "and although I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Which implies that a man may give all the money he possesses and yet fail of that Divine grace of Charity. Money has its place and value, but it is not everything, much less the sum of our duty, and there are many things it cannot do. A great editor sent the following greeting at the New Year:-
" Here is hoping that in the New Year there will be nothing the matter with you that money cannot cure. For the rest, the law and the prophets contain no word of better rule for the health of the soul than the adjuration: Hope thou a little, fear not at all, and love as much as you can."
Surely it was a good and wise wish, if we think of it, because the things which money cannot cure are the ills of the spirit, the sickness of the heart, and the dreary, dull pain of waiting for those who return no more. There are hungers which gold cannot satisfy, and blinding bereavements from which it offers no shelter. There are times when a hand laid upon the shoulder, "in a friendly sort of way," is worth more than all the money on earth. Many a young man fails, or makes a bad mistake, for lack of a brotherly hand which might have held him up, or guided him into a wiser way.
The Rite of Destitution! Yes, indeed; but a man may have all the money he needs, and yet be destitute of faith, of hope, of courage; and it is our duty to share our faith and courage with him. To fulfill the obligations of this Rite we must give not simply our money, but ourselves, as Lowell taught in "The Vision of Sir Launfal, " writing in the name of a Great Brother who, though he had neither home nor money, did more good to humanity than all of us put together - and who still haunts us like the dream of a Man we want to be.
"The Holy Supper is kept indeed, In whatso we share with another's need; Not that which we give, but what we share, For the gift without the giver is bare; Who bestows himself with his alms feeds three: Himself, his hungering neighbour, and Me!"
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM You can look for me on the IRC EFnet channel #Freemasons mIRC program can be downloaded at:

Newly-Made Mason - by H.L. Haywood
CHAPTER XVI Masonic Relief
WHEN A MAN is at work he is making use of himself, including his body, as the means to make or produce something which is necessary to him if he and his family are not to perish. While he works he works with materials, machines, implements, tools, heat, steam, electricity, force, chemicals, weights, water - there is never any telling what; and almost any one of these may under some circumstances be dangerous to him, may crush him to death, or shear off a foot, or mash a hand, or blind him, or deafen him, or damage him internally, or may poison him, or infect him with disease. Each and every occupation has its occupational diseases and its occupational hazards, and though it may safeguard itself with every safety device ever invented a certain number of the men who work in it will become occupational casualties.
When any enterprise is set up and organized in any of the fields of work to make use of any of the forms of work it must expect these casualties and in its plans and organizations it ought to provide for them, their care and remedy; and the cost of that care and remedy ought to be included in the total amount of money which that particular enterprise will cost the nation-and it does not matter what may be the nature of that enterprise as long as men and women must work in it; it may be housekeeping, or farming, or practicing medicine, or writing books, or coal mining, or preaching, or railroading, and so on. There will be casualties in it; they will, most of them, be unavoidable, and their care and remedy will cost money; the amount of that money, along with provisions for the cure and remedy ought to be a part of the organization of the enterprise, and the cost of them, to repeat, ought to be included in the total (and social) cost of that enterprise. These inevitable and unavoidable casualties with their remedy and care, this is what is meant by relief. This relief is therefore an Ancient Landmark in any of the forms or fields of work, and in any possible enterprise which may be organized, therefore it belongs to what work is; and any definition of work must include relief because unless relief is provided for, work cannot go on. It will thus be seen at a glance that relief belongs to a category of things unlike other categories with which we, in our carelessness of thought and speech, have so often confused it.
If a man refuses to work he falls into poverty and he and his dependents will starve to death unless they are fed by the community's organized charities, or he is sent to a workhouse where he is fed at the expense of tax-payers; there is nothing in common between his "case" and that of a locomotive engineer, who when at work and in the prime of life, is suddenly made a helpless cripple for the rest of his years by a wreck for which he was not responsible; to call the care given to him and the care given to the pauper by the same name of charity is a ghastly perversion of language. If a man has in his character a normal amount of what we call goodness, and if in consequence he is always willing to give out of himself something another is in want of, he is said to be benevolent, and his acts are acts of benevolence. If a man of means pays for, or endows, a hospital, library, church, park, museum, and does it out of love for his neighborhood or his community he is a philanthropist - a word which defines itself since it is composed of two Greek words meaning "a friend" and 11 man"; he is a friend of man. Only a barbarian or a savage could ever question charity, benevolence, or philanthropy; they are not being questioned here, either individually or by implication but it must be obvious that no one of them is even remotely similar in its occasion, purpose, means, or spirit to relief. Relief belongs to the world of work necessarily and forever, in the sense that tools do, or materials used, or wages paid; no enterprise could be set up in the expectation of employing workmen, workmen could never organize themselves in a body to work together, unless they included relief in their plans or their organization.
If the need for relief is inherent in the nature of work it follows that the cost of the care and remedy is to be assessed against the total cost of the work done; it is this fact which many men find it difficult to grasp or to understand, though it appears to be sufficiently obvious. If when coal miners are at work the roof caves in on them and one of them must be sent to the hospital for six months, it surely is plain that such a man is not in the same case as another man who lies in the same hospital from having driven an automobile while drunk. If you work in mines through your adult years you have only one chance in twenty of not being hurt at least once; the danger of being hurt is inherent in the work of mining, and since it is, the cost and responsibility for that danger belongs not to the miners but to mining; housekeeping and farming are almost as dangerous as mining; lumbering is equally dangerous; being a soldier or a sailor in war is far more dangerous; men in many of the arts and professions have non-hazardous work yet run the risk of contagious diseases because they work with crowds or with the sick and the diseased; even the most sedentary occupations, such as scholarship, research, writing are hazardous because they are so wearing on the eyes, brains, and nerves - when the Ancient Greeks linked poetry and madness together they did not miss the mark even in a medical sense, because the rate of insanity and suicide among poets has always been exceptionally high. Nobody has ever yet discovered a form of work without hazards of its own, and those hazards always go along with it and belong to it as water always goes along with the work of a sailor. Freemasonry has known this fact for at least eight centuries; in the first Lodge formed by the first Freemasons relief was one of the rules organized in it.
"The Three Principal Tenets" is a phrase which carries in it no charge of excitement; it is a flat, inert, almost lifeless phrase, and has about it the somewhat pompous atmosphere of the English language as it was used by Samuel Johnson and his contemporaries - it is not even wholly impossible that Samuel Johnson helped to author it because it was William Preston who gave it its Masonic currency, and Preston and Johnson were friends, and Johnson was very probably (though not certainly) a Mason; Masonic historians ignore the phrase, Masonic essayists have discovered it with reluctance. Masonic poets have not sung about it, even the great mass of literature on the Ritual has little to say about it; the words in it belong to that type of vocabulary which Johnson himself described as "soporific" because they put a reader or a listener to sleep. (There is too much of this soporific vocabulary in the Standard Monitor.) But none of this is as it should be; "the Three Principal Tenets" are not archaic or thin, or soporific, and any Mason can find this to be true for himself if he will dig into them. "Principal" means that which comes first, which is most urgent, or most necessary, or which must be done before other things can be done. The "Three" implies that while among the tenets three are thus at the front and are most urgent there are other tenets - there are possibly as many as forty tenets clearly distinguishable in the Ritual. It is significant to see that Relief is numbered among the three!
"Tenet" is a curious word, and to an etymologist is an exciting word partly because its history winds in and out and back and forth and is hard to trace - it is doubtful if even a Sherlock Holmes could trace it through all its ramifications; and partly because in the word itself there is something exciting and dramatic. Ten was an Anglo-Saxon name for the number which is found by adding one to nine; but it is possible that this Anglo-Saxon ten goes back to a very old Sanskrit word meaning the ten fingers on the two hands. It is even more probable that the Latins made up their word teneo from an original meaning the ten fingers because teneo meant to grasp tightly with both hands, to hold on for dear life, to refuse to let go; and it still carries that meaning, or a ghost of it, in our tenacious, tenant (who has a "hold" or possession of property; freehold is an Anglo-Saxon form), tenement (the property on which a tenant has a "hold"), tenon (from the French form of teneo), tenor (a man who can hold his voice at a pitch), tenure as the direction to hold to, etc., etc. Of these many forms of teneo our tenet is by far the most interesting because it carries in it a graphic idea: a tenet is a teaching, doctrine, or principle which a man takes hold of with (as it were) both hands, to which he holds on through thick and thin, which he clings to with tenacity ("glued to it"), which he will not let go until the last gasp, and at any cost to himself. Instead of the thin and lifeless word which we in our casualness or indifference have so often taken it to be, it is in reality a very masculine, exciting word. It is therefore, to repeat, significant to find that Relief is a Principal Tenet; if any reader should demur to this, if according to his taste, an exaggeration has been committed, let him read the history of Freemasonry; Relief was a Tenet in the first Lodge, a principal tenet, and though during the centuries since that first Lodge the Fraternity has weathered many changes, and been through the wars, and been battered without and within, it still keeps a fast hold on Relief-not once has it ever let it go. If it is not a Tenet in the historical and full sense of that word, nothing is. Operative Masons kept a grasp on it with both hands; Speculative Masons keep the same grasp; Freemasons always will, because if ever the Fraternity were to let go of it, Freemasonry would cease.
Since the tenets of our Craft, Operative and otherwise, were incorporated in it by the Operative Freemasons, there is no need for any Masonic student to look far to discover why Relief was one of them. Operative Freemasonry was as hazardous as mining and lumbering are now, perhaps more so; the craftsmen worked with stones, weighing from fifty pounds to three or four tons; they had none of our modern heavy machines for hauling, or lifting, or placing them; their elevators, ladders, and scaffolds were wood; their tools were of a shape to bruise or cut, and they were made of heavy metal; and there were always the hazards which ensue from working on heights, with men above and below and about, where if a tool, or a stone, or a piece of timber slipped from a hand or broke off or fell every workman in range was under risk of being struck by it. Along with these immediate and manual risks went the hazards which go along with working in the open where a sudden rain could blind a man's eyes, or the snow could make a plank slippery, or cold could numb the fingers, etc. Of the 1500 cathedrals erected scarcely one but paid its tax in blood, and more than one Craftsman was buried under the pavement of a church he had helped to erect. Since almost the only safety device they had to use consisted of the caution, knowledge, and skill of the men themselves we can understand why they swore in an Apprentice to obey, and keep the rules, and not be careless with an oath of an almost fierce earnestness.
But this was not the end of their hazards - not in the Middle Ages when the average span of life was only twenty-two or twenty-three years. The Freemasons lived, most of them, in small villages or else were crowded together in narrow quarters inside a walled town. There was almost no surgery, and very little medicine; babies were delivered by midwives; against contagion they had no protection, and when a plague or an epidemic arrived they, like everybody else, were helpless; fires, the chronic calamity of the Middle Ages with its towns full of wooden buildings, were almost as much dreaded as epidemics, and more numerous. Under such circumstances, what would you? What the Freemasons did was to organize themselves, with their families included, into a single, solid Community, and this Community made itself responsible for the unavoidable misfortunes of its own members as for the avoidable misfortunes, the drunkard, the idler, the criminal, and other such ilk as live by preying on their fellows they dealt with them by an act of surgery: they expelled them, and drove them forth. Relief, one of their Principal Tenets, and as principal then as now, was exactly as described in the beginning of this chapter, the care and remedy for the casualties in the world of work. Any one of them, as a man or as a woman, could be as charitable, as benevolent, as philanthropic as he desired, but it was Relief which was the law of the Craft, and every Mason had willy nilly to contribute his own share to it in exactly the same way, and for a like reason, that he had to contribute his own share of the work.
When the ancient Operative Craft was put to the new Speculative uses the old law of Relief was not altered an iota, except that it was made to apply to members in any other craft, or in any other form of work. The members of our own Speculative Lodges may choose, individually, or collectively, when and as they desire, to give their money or time to charity, or benevolence, or philanthropy - being the men they are the majority of them probably so choose oftener than the majority of other men; but on the question of Relief they have no choice; it is a Landmark, a Tenet; it does not brook of any "if" or "and"; it is the law; the money spent by a Lodge for Relief is like the money spent for the sake of any of the other Masonic Purposes, it is part of the cost of operating the Lodge, and it therefore is included in the dues which are each member's equal share in those expenses.
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM You can look for me on the IRC EFnet channel #Freemasons mIRC program can be downloaded at:

BROTHERS and BUILDERS:, The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry. BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON (Litt.D.)
OUR Ancient Brethren were Pilgrims as well as Builders; and so are we. The idea of life as a journey runs all through the symbolism of Freemasonry, and to forget that truth is to lose half its beauty. Initiation itself is a journey from the West to the East in quest of that which was lost. The reason why a man becomes a Master Mason is that he may travel in foreign countries, work and receive the wages of a Master.
What is symbolism with us was the actual life of Masons in days of old. An Apprentice presented his masterpiece, and if it was approved, he was made a Master and Fellow. He could then take his kit of tools and journey wherever his work called him, a Freemason - free, that is, as distinguished from a Guild Mason, who was not allowed to work beyond the limits of his city. Thus he journeyed from Lodge to Lodge, from land to land, alone, or in company with his fellows, stopping at inns betimes to rest and refresh himself. Sometimes, as Hope describes in his Essay on Architecture, a whole Lodge travelled together, a band of pilgrim builders.
Like our Brethren in the olden time, we too are pilgrims - life a journey, man a traveller - and each of the Seven Ages is neighbour to the rest; and so the poets of all peoples have read the meaning of life, as far back as we can go. It is a long road we journey together, but there are inns along the way, kept by Father Time, in which we may take lodging for the night, and rest and reflect - like the Inn of Year's End, at which we arrive this month, in which there is goodly company, and much talk of the meaning of the journey and the incidents of the road.
Yes, the winding road is a symbol of the life of man true to fact. Once we are aware of ourselves as pilgrims on a journey, then the people and the scenes about us reveal their meaning and charm. If we forget that life is a Pilgrim's Progress, we have no clue at all to an understanding of it. Strangely enough, when we settle down to be citizens of this world, the world itself becomes a riddle and a puzzle. By the same token, the greatest leaders of the race are the men in whom the sense of being pilgrims and sojourners on the earth is the most vivid. It is the strangers in the world, the manifest travellers to a Better Country, who get the most out of life, because they do not try to build houses of granite when they only have time to pitch a tent, or turn in at an inn.
In the friendly air of the Inn of Year's End, where we make merry for to-night, there is much congratulation upon so much of the journey safely done, and much well-wishing for the way that lies ahead. Also, there is no end of complaint at the aches and ills, the upsets and downfalls, of the road. All kinds of faiths and philosophies mingle, and there is no agreement as to the meaning or goal of the journey. Some think life a great adventure, others hold it to be a nuisance. Many agree with the epitaph of the poet Gay in Westminster Abbey:-
"Life is a jest, and all things show it: I thought so once, and now I know it."
But a Mason, if he has learned the secret of his Craft, knows that life is not a jest, but a great gift, "a little holding lent to do a mighty labor." He agrees with a greater and braver poet who said :
"Away with funeral music - set The pipe to powerful lips - The cup of life's for him that drinks, And not for him that sips."
At the end of an old year and the beginning of a new, we can see that it simplifies life to know that we are pilgrims in a pilgrim world. When a man starts on a journey he does not take everything with him, but only such things as he really needs. It is largely a matter of discrimination and transportation. To know what to take and what to leave is one of the finest arts. It asks for insight, judgment, and a sense of values. One reason why the race moves so slowly is that it tries to take too much with it, weighing itself down with useless rubbish which ought to be thrown aside. Much worthless luggage is carted over the hills and valleys of history, hindering the advance of humanity. It is so in our own lives. Men stagger along the road with acres of land on their backs, and houses and bags of money. Others carry old hates, old grudges, old envies and disappointments, which wear down their strength for nothing. At the end of the year it is wise to unpack our bundle and sort out the things we do not need - throwing the useless litter out the window or into the fire.
How much does a man really need for his journey? If the wisdom of the ages is to be believed, the things we actually need are few, but they are very great. "There abideth Faith, Hope, and Love, these three; and the greatest of these is Love." Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, to which let us add Courage, which is the root of every virtue and the only security - what more do we need? In a world where the way is often dim, the road rough, and the weather stormy, we have time only to love and do good. Hate is the worst folly. After all, what do we ask of life, here or hereafter, but leave to love, to serve, to commune with our fellows, with ourselves, with the wonderful world in which we live, and from the lap of earth to look up into the face of God ? Neither wealth nor fame can add anything worth while.
The human procession is endlessly interesting, made up of all kinds of folk - quaint, fantastic, heroic, ignoble, joyous, sorrowful, ridiculous and pathetic - some marching, some straggling through the world. There are Greathearts who patrol the road, and angels who walk with us in disguise - angels, we know them to be, because they believe in us when we do not believe in ourselves, and thus make us do our best. And there are skulkers who shirk every danger and wander to no purpose, like the tramp in a western village who, when asked if he was a traveller, replied :-
"Yep, headed south this trip; Memphis maybe, if I don't lay off sooner. I suppose I'm what you call a bum, partner; but I ain't as bad as some of 'em. I've been hitting the road fer quite a spell, nigh forty years; but I hold a feller has a right to live the way he wants to as long as he lets other folks alone. Anyway, I've had a heap of fun. Oh yes, I might have settled down and got married and raised a lot of kids I couldn't a- took care of, same as a lot of fellers. But I didn't. They say kids come from heaven, so I jest thought I'd leave mine stay there. It keeps me a-hustlin' to look after myself, and handin' out a bit now and then to some poor devil down on his luck. Well, so long, partner."
There is the shirk, the loafer, idle and adrift, living without aim or obligation - trying to slip through and get by. But there are spiritual loafers and moral tramps almost as bad, though they do not flip trains or ask for a "hand-out" at the back door. Any man is a loafer who takes more out of life than be puts into it, leaving the world poorer than be found it. He only has lived who, coming to the All-Men's Inn called death, has made it easier for others to see the truth and do the right.
When we know we are journeymen Masons, seeking a Lodge, we can the better interpret the ills that overtake us. One must put up with much on a journey which would be intolerable at home. Our misfortunes, our griefs are but incidents of the road. Our duties, too, are near at hand. The Good Samaritan had never met the man whom he befriended on the road to Jericho. He did not know his name. He may have had difficulty in understanding his language. None the less, he took him to the next inn, and paid for his keep. Finding his duty by the roadside, he did it, and went on his way. Such is the chivalry of the road, and if a man walks faithfully he will come to the house of God.
Since we pass this way but once, we must do all the good we can, in all ways we can, to all the people we can. There come thoughts of those who walked with us in other days, and have vanished. They were noble and true. Their friendship was sweet, and the old road has been lonely since they went away. Toward the end life is like a street of graves, as one by one those who journey with us fall asleep. But if we walk "the Road of the Loving Heart," and make friends with the Great Companion, we shall not lose our way, nor be left alone when we come at last, as come we must, like all Brothers and Fellows before us, to where the old road dips down into the Valley of Shadows.
It is strange; the soul too is a pilgrim, and must pass on. Walking for a brief time in this vesture of clay, it betakes itself on an unknown journey. A door opens, and the pilgrim spirit, set free, makes the great adventure where no path is. But He who made us Brothers and Pilgrims here will lead us there, and the way He knoweth. No blind and aimless way our spirit goeth, but to Him who hath set Eternity in our hearts. Such thoughts visit us, such faiths and hopes cheer us, gathered in the Inn of Year's End, thinking of the meaning of the way.
I go mine, thou goest thine; Many ways we wend, Many ways and many days, Ending in one end. Many a wrong and its crowning song, Many a road and many an Inn; Far to roam, but only one home For all the world to win."
George Helmer FPS PM Norwood #90 GRA H Norwood #18 RAM You can look for me on the IRC EFnet channel #Freemasons mIRC program can be downloaded at:

THE COMMON GAVEL(center justified)
or stonemason's hammer, was the tool with which the apprentice performed those first operations involved in fitting a stone for its proper place in the building, such as "breaking off the corners of rough stones"; or, as expressed in England (Emulation Working), "to knock off all superfluous knobs and excrescences." It was not adapted to giving polish or ornamentation to the stone and hence it should symbolise only training of the youth which is designed to give him mechanical skill and to divest him of those social habits which characterise man in a state of nature. In Canada, it is said to teach that "labour is the lot of man" and that qualities of heart and head are of limited value "if the hand be not prompt to execute the design" of the master. However, since the chisel has fallen into disuse in the United States and many other countries as a Blue lodge symbol, the symbolism of the Common Gavel has been extended so that it now typifies the enlightening and ennobling effects of training and education in all its various branches.
THE CHISEL(center justified)
has a symbolism sonewhat akin to that of the Common Gavel, or stonemason's hammer. (8) The Gavel was used only in the earlier processes of dressing the stone and is not adapted as we have just said to giving it a high polish or ornamentation. It, therefore, symbolizes the earlier steps in education and moral training of the youth. When it is desired to give a higher finish to the stone or to give it an ornamental shape or to engrave designs upon it, the Chisel was and still is brought into play. The Chisel, therefore, symbolises those advanced studies and trainings which give a man polish and refinement and fit him for the highest stations in life. In the United States, the Chisel is practically obselete in Blue Masonry but it reappears in the beautiful Mark Master's Degree where it
(8)Pike, (Morals and Dogma-Italics), p. 30.
is said to "demonstrate the advantages of disipline and education." In England (Emulation Working), it is said to "point out to us the advantages of education by which means alone we are rendered fit members od regularly organised society." In Canada, it is said to teach that "nothing short of indefatigable exertion can induce the habit of virtue, enlighten the mind, and render the soul pure." We regard it as a distinct loss to Blue lodge sym- bolism in the United States that the Chisel has being sur- rendered to Capitular Masonry. Its proper place is in the Fellow Craft Degree, from which many believe the Mark Master Degree to have being originally taken.
THE KEY(center justified)
has a beautiful symbolism familiar to English Masons but unknown to us. It symbolises the tongue and teaches us that it should always be ready to speak in a brother's defence and "never lie to his prejudice." Emulation Working (English) gives us this charge:
"That excellent key, a Freemason's tongue, which should speak well of a brother absent or present,- and when unfortunately that can not be done with honour and propriety, should adopt that excellent virtue of the Craft which is Silence."(9)
SOLOMON'S TEMPLE(center justified)
A symbol which appears early in this Degree and recurs in many subsequent degrees and rite's is that of Solomon's Temple. If building symbolises the developing of the human mind and character, nothing is more logical than
9 Emulation Working, (Lectures of the Three Degrees-Italics), etc. (Lewis, 1896), pp. 8,9.
that the most perfect building known should be chosen as the symbol of a perfect character. But in this connection it is often asked why not was the Parthenon, or the Pan- theon, or the Temple to Zeus at Athens chosen for this symbol. Two answers are possible: First; a tradition has prevailed since long before the birth of Christ that the Temple of Solomon was the most artisitc and the most highly wrought structure ever erected by man. Second; if Masonry has its origin at the time and under the circumstances claimed by our traditions, namely, at the building of the Temple, it would be inevitable that Solomon's Temple should be chosen as this symbol. Of course historians laugh at this claim, but historians have laughed at many things which have turned out to be true. Without assuming to assert that it is true, we desire to point out that this is at least a plausible hypothesis under- lying this tradition. Many Masonic writers have main- tained appearently with reason that earlier than a thousand years before Christ, the priests of Dionysus, or Bacchus, devoting themselves to architecture in the erection of their temples, had founded the "Fraternity of Dionyian Archi- tects"; that these in course of time, spread throughout Asia Minor and Phoenicia and gradually acquired the exclusive privilege of erecting the temples and the public buildings. It is supposed by them that Hiram, King of Tyre, whom we know to have being the erector of great buildings, Hiram Abif and the Tyrians, who were sent to assist King Solomon in the building of his Temple, were members of this fraternity. Granted the existence of such buildings as King Hiram erected, they can scarcely be accounted fir except by supposing the existence of a society of builders who erected them. If such a society existed in Phoenicia at that date, it would be remarkable if Hiram Abif and the other Tyrian artificers were not members of it, and it would naturally follow that at least the skilled work- men on Solomon's Temple would be similarly organised. A corroborating circumstance of our Temple tradition is that precisely at the time of Solomon, Judah was the most pwerful and Phoenicia the most enlightened artis- tically and commercially of all the nations of the world. This was many centuries before the ascendancy of Greece and a thousand years before Rome extended her posses- sions beyond Italy. Solomon's Temple antedates the earliest known remains of historic Greek architecture by nearly 300 years. Archaeology thus corroborrates the claim of both Biblical and Masonic tradition that down to its time no building had being erected equal to it in splendour and beautiful finish.(10) Its construction natu- rally called in requisition of the Tyrians, they being neigh- bours and the most finished artisans of the time. The se- cret society "habit" was quite as common among men then as it is now. Their long association together and thie pride in such a great work would just as naturally lead them to form themselves into a society, as like motives led the soldiers of our Revolutionary and Civil Wars to form patriotic societies. We have seen that there were already in existence and at hand scret societies which needed only a slight modification to make them much like what our traditions say Maosnry then was. The probablities all favour the conclusion that the Temple was built by a society of masons. Nor is there anything incredible in the theory that Solomon who was prosecuting this work, and Hiram, King of Tyre, whose subjects many of the builders were, condescended to honour the society with their patronage and favour, thus linking their names with the tradition. In seven years, this bond would become quite strong;
(10)(Universal Cyclopedia-Italics), p. 428; I (Ibid.-Italics), p. 8; (Trans- lations-Italics), LOdge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester, 1907-08, p. 139.
upon their dispersion every little group would continue to feel this tie od sympathy and take pride in thier great achievement, with the result that organisations having the same or similar traditions would spring up in various parts. The idea would soon become prevalent among all bodies of masons that their ancient brethren erected the Temple. At any rate, it is clear in the ancient Mysteries, Solomon found ready-formed institutions which with slight changes were admirably adapted to the creation and cultivation of a bond of union and sympathy among the workmen of the Temple, which would tend to make them more efficient, skilful, and zealous which would greatly expedite the work. There is nothing, therefore, inherently improbable in the assumption that Solomon with his wisdom and knowledge of human nature would turn the existing religious associations of his time to his use in accomplishing his great and holy undertaking. This assumption does not imply that all the skilled arti- sans then in the world were employed in the building of the Temple or that Freemasonry descended from those alone who were thus employed. The number, however, must have being sufficiently great that the tradition soon gained currency among all the building classes through- out the then-known world that the erection of the Temple was due to their predecessors in the craft. Thu may we rationally aaccount for this tradition among us with- out insisting upon its historical accuracy.
We are told that in the building of Solomon's Temple there was not heard the sound of any tool of iron. It is a well authenticated historical fact that the Jews, not to mention other ancient peoples, believed that an iron tool was polluting to an altar to Deity. Hence, in the days of Moses, the laws prescribed that in erecting an altar of stone to Jehovah no iron tool should be employed upon it. The work of erecting the Temple, therefore, went on noiselessly but with speed and perfection. This tradition, besides being borne out by the known facts of Hebrew history, has a beautiful symbolism. It is this: the erection and adornment of the moral and spiritual temple in which we are engaged, that of human character, and of which Solomon's was typical, is not characterized by the clang of noisy tools. About true character building there is nothing of bluster and show; it is a silent, noiseless process. It is the emptiest vessel that makes the greatest sound.
HALE(center justified)
A certain sign is called the (hale-Italic) or (hele-Italic) frequently mis- spelled (hail-Italic). The term is commonly understood even by Masons to mean (accost-Italic) or (salute-Italic), but such is not its mean- ing at all. It is derived from the Anglo-Saxon (helan-Italic) and means to cover or conceal(11). The English word (heal-Italic), for example the healing of a wound or the healing of a Mason, is derived from the same word and primarily signifies (to cover-Italics). The (hale), therefore, has the same Masonic sig- nification as (due guard) and is intended to impress upon us the value of caution, a virtue so few men possess.
TILE, TILER, TYLER (center justified)
These words so common in and so peculiar to Free- maosnry have a use and meaning similar to (hale). They derive from the word (tile), used in covering houses. To tile a house is to cover it; one who puts the tiles on a 
(11)Pike, (Morals and Dogma-Italics), p.63.
house, who tiles it, is called a (tiler). Therefore, to cover a lodge, to protect it against intrusion, is to tile it; the officer who does this is called the tiler. The correct spell- ing is undoubtedly (tiler) and not (tyler). In a symbolical system like ours the tiler [coverer] of a building would naturally become symbolically the tiler [coverer, pro- tector] of the lodge.
DUE GUARD(center justified)
is another etymological puzzle. From what it is derived or its literal signification no one knows. It is of exclu- sively Masonic use. The statement is often met that it is an Americanism and that it is unknown in England. But Brother W. J. Longhurst, the capable Secretary of Quator Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, takes issue with this statement and says the expression is known in the British Isles and that it is a corruption of the French (Dieu me garde-Italics)[God protect me. With us it is intended to teach care, caution and circumspection, and especially a careful regard for the injunctions of secrecy contained in the several obligations.
CABLE-TOW(center justified)
The candidate is early introduced to the cable tow. We have seen that his introduction into the Entered Ap- prentice lodge is symbolical of birth. Among the Hindus, the Brahmans wear a sacred cord symbolizing the second birth which they profess. The cable tow thus has in Masonry what we might term its primary allusion. It has, however, a deeper symbolism. The word is not found in most of our dictionaries; it is characteristically Ma- sonic. Its obvious literal meaning is the cable or cord by which something is towed or drawn. Hence with the greatest aptness it represents those forces and influences which have conducted not only the individual, but the human race out of a condition of ignorance and darkness into one of light and knowledge. With symbolical mean- ings of this kind the cord seems to have been employed in many, if not all, of the ancient systems of initiation. The explanation of this paraphernalia given in our lecture is its least important meaning. About this term and connection in which it is used in our ritual there is a flavour of the sea. Whence could we have inherited it. Probably not from the Jews, who were not a seafairing people. Tradition, however, con- nects with our Fraternity the Phoenicians who were the greatest sailors in the ancient world. May it not be that in this term we have preserved another evidence that our traditions are not altogether unfounded? Dr. George Oliver, in his (Theocratic Philosophy of Masonry-Italics) tells us that in the ancient mysteries the neophyte was bound with a chain and that the chain was symbolical of the penance imposed on every candidate for initiation by his confinement in the (pastos-Italic). He says that the phrase, "he submitted to the chain," implied that "he had endured the rigours of preparation and initiation with patience and fortitude."(12)
DISCALCEATION(center justified)
It is very true that the plucking off of one's shoes is an ancient Israelitish custom adopted among Masons. It was employed among the Jews as a pledge of fidelity of one man to another. Such is the symbolism of it in the Entered Apprentice degree. It has another meaning with which we are not concerned here, but which is brought out in the Master's degree.
(12)Oliver, (Theocratic Philosophy of Masonry-Italics), Lectue VI.
CIRCUMAMBULATION(center justified)
A certain ceremony, the candidate is told, was intended to signify to him that "at a time when he could neither foresee nor prevent danger he was in the hands of a true and trusty friend in whose fidelity he could with safety confide." This has a literal meaning very applicable to the candidate's then condition, but if we regard the candidate as we should, as man pursuing the journey of life, the symbolical signification of this ceremony becomes truly profound. We all grope in the dark from the moment we are born till we are laid upon the bier. In our moments of apparently greatest security we often to our astonishment afterwards find that we were in the very presence of death. The sinking of the Titanic or the Lusitania was but one of thousands of proofs of this truth. The winds, the lightnings, the floods and the fires destroy us without warning. With all our boasted wis- dom and foresight we can not see an inch into the future. But every man is in the hands of a true and trusty friend in whose fidelity he can with safety confide. He needs but do his part to the best he knows and may then rest confident that our All-Father will take care of the results in a manner befitting an all wise and all loving Creator. This is what the Mason means by faith.
UPRIGHT(center justified)
In eastern countries (and formerly in western coun- tries) the inferior approaches the superior, the servant the Master, the subject the sovereign, in an abased or groveling manner, oftentimes with the face averted as though it were insolence to look directly upon the august presence. Not so in Masonry; the candidate is taught to approach the East, with his face to the front, walking erect as a man should walk. This attitude is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the other ani- mals. A few can feebly imitate it, but only on occasion and then haltingly. Nothing adds more to a man's self-respect and strength of character than to walk erect, holding the head well up and looking the world and every man squarely in the face. You may experience a feeling of sorrow or sympathy for the man who appears before you with a cringing or abject bearing, but with this feeling there is mingled contempt. This idea we have turned into a terse though vulgar apothegm, "Hold your head up if you die hard." We promptly suspect the integrity of the man who can not look us squarely in the eye. Freemasonry teaches that all men are and of right ought to be free; that, therefore, no man should abase or humiliate himself before another. But this manly, erect attitude which the candidate is taught to assume has the same symbolism as the plumb. It teaches that we should always walk upright in our several stations before God and man.
APPROACHING THE EAST(center justified)
The East has long been deemed the region of knowledge and enlightenment. Undoubtedly this idea sprang from the fact that it is in the East that the orb of light makes his appearance after the darkness of the night. In the East, darkness, therefore, appears to take flight before the presence of light. Hence, to "approach the East" in our symbolic language means to seek enlightenment and knowledge. Masons are said to travel from West to East and in Preston's lectures and other more recent Monitors the question is asked, "What induced you to leave the West and travel to the East?" The answer is "In search of a master and from him to gain instruction." The West is the region where light at the close of the day seems to be engulfed in darkness. Hence, sym- bolically it was regarded as a region of ignorance. In the Egyptian religions, it was deemed as a region of the dead, so that opne who had died was said to have "gone West." This same expression became common among the soldiers during the World War. This idea that the East is the region of knowledge and the West that of ignorance finds historical basis in the indisputable fact that civilisation first arose in the East and for many ages all seekers after knowledge were actually compelled to travel to the East.
THE DIGNITY OF MAN(center justified)
("What is Man, That Thou Art Mindful of Him?"-Italic/centered) Psalms viii, 4(centered)
What does Freemasonry teach on the suubject? What does it not teach? It does not teach, in the canting phrase of some religionists, that man in a worm. It does not teach that he is nothing or insignificant. It is by being a Man [not a mere male of the genus (homo-Italic)], that the candidate makes his request for initiation. There is a school of philosopy which teaches that man is a small, insignificant factor in nature, and that human life is mean and contemptible. In our view it is not so. If we omit consideration of his anatomy and physiology as no more wonderful than the anatomy and physiology of the other animals, what shall we say of his mind? What shall we say of that other man, the so-called sub- conscious self, with which the latest and leading psychol- ogists know invest him? And lastly, what shall we say of the soul which we so fondly believe he possesses? No one has yet fathomed the depths of these or any other one of the attributes of man. Away with the philosophy which teaches that man is of little moment in the universe; notwithstanding his diminutive size he is the biggest thing in the world. There is nothing ludicrous or incongruous that a spark of the Deity himself should come to dwell for a season in this wonderful creature. The more careful should we be that we do not dishonor it.
S&F James Picard SD & Webmaster, Lynn Valley 122 B.C.R -- (Remove the REMOVETHIS to reply)

THE BIBLE(centered)
The Bible is one of the Great Lights, is one of the items of Furniture, and rests upon the top of the Two Parallel Lines. No lodge should be opened with- out its presence. Still it is but a symbol; it represents divine truth in every form, whether in the form of the written word, or in that referred to by the Psalmist when he sings:
"The Heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night showeth knowledge." --Psalms xix, I.
But the shadow must not be mistaken for the sub- stance. There is nothing sacred or holy in the mere book. It is only ordinary paper, leather, and ink. Its workman- ship may be much inferior to that of other books. It is what it typifies that renders it sacred to us. Any other book having the same signification would do just as well. For this reason the Hebrew Mason may with perfect pro- priety use the Old Testament alone, or the Mohammedan may, as has been done, employ the Koran in his lodge. In fact that book should be used which to the individual in question most fully represents divine truth.13 We are quite well aware that many Masons and a few Grand Lodges maintain that Masonry requires of its initiates a belief in the teachings of the Bible. If these brethren are correct, then a belief in some part only is not exacted but a belief in every part, both of history and doctrine. Ince concede that any exception can be made and their whole contention falls to the ground because it then becomes the right and duty of every Mason to decide for himself what is required and what is not. So let us assume that belief in every part is required. It is neces- sary, therfore, in any case to ascertain what the Bible teaches to know what Masonry requires. We quickly find that, in the opinion of some, the Bible teaches that Man fell from a state of perfection in which he was originally created into one of corruption for physically eating a forbidden fruit, but at the same time we find that others equally honest believe that this story is an allegory and each side supports its contention with eloquence, learning and zeal, not to say warmth. Which view does Masonry demand that we believe that the Bible teaches? Some believe the Bible teaches that because of Man's sinfulness the whole world was covered by a flood; others again believe that this too is an allegory. Which does Masonry require us to believe? Is one who is sceptical as to the reality of such a flood ineligibile to Masonry? The Bible teaches most explicitly (as at least many think) that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, that His conception was immaculate, that he was born of a virgin, that He was crucified, was dead and buried, that He lay in the tomb three days, that He descended into hell,
13Pike, (Morals and Dogma-Italics), p. 11. that He arose from the dead, that He ascended into heaven, that He now sits at the right hand of God, that at the last day He will come to judge the quick and the dead, that through Him and Him only can Man be saved to a future life of happiness. The Jew, the Hindu, the Parsee, the Mohammedan, the Chinaman, the Japanese do not believe any part of this. Are each and all of these barred from Masonry? The Primitive Baptist believes that the Bible teaches "foot-washing" is a duty; other churches think not. What does Masonry say? The Baptist and others believe that the Bible teaches a single mode of baptism, immer- sion; others think it teaches not only this but sprinkling and pouring. With which does Masonry agree or rather require its members to agree? Some believe that the Bible teaches that the resurrec- tion is a resurrection of the flesh; others that it teaches that the resurrection body is a spiritual body. Which does Masonry think it teaches? Or rather which does it require its devotees to believe it teaches? Roman Catholics believe that the Bible teaches that the Pope of Rome is the viceregent of Christ upon earth, that he can grant indulgences and forgive sins; others ridicule these ideas. What says Masonry? Maybe the brethren and Grand Lodges to whom we refer will counter by saying Masonry does not descend to particulars but only requires its initiates to believe those fundamental teachings of the Bible concerning which all good men agree. Some have actally tried to dodge in this way. When they do they abandon their original position which was that a belief in all the teachings of the Book is required. We dare assert that neither the Con- stitution, Regulations, nor Ritual of any Grand Lodge in the world requires a belief in the teachings of the Bible unless it be the Masonry of Scandinavian Europe. When we say the Bible is "the rule and guide to our faith" we mean that the what it typifies, Truth, should be the rule and guide to all our beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions. Some Masons and Grand Lodges (notably Tennessee) insist that one to be entitled to recognition as a Mason must specifically acknowledge God's "inspired word," or, "believe as he pleases so long as he believes in the one true and living God (and accdepts the Holy Bible as His divine teachings and His revealed will."-Italics) These brethren thus broadly commit themselves to the Christian doctrine of inspiration of the Bible. Would they compel Jewish Ma- sons to believe this of the New Testament? Jews do not even believe that all of the Old Testament is inspired. But a further question is, What theory of inspiration would they compel belief in, (1) that of mechanical dic- tation or verbal inspiration, or (2) that of dynamic influ- ence or degrees of inspiration, or (3) that of essential inspiration, or (4) that of vital inspiration? For the- ologians have contended for each pf these. Do these zealous brethren recognise Thomas Aquinas' distinction between direct and indirect inspiration> Are the Hebrew Masons to be allowed to accept the "descending scale of inspiration" taught by the Jewish rabbis, namely, super- intendence, elevation, direction, suggestion? Any one who will make a little study of this doctrine of inspria- tion will soon realise on what treacherous sands of the- ological dogma will find itself should it ever attempt to enforce belief that the Bible is the (inspired-Italic) word of God. There is but one escape from this jungle of dogmatism and that is frankly to acknowledge the Bible to be a symbol only. Those Christian Masons who would enforce belief in the teachings of the Bible have simply mistaken the symbol for the thing itself. The Bible is Masonry's adopted symbol of Divine Truth in every form, just as the Compasses are its adopted symbol of self-restraint; the Square, of morality; and the Scythe, of time. The Bible symbolises that divine truth or knowledge from whatever source derived, which should always be the rule and guide both to our faith and conduct. Thus viewed there is no reason why any man, whatever his faith, should object to the Bible on the altar or to being obligated on the Bible. On the other hand, there is no reason why a condidate may not be obligated on that book which is to him the most sacred, the Bible being displayed the while as are the Square and Compasses.
We are told that the lambskin or white leather apron, the badge of a Mason, is "more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter." This sounds a little bombastic, we must admit, yet it is literally true. The order of the Golden Fleece, which is here referred to, had its origin in A.D. 1429; the Roman Eagle, which was Rome's ensign of imperial power, became distinctively such, according to Pliny, no earlier than the second consulship of Gaius Marius or about 105 years B.C. On the other hand, it is certain that the apron was worn as a badge of honour or sanctity more than a thousand years before Christ. The Garter is confessedly the most illustrious order of Knighthood in England, and is historically identified with the chivalry of the Middle Ages. But for this very reason, it like all the other orders of chivalric knighthood, was, as has been said by high authority, George Gordon Coul- ton, (14) "hampered by the limitations of medieval society." Edward A. Freeman, the great English historian, who 
14 (Encyclopedia Britannica-Italics), Vol. XV, p. 858.
has perhaps most nearly defined the spirit and influence of knighthood, says: 
"The chivalrous spirit is above all things a class spirit. The good knight is bound to endless fantastic courtesies towards men and still more towards women of a certain rank; he may treat all below that rank with any degree of scorn and cruelty. The spirit of chivalry implies the arbitrary choice of one or two virtues to be practised in such an exaggerated degree as to become vices, while the ordinary laws of right and wrong are forgotten. The false code of honour supplants the laws of the commonwealth the law of God and the eternal principles. Chivalry again in its military aspect not only encourages the love of war for its own sake without regard to the cause for which war is waged, it encourages also an ex- travagant regard for a fantastic show of personal daring which can not in any way advance the siege or campaign which is going on. Chivalry in short is in morals very much what feudalism is in law. Each substitutes purely personal obligations devised in the interests of an exclusive class, for the more homely duties of an honest man and a good citizen." (15)
This view presents knighthood as the very antithesis of Freemasonry. F. W. Cornish presents a somewhat brighter picture of knighthood but says, "Against these (virtues) may be set the vices of pride, ostentation, love of bloodshed, contempt of inferiors, and loose manners."16 But whether we take the one or the other view, Free- man or Cornish's, chivalry will not bear comparison with Freemasonry in the nobility of its principles. Let us set against the pictures of Freeman and Cornish the 
15 (Norman Conquest-Italics), Vol. V, p. 482. 16 (Encyclopedia Britannica-Italics), Vol. XV, p. 859
things which Freemasonry stands for. It is in theory at least a vast school urging the study of the liberal arts and sciences which tend to broaden, strengthen and en- lighten the mind. But it is much more than this; it is a great society of friends and brothers teaching by precept, and let us hope by example, all those mental and moral virtues which make and adorn character and prepare us to enjoy the blessings not only of this life but of that which is to come. Let me enumerate some of the things that are taught and by ceremonies peculiar to Freema- sonry, are impressed upon the minds and hearts of its initiates. A belief in Deity; the service of God; gratitude for his blessings; reverence and adoration for His holy name; veneration for his word; the duty and efficacy of prayer; the invocation of his aid in every laudable under- taking; faith in Him; hope in immortality; charity to all mankind; the relief of the distressed, particularly the brethren and their families; the cultivation of brotherly love and the protection of the good name of a brother and that of his family and the sanctity of his female relatives; the adornment of the mind and heart; purity of life and rectitude of conduct; the curbing of our desires and pas- sions; living in conformity to the "Great Books" of Na- ture and Revelation; the practice of temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice; the cultivation of habits of patience and perseverance; the eschewing of profanity; love for and loyalty to country; devotion and fidelity to trust; the beauty of holiness; the maintenance of secrecy; the observance of caution; the recognization of real merit; the contemplation of wisdom; admiration for strength of body and character; the love of the beautiful in nature and art; the observance of the Sabbath; the pro- motion of peace and unity of the brethren; the pres- ervation of liberty of thought, conscience, speech and action; equality before God and the law; the cultivation of habits of industry; the certainty of retributive justice; the brevity and uncertainty of this life; the contemplation of death; and the life everlasting after death to those who love God and His creatures and observe His laws. All of these and others I am not privileged to mention here are taught every candidate and are impressed upon his mind by peculiar ceremonies which constitute a part of the secret arcana of the lodge. Do you say that all these things may be learned else- where with equal thoroughness and equal ease, and that Masonry is therefore, a useless institution? I maintain not. The fact that the institution has lived and flourished for so long a period and that it is today more powerful in its influence and more general in its dissemination than ever before proves not. It ap- proaches the mind and heart from a direction that enables it to reach and grapple many men whom no other influ- ence can reach, while at the same time it doubles and multiplies many times the power for good of those whom other influences do reach. Is it, therefore, any exaggeration to say that Free- masonry is more ancient than the Golden Fleece and more honourable than the Star and Garter, or any other order that can be conferred upon its initiate by king, prince, or potentate? The lamb, as stated in our Monitors, has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence. This symbolism is probably traceable not only to the whiteness of its wool but also to its meek and innocent appearance. The Bible, as well as other ancient literature, is full of this sym- bolism. It was required that the sacrifial lamb should be without spot or blemis, that is, pure white. It is a familiar saying and has been for ages that the kambs shall be seperated from the goats. The evil symbolism of the goat is as old as the benignant symbol of the lamb. In ancient symbolism, the accursed goat of Mendes typified all that was evil. Among the old Greeks and Romans, the god Pan was depicted as half goat, signifying that nature was half evil. Among the early Christians the fgoat became the prototype of the devil or Satan. It is not surprising, therefore, in a system like ours, employ- ing the lamb as a symbol, that we should also find a de- based trace of the goat symbolism, and that we do in the vulgar saying that "riding the goat" accompanies our ceremonies. OF course, this is no longer believed by any one but is probably a transference to Masonry by its enemies of the old belief that the witches employed the goat in their ceremonies.
The colours which figure in the symbolism of the first three degrees are white, black, and blue. The symbolism of white is obvious, purity or innocence, and it bears this signification in all the degrees and has borne it at all times and among all peoples of which we have any knowledge. To the Jew, the Egyptian, the Greek and the Roman, to the savage, the barbarian and the civilised man it has borne the same meaning. All literature, ancient, medieval and modern, is rich with this symbolism. The Bible is full of it. As emblems of this purity and inno- cence we employ white gloves, white sashes, white rods and white aprons.
with us, is a symbol of death and an emblem of mourning. Its symbolism is as obvious and as universal as is that of white. At the funeral of a brother the Deacons carry black rods; and the white rods of the Stewards, all the furniture carried in the procession, the musical instru- ments, and the Bible are all draped with black. In token of our sorrow we wear a small black ribbon on the coat lapel and drape the lodge in black.
symbolises universal friendship and benevolence, but its symbolism is not as obvious and uniform as that of black and white. To different people and at different times and in the different degrees of Masonry it has dif- ferent meanings. It is, however, distinctly the colour of the first three degrees, and they are in consequence known as Blue Masonry. Its symbolism of universal friendship and benevolence it is supposed to derive from the all- embracing nature of the blue vault of heaven which seems to comprehend within its sweep all the visible universe. Blue has a warmth about it which makes it a peculiarly appropriate emblem of the warmth of feeking that goes with friendship and benevolence.
The apprentices to operative Masons have always worn gloves to protect their hands in the handling of un- dressed stone. Two hundred years ago, and possibly even later, it was the custom of the Freemasons in Eng- land to present the Entered Apprentice candidate with white gloves in much the same manner and with like symbolism as they then and we now present him with a white apron. This ceremony is still preserved on the continent of Europe and, though the ceremony is aban- doned in both England and America, it is still common in England for Masons in all degrees to wear white gloves. They symbolise the same purity of life and recti- tude of conduct as does the Apron. Yet on the mistaken assumption that Entered Apprentice and Fellow Crafts did not wear gloves in the time of King Solomon, the Grand Lodge of Alabama recently made an important changes in the Master's Degree. Let us hope that this mistake will be speedily corrected.
We are told that a lodge is a certain number of Masons duly assembled with the Holy Bible, Square and Com- passes. These three properties should indeed always be present but to the existence of a lodge in its highest sense it is more necessary that there should be present what they symbolize, namely: Truth, Virtue and Self- restraint. Without these there may be the semblance of but no real lodge. Bible, Square and Compasses should be displayed in every opened lodge, not chiefly for their own sake but for what they represent.
We are told that our ancient brethren usually held their lodges on high hills or in low vales. This allusion to this antiquated custom is another hoary lock upon the brow of our symbolism. The explanation given is a very simple and practical one, namely: because they better lent themselves to purposes of secrecy. But there is another and deeper reason. Whatever may be the ex- planation, it is clear that from the remotest times hills and valleys have been peculiarly venerated by mankind. On the "High Places" the Jews and their neighbors wor- shipped God; the glens and dales our imagination has populated with the charming "Little People," the sprites, the nymphs, and fairies of mythology and our nursery tales. The beauty spots of earth are where mountains and valleys succeed each other in greatest profusion. These are they that in all ages have testified to the majesty and glory of God and stirred our imaginations and in- spired our poets. (17) 
S&F James Picard SD & Webmaster, Lynn Valley 122 B.C.R -- (Remove the REMOVETHIS to reply)

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
Masonic Penalties 
by Dr. Roger M. Firestone Past Master, National-Stansbury-Dawson Lodge #12, FAAM of DC Musician/Lodge Educ. Officer, Henry Lodge #57, AF&AM of VA, Fairfax
In recent years, a movement has developed to do away with the traditional penalties associated with the most basic of a Mason's obligations as a member of the fraternity. In Pennsylvania, for example, along with some other states, the alterations passed without much notice by the rest of the world, but in some cases, notably that of the Grand Lodge of England in early 1987, this change has been deemed sufficiently significant that the news was reported on network radio and in major metropolitan newspapers. Unfortunately, the treatment given by reporters was at best light, if not derisive. Can we consider a change that has made the Craft a subject of amusement to be beneficial? And what are the causes that have impelled this change after so many years?
The origins of Masonic penalties have been reviewed in a number of Masonic journals at some length. Reference is often made to the Mysteries of ancient Greece and Rome, whose initiates were required to bind themselves under stringent threats of bodily harm before the secrets of the gods were revealed. Although there is no evidence of the direct transmission of these penalties from the ancient mystagues to the founders of Freemasonry, in human cultures, concepts once introduced are likely to recur when similar situations arise, especially if those concepts serve a useful purpose. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate the purposes that the penalties associated with Freemasonry might serve.
The first point to be dealt with is that the actual penalties that may be inflicted upon a Mason by his brothers, which is to say the organized structure of the Craft are those of reprimand (also called admonition), suspension, and expulsion, and no others. This information is clearly stated in the monitors. In the Pennsylvania Grand Jurisdiction, for example, it is these penalties that now are identified to the candidate when he come under obligation. The Morgan Affair notwithstanding, there are no authentic records of other penalties being exacted for unMasonic conduct. Until the recent changes, to continue with the Pennsylvania example, it was made clear to the candidate that the penalties described were only symbolic. Under these circumstances, it cannot have been concern for the candidate's state of mind that led to the change, since it was one of form rather than substance. Discreet inquiries elicited the information that it was pressure from outside organizations that motivated these alterations in the ritual.
This should be a matter of concern for all Masons. The historical degrees of Scottish and York Rites caution us more than once of the dangers to free men of the influence of groups not organized around the principles of freedom. Besides the threats to the Craft posed by the numerous totalitarian regimes of the world--threats we are probably aware of and prepared to face--there is within our own free country a developing adversary attitude towards a free-thinking and selective organization such as ours.
For example, Masonic lodges are no longer welcome on military bases because they are selective of membership--a far cry from the time of George Washington, when the traveling lodge played a vital role in the morale of the soldier. A misguided spirit of "egalitarianism" has subordinated the rights of free assembly for individuals when charges of discrimination are brought. In recent Senate confirmation hearings for an appellate judge, the attempt was made to consider Masonic membership as a disqualifying element for public service, no matter the long history of service by Freemasons in all branches of the Federal and State governments. Given these circumstances, it seems particularly unwise at this time to make accommodations to the demands of outside organizations for change in the ritual; this creates a precedent for other alterations that would undermine our landmarks and perhaps threaten the very existence of the Fraternity.
Moving on from the matter of why changes may be taking place, we turn to the Masonic purposes of the penalties, symbolic though they are, may serve. As we noted, the penalties being discussed may not be inflicted on a Mason by his Brothers. Indeed, the language and nature of the obligation shows this. A Mason's obligation is an undertaking between him and Almighty God, not a contract between him and his lodge or any other group of men. This is why such an obligation cannot be laid aside--it is not in the power of the Master of the Lodge, nor of any man, to dissolve such an undertaking. Thus we see that the penalties are invoked by the candidate upon himself, freely and voluntarily, as a reminder of the serious and weighty nature of his obligation. A child may "cross my heart and hope to die" without being taken seriously, but a mature adult, and we consider no others for Masonic membership, should understand clearly that an obligation falsely sworn before God is an offense against the Third Commandment and merits severe consequences. In the legendary history of the Craft, although for a different offense, certain craftsmen invoked upon themselves just such punishments as we here allude to. Only after declaring themselves liable to such penalties were they subjected to them.
Turning from the legendary history to more authentically recorded events, it is worthwhile to note that the penalty of death has often been inflicted upon Masons by governments and other organizations. Jacques deMolay is merely the example best-known to most of us, through the recounting of his martyrdom in Masonic degrees. Within the lifetimes of some of us, many Masons perished under Hitler for no crime other than that of belonging to an organization that allows each man to think for himself. Indeed, the Nazis came for the Freemasons well before they came for the Jews. Tyrants have long understood the threat that an organized group of free men poses to their rule. The Soviet Union published anti-Masonic literature in profusion and Masonry has been suppressed in Iran. Penalties of great severity belong in our ritual as a reminder that any or all of us may be at some time called upon to pay the ultimate price for our belief in freedom, as represented by our membership in the Craft.
Since the symbolic penalties of Masonic obligations serve the purpose of reminding us of the seriousness of our undertakings and of the possible consequences of membership at the hands of outside organizations, it is with the utmost care that we should consider modifications to this element of Freemasonry, especially in the interest of satisfying the objections of an outside group. In the pursuit of more members, many suggestions have been made that would alter long-established usage's, to paraphrase Jefferson Let us never forget that quantity is not a valid substitute for quality. Better that we should have fewer Masons, and those sincerely committed, than a large body uncertain of their goals and unsure of their purpose.
This article first appeared in The Scottish Rite Journal (under its former name, The New Age.) Permission is granted to reprint it in Masonic publications, providing that appropriate credit is given to the source.

Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey H. Wallstein-1953
Two words. One is strange and unlike America. That word is security. The other word is America itself. That word is Liberty.
Security as it is used today is an illusion which leads to enslavement. Liberty exalts mankind.
Security is a dead-end street. Liberty is the path of wonderful adventure.
Security is decay. Liberty is growth.
Security is death of effort. Liberty is the life of endeavor.
Security is the man of 40 who is 65. Liberty is the man of 65 who is 40.
Security is of little faith. Liberty is the immortality of earth and heaven.
Security is the frown of bookkeeping. Liberty is the smile of confidence.
Security promises much and delivers a pittance. Liberty promises nothing and yields a harvest of plenty.
Security is the mirage of minds that settle for guardianship. Liberty is the mind that lives above the crowd.
Security dwarfs the soul. Liberty is the Shekinah.
Security is the foul air of lost hopes. Liberty is the fresh air of Spiritual Light.
Security lies in a marble vault. Liberty lives in the Sunlight of today. Security is the object that holds our attention while Liberty slips from our grasp.
Carl Johnson,32 Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey H. Wollenstein-1953
What is Masonry? Let us for the moment lay aside the general definitions. Let us even ignore for the moment our own conception of our time-honored Institution.
There is a great Temple under construction. Men are busy and have been busy for centuries in the erection of this magnificent edifice. Let us call it the Temple of Life. There is a beauty beyond the power of words to express. There is a sacred atmosphere that inspires every worker to do more than his share of the work. There is work, but it is not the burdensome toil of the slave. Every worker is a king in his own right. There is a communism of character. All men working together, each for the good of all. What will mar the tranquility of this scene? Just the fact that men are always looking forward to a greater beauty than they know at the present. They seek a Finished Beauty. The quest is in vain. Today is the only victory on the morrow that he has not achieved today. Then the awful tragedy. The day when there are no designs upon the trestleboard. Man's inhumanity to God has caused the work to cease. The spirit is killed. The beauty that was there is now cold and without form.
Who is responsible for the darkness that now covers the Temple of Life? I am to blame. You are to blame. We failed to see that the Spirit was in the building of the Temple, not in the completed edifice.
The Spirit of Masonry is in the Mason.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey M. Wollstein -1953
"All that we send into the lives of others comes back to our own."
In words, symbols, and allegory, Masonry stresses this great truth.
Masonry is the science of morality, and through the study of right-living, establishes its high purpose of making men "wiser, better, and consequently happier."
But let us forever keep in mind that the sending out works two ways. Good begets good and evil begets evil. The reaping is the direct result of the sowing.
There is the choice of materials offered the candidate as he stands in the northeast corner of the lodge and with it he has the right to choose that which disappears as a shadow or that which defies the onslaught of time. The erected edifice is the direct result of the materials that he sent out for the construction of the Temple.
Is not Masonry in truth then a Moral Science?
"Light-hearted" means free from anxiety- the sending out of those things which will not come back as burdensome regrets and which will bind the heart and conscience.
Take it the other way. To send out burdens of hate into the lives of others is to carry around with us the chains of oppression.
What do we seek in a "foreign country?" That which is the source of all good, that which will be safe to send out because its reappearance in our own lives will carry it The Blessings of Heaven.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey H. Wollstein -1953
It is well to pause at times and ask ourselves the question: "Whence arises my love for Freemasonry?" Does my enthusiasm arise from the devotion to a name, an institution, or does it come from the desire to understand great principles and teachings, truths which stand today as they stood since creation?
Institutions have grown big and powerful only to lose sight of their original purposes. Numerical values have been the goal of these institutions; they have branched out in their various ramifications and have become arrogant because of that power figured in numbers. Their political influence far exceeds their spiritual influence. The most heinous crimes have been committed by religious zealots. The history of persecutions throughout the ages is the story of religious intolerance.
The design of Masonry is to develop individuality, individual thought, so that men may concentrate on the substance and not on the shadow. The work of Masonry is to preserve, not cold edicts, not idle claims to infallibility, but those things which insure to posterity rights that are God-given, and which can only be preserved in the hearts of all mankind.
Masonry is the agency for the preservation of all that is worthy to be preserved. If principles are preserved the agency need not be concerned about its place in the future.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
It is well to pause at times and ask ourselves the question: "Whence arises my love for Freemasonry?" Does my enthusiasm arise from the devotion to a name, an institution, or does it come from the desire to understand the great principles and teachings, truths which stand today as they have stood since creation?
Institutions have grown big and powerful only to lose sight of their original purposes. Numerical values have been the goal of these institutions; they have branched out in their various ramifications and have become arrogant because of that power figured in numbers. Their political influence far exceeds their spiritual influence. The most heinous crimes have been committed by religious zealots. The history of persecutions throughout the ages is the story of religious intolerance.
The design of Masonry is to develop individuality, individual thought, so that men may concentrate on the substance and not the shadow. The work of Masonry is to preserve, not cold edicts, not idle claims to infallibility, but those things which insure to posterity rights that are God-given, and which can only be preserved in the hearts of all mankind.
Masonry is the agency for the preservation of all that is worthy to be preserved. If principles are preserved the agency need not be concerned about its place in the future.

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey H Wollstein -1953
The responsibility that goes with the privilege of being a Mason cannot be stressed too much. The consciousness of that responsibility is not alone important to Masonry; it is of the vast importance to society. The Mason who reads the history of Masonry, who understands the moral force of Masonry, finds something of profound meaning. He is imbued with the desire to add to the flow of society that which will be a bed-rock of good to posterity.
The desire on the part of man to perpetuate himself through acts and deeds which will stand the test of time is a perfectly understandable and normal desire. The persistency of man in his belief that both good and bad are things of the future as well as of the present becomes the proof and light of all religions. That persistency has brought man to the idea of God, and it leads to a higher conception of the Deity.
Masonry has been described as one of the forms of the divine upon earth. The Mason then has a duty far beyond the duty to an institution. Since Masonry is an agency by which God is made real and visible, then the Mason assumes the highest responsibility to society. The consciousness of that responsibility is the greatest contribution the Mason can make to Masonry and to society.
The Mason adds strength to Masonry in the measure that he adds strength to society.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewy H. Wollstein -1953
The statement is often voiced: "We must modernize Masonry." If any importance can be attached to such statement, it must be that Masonry has not been properly interpreted. The why and how of Masonry must be confusing to the extent that the modernization plan is also confusing.
Masonry is a way of existence. It is life. What can I do to change conditions? Surely, I cannot do anything about the fundamentals of life, breathing, walking or sleeping. I cannot improve upon the rays of the sun. I cannot do anything about finding a substitute for water. In all the fundamental departments of life I cannot think of any plan to modernize them. And I must accept Masonry as it is, its history, its tradition, its principles and purposes. I must judge its worth by what it has meant and means to humanity and to society.
The only possible change is in the manner that I apply Masonry to my life. What Masonry offers to the Mason of today is as necessary and worthwhile as it was to Masons of a hundred years ago. What its philosophy is worth today, it was worth a century ago. What part of it can I eliminate without losing something of lasting value? What can I put back into it that will make it a more progressive system?
The modernization of Masonry must take place within the individual Mason. There are no hidebound restrictions. There is some understanding that I can gain today which I failed to see yesterday.
May Masons, through the faithful performance of their duties as Masons, through a more careful study and understanding of our Institution, find a new appreciation, rather than to generalize on the vague and indefinite plan of "modernizing Freemasonry." 
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewy Wollstein -1953
If men are morally qualified to become Masons, then what does Masonry offer them? The purpose of Masonry is to improve. It is a system of morality. It means nothing to those who lack the desire to grow spiritually.
Goodness, Masonry point out, is not a fixed element, which one works at today, and rests from tomorrow. Masonry is the force that leads men on in the adventures of the heart, keeping man between two columns- The Pillar of All-Creation and the Pillar of Man's Creation. There is forever the struggle between life and the things of life. The victory is not in waiting for the destruction of adverse conditions, but in making a life in the "middle of them."
Men, therefore, may be morally qualified to become Masons, and yet fail utterly to improve themselves in the art of Masonry. The failures are those who believe that the ultimate attainment of some degree of spiritual improvement is not worth the steady application that is required to achieve it.
It is essentially necessary that our officers make a thorough study of Masonry in order to keep before the members the real purpose of the Institution. The proper discharge of the duty of the Worshipful Master to see that the lodge is set to labor under good and wholesome instruction largely determines the success of a lodge. The success can never be computed in numbers, in degrees, or in proficiency in the ritualistic work.
Masonry cannot offer that which first must be in the heart. It can begin there and take us to paths of undreamed triumphs.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Many Brothers refer to Masonry of another generation as "Old Time Masonry." The next generation, too, will refer to Masons of our day, using the same expression.
It is true that we are living in what seems to be the "efficient age." Yet when we yearn for a type of Masonry that we believe existed in another day, and when we feel some anxiety about Masonry of today, we are looking at scenes rather than events.
Scenes change. Customs change. But the character of man does not change. The principles of Freemasonry, founded upon the irrevocable Laws of the Creator, do not change. The Mason placed in any period of history would be the same Mason.
The Mason who attends lodge regularly, who comes to know the members of his lodge as brothers and friends, understands "Old Time Masonry" is a living, vital factor in the present, just as it has been through the centuries.
A crisis arises. From our lodges throughout the world, Masons, men who know the value of freedom, and the sacrifices necessary to preserve it, come forth and willingly offer their lives in defense of Masonic principles. In spirit they are the same as those Masons of Washington's days.
Masonry and the Mason are "Old Time" whether of yesterday or today.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
We deplore the inequalities of life, and especially do we dwell on the disadvantages that honesty suffers at the hands of dishonesty, and truth at the hands of falsehood.
If the avowed enemies of Masonry expound a system of propaganda which foundation is falsehood, by what means can Masonry carry the struggle to a successful end?
"Hitlerism" arrogantly disclosed its fiendish disregard for Truth, and boasted of its plan to make falsehood become "Accepted Truth" through constant repetition.
Is not here the answer to our question- more clearly written into the pages of history than the strongest words?
There was the temporary victory of evil and of falsehood. There is always the temporary victory of evil. It thus feeds the vanity of villainy and instills an intoxicated confidence which results in destruction.
Masonry must fight the evils of our day just as it has fought through the centuries. Our only weapon is the Mason trained in the art of Masonry who lives, who speaks, who writes the Truth.
The final victory will be through a force unknown to despots, the moral force of the individual, his great faith, his sacrificial deeds, his unwaning hope.

Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
He who seeks Masonry as an avenue for financial gain will be forever disappointed. Masonry promises no monetary reward and religiously keeps its promise. But those who knock at the door of Masonry seeking the path of self-improvement, and yearning for the association of kindred minds and hearts, should never be disappointed.
The culmination of all Masonic teaching is Universal Brotherhood, and each lodge must justify its existence by presenting a pattern of Brotherhood. There is no half-way mark in Masonry! We must increase our privileges and our responsibilities, or else we are not progressive. Masonry that we derive from books and study is only of value in its relation to our association with our fellowmen. We are told many times today how close we are to all parts of the world. Men are no closer to each other than their ideals, their hopes, their aspirations and their desires. Men thousands of miles apart may be closer than men who live in the same block. Transportation will never be stronger than the cable-tow that unites the hearts of men.
We who are Masons, who are joined together by the lasting materials of which true Brotherhood is formed, should appreciate the privileges that our membership offers. Our Masonic teachings, our tenets and principles lead to the joy of Masonic association. All vestige of "stranger" has been removed. There is an unobstructed path from heart to heart.

Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

Well, Brother George Helmer originally gave me this scan, I just saw something new in it, and it has been years. All I can say is, "I wish my Brother George were here." --- Scotty
"I have the pleasure of addressing Count Bezukhov, if I am not mistaken," said the stranger in a deliberate and loud voice.
Pierre looked silently and inquiringly at him over his spectacles. "I have heard of you, my dear sir, "continued the stranger, "and of your misfortune." He seemed to emphasize the last word, as if to say- "Yes, misfortune! Call it what you please, I know that what happened to you in Moscow was a misfortune."- "I regret it very much, my dear sir."
Pierre flushed and, hurriedly putting his legs down from the bed, bent forward toward the old man with a forced and timid smile.
"I have not referred to this out of curiosity, my dear sir, but for greater reasons."
He paused, his gaze still on Pierre, and moved aside on the sofa by way of inviting the other to take a seat beside him. Pierre felt reluctant to enter into conversation with this old man, but, submitting to him involuntarily, came up and sat down beside him.
"You are unhappy, my dear sir," the stranger continued. "You are young and I am old. I should like to help you as far as lies in my power."
"Oh, yes!" said Pierre, with a forced smile. "I am very grateful to you. Where are you traveling from?"
The stranger's face was not genial, it was even cold and severe, but in spite of this, both the face and words of his new acquaintance were irresistibly attractive to Pierre.
"But if for reason you don't feel inclined to talk to me," said the old man, "say so, my dear sir." And he suddenly smiled, in an unexpected and tenderly paternal way.
"Oh no, not at all! On the contrary, I am very glad to make your acquaintance," said Pierre. And again, glancing at the stranger's hands, he looked more closely at the ring, with its skull- a Masonic sign.
"Allow me to ask," he said, "are you a Mason?"
"Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons," said the stranger, looking deeper and deeper into Pierre's eyes. "And in their name and my own I hold out a brotherly hand to you."
"I am afraid," said Pierre, smiling, and wavering between the confidence the personality of the Freemason inspired in him and his own habit of ridiculing the Masonic beliefs- "I am afraid I am very far from understanding- how am I to put it?- I am afraid my way of looking at the world is so opposed to yours that we shall not understand one another."
"I know your outlook," said the Mason, "and the view of life you mention, and which you think is the result of your own mental efforts, is the one held by the majority of people, and is the invariable fruit of pride, indolence, and ignorance. Forgive me, my dear sir, but if I had not known it I should not have addressed you. Your view of life is a regrettable delusion."
"Just as I may suppose you to be deluded," said Pierre, with a faint smile.
"I should never dare to say that I know the truth," said the Mason, whose words struck Pierre more and more by their precision and firmness. "No one can attain to truth by himself. Only by laying stone on stone with the cooperation of all, by the millions of generations from our forefather Adam to our own times, is that temple reared which is to be a worthy dwelling place of the Great God," he added, and closed his eyes.
"I ought to tell you that I do not believe... do not believe in God, said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it essential to speak the whole truth.
The Mason looked intently at Pierre and smiled as a rich man with millions in hand might smile at a poor fellow who told him that he, poor man, had not the five rubles that would make him happy. "Yes, you do not know Him, my dear sir," said the Mason. "You cannot know Him. You do not know Him and that is why you are unhappy."
"Yes, yes, I am unhappy," assented Pierre. "But what am I to do?"
"You know Him not, my dear sir, and so you are very unhappy. You do not know Him, but He is here, He is in me, He is in my words, He is in thee, and even in those blasphemous words thou hast just uttered!" pronounced the Mason in a stern and tremulous voice.
He paused and sighed, evidently trying to calm himself.
"If He were not," he said quietly, "you and I would not be speaking of Him, my dear sir. Of what, of whom, are we speaking? Whom hast thou denied?" he suddenly asked with exulting austerity and authority in his voice. "Who invented Him, if He did not exist? Whence came thy conception of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being? didst thou, and why did the whole world, conceive the idea of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being, a Being all-powerful, eternal, and infinite in all His attributes?..."
He stopped and remained silent for a long time.
Pierre could not and did not wish to break this silence.
"He exists, but to understand Him is hard," the Mason began again, looking not at Pierre but straight before him, and turning the leaves of his book with his old hands which from excitement he could not keep still. "If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could bring him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee. But how can I, an insignificant mortal, show His omnipotence, His infinity, and all His mercy to one who is blind, or who shuts his eyes that he may not see or understand Him and may not see or understand his own vileness and sinfulness?" He paused again. "Who art thou? Thou dreamest that thou art wise because thou couldst utter those blasphemous words," he went on, with a somber and scornful smile. "And thou art more foolish and unreasonable than a little child, who, playing with the parts of a skillfully made watch, dares to say that, as he does not understand its use, he does not believe in the master who made it. To know Him is hard.... For ages, from our forefather Adam to our own day, we labor to attain that knowledge and are still infinitely far from our aim; but in our lack of understanding we see only our weakness and His greatness...."
Pierre listened with swelling heart, gazing into the Mason's face with shining eyes, not interrupting or questioning him, but believing with his whole soul what the stranger said. Whether he accepted the wise reasoning contained in the Mason's words, or believed as a child believes, in the speaker's tone of conviction and earnestness, or the tremor of the speaker's voice- which sometimes almost broke- or those brilliant aged eyes grown old in this conviction, or the calm firmness and certainty of his vocation, which radiated from his whole being (and which struck Pierre especially by contrast with his own dejection and hopelessness)- at any rate, Pierre longed with his whole soul to believe and he did believe, and felt a joyful sense of comfort, regeneration, and return to life.
"He is not to be apprehended by reason, but by life," said the Mason.
"I do not understand," said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts reawakening. He was afraid of any want of clearness, any weakness, in the Mason's arguments; he dreaded not to be able to believe in him. "I don't understand," he said, "how it is that the mind of man cannot attain the knowledge of which you speak."
The Mason smiled with his gentle fatherly smile.
"The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish to imbibe," he said. "Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive."
"Yes, yes, that is so," said Pierre joyfully.
"The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one. The highest wisdom has but one science- the science of the whole- the science explaining the whole creation and man's place in it. To receive that science it is necessary to purify and renew one's inner self, and so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to perfect one's self. And to attain this end, we have the light called conscience that God has implanted in our souls."
"Yes, yes," assented Pierre.
"Look then at thy inner self with the eyes of the spirit, and ask thyself whether thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained relying on reason only? What art thou? You are young, you are rich, you are clever, you are well educated. And what have you done with all these good gifts? Are you content with yourself and with your life?"
"No, I hate my life," Pierre muttered, wincing.
"Thou hatest it. Then change it, purify thyself; and as thou art purified, thou wilt gain wisdom. Look at your life, my dear sir. How have you spent it? In riotous orgies and debauchery, receiving everything from society and giving nothing in return. You have become the possessor of wealth. How have you used it? What have you done for your neighbor? Have you ever thought of your tens of thousands of slaves? Have you helped them physically and morally? No! You have profited by their toil to lead a profligate life. That is what you have done. Have you chosen a post in which you might be of service to your neighbor? No! You have spent your life in idleness. Then you married, my dear sir- took on yourself responsibility for the guidance of a young woman; and what have you done? You have not helped her to find the way of truth, my dear sir, but have thrust her into an abyss of deceit and misery. A man offended you and you shot him, and you say you do not know God and hate your life. There is nothing strange in that, my dear sir!"
After these words, the Mason, as if tired by his long discourse, again leaned his arms on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes. Pierre looked at that aged, stern, motionless, almost lifeless face and moved his lips without uttering a sound. He wished to say, "Yes, a vile, idle, vicious life!" but dared not break the silence.
The Mason cleared his throat huskily, as old men do, and called his servant.
"How about the horses?" he asked, without looking at Pierre.
"The exchange horses have just come," answered the servant. "Will you not rest here?"
"No, tell them to harness."
"Can he really be going away leaving me alone without having told me all, and without promising to help me?" thought Pierre, rising with downcast head; and he began to pace the room, glancing occasionally at the Mason. "Yes, I never thought of it, but I have led a contemptible and profligate life, though I did not like it and did not want to," thought Pierre. "But this man knows the truth and, if he wished to, could disclose it to me."
Pierre wished to say this to the Mason, but did not dare to. The traveler, having packed his things with his practiced hands, began fastening his coat. When he had finished, he turned to Bezukhov, and said in a tone of indifferent politeness:
"Where are you going to now, my dear sir?"
"I?... I'm going to Petersburg," answered Pierre, in a childlike, hesitating voice. "I thank you. I agree with all you have said. But do not suppose me to be so bad. With my whole soul I wish to be what you would have me be, but I have never had help from anyone.... But it is I, above all, who am to blame for everything. Help me, teach me, and perhaps I may..."
Pierre could not go on. He gulped and turned away.
The Mason remained silent for a long time, evidently considering.
"Help comes from God alone," he said, "but such measure of help as our Order can bestow it will render you, my dear sir. You are going to Petersburg. Hand this to Count Willarski" (he took out his notebook and wrote a few words on a large sheet of paper folded in four). "Allow me to give you a piece of advice. When you reach the capital, first of all devote some time to solitude and self-examination and do not resume your former way of life. And now I wish you a good journey, my dear sir," he added, seeing that his servant had entered... "and success."
The traveler was Joseph Alexeevich Bazdeev, as Pierre saw from the postmaster's book. Bazdeev had been one of the best-known Freemasons and Martinists, even in Novikov's time. For a long while after he had gone, Pierre did not go to bed or order horses but paced up and down the room, pondering over his vicious past, and with a rapturous sense of beginning anew pictured to himself the blissful, irreproachable, virtuous future that seemed to him so easy. It seemed to him that he had been vicious only because he had somehow forgotten how good it is to be virtuous. Not a trace of his former doubts remained in his soul. He firmly believed in the possibility of the brotherhood of men united in the aim of supporting one another in the path of virtue, and that is how Freemasonry presented itself to him.
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
There is a saying which you have heard in Masonry many times: "You get out of Masonry only what you put in it." There may be a great deal of truth in such a statement, but it is a rather conservative estimate.
You get far more out of Masonry than you ever can put into it. There is no work or study that pays greater spiritual dividends than the work of Masonry. There is no time better spent and which fields more happiness and satisfaction than time spent in the work of Masonry.
If one is looking for a purely material or financial reward, then his time in Masonry is only a waste of effort. From the time you evidenced a desire to become a Mason, it was made plain to you that Masonry offered an opportunity for spiritual and mental growth, and did not offer or promise the least financial reward. The Wages of a Master are in keeping with the thing sought through Mastership.
Then is this work of Masonry confined to the lodge room? No. It is important that every Mason attend as many meetings of his lodge as he possibly can, and it is important that the Mason participate in as many activities of the lodge as he possibly can, according to his talents, large or small. Yet, the work of Masonry calls for an examination of self to determine how our own lives reflect the teachings of Masonry. If we are honest in this, then other fields of work in the interest of humanity will be opened, and we will enter into them with joy and enthusiasm because we are Master Masons and cannot do otherwise.
Try it! You will find a harvest of happiness.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein- 1953
For many years I have observed the earnest and faithful efforts of the officers of lodges as they held meetings for the purpose of suggesting ways to improve attendance and maintain interest. In every instance some outstanding program has been launched, which if carried to completion, always bears fruit which is the result of honest planning. However, it is my conclusion that all we hope for, the moulding of Masonic principles into a strong Masonry, must be the result of the doing of little things. Everything else, it seems, is subordinate to the idea of keeping fresh Masonic teachings through the medium of doing. Again and again we refer to the "Old Time Masonry." Yet we know full well that the principles of Masonry are the same today as they were centuries ago. What do we really mean? What is that spirit that we must recapture?
Get out the minutes of your lodge and review the history of "those old days." Strike deep into the heart of that history and then report truthfully. What do you find? A Masonic funeral was an occasion at which was reflected the obligation of the living to the dead. Masons left their work and devoted all the time necessary to pay due and proper respect to the departed and to the loved ones. Look at the record of your lodge as it reports visitations to the sick, acts of charity to the unfortunate, comfort to the heartbroken. Review the work of committees, the work of brothers who asked for no titles, no recognition, but only the opportunity to render service. Look over the names of those Masons, those working brothers, and see if they were not the same who were leaders in their communities. Also look at the heritage they left. It was not measured in dollars. It was character.
That which we seek is within us. "Old Time Masonry" is not a thing that belongs to the past. It is a Spirit that is the result of Doing Great Little Things.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

M.S.A. Short talk for September, 1999----STB-AU99.HTM
MASONIC RESEARCH By: Dr. Wallace McLeod Bro. Wallace McLeod is a member and Past Master of Mizpah Lodge #572, Toronto, Canada, and a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge #2076, London, England, he is the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. This 9- 99 STB was taken from the report of the Grand Historian, (Bro. McLeod). given to his Grand Lodge in July 1999.
Early attempts at Masonic research are traced and many familiar names of Masonic scholars who should be forever in our memory are mentioned. Those interested in Masonic research may contact MSA for our list "Masonic Research Lodges (U.S.)" Editor
The Craft clearly has a number of different functions. It confers degrees. It conciliates friendship. It induces the habit of virtue. It ministers to the relief of want and sorrow. It encourages its members to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
I shall talk briefly about the last of these objectives, Masonic education. In the course of my remarks, I propose to pay tribute to a number of educators of the past and present, and mention some of the most important educational publications.
Research Bodies in England. There are Masonic research bodies that are not directly administered by Grand Lodges, but which can provide educational opportunities for our members. They are of two types: regularly warranted research lodges, and independent research societies. Perhaps the earliest organization devoted to Masonic research was the Masonic Archaeological Institute, in London. The records are casual and sporadic, but evidently it was operating by June 1871, and its members included Charles Warren (1840-1927), who later, as Chief Commissioner of Police, would lead the investigation into the murders committed by Jack the Ripper in 1888. The Institute ceased to operate in 1873.
It seems that Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London, is the oldest research lodge that is still active. Its warrant is dated November 28, 1884, and its Transactions have been published every year since then. The charter members included the great Sir Charles Warren, whom we just mentioned. The membership is limited to forty at any one time, a number that has never been reached in 115 years. In fact, from the time of its foundation up to 1997, it has had only 179 members. They have included such great scholars as Robert Freke Gould (who lived 1836-1915), the founder of the "authentic" school of Masonic research; Bernard Jones (1879-1965), the author of the indispensable Freemason's Guide and Compendium (1950); Douglas Knoop (1883-1948), who collaborated with G. P. Jones and Douglas Hamer to put together The Early Masonic Catechisms (1953); Herbert Poole (1885-1951), who produced the revised edition of Gould's History of Freemasonry (195 1); Fred L. Pick (1898-1966), the co-author (with G. Norman Knight) of The Pocket History of Freemasonry (1953); Harry Carr (1900-1983), who visited Canada a number of times on lecture tours, and who wrote The Freemason at Work (1976). And the current members include such scholars as John M. Hamill and Robert A. Gilbert, the editors of the magnificent volume, Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft (1992).
As well, a few Canadians have been admitted as full members of the lodge, including our own John Ross Robertson (1841-1918), the author of History of Freemasonry in Canada (1900); Robert J. Meekren (1876-1963), the editor of The Builder magazine of the National Masonic Research Society of Iowa from 1925 to 1930; A. J. B. Milborne (1888-1976), who wrote Freemasonry in the Province of Quebec (1960); and Gerard Brett (1915-1968), Director of the Royal Ontario Museum, 1947- 1955. (But of course any Mason can join the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge; the address is The Secretary, Q.C.C.C. Ltd., 60 Great Queen Street, London WC211 5BA, England). Since 1924, the lodge has sponsored the Prestonian Lectures, the only lectures that are given with the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England. These have been collected and published in four volumes so far. And every year since 1971 the lodge has offered the Norman B. Spencer Prize for the best essay submitted by a new scholar. Following the example of Quatuor Coronati, other research lodges were founded in Britain.
And more recently, late last year, the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre was established in London, "to provide support and to encourage research into the full spectrum of academic inquiry into Freemasonry," The Trustees include the Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (Marquess of Northampton), and the Grand Secretary (James Daniel). The Centre has a website at
The Antipodes. With regard to research lodges in Australia and New Zealand, one should consult Tony Pope's paper, "On Australasian Lodges of Research," in Masonic Challenges: The Transactions of the (Melbourne) Lodge of Research, No. 218, for 1991. The first real research lodge down under, St. Alban, No. 38, in Adelaide, South Australia, was founded in December, 1889. It continues to thrive., but has not acted as a research lodge for fifty years. The oldest such body that has functioned continuously in that capacity is the Lodge of Research, No. 218, in Melbourne, Victoria, which was formed in 1911. In New Zealand apparently the oldest one is the Masters and Past Masters Lodge, No. 130, in Christchurch, which was warranted in 1902. There are over twenty research lodges in Australia and New Zealand that are still active. And that, to an outsider, seems like a very creditable number.
United States of America. North America was apparently much slower to recognize the value of such organizations. Actually, the earliest one seems to be the National Masonic Research Society, which was founded in Iowa in 1915; it published the superb magazine The Builder from 1915 to 1930.
The first actual research lodge in North America was apparently the North Carolina Lodge of Research, which was founded in 1931. It published a splendid set of transactions, called Nocalore, but ceased working in 1954. In its wake, a number of others were founded, one of the earliest being the American Lodge of Research in New York, likewise dating from 1931. This lodge confers the honorary title of Fellow upon notable Masonic scholars, and one of those so recognized was the famous Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), who wrote the beautiful Masonic Ritual Music (Opus 113).
There are of course many other research groups. Actually, according to the latest revision of Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (1996), in 1990 there were nearly fifty active research lodges in the United States. Many of them welcome subscribers from other jurisdictions, publish their transactions, and make books available to their members.
Canada. Our I country has not had very many such organizations. In 1915 a Lodge of Research was founded in Nova Scotia, with Reginald V. Harris as its leader and secretary; he later served as Grand Master (1932-1935) and then Grand Secretary (1945-1958) of -his Grand Lodge, and was given the honorary rank of Past Grand Master in Ontario (1938). He was co-author (with Ronald S. Longley) of A Short History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia (1966). His research lodge kept working for at least ten years. The oldest surviving body of this sort is the Toronto Society for Masonic Research, which was founded in 1921,and which is still going strong, though with afairly low profile.
The Canadian Masonic Research Association held its first meeting on May 9, 1950. Over the next quarter century, its members presented 116 papers, the last one being in May, 1976. (In 1986 these were collected and reprinted, in dime volumes, by the Heritage Lodge, under the direction of R. W. Bro. C. E. Balfour LeGresley). The Association included a number of notable Freemasons. We might mention Joseph R. Smallwood (1900-1991), who in 1949 was the Father of Confederation for Newfoundland. But as well there were a number of serious research scholars who belonged. The ones who delivered the greatest number of papers were Reginald V. Harris (who lived 1881-1968), the historian of Nova Scotia; A. J. B. Milborne, the historian of Quebec, whom we mentioned as a full member of Quatuor Coronati; and our own two brethren, John E. Taylor (1901-1984), recipient of the William Mercer Wilson Medal in 1977; and J. Lawrence Runnalls (1901-1994), who in 1975 was made an Honorary Past Grand Senior Warden for his work as editor of the Grand Lodge Bulletin, 1964--1975.
Very soon after the demise of the Canadian Masonic Research Association, the first research lodge in Ontario was formed. The Heritage Lodge, No. 730, was instituted on September 21, 1977, with V. W. Bro. (as he was then) Jacob Pos as the Master, and has been doing productive work ever since. Its main activity has been in the presentation of research papers at its regular meetings; more than eighty of these have appeared in the Annual Proceedings over the years. But as well it has engaged in a number of cognate projects: restoring the old Lodge Building in Black Creek Pioneer Village, near Toronto, and organizing a team of Masonic volunteers to serve as guides and interpreters; holding the annual Heritage Lodge Banquet; assisting in the restoration of noteworthy old Masonic gravestones (such as the William Mercer Wilson Monument at Simcoe, and "The Unknown Brother" at Jordan Station); and many others. Altogether, a record to be proud of! On the Internet, the Heritage Lodge has an excellent website at
Philallethes Society. Of the various research bodies in the United States, the oldest one that is still working is the Philalethes Society. Its history was outlined in Seekers of Truth (1988), a book written by Allen E. Roberts to mark its sixtieth anniversary.
The Society was founded on October 1, 1928, by six men, in order to keep free thinkers in Masonry from being muzzled by those "dressed in a little brief authority." It is explicitly intended "for Masons who seek light or have light to impart." The name is a Greek word that means "Lover of Truth."
Over the years the Society increased its profile. in 1931 it decided to recognize certain Brethren by naming them Fellows of the Philalethes Society ; the number of Fellows was set at forty. Over the years a total of 187 brethren have been honoured with this title. They include such people as Rudyard Kipling (who lived 1865-1936), who wrote a number of Masonic stories and poems; Carl H. Claudy (1879-1957), the author of The Master's Book (1935); Henry Wilson Coil (1885-1974), who compiled Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (1961; revised 1996); Alphonse Cerza (1905- 1987), who wrote Anti-Masonry (1962); Dwight L. Smith (1909-1993), the author of Whither are we Traveling? (1962); Allen E. Roberts (1917-1997), who was probably "the most prolific author, perhaps in all of Masonic history," and whose books include Key to Freemasonry's Growth (1969); John J. Robinson (1925-1993), who wrote A Pilgrim's Path (1993); and Jerry Marsengill (1930-1991), the superb editor of several major Masonic magazines.
As well, a few Canadians have been honoured as Fellows of the Philalethes Society. They include Robert J. Meekren and Reginald V. Harris, whom we have already mentioned; Nathaniel W. J. Hayden (1871-1950), the first Librarian of our Grand Lodge Library, 1934-1949; and Charles E. Holmes (1880-1959), who became the first editor of the Montreal magazine, Masonic Light, in September, 1947. The Philalethes magazine began publication in March, 1946. The first fifty years of the magazine are now available on a CD-ROM, which is very useful for purposes of research or reading In February, 1956, the Society began to help sponsor a Workshop, as part of the meetings of the Allied Masonic Bodies in Washington. And that same year the first Certificate of Literature was awarded, for the best article published in the magazine. In 1980 the Society began to hold an "Annual Assembly and Feast" (a memorable phrase borrowed from Anderson's Constitutions of 1738). In 1981, for the first time, a Philalethes Lecturer was named, to present a talk at the Assembly and Feast. Since 1986 the Society has held a Semi-Annual meeting every year, in different cities. The Society has about forty-five local chapters, located in a number of countries In 1992, to keep abreast of electronic communication, a dispensation was issued to Cornerstone Computer Chapter of the Philalethes Society, and the Chapter was granted a Charter in February 1993. The Society's website (now located at the address was opened at the end of June, 1995, and has been very successful.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brought to you by Hiram's Oasis with permission of MSA. by Preston Burner, To get on this mailing list, e-mail Preston with your request

Before the Goodie---check for the 1999 files in TM format.
The Ideal Mason
"So you think Brother Parkes is an ideal Mason, do you?" asked the Old Past Master of the Young Brother. "I like Brother Parkes, but before I gave assent to your adjective of 'ideal' I'd like to have you define it."
"What I meant" answered the Younger Brother "was that he is so well rounded a Mason. He is Brotherly, charitable, loves a good speech and a good time, and does his Masonic duty as he sees it."
"Oh! Well, if that's being an ideal Mason, Parkes is surely one. But I can't follow your definition of ideal. For there are so many ideals in Freemasonry, and it has been given to few...I doubt, really, if it has been given to to realize them all. Certainly I never knew one.
"There are so many kinds of Masons! I do not refer now to the various bodies a brother may join; Chapter, Council, Commandery, Scottish Rite Lodge,Chapter, Council, Consistory, Shrine, Grotto, Tall Cedars, Eastern Star; a man may belong to them all and still be just one kind of Mason.
"When I speak of 'kinds' of Masons I mean 'kinds of ideals'.
"There is the man whose ideal of Masonry is ritual. He believes in the ritual as the backbone of the fraternity. Not to be letter perfect in a degree is an actual pain to him; he cares more for the absolute accuracy of the lessons than the meaning in them. His ideal is a necessary one, and to him we are indebted for our Schools of Instruction, for our accuracy in handing down to those who come after us, the secret work, and to a large extent, for what small difficulties we put in the way of a candidate, by which he conceives a regard for the Order. What is too easily obtained is of small value. Making a new Mason learn by rote some difficult ritual not only teaches him the essential lessons, but makes him respect that which he gets by making it difficult.
"There is a brother with the social ideal of Masonry. To him the Order is first a benevolent institution, one which dispenses charity, supports homes, looks after the sick, buries the dead, and, occasionally, stages a 'ladies night' or a 'free feed' or an 'entertainment'. He is a man who thinks more of the lessons of brotherly love than the language in which they are taught; as a ritualist, he uses synonyms all the time, to the great distress of the ritually-minded Mason. To the social ideal of Masonry and those to whom it makes its greatest appeal we are indebted for much of the public approbation of our Order, since in its social contacts it is seen of the world.
"There are brethren to whom the historical, perhaps I should say the archeological ideal, is the one of greatest appeal. They are the learned men; the men who dig in libraries, read the books, who write the papers on history and antiquity. To them we are indebted for the real, though not yet fully told story of the Craft. They have taken from us the old apocryphal tales of the origin of the Order and set Truth in their places; they have uncovered a far more wonderful story than those ancient ones which romanticists told. They have given us the right to venerate our age and vitality; before they came we had only fables to live by. To them we owe Lodges of Research, histories, commentaries, the great books of Masonry and much of the interpretation of our mysteries.
"Then there is the symbolist. His ideal is found in the esoteric teachings of Freemasonry. He is not content with the bare outline of the meaning of our symbols found in our lectures-he has dug and delved and learned, until he has uncovered so great a wealth of philosophical, religious and fraternal lessons in our symbols as would amaze the Masons who lived before the symbolist began his work.
"To him we are indebted for such a wealth of beauty as has made the Craft lovely in the eyes of men who otherwise would find in it only 'another organization.' To him we are indebted for the greatest reasons for its life, its vitality. For the symbolist has pointed the way to the inner, spiritual truths of Freemasonry and made it blossoms like the rose in the hearts of men who seek, they know not what, and find, that which is too great for them to comprehend.
"These are but other ideals of Freemasonry, my son, but these are enough to illustrate my point. Brother Parkes follows the social ideal of Freemasonry, and follows it well. He is a good man, a good Mason, in every sense of the word. But he is not an 'ideal' Mason. An 'ideal' Mason would have to live up to, to love, to understand, to practice, all the ideals of Freemasonry. And I submit, it cannot be done.
"What's your ideal of Freemasonry?" asked the Younger Mason curiously, as the Old Past Master paused.
"The one from which all the things spring", was the smiling answer. "I am not possessed of a good enough memory to be a fine ritualist; I don't have time enough to spare for many of the social activities of Masonry, I am not learned enough to be historian or antiquary, nor with enough vision to be an interpreter of symbols for any man but myself. My ideal is the simple one we try to teach to all, and which, if we live up to it, encompasses all the rest; the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man."
and another short:
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
There is a saying which you have heard in Masonry many times: "You get out of Masonry only what you put in it." There may be a great deal of truth in such a statement, but it is a rather conservative estimate.
You get far more out of Masonry than you ever can put into it. There is no work or study that pays greater spiritual dividends than the work of Masonry. There is no time better spent and which fields more happiness and satisfaction than time spent in the work of Masonry.
If one is looking for a purely material or financial reward, then his time in Masonry is only a waste of effort. From the time you evidenced a desire to become a Mason, it was made plain to you that Masonry offered an opportunity for spiritual and mental growth, and did not offer or promise the least financial reward. The Wages of a Master are in keeping with the thing sought through Mastership.
Then is this work of Masonry confined to the lodge room? No. It is important that every Mason attend as many meetings of his lodge as he possibly can, and it is important that the Mason participate in as many activities of the lodge as he possibly can, according to his talents, large or small. Yet, the work of Masonry calls for an examination of self to determine how our own lives reflect the teachings of Masonry. If we are honest in this, then other fields of work in the interest of humanity will be opened, and we will enter into them with joy and enthusiasm because we are Master Masons and cannot do otherwise.
Try it! You will find a harvest of happiness.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
and yet another:
Brethren, I was looking through some of my old papers and this sheet cought my eye. It's old, yet current. Might make a good 5 minute talk in your lodge.
At our last meeting the Dep. Grand Grandmaster spoke to us about the enemies of freemasonry and about the general lack of new candidates, not only here in the commonwealth, but throughout the country--the seeming lack of interest among those who, might, under a better atmosphere, yearn to become a part of this great fraternity.
Those who have studied some of the early history of freemasonry realize that the enemies of freemasonry are, older than sin itself- - enemies are usually of the same type-- religious zealots, our holy bible has many stories of religious zealots and of how they interfered with the worship of the true God.
Our constitution and bill of rights were not popular with majority of the population when they were ratified by the states because the religious leaders of that day saw this new freedom as interfering with their power over the people--but there were enough freedom loving voters to ratify the constitution and bill of rights. Today, you need only to look at the first page of any newspaper to see the current effects of religious zealots, exercising their power over the citizens of our great country.
Grand Commander Henry Clausen said in his last issue of "The New Age"--Ecclesiastical Tyranny and political despotism are the two great enemies of the forces that otherwise would proceed toward the emancipation of humanity.
We see that now-in the two major political parties--both are being used by religious zealots who will stop for nothing in their quest to control the population. Isn't this history repeating itself?
There's another, perhaps more insidious enemy of freemasonry -from within. Each of us must always remember "by their deeds, they are known" there are many people who still have a hatred for the fraternity that they inherited from their family heritage, when these people see a mason doing those thing that he ought not do, the bad reputation of freemasonry is reinforced. Each one of us should resolve anew these words from the sermon on the mount "let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven". Isn't that what our obligation is about??

This might shake up a few regular masons. Take it for what it is worth.

August 22 1999 BRITAIN Women recruits shake up Freemasons Sarah Toyne and Tom Robbins
FOR years they have been regarded with suspicion as a group of ageing businessmen in aprons and rolled-up trousers, conducting odd secret ceremonies in darkened halls. The image of Freemasonry, however, is being radically reinvigorated by the thousands of women swelling its ranks.
There are at least 14,000 female Freemasons in Britain, with about 1,000 women being initiated each year. While the number of male Freemasons is falling rapidly, membership of women's lodges has become so popular that waiting lists have sprung up.
Many of the new female members are professionals, who are finding Freemasonry can provide an escape from the pressures of their careers and lend balance to their lives. "For me personally it's very spiritually uplifting. The meetings are an oasis away from the stresses and pressures of my professional life," said Zuzanka Penn, a partner with an accountancy firm in Sittingbourne and a member of Lodge Invicta in Kent. "I'm a committed and practising Christian, actively involved in my local church, and I find that the masonry complements that very well."
Others say that whereas male masonry is often seen as little more than a backslapping club, female masonry is more about self-development and a caring support network.
"The male order is much more of a dining club for businessmen," said Myra Roberts, a driving instructor from Elstead, Surrey, and a member of the Maa Kheru lodge, part of the International Federation of Co-Freemasonry. "This is not about helping each other along the promotion scale at work, or gaining social influence. It is turned around the other way - it is self-improvement from the inside."
Membership of the male masons has fallen by 60,000 during the past two decades; with few young men signing up, total membership is about 340,000 nationwide. The picture is very different for women, however. "We are seeing lots of young people joining and are getting a good group of professional women," said Dr Monica Boggia-Black, a senior member of the Order of Women Freemasons. "It does not appeal to every sort of person, but if you like ritual and pageantry, history and learning, then it is for you."
The first women-only lodge opened in Britain in 1908 and early members included Annie Besant, the social reformer, and Emmeline Pankhurst, the suffragette. There are now two women-only orders of Freemasons in Britain, as well as one order of Co-Freemasons whose membership is mixed. The largest is the Order of Women Freemasons, with 12,000 members and more than 500 lodges. Demand for places is such that some orders need to buy new premises; a church in Ramsgate is being purchased to be converted into a masonic temple.
When the men's movement began in 1717, women were so vigorously excluded that part of the initation ceremony involved the mason baring his breast to prove his masculinity. As an act of defiance, female Freemasons mirror the male ceremony and open their blouses on initiation.
Lodges typically meet eight times a year to perform the same elaborate rituals as the men, based in part on the Old Testament. The women wear full evening dress, covered in ceremonial cloaks, aprons and sometimes hoods. Equally important to many, however, are the fundraising and social activities. Each ritual meeting is followed by a formal dinner.
Despite its complex mysticism, the movement has been at pains to throw off some of its secrecy. Sue Cohen, a journalist for the Jewish Chronicle, wrote many negative stories about the masons but has changed her position and is due to be initiated into the Norelight Lodge in Essex in November, after two years on a waiting list.
"I've seen a massive change from it being very closed and secret to now being a lot more open," she said.
A fear of the stigma associated with the movement still lingers, however, among some younger members. "I tell people about it on a need-to-know basis only," said one 35-year-old lodge member.
Another 30-year-old mason, who works for Kent police and was initiated in April, said: "When my husband joined the male order, I automatically thought of Monty Python, so I wasn't surprised that my friends raised their eyebrows when I told them."
Others are less convinced of the attractions of female Freemasonry. Amanda Foreman, the author and historian, said: "There is obviously a demand for it, but it is not for me. Personally I am a bit of a loner and I don't get that much comfort from fraternal organisations. The only thing I have ever joined is a gym."

Copyright 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on Times Newspapers' standard terms and conditions. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material from The Sunday Times, visit the Syndication website.
And there are at least 3 lodges of Female only Masonns in USA as well as a few CO-Masonic Lodges. Oh, I know, we don't recognize them--kinda like the Ostrich. <G> 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Often we hear criticism of a Mason, the recital of some act on the part of a brother, which reflects upon the Craft as a whole.
For the most part, it seems to this writer that we are over-critical of our brothers, but perhaps in this way we have maintained a standard of moral excellence which is respected by almost the entire world, with the exception of those who bow to the dictates of tyrannical leaders, political or religious, and are not permitted to see any good in the Mason or Masonry. In these cases the critic does not own his own soul, so there is little that can be done except to offer pity.
However, many times, the young Mason will talk with a non-Mason, who is always willing to go to great effort to explain "why he will not become a Mason." His purpose is to confuse the candidate, or young Mason.
But note carefully. Generally, the person who makes such an effort to discuss a subject of which he knows nothing, is one who cannot enter the portals of our Institution. Many times he is the fellow who judges according to standards which he cannot attain for himself.
Let us understand well that there are men in every community who represent in their lives the ideals and principles of Masonry, but have never taken the degrees of Masonry. These men, however, have the wisdom to refrain from discussing the subject with which they are not conversant.
The best suggestion we can make to the young Mason is this- look around you. Consider the character and lives of the men in your community who are Masons. Many have known you since your childhood days. Discuss Masonry with Masons.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
The work and hope of Masonry is to bring the spiritual nature of man and the spiritual nature of the universe into a harmonious balance. There is forever in Masonry the sound of marching men and the beat of drums. There are the determined faces of men who are fighting in a great cause.
But the enemy of Masonry is not sought for in rival camps. Masonry does not point out an enemy lurking in every dark corner. Nor does Masonry take up arms against this or that organization or institution which may differ in their interpretation of the meanings of life and of the universe. Rather Masonry does lay emphasis on the reasons that bring all men together into the realm of Brotherhood.
Masonry's one and only fight is for the supremacy of the nobler man over the baser. The victory of the good that is vouchsafed all who strive for such a victory is all the "spoils of war" that Masonry seeks. The triumph of Brotherhood is all the "rich territory" that Masonry hopes to gain.
Masonry has but one weapon. That weapon is the true and tried Mason who in the struggle to make himself more God-like becomes more man-like. As he progresses toward God he becomes more tolerant, more forgiving, more loving toward all mankind.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"It was the funniest thing I ever saw!"
"What was?" asked the Old Tiler of the New Brother.
"That lodge meeting I attended in Hicksville. Listen, and I'll tell you!"
"I'm listening. Anyone who can find a lodge meeting funny deserves to be listened to!" answered the Old Tiler.
"The lodge room was funny!" began the New Brother. "Lodge rooms ought to have leather-covered furniture and electric lights, a handsome painting in the east, an organ- be dignified, like ours. This lodge room was over the post office. There were two stoves in it. And every now and then the Junior Deacon put coal on! The Lesser Lights were kerosene lamps, and the Altar looked like an overgrown soap box! The benches were just chairs, and they didn't have any lantern or slides- just an old chart to point to in the lecture.
But it wasn't so much the room, it was the way they did their work. You'd have thought they were legislating for a world, not just having a lodge meeting. Such preciseness, such slow walking, such making every move and sign as if it were a drill team. There wasn't a smile cracked the whole evening and even at refreshment, there wasn't much talking or laughing. I'm glad to belong to a lodge where people are human!"
"Yes," answered the Old Tiler, "I expect it is."
"Expect what is?"
"Impossible for a New Brother to understand the work of a country lodge," answered the Old Tiler. "What you saw wasn't funny. Listen- it is you who are funny."
"Me funny? Why, what do..."
"I said for you to listen!" sternly cut in the Old Tiler. "I have never been to Hicksville, but I have visited in many country lodges and your description is accurate. But your interpretation is damnable!
"Masonry is beautiful, truthful, philosophical, strives to draw men closer to God, to make them love their fellow, to be better men. Is that funny? The more regard men have for outward symbols, the more apt they are to have regard for what is within. A man who won't clean his face and hands won't have a clean heart and mind. A man who is slovenly in dress is apt to be slovenly in his heart. A lodge which reveres the work probably reveres the meaning behind the work.
"You criticize the Hicksville Lodge because it is too precise. Would that our own was more so! The officers who have so deep a regard for appearances can only have learned it through a thoughtful appreciation of what the appearances stand for.
"You have been taught that it is not the externals but the internals which mark a man and Mason. What difference can it make whether a lodge seats it membership on leather benches or chairs, or the floor, or doesn't seat them at all? Our ancient brethren, so we are taught, met on hills and in valleys. Think you that they sat on leather benches, or the grass?
"It's good to have a fine hall to meet in. It's a joy to have an organ and electric lights and a stereopticon to show handsome slides. But all of these are merely easy ways of teaching the Masonic lesson. Doubtless Lincoln would have enjoyed electric lights to study by, instead of firelight. Doubtless he would have learned a little more in the same time had he had more books and better facilities. But he learned enough to make him live forever.
"We teach in a handsome hall, with beautiful accessories. If we teach as well as the poor country lodge with its chairs for benches, its kerosene lamps for Lesser Lights, its harmonium for organ, its chart for lantern slides, we can congratulate ourselves. When we look at the little lodge with its humble equipment, thank the Great Architect that there is so grand a system of philosophy, with so universal an appeal, as to make men content to study and practice it, regardless of external conditions.
"I do not know Hicksville Lodge, but it would be an even bet that they saved up money to get better lodge furniture and spent it to send some sick brother South or West, or to provide an education for the orphans of some brother who couldn't do it for his children. In a country lodge you will get a sandwich and a cup of coffee after the meeting, in place of the elaborate banquet you may eat in the city; in the country lodge you will find few dress suits and not often a fine orator, but you will find a Masonic spirit, a feeling of genuine brotherly regard, which is too often absent in the larger, richer, city lodge.
"I find nothing 'funny' in the dignity and the seriousness of our country brethren. I find nothing of humor in poverty, nor anything but sweet Masonic service in the Junior Deacon putting coal on the fire. Would that we had a few brethren as serious, to put coal upon our Masonic fires, to warm us all."
"You've put coals of fire on my head!" answered the New Brother, "I deserved a kicking and got off with a lecture. I'm going back to Hicksville Lodge next week and tell them what they taught me through you."
"If you won't expect me to laugh, I'll go with you!" answered the Old Tiler, but his eyes smiled.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 GL of Washington F&AM A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

The Masonic Mailing list of Washington.

Preston Burner PM, MPS, MBBFMN Concord #307 Vienna, Virginia Operator of Hiram's Oasis at

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"How many brethren in this lodge are worth a hundred thousand dollars?" inquired the New Brother of the Old Tiler in the anteroom.
"I don't know. Jones and Brown and Robinson and Hitchcock, certainly, and perhaps Wilson and Moore. You want to make a touch?" The Old Tiler looked curiously at his questioner.
"A friend of mine in interested in forming a company," answered the New Brother, "and I intend to invest with him. As I want to see it succeed, I'll go to see all the wealthy men and ask for subscriptions. We are going to manufacture a patent elevator device, that..."
"Why confine your list to those in this lodge? There are more men with money outside the lodge than in it."
"But I have no right to ask them to invest money in a company just because I am interested in it!" The New Brother looked very virtuous.
"Have you right to ask brethren to spend money on your behalf because you belong to the lodge?" The Old Tiler looked shocked.
"Why, of course. We are brethren, are we not? Brethren help each other, don't they?"
"I see no reason why any brother should spend money exploiting an invention, just because you are interested.," answered the Old Tiler. "Masonry is not intended to influence a man's business. If these brethren think well of the invention they will invest. If they don't think well of it, they won't. Masonry does not enter into the matter."
"But it would mean much to me and to my friend, if this company should succeed and make a lot of money!" explained the New Mason.
"Suppose it doesn't succeed, and loses a lot of money?" suggested the Old Tiler. The New Brother began to write in his notebook.
"That won't happen," he answered as he scribbled. "This is bound to succeed. But any business man takes a risk in any company in which he invests."
"Now we get to the root of the matter!" exclaimed the Old Tiler. "They are to help you, because of their Masonry, which is mutual with you both; but if they lose, that's because they took a risk!
"If the company was to develop a Masonic property or build a temple, I could see that your common Masonry might make an appeal. But I see no reason for anyone to buy stock in your company except a business reason.
"A mutual lodge membership may serve as an introduction between any two men to discuss anything of interest to one, in which he hopes to interest the other. Your mutual lodge membership is a guarantee the other man will receive a welcome. It ought to guarantee the other man that you will not abuse his time and confidence by taking up the one to exploit the other. He has the same right to expect consideration from you that you have to expect consideration from him. But you have no right to expect him to suspend hid business judgement just because you are both Masons.
If you have what you believe is a good proposition, and, therefore give your Masonic friends an opportunity to make some money, your motive in listing the wealthy members of this lodge is commendable. But you have no such idea. You hope they will win, and so, help you to win. But if they lose, that's their lookout. That is not Masonic.
"Masonry does not butt into a man's business. Only insofar as it guarantees that a brother is honest is it a help in business. As it promises mutual esteem and helpfulness it smooths the business path. But when you use Masonry to make the other fellow do something financial which he otherwise wouldn't do, it is not a proper use of Masonry. Ask your friends to help you- that's what friends are for. But don't ask strangers, merely because they are fellow lodge members, to risk their money unless you are willing to begin not using Masonry as a means to private gain! Your friends will help you- brethren not close friends expect you to treat them in a brotherly way. It's not brotherly to go to wealthy strangers and say, 'I want some money from you, because we are both Masons!'" The Old Tiler stopped, short of breath.
The New Brother looked up from his busy writing, "I could hardly keep up with you!" he exclaimed. "You talked so fast. But I'm sure I got most of it. This will make a dandy speech!"
"Certainly. I have no intention of getting any subscriptions from anyone. I was after material for a talk I have been asked to give on Masonry in Business!"
"Upon my word!" cried the Old Tiler. Then he chuckled, "I hope you will see that I am invited inside to hear it," he said good naturedly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." -- George Washington

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
The name itself stands as a symbol of the wisdom of the ages. I am part of an institution that has forever followed the Glorious Light in the East. I am part of the hopes, the yearnings and the efforts of a world-wide group of men who are meeting and working in the name of The Almighty One. I have a share in the spreading of ideals of Justice, of Tolerance and of Kindness. To me is given the opportunity for unveiling symbols which impart Golden Truths.
I have the opportunity to grow morally in an atmosphere of sacred silence.
I am a member of an institution which throughout the ages has taught and followed the ways of peace, yet never for a moment has capitulated to the demand of dictatorship. I am a member of an institution which has forever inspired men to engage vigorously in the struggle for the preservation of God-given rights- Freedom of Worship and Freedom of Thought.
My Masonic membership offers the greatest blessing that is given to man- the opportunity to be serviceable to my fellow creatures.
Great are my privileges. Great are my responsibilities.
I am a Master Mason.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

at the following web resource
we have a list of 1600 masonic links, tested one by one (accuracy and existence of each link is 99%). There are also 5 script facilities to navigate the links. Please provide feedback (on the site) if you find bugs. Thank you.

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
In the work of Masonry there are many field of endeavor, all a part of our plan "to improve ourselves in the way of life." One brother may outline in appropriate words the duties that are ours as Masons. His words inspire us.
Another brother may not have the same ability to put his ideas into words, but he know with equal certainty about his duties as a man and a Mason. If he learns of a brother who is sick, or in distress, he understands, and it is more than an understanding of duty, it is the understanding of the principles of Love and Brotherhood, which quickens the desire into action, and sends him to the sick or the distressed.
One brother may be a good ritualist, another a student of symbolism, and still another a good worker on any committee.
Each brother doing the special task for which he has the greatest ability results in the success of the lodge and Masonry.
There are no special degrees of importance. Doing what we can in the work assigned to us is the important thing.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
In the Work of Masonry there are many fields of endeavor, all a part of our plan "to improve ourselves in the way of life." One brother may outline in appropriate words the duties that are ours as Masons. His words inspire us.
Another brother may not have the same ability to put his ideas into words, but he knows with equal certainty about his duties as a man and a Mason. If he learns of a brother who is sick, or in distress, he understands, and it is more than understanding of the principles of Love and Brotherhood, which quickens the desire into action, and sends him to the sick or distressed.
One brother may be a good ritualist, another a student of symbolism, and still another a good worker on any committee.
Each brother doing the special task for which he has the greatest ability results in the success of the lodge and Masonry.
There are no special degrees of importance. Doing what we can in the work assigned to us is the important thing.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"Well, they'll have to show me!" cried the New Brother to the Old Tiler, on guard in the anteroom with sword in hand.
"Who will have to show you what?" inquired the guardian of the door.
"The committee appointed to investigate a couple of petitions for reinstatement on the rolls of the lodge!" answered the New Brother. "Old Godfrey was dropped for nonpayment of dues thirty-six years ago. He has never petitioned this or any other lodge for membership since. Now he wants to reinstate himself. A brother Jerkins I never heard of, who was raised forty years ago and took a demit thirty-one years ago, wants to come back- he's never affiliated in all that time."
"I've heard of those cases," mused the Old Tiler. "I helped raise them both."
"You can't tell me they haven't put their eyes on our Masonic Home! Having reached an age which shows them some practical use for the fraternity, they now propose to pay a year's dues, and then get into the Home to be taken care of for the rest of their lives! But not if I can stop it!
"Softly, softly, my brother!" warned the Old Tiler. "It is against the laws of the Grand Lodge to disclose to any one how you have voted or intend to vote on any application for membership."
"Well, and I won't then!" cried the New Brother. "But they won't get in!"
"Are you not previous in judgement?" inquired the Old Tiler, gently. "Seems to me you'd better wait and hear what the committees have to say on the matter." "What could the committees say? I won't let any softhearted committee pull anything on me. I love the lodge too much!"
"Don't love her so much you forget that the 'greatest of these is charity!'" warned the Old Tiler. "Nor that these whose motives you judge are yet your brethren, sworn to the same obligations."
"I happen to know something about these cases. Brother Godfrey was a spoiled child. As a young man he had so much money that he didn't know what to do with it. It was just carelessness that he allowed himself to be dropped N.P.D. He didn't care for Masonry. He was all for travel, a good time, balls and parties and races and such. About ten years ago his wife died- he had a good wife and he was very fond of her. It changed him. He felt differently about many things. He commenced to do something for some one beside himself. He still has more money than he can spend. There is no possibility of his becoming a charge on the lodge. And I happen to know why he wants to come back."
"Why is it?"
"He's ashamed of himself!" answered the Old Tiler. "He's offered to pay back all the back dues, with interest. I told him we couldn't accept that; that he couldn't buy his way back into the lodge. But he is no worse off than another in like case. If he tells the committee what he told me, that he is old enough to know better and to value brotherhood; that he wants again to be a part of our gentle Craft and to make up for what he has lost all these years, they will doubtless report favorably. This lodge will not override its committee unless someone has something personal against him."
"Oh, well, that's different, of course!" The New Brother looked a little ashamed. "How about Brother Jenkins?"
"Well, he's different, too!" smiled the Old Tiler. "Brother Jenkins was a young man full of promise, fire and energy. He had a good position, a good income, a fine wife and four little children. Then he fell and hurt his head; he was two years under the doctor's care. They had no money; she went to work. Of course the lodge helped. He got his wits back and went to work, but he couldn't do any but physical labor. Something was gone from his mind. He was not crazy, but he couldn't think hard or long. So he became a carpenter. He paid back to the lodge every penny it had spent on him. Then he took his demit. He couldn't afford the dues and he wouldn't let us carry him. Somehow he brought up his children; they are all happily married now. The wife is dead, worn out. He is alone, with an income quite sufficient for his simple needs, and four stalwart children to care for him if it isn't enough. Now that he can afford it, he wants to come back into the lodge he loved and left."
"Oh, you make me so ashamed! I'm a first-class moron and no Mason at all, to judge before I knew!" The New Brother looked at the Old Tiler remorsefully.
"It never pays," grinned the Old Tiler. "I don't believe any one will want to drop a black cube for Brother Jenkins, do you?"
"Not I!" cried the New Brother.
"Didn't I tell you now to tell how you would vote?" chided the Old Tiler. But his eyes smiled.

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." -- George Washington

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
No Mason can assume a passive attitude in regard to persecution. Remove Justice from the Temple of Masonry and you have left only the wreck of a building. And persecution is never justifiable. Persecution is the weapon of the brutal individual or mob, used as a screen to obscure their weaknesses.
Speculative Masonry as we think of it since the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 set forth in no indefinite language the stand of Masonry against religious intolerance. No longer was religion to be the barrier that separated men; that kept men from being brothers. Now, men of all religions could meet at the altar, which was the "centre of union" and each could worship God in his own way. The minor differences in belief were not as important as the truth of the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man. The universal spirit of man's dependence on man was indefinitely more important than controversial dogma. Reason ruled over traditional emotions. Masonry had no new religion to offer. It only prepared anew the ground for the more abundant growth of truths that have existed since time.
What is the spirit behind the determination of Masons to perpetuate the principles of Freemasonry? It is a protective spirit. Masonry knows that at various times in each generation the ugly face of tyranny will show itself and that the peace-loving will be persecuted. And so Masons are willing to patiently attend at the Holy Altar of Liberty, and Justice so that these immortal ideals may live forever in the hearts of men.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Perhaps there is no obligation more sacred than that taken by the one who is to become Worshipful Master.
The traditions, the tenets and principles, and all the precious possessions of Masonry, and even the responsibility vested in the lodge by the Grand Lodge, are placed in the hands of the Worshipful Master.
To be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law, is the basis for all other of the Ancient Charges to which the Master-elect must give his assent. Every officer "in line" should read these questions many times before he is asked them officially. They will serve in some measure to answer the question: "Will I be able to live up to the regulations as Masters have done in the past?"
The weight of the true answers to these questions exceeds beyond the lodge room. The responsibility is to society and to country, in addition to the accepted responsibilities which are connected with degree work and the regular business of the lodge.
What relation is there between the obligation of the Worshipful Master and the brethren? When any brother takes upon himself such a sacred obligation, it is the duty of every other brother to give him every cooperation in helping him to discharge that obligation.
The Worshipful Master should have our good wishes, our prayers, and the work of our hands and heart in all his laudable and important undertakings.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1952
When installed the Worshipful Master's authority is complete- it is part of our Masonic Manual and Code.
But as surely as we think in terms of authority in Masonry, we must also think in terms of responsibility. The Worshipful Master is the guide and the leading spirit of the lodge. The spiritual progress of the lodge depends largely upon his devotion to the Ideals of Masonry. The program of the meetings, which degree is to be conferred, the holding of special and open meetings, are all within the scope of the Master's authority, responsibility and duty.
Ever before the Master must be the realization of his obligation to the tenets of Masonry, to the lodge's welfare of the individual member. He must have a thorough knowledge of procedure, and above all, must represent in his daily life the moral strength that reflects the teachings of the Institution.
No candidate must be subjected to embarrassment or humiliation. The Master must see that nothing takes place in the conferring of any degree that debases the dignity of Masonry, or of the candidate. The responsibility rests directly upon the shoulders of the Master to see that nothing takes place which is not inconsistent with the sacred teachings of Masonry.
Authority in Masonry means properly placed confidence and responsibility.
The Master's authority and responsibility- both are complete.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

Bro. Michael Walker is the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. This STB was taken from an article titled "Freemasonry in Society-Today and Tomorrow," which appeared in ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM Vol. 110 (1997). The original article was condensed for this STB.
On his initiation, the Brethren are assured that the candidate is 'living in good repute amongst his friends and neighbours.' He is therefore, or should be, a peaceable and law-abiding citizen who gets on well with others. A little later on, the candidate affirms that he comes 'with a preconceived notion of the excellence of the Order, a desire for knowledge and wishing to make himself more extensively useful amongst his fellow men.' Later again, on being charged, he is told that the foundation of Freemasonry is 'the practice of every social and moral virtue.' He is exhorted to learn how to discharge his duty to his God, his neighbour and himself, to be an exemplary citizen and that, as an individual, he should practise every domestic as well as public virtue and maintain those truly Masonic characteristics, benevolence and brotherly love.
Following his second degree, he is told that he should 'not only assent to the principles of the Craft, but steadily persevere in their practice.' Finally, following his third degree, he is told that 'his own behaviour should afford the best example for the conduct of others.'
Later still, at the peak of his Craft career, on being installed in the Chair of his Lodge, he consents to a comprehensive list of instructions as to his attitude and behaviour. All in all, the entire underlying principle is that by entering Freemasonry and by his acceptance and practice of its tenets and precepts he should become a credit to himself and an example to, and benefactor of, others.
It is expected and hoped that Freemasonry will bring about this state of affairs but that, in his daily life, a Freemason will interact with others as an individual and not in his capacity as a Freemason. Freemasonry is therefore an intellectual and philosophic exercise designed and intended to make an individual's contribution to society, and development of self, greater than they might otherwise have been had he not had the opportunity of extending his capacities and capabilities through membership of the Order.
What Does Freemasonry Provide?
Election to membership of a Lodge and initiation into that Lodge are an overt indication and confirmation of one's worth or value; and recognition of such, by the Brethren. In itself, this should increase self-esteem and hopefully generate a conscious or sub-conscious desire to prove worthy of others' confidence and trust. Subsequent promotions through the second and third degrees are symbolic of the Brethren demonstrating their satisfaction that their original choice and decision were correct and that the candidate is worthy, both innately and by virtue of his zeal, interest and proficiency in the symbolic Craft, for such promotions. These additional and consequent marks of esteem should engender in the candidate further personal satisfaction and selfconfidence.
The Lodge teaches many skills, often untaught, or not experienced, elsewhere. A Brother must speak in public, think on his feet, make decisions, vote on issues, and chair meetings. These are invaluable assets in all other aspects of his life and for many this may well be the only opportunity of learning, practising and perfecting these skills and techniques.
Is Freemasonry a Charity?
Freemasonry is not a Charity, but as in any fraternal setting, the need of a Brother or his dependents, will receive the sympathy and support of his Brethren, not always or necessarily, financial. Charity is a natural off-shoot of Brotherly Love and is promoted explicitly in the Masonic ethos, but it is not the 'raison d'etre' of the Order.
The Purpose of Freemasonry
The purpose of Masonry is 'self-improvement'-not in the material sense, but in the intellectual, moral and philosophic sense of developing the whole persona and psyche so as, in the beautiful and emotive language of the ritual, 'to fit ourselves to take our places, as living stones, in that great spiritual building, not made by hands, eternal in the Heavens.' Such a hypothetical whole, developed, complete person must, in his journey through life, and in his interaction with others, make a more extensive contribution to society in general, thus realizing and fulfilling his expressed wish on initiation, to become 'more extensively useful amongst his fellow-men.' Such are the lofty, lawful and laudable aspirations of the Order.
Society Today
As world changes happen faster, and in more complex and unpredictable ways, our natural needs for security, control, certainty and predictability- are being undermined. This type of environment is a breeding ground for what is now termed the 'Achilles Syndrome' where more and more people who are, in fact, high-achievers, suffer from a serious lack of selfesteem-men apparently more so than women. This is gleaned from an article on the work of Petruska Clarkson, a consultant chartered counsellor and clinical psychologist.
Dr. Donal Murray, former Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin and now Bishop of Limerick, identifies 'a hunger which is not being satisfied. People need to feel they belong; they need to feel they can be fully committed to something. The prevailing mood, in Ireland and elsewhere, is one of disillusionment and cynicism. We have come to see ourselves as living in a world of institutions and structures-we think of ourselves as belonging not to a country but to an economy; we think of our national life and resources in terms of statistics and of the machinery of Government, rather than of people and culture.'
Dr. Murray goes on to say 'it is increasingly presumed that the ideal citizen possesses no strong religious or moral beliefs, or at least has the decency not to intrude them into the public arena. Strong moral beliefs are, we are told, divisive; religious belief is, at best, embarrassing. In other words,' he continues, 'one is not meant to participate in national life with one's wholeself, with one's religious beliefs and moral convictions. These are private matters. We are in danger of trying to build a culture which regards as irrelevant the very realities which make people tick. Divisiveness results only when religion and morality are misunderstood. The individual conscience is worthy of respect because it seeks the truth, as every human being is obliged to do.'
Freemasons will hardly fail to notice these references to ethics, morality and truth the very foundation of Masonic teaching and endeavour. But these cultural jewels-without-price are coming under increasingly powerful destructive forces which are eroding the foundation and base on which they rest. Conor Cruise O'Brien-a distinguished Statesman and commentator-says that 'for as far back as we can go in history, human discourse concerning ethics has been infected, in varying degrees, with hypocrisy.' Another commentator states that the term 'business ethics' is fast becoming an oxymoron-that is a contradiction in terms; and the Bishop of Waterford felt it necessary to denounce publicly 'the Cult of Excessive Individualism.'
What is needed, in all this, is some form of mental sheet-anchor-a. sort of fixed navigational point like the pole-star which, when the clouds pass, can be seen and provides the traveller with the means to identify his exact position and thereby the knowledge to return to the true path.
Freemasonry-A Part of, or Apartfrom, Society
Every individual, on occasion, is forced to be a little introspective and ask himself 'who am I and where am F? Even an organization such as the Masonic Order must also occasionally ask itself 'what are we and where are we'? What we are has, to some extent already been dealt with. We are a fraternal organization, the aims of which are brotherly love, the relief of our distressed Brethren and their dependents and the search after 'Truth' which we may express as, and expand into, public and private morality, the knowledge and fear of God and, following on from that, respect for, and love of, our neighbour. This respect includes toleration of his personal viewpoint, his religious beliefs and his political opinions. If we pursue the aims of the Order, our search should widen, yet focus our vision, while ever making us more deeply aware of, and closer to, the Great Architect of the Universe, heightening our spirituality and deepening our insight into that which we may never hope fully to understand-and something like the search after the mystic Grail as sought for, and fought for, by our possible, even probable operative forebears, the Knights Templar who followed on, in their own way, from the mythical Knights of the Grail Romances and Arthurian Legend. There is so much more to Freemasonry than the shallow depth of today's assessment and its scant inspection by today's society, obsessed as society is with material success for the individual rather than his contribution to society.
Into the Next Millennium
I have endeavoured to identify who we are, what we are and where we are-now it is time to speculate on where we go from here. We are an unfashionable group whose numbers are falling-not perhaps in the developing countries, but in the developed world we are viewed as an anachronism with an ethos which may represent an embarrassment to many of today's moral lepers. 'Whence comest thou Gehazi'? You will remember Elisha's devastating question to his servant who had run after Naaman, seeking to profit from his Master's-that is, someone else'sperformance and use of his talents.
As those who joined Freemasonry in great numbers after the Second World War, because they found it the closest alternative or substitute for the fellowship and support they found within the Forces, now pass on to their reward, there is no surge of candidates to replace them. So recruitment becomes a necessity, though the means and emphasis must be very carefully gauged.
We must try to correct the false perception of us by, in particular, the media and the Churches for they are the agencies who can and do formulate and direct public opinion; and both are highly suspicious and/or antagonistic.
What I am trying to emphasise is that as we move into the next millennium we must be steadfast in our adherence to the Aims and Principles and not attempt to obtain public acceptance through promoting or pursuing non-masonic activities which can only, in the long term, prove our undoing. We must be patient and bide our time for we will come again. I have heard it said that the pace of life and its stresses will get even more frenetic than at present and that while we may be able to cope with this intellectually, it is questionable if many can cope with it emotionally. In these circumstances with the Internet bombarding us with a Quatermass-like availability of ethical and unethical information in the privacy of our own homes, I believe that Brother Michael Yaxley, President of the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania is quite correct when he writes 'Society does have a need for a body such as Freemasonry. I believe that this need will increase rather than decrease. In the next century the work place will not offer fellowship and camaraderie sufficient to satisfy the social instincts that people have. Many people will work at home, linked to the office by computer and telephone. Others will work in an office with complex but nevertheless inanimate equipment. The irony of the Age of Communication is that people spend, and will spend, more time by themselves.'
As the American writer, Henry Adams saw it, 'The Indian Summer of Life should be a little sunny and a little sad, and infinite in wealth and depth of tonejust like the season.'
I think that pretty closely describes Freemasonry today-a little sunny and infinite in wealth and depth of tone-we all can sympathise with that. A little sad too with memories of past greatness; and quieter more settled times when bogeymen were not found everywhere and Freemasonry was a recognised, accepted and fashionable part of society. Will our time come again? I think it will-not perhaps an exact replica of the past, for we cannot turn back the clock, but a slimmer, trimmer version with new vigour and enthusiasm ready to meet the new millennium.
But remember, Brethren, as we enter and endure 'the Winter of our discontent' we must maintain our standards and our dignity. There can be no compromise with quality in any facet of our Institution. One of Ireland's greatest actors and one of its best-known characters, Michael Mac Liammoir, was once accused by a critic of being ,square. ' 'Yes' said Mac Liammoir, 'perhaps you are right, but so much better to be square than shapeless.' How appropriate for Freemasonry at this time-let us hold firm to the symbolism of the square and the compasses and let them be the means of restoring Ordo ab Chao-order out of mental and moral chaos-as we strive to readjust emotionally to the crushing pressures and stress of modem life.
Now Brethren, let me close on one final exhortation taken from the beautiful language of our ritual-'See that you conduct yourselves, out of Lodge as in Lodge, good men and Masons'; and remember those immortal words of Polonius giving advice to his son Laertes as he departs from Denmark, on his return to France, in Shakespeare's greatest play, Hamlet'This above all, to thine own self be true; and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.'
Almost the entire Masonic ethos can be found in those few words-so easy to remember, so difficult to put into practice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I urge EVERY Mason to become a subscriber to the monthly MSA Short Talk Bulletins. Order from The Masonic Service Association, 8120 Fenton St. Silver Spring MD 22910-4785 301-588-4010----$4/year, $5 outside USA. AND, The Southern California Research Lodge, P.O. Box 939 Ashland OR 97520 541-488-:8788 Fax: 541-488-8789 They sell books at a very good price and produce a monthly newsletter that is superb. Dues are $15/yr (and worth twice that). And, if your Lodge is a member, your secretary can inform them when you have a candidate for the degrees and the Lodge will send a copy of "The Craft and its Symbols" by Allen Roberts to the lodge for presentation at his initation AND place him on the mailing list for 6 months!! This is the best thing a candidate can get for his future education.
And Lastly, the Philalethes Society, Bi-Monthly publication--First year $40, subsequent years $30. send to Philalethes Society, PO Box 70 Highland Springs VA 23075-0070---804-328-5043. (Also publisher of many Masonic titles, many authored by Bro. Allen Roberts) ask for a list. Many of the goodies are gleaned from these publications. Please pass them along to others on your mailing list.
Preston Burner PM, MPS, MBBFMN Concord #307 Vienna, Virginia Operator of Hiram's Oasis at Where the latest Philalethes Magazines and Short Talk Bulletins are on line

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Not long ago there appeared an article in which the phrase "marked men" was used in connection with Masons and Masonry. The more you think about it the more you realize the significance of the words. The Mason is marked by the enemies of Masonry; he is marked by the non-Masons who are friends of Masonry, and he is marked by his brother Masons.
The man who becomes a Mason immediately takes upon himself a greater obligation as a citizen, a husband, a father, and as a moral and upright person. He is accepted into Masonry only after he has voluntarily petitioned a lodge and has been carefully investigated as to his mental, moral and physical qualifications. He must have the capacity to love humanity and he must have the urge to grow morally and spiritually. The man must ever seek Masonry. Masonry is a great deal more interested in its strength through the strength of the individual than in numerical values. The Mason then is the recipient of the highest wisdom of the ages, and because of this truth more is expected of him. Privileges and opportunities create greater responsibilities.
By the enemies of Masonry he is watched with eyes of hate, and even his best deeds and purest motives may be distorted to the extent that his enemies will discern that which is not there.
By the friends of Masonry the Mason is also a "marked man." They want to see him live up to the ideals of Masonry. As non-Masons they do not know about the school of Masonry, but they know about the product of the school- the Mason. They seek to support the Mason and Masonry in every laudable undertaking. But by the same token let the Mason fall short of his duties and obligations and his friends must direct criticism not only against him as an individual but against the Craft.
Then among our brothers we are "marked men." We mark our brothers as men in whom we place implicit trust and confidence. We give strength to each other through that trust and confidence. When the world refers to Masons as "clannish," it must be recognized as half-truth. Men who are associated together for the purpose of moral and spiritual development must naturally seek to achieve that divine purpose through fellowship and association.
Truly we are Marked Men.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
The phrase also suggests, at least to my mind, some connection with the Mark ritual, where many of the obligations referred to in the article are further explained and emphasised.
Rob Sandilands PM Warwick Lodge No 160 UGLQ

[ERS] Easy Reading Sunday
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
A distressed brother is not always a brother in need of material assistance. To understand this is to understand the lesson of the twenty-four inch gauge. The very simplicity of a statement will often hide the meaning, and a great teaching will thereby escape our serious consideration.
So important is the study of the twenty-four inch gage that from it a philosophy complete within itself is possible of attainment. Time cannot be saved, that is, you cannot save two hours from today and spend them tomorrow. Time can only be spent. Neither can we take four hours from one part of the gauge and use it advantageously by bringing it forward to an entirely different part and use. The happiness derived from the study of the twenty-four inch gauge depends upon the application of the total into its proper and equal parts. In taking away from God and our brothers it may appear that we are very busy in our affairs, yet the fact remains that we are working against the Rule. God and man stand together as one part because unselfish service to man is the only true path to the service of God.
If the twenty-four inch gauge intended to teach that we must only administer to a brother's physical need, there would be an excess of hours to spend. The truth is that our brothers need us, not our material gifts, and we need our brothers. To give ourselves means to give "that" many hours daily.
The Rule is for our happiness. Service to God and man is a Divine Privilege.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Masonry, blessed with wisdom of the ages, points to the greatest of all lessons, the study of self. There is a distinction between thinking too much of self and knowing self.
A great teacher was asked if he could tell all the Law in as little a time as a man could stand on one foot. To which he answered: "What is hateful to thyself do not do to others." the sting of unkindness, the sharp blade of unfairness, the brutality of intolerance, are weapons that have been used against us. Have we used these weapons against others in our individual lives? Masonry tells us to consider well this question.
We must study self more and more in order to understand that unkindness is not of a lesser degree when we use it against others than when others use it against us. Tolerance begets Tolerance. Understanding begets Understanding. What comes back to us is in some strange way the very thing that we send out.
Masons, students of self and the science of Morality, will forever cry out against the enemies of mankind, Intolerance, Injustice and Greed. To become victors over these destroyers of life, we must know that we have looked upon them within or own being, and have removed them from self.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
You know what the lectures say, now you'll hear
THE REST OF THE MASONIC STORY Bro. Bill was initiated into Freemasonry some 3 months before his 21st birthday. And only five years later, he was elected Master of his Lodge. It didn't take long for Bro. Bill to become dissatisfied with the lack of Masonic education and the poor ritual work in his Lodge. And he took it upon himself to do something about it. He decided he would become a competent Master on the subject of Freemasonry. In doing so, he would speak with the most experienced Masons he could find, even with several from foreign countries. He convened square & compass meetings once or twice a week to discuss the lectures and for mutual improvement. After some time, he was able to put to memory the entire First Degree lectures and made several improvements of his own design. Bro. Bill was even invited to make a special presentation at the Grand Lodge demonstrating what he had accomplished in improving the workings and education of the Craft. His popularity continued to rise such, that he was invited to join and eventually became Master of Lodge No. 1, the premier Lodge in that Grand Lodge jurisdiction. It should be remembered, that Bro. Bill was still only in his twenties.
By the time Bro. Bill reached his mid-thirties things were not going quite as well as before. His over-enthusiastic approach and the pushiness of his character, had alienated some of his Masonic associates. They all clearly regarded him with affection and appreciated his intellect, his organizing ability and contributions to the Craft, but when balanced with other undesirable aspects of his character, he was no longer a welcomed insider. Bro. Bill had been Master of Lodge No. 1 for 3 1/2 years, and feeling somewhat un- appreciated, he had already decided not to run for re-election.
On St. John the Evangelist day, a local clergyman and member of the Fraternity invited the Brethren to a special St. John's Day service. Bro. Bill asked the Brethren to attend wearing their aprons, jewels of office and white gloves. Following the service, they would then walk the short distance from the church to a nearby house where a Festive Board was prepared. This seemingly innocuous act was, however, in direct contravention to a Grand Lodge edict that directed "no parades or other public exhibitions of Freemasonry could be conducted without the expressed approval of the Grand Lodge." The result was a sad period for the Fraternity. Bro. Bill refused to acknowledge he had done anything wrong and was eventually expelled from all Fraternal association by the Grand Lodge for un- Masonic conduct. Only 7 years earlier, Bro. Bill, who appeared to have been on the threshold of a great future in the Fraternity, now went back into the darkness for the sake of an opinion which had become an obsession.
Eleven years passed before Bro. Bill would settle his disagreement with the Grand Lodge. During this time, he had changed his attitude and his life, although he still would not admit he had been wrong in his actions. But at long last, he had grown up in his Masonic thinking and matured in his dealings with people. Bro. Bill went on to publish many more Masonic works and became regarded as a true sage of the Craft. When Bro. Bill was 76, he left his terrestrial Lodge No. 1 to join the Supreme Architect of the Universe in that celestial Lodge No. 1 above.
Bro. Bill's legacy remains with us each time a young brother does his proficiency and each time the lectures are given in the three degrees. For the lecture and catechism system we use today is also known as the "Prestonian" system, developed and promulgated in the late 1700's by Bro. William (Bill) Preston for the Mother Grand Lodge of World, the Grand Lodge of England.
And now you know - the rest of the story.
Bro. Jerry McKissack Arabian 882
Content contained herein was derived from William Preston and His Work by Colin Dyer.

(please don't shoot the messenger--this is not my work. Preston Burner)

Brethren, it's coming to the time of the winter solstice, a story about the Holy St's John might be appropriate in the event you might be preparing a talk for the season.

There is no doubt that John the Baptist is a historical figure. Aside from Scriptural references, he is also mentioned in Josephus' by the very name of Baptist. Luke's Gospel tells the full story of his birth to Zechariah, a priest of the division of Abijah, and Elizabeth his wife, both of whom were advanced in years. An angel appeared to him as he was standing near the Altar of Incense and announced that his wife, though elderly, would bear him a son; that the son was to be named John; that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit, would turn many to God, and "make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
In 26 or 27 AD, the Spirit descended on John and he began his ministry in the wilderness near the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin.When people sought to know whether he was the Messiah, you will certainly remember his reply:
". . .I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not unworthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his thrashing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
John preached not only to the common people and petty officials, telling all to share with those who had neither coat nor food, to collect no taxes that were not due, but also to soldiers that they must not rob by violence or make false accusations.
He dared to assault the rulers for their sins. Thus, he reproved Herod the Tetrarch for taking his brother's wife, Herodias, to his own bed. [The brother was still living.] For this, he was cast into prison, and there, urged by Herod to withdraw his accusations, remained adamant in his faith. We are told in the Scriptures that Herodias demanded his execution, and through trickery obtained Herod's order for his decapitation and presentation of the head to her.
John was certainly an ascetic, clothing himself in camel's hair, and sustaining himself on locusts and honey, in the manner of Elijah, the earlier great prophet. Many believe he may have been an Essene, a member of a very religious Jewish group, who venerated Moses, kept the Sabbath strictly and lived very simply. But there is no doubt that, when questioned by his followers, he denied himself the opportunity to pretend to be greater than he was and, so steadfast was he in his faith, that he chose death rather than to depart from his principles. With this history, both from sacred and secular sources, it is not surprising John was chosen by the early Church as a saint, that is, one canonized for his spirituality and dedication to his faith. As such, he is modernly regarded as one of only fifty-eight individuals so recognized who are believed to be of worldwide importance.
Following the Church's adoption of the practice of canonization, it soon became the custom for civic bodies, private organizations, classes and individuals to choose a particular saint to act as an intercessor and advocate in heaven. These became known as "patron saints", to whom institutions were dedicated and prayer was directed that special influence might cause Divinity to favor a particular matter.
Thus, we early find John the Baptist chosen as patron saint of the city of Cologne. Its charter remarks:
"We celebrate annually, the memory of St. John [the Baptist], the forerunner of Christ and the Patron of our community."
The choice also came early to Freemasonry, undoubtedly in its operative days. But the Baptist was not our first patron. An early catechism sets forth the order of his forerunners:
" Our Lodges being finished, furnished, and decorated with Ornaments, furniture and jewels, to whom are they consecrated?
"A. To God
"Thank you, Brother; and can you tell me to whom they were first dedicated?
"A. To Noah, who was saved in the Ark.
" And by what name were the Masons then known?
"A. They were called Noachidae, Sages, or Wise Men.
"To whom were Lodges dedicated during the Mosaic Dispensation?
"A. To Moses, the chosen of God, and to Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, who was an eminent patron of the Craft.
" And under what name were the Masons known during that period?
"A. Under the name of Dionysiacs, geometricians, or Masters in Israel.
"But as Solomon was a Jew and died long before the promulgation of Christianity, to whom were they dedicated under the Christian dispensation?
"A. From Solomon the patronage of Masonry passed to St. John the Baptist.
"And under what name were they known after the promulgation of Christianity?
"A. Under the name of Essenes, Architects, or Freemasons.
"Why were the Lodges dedicated to St. John the Baptist?
"A. Because he was the forerunner of our Savior, and by preaching repentance and humiliation, drew the first parallel of the Gospel."
Likewise, Dalcho declares in the Ahiman Rezon:
"The stern integrity of St. John the Baptist, which induced him to forego every minor consideration in discharging the obligations he owed to God; the unshaking firmness with which he met martyrdom rather than betray his duty to his Master; his steady reproval of vice; and continued preaching of repentance and virtue, make him a fit patron of the Masonic Institution."
The choice of the Baptist was in line with the Christian religion which was the Craft's greatest patron in the operative stage and continued as such in its speculative development. Thus, in Great Britain, the Baptist replaced Moses and Solomon,to whom reference has been made as early patrons of the Craft in the non-Christian regions in which the Craft legendarily arose. And it may well have been that this choice of the Baptist also arose from the fact that he was the patron saint of the Knight Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. It should be noted that this likewise may have led to the Virginia catechism's answer to the question, "Whence came ye an Entered Apprentice?", i.e., "From a Lodge of the Holy Saint John of Jerusalem,"( which we now alter to "From a Lodge of the Holy Saints John at Jerusalem.").
At some point after the 16th Century, St. John the Evangelist was added as an additional Patron saint of the Craft. This is said to have been because of the constant admonition in his Epistles of the cultivation of brotherly love and the mysticism of the Apocalyptic writings which many at the time attributed to him. Of the addition of these Christian patrons to the Craft, our Ritual tells us in part:
"And since their time there is said to be in every regular and well governed Lodge a certain point within a circle embordered by two perfect parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist and on the top rests the Book of Constitutions. In going round this circle, we necessarily touch on these two parallel lines and the Book of of Constitutions, and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their precepts, it is impossible for him to materially err."
The older catechism quoted above continues its explanation of the patron saints as follows: "Had St. John the Baptist any equal?
"A. He had; St. John the Evangelist.
"Why is he said to be equal to the Baptist?
"A. Because he finished by his learning what the other began by his zeal, and thus drew a second line parallel to the former; ever since which time Freemason's Lodges in all Christian countries, have been dedicated to one, or the other, or both, of these worthy and worshipful men."
We see a clear explanation of our own catechismal explanation of the Ritual-----two lines which we as Masons never cross, but which we necessarily touch upon during our circular journey through life--from earth to earth--and by whose dictates we must be governed in all our actions.
Another explanation is given in an old Prestonian lecture quoted by Mackey which indicates lodges were dedicated to the Baptist from the time of Titus' destruction of the Temple. The Craft thereafter falling very much into decay, it was believed the principal reason for its decline was lack of a Grand Master.
At a meeting held in Jerusalem, therefore, a committee of seven were deputed to wait upon the Evangelist, then Bishop of Ephesus, requesting him to assume the office. He accepted, and the lecture goes on to declare:
". . .He thereby completed by his learning what The other St. John effected by his zeal, and thus Drew what Freemasons term a line parallel; Ever since which time Freemasons' Lodges in All Christian countries, have been dedicated Both to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist." Strangely enough, on the reunion of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813, the United Grand Lodge of England dropped dedication of its Lodges to the two Saints John and returned to the earlier practice of dedicating them to Moses and King Solomon. It has been suggested this was occasioned by the fact earlier Lodges limited their membership to applicants of the Christian faith, while , by the late Eighteenth century, toleration had come to the fore and only a belief in one God was required. Thus, the Christian patrons were abandoned in deference to the variations in religion found in all Lodges. The matter has been studied in this jurisdiction on the basis of our teachings of toleration and universality. The Baptist nevertheless, as our patron saint, has much to teach us, as does his counterpart, the Evangelist. As John did not allow ambition to cloud his duty to his God nor permit his undoubted popularity carry him outside the bounds of his mission, so also did he remain entirely faithful to God and his duty to denounce sin and wrongdoing wherever it might be found, even at the cost of losing his life. And the Evangelist likewise never failed in his duty to his Master to teach His dispensation to all who would listen. Never was there such devotion to the pursuit of Truth!
Let us ponder the example of these stern Apostles of duty, responsibility and knowledge as they bear upon our personal attitude toward God, our Lodges, and our fellow Mason. Have we the spiritual strength today to forego ambition and to learn humility? To recognize that it is our duty as Craftsmen to serve one another, to be brethren in fact, as well as on paper?
Our forefathers knew what this meant, as they set in Lodge together, though fighting each other in a dreadful civil war. In every generation, they did not hesitate to give primacy to their Masonic obligations, in granting relief to their enemies, even on the battlefield! They knew the meaning of Masonry! These are the sort of actions that the Saints' John equally demand of us--faithfulness to our obligations so freely taken in Lodge. Will we today emulate the standards of our patron saints? Regardless of our personal religious beliefs, each of us should ponder the conduct of these great figures of the past and measure his own behavior as a Freemason accordingly.
The first parallel line is indeed a measure of our commitment to the Craft, as is the second a challenge to finish with learning the step we took in earning the Square and Compass.

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Masonry, which does not claim strength through numbers, but through the fibre and moral power of the individual, has withstood the tyranny of kings and popes, and in all countries wherein Masonry prospers, there you will find the greatest individual prosperity and happiness, the greatest cultural progress and the highest standard of living for the greatest number of people.
Let us not rest on our laurels. To make possible the advancement of Masonry from yesterday until today there was required the moral courage of many Masons. They were Masons who were determined that no personal cost was too great to pay for Liberty, Justice and Tolerance. To make possible Masonry of Today there were Masons who suffered reprisals, financial sacrifice, and even death.
While we cannot peer too far into the future, we must remind ourselves that, step, by step, by degrees, we are making Masonry of Tomorrow. We have Divine Assurance that if we do the work of Masonry, if we discharge our sacred obligations, if we hold fast to all that is true, Masonry will be a stronger force tomorrow than today.
Then let us contemplate more and more on the ultimate objective of Masonry- to make of our candidates Master Masons. Let those who are capable of teaching be generous with their talents. Let us never cease to teach. To the patient teacher there will always come the eager pupil.
Let the Worshipful Master and the officers of the lodge bring teacher and student together and there will result a strength that will be reflected in future generations.
The teacher and the pupil inspired and enlightened by the Source of All Wisdom are the Masons who today are creating Masonry's place in the World of Tomorrow.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
By: Randy T. S. Chang
This STB is the text of an address given to the delegates attending the Conference of Grand Masters and the Conference of Grand Secretaries in Honolulu, in Feb. 1999. At that time Randy TS. Chang was serving as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Hawaii. These remarks were given aboard the Battleship Missouri, the "Mighty Mo." -Editor
Inasmuch as we Freemasons are committed to peace and harmony among all people, and many outstanding patriotic Americans were Freemasons who served our country well, and many of them served in the Armed Forces of this country, both in its founding and in the wars to defeat tyrants and dictators, we believe it is most appropriate that we hold our opening ceremony at this very special place in American History. I am referring to such men as George Washington, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, David Farragut, Edward Preble, and in later years . . . Teddy Roosevelt, Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Ernest King, Homer Wallin, and Marc Mitscher.
Of the 123 Medals of Honor awarded in World War I, 16 were to Freemasons. Of the 434 medals awarded in World War Il, 21 were to Freemasons. Out of 131 medals awarded in the Korean conflict, 3 were to Freemasons. And out of the 240 medals awarded in the Vietnam Era, 4 were awarded to Freemasons.
Since we are at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor let us start with some of the major events that occurred here. World War II began for the United States at this very location on December 7, 1941. In a surprise attack the Imperial Japanese Navy's First Carrier Strike Force struck most of the United States Military Bases on the Island of Oahu of the then Territory of Hawaii. Pearl Harbor suffered the greatest number of casualties and the destruction of many ships. When the Battleship Arizona blew up and sank, 1,177 men were trapped, some dead and others dying, in a twisted mass of metal, engulfed in flames. In spite of the most intensified efforts to extricate the dead only the bodies of 75 men could be removed, and 1,102 are still entombed in the Arizona. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on that tragic Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, this berth now occupied by the "Mighty Mo" was part of the area known as "Battleship Row." Seven battleships were berthed in "Battleship Row" in a North-South direction positioned as follows: First was the NEVADA, followed by the ARIZONA which was inboard of the repair ship Vestal. Next was the TENNESSEE, inboard of the WEST VIRGINIA. Next in line was the MARYLAND which was berthed inboard of the OKLAHOMA, followed by the tanker Neosha, with the CALIFORNIA at the end of the row. These battleships were the main targets of the Japanese Task Force. All but the Arizona and the Oklahoma were eventually returned to service. The attack was carried out by two waves of aircraft and lasted for about two hours. Fortunately, none of the three U.S. Aircraft Carriers were in port at the time of the attack. The Enterprise was enroute from Wake Island, the Lexington was enroute to Midway Island, and the Saratoga was at the San Diego Naval Base. Equally important was the fact that the Imperial Japanese Navy did not know the whereabouts of the three carriers.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commanderin-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Fleet and principal architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, was a strong proponent of air power and had counted heavily on destroying the American Aircraft Carriers. Although the attack was highly celebrated as a great victory by Imperial Japan, Yamamoto considered it to be a seriously flawed victory because he realized that the U.S. Carriers posed a powerful threat to any Japanese plans for further conquest in the Pacific. As events evolved Yamamoto's fears became a reality, beginning with the Imperial Japanese Navy suffering a humiliating defeat in the Battle of Midway on June 4-6, 1942. The vastly outnumbered and under-equipped Americans inflicted the worst defeat on the Empire of Japan's forces that they had ever experienced. The Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu that had participated in the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor were sunk, and about one-third of their pilots, all seasoned veterans, were lost. Many Americans look back at the December 7th surprise attack as a one-time successful strike and nothing more than an end in itself. This was not the case. The Japanese attack on Midway was the initial phase of "Eastern Operation," Admiral Yamamoto's plan to conquer and occupy the Hawaiian Islands. Taking Midway was to be followed by occupying the Island of Hawaii in October of 1942, with the invasion of the Island of Oahu scheduled for March 1943. The Japanese defeat at Midway brought "Eastern Operation" to an abrupt halt, never to be revived. The Battle of Midway turned the tide for the United States and its Allies in the Pacific. By war's end, all the Japanese ships, carriers and submarines that had participated in the December 7, 1941 surprise attack had been sunk or destroyed by the Americans. As you can see, we are located at one of the most significant historical sites in the annals of American History. But there is more to come. Let us leave the days of "Battleship Row" and the decisive victory of the Americans in the Battle of Midway, and move on to the "Mighty Mo" and its role in our history.
She was battleship gray not black like Commodore Perry's ships in 1853. She made her way into Tokyo Bay on a mission that formally ended the most disastrous war the world had ever endured. She was the USS Missouri.
All the arrangements were made and everything was in place for the great event. The date was September 2, 1945, and the representatives of the defeated Empire of Japan boarded the USS Missouri to sign the instrument of surrender. Overhead General MacArthur's five-star flag, along with Admiral Nimitz's five stars, floated beneath the American flag that had flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on December 7, 1941. Commodore Perry's flag was flown in from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and draped over a bulkhead.
At 9:00 a.m. after the Chaplain had given the invocation and the recorded playing of The Star Spangled Banner over the ship's public address system, General MacArthur appeared and stepped directly to the microphone, and with a single sheet of paper said:
We are gathered here, representative of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. It would be inappropriate to discuss here different ideals and ideology or to meet in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. Instead both the conquerors and the conquered must rise to that higher dignity which alone benefits the sacred purposes we are about to serve. It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that a better world shall emerge, one founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice. As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, I announce it my firm purpose, in the tradition of the countries 1 represent, to proceed in the discharge of my responsibilities, while taking all dispositions to insure that the terms of surrender are fully, promptly, and faithfully complied with.
MacArthur's speech was without vengeance and stunned the Japanese delegation who had expected the worst, especially those who were associated or familiar with Japan's actions following the surrender of Singapore, the Philippines, and the horrors of Nanking.
Two copies of the surrender documents had been placed on an old mess table. One bound in leather for the Allies, and the other canvas bound for the Japanese. General MacArthur used five pens to sign his signature on the documents. He was followed by the delegates of the Allied Powers. MacArthur handed the first pen to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright who had taken over command of the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces in the Philippines when MacArthur was evacuated to Australia by order of President Roosevelt. The second pen went to Lieutenant General Arthur Percival who had surrendered Singapore. The third pen would go to West Point and the fourth to the Naval Academy. The last one was an inexpensive red-barreled pen that belonged to his wife which he used to sign the "Arthur" in his name, which she gave to their son.
Getting up from his chair at 9:25 a.m. MacArthur walked to the microphone and in a steely voice said: "'These proceedings are now closed." As the Japanese delegation was being led away, he put his arm around Admiral Halsey's shoulders and said: "Bill where the hell are those airplanes?" At that precise moment a fleet of B-29 bombers and Navy fighter aircraft came in from the South and roared across the sky overhead as they flew toward the mists shrouding the sacred mountain Fujiyama.
The 01 veranda deck of the "Mighty Mo" has a plaque on the spot where the Formal Instrument of Surrender ending World War II was signed.
The USS Missouri received three World War 11 Battle Stars, five for Korea, and served in Operation Desert Storm.
Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, General Douglas MacArthur, General Jonathan Wainwright, and Commodore Matthew Pent' were all Freemasons. Grand Master Samuel Hawthorne made General MacArthur a Mason at Sight in the Grand Lodge of the Philippines on January 17, 1936. The three degrees were conferred on MacArthur in the presence of several hundred Master Masons. He subsequently became a member of Manila Lodge No. 1. Douglas MacArthur and his father Arthur -MacArthur, who was also a Freemason, are the only father and son recipients of the Medal of Honor.
World War II began for the Americans here at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and formally ended in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri.
My brethren, ladies and guests, you are seated where two of the most memorable and significant events in American History actually took place .... I urge you to think about it.

Preston Burner PM, MPS, MBBFMN Concord #307 Vienna, Virginia Operator of Hiram's Oasis at Where the current Short Talk Bulletins and Philalethes Magazines are available.
Computers are truly wondrous. They faithfully replicate in an instant every mistake that we put into them.

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Christmas! To the child it is the beautiful mystery- a wonderful time of year when the ordinary things of life are transformed, as if by the wave of a magic wand, into the realm of a veritable heaven on earth. To the grown-ups who have retained the spirit of childhood, and who still carry in their hearts the remembrance of their own Christmases as children, it is also a time when the ordinary is transformed into a mystical and overpowering beauty.
To many who sorrow it is a time for calm contemplation and prayerful meditations. To the parents and loved ones at home and to the sons who are far away fighting in defence of the very principles for which Christmas is a symbol, it is a time of sadness, yet a sadness mingled with gladness and supported by a Glorious Hope. And there too, is the wonder and mystery increased by the very thoughts which sacrifice and love of country elicit.
To those who are sick in heart and body, to those who find the world a difficult problem to live, to those who have little of the luxuries of life, and to those who have honestly tried and failed, Christmas is a magnificent gift.
To the oppressed, to the meek, to the poor in spirit, to all who hold fast to a faith in the Ultimate Triumph of Good, Christmas is a symbol of a "never say die spirit" which spurs man on his search for the door that leads into the Temple of Spiritual Enlightenment.
Upon the Holy Altar of Freemasonry rests the Great Light. The force of that Celestial Radiance is limited only by our failure to look in the right direction. Men will learn the Christmas is not a day. It is the light that never fails. Its source is Infinite Love.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
>Subject: [ERS] Rays of Masonry: Attend Lodge >From: Carl Johnson >Date: Sat, 18 December 1999 11:46 AM EST >Message-id: <> >
Dear Brother Johnson, Thank you very much. If you don't mind I will use it in our Trestleboard and elsewhere..especially e-mailing Brethren who for whatever reason have not been able to make it to Lodge...
Sincerely & fraternally MasonTruth Bro. Manny Blanco (J.W.) Moreno Valley Lodge # 804 Moreno Valley, CA
This paper is copywrited by Ariaden's Web at It is here for your reading pleasure only.
These comments are purely from the author's own individual and personal viewpoint, and obviously not representative of Freemasonry generally. Any Masonic perspective can only be that of the individual Freemason, according to the Light that he himself has discovered.
Modern Knowledge & Ancient Wisdom
BY NORMAN PEARSON, PH.D., DBA (Fellow of the College of Freemasonry, Member of the Philalathes Society)

The historical evolution of esoteric man, particularly with regard to Freemasonry, has been immensely complicated by an exoteric attitude in the literal and quite legitimate demands of historiography. Very briefly, the antecedents of modern Freemasonry, beyond 600 years of manuscript history, are very difficult to discern. Nevertheless, the unwritten traditions embodied in myth and legend and ritual have the persistent ring of authenticity, which is often validated in strange ways at unexpected times. They are, of course, not to be interpret ed literally, but speak to us in essential truths deeply hidden in symbolic language and allegory. Prior to modern historiography, there were about twenty-five dominant theories regarding the origins and development of Freemasonry (1). By the period 1860 to 1895, virtually all had been demolished by historical scholarship due to the lack of documentary evidence (2).
Largely due to the circumstances of the emergence of the key body, the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, and because of various key manuscripts, two matters followed: one, that this premier Grand Lodge is silent about its antecedents and origins, even though it was formed from Lodges often dating back to at least the 141h Century; the second point is that the sole theory which survived the 1890's was that of the evolution from the Guilds of operative Masons who built Cathedrals all over Europe (s). Some historians noted two contradictions, at least in Britain: the Cathedrals were built in the style of Gothic architecture, but symbolic Masonry deals with classical architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite) and there is little evidence of such Stonemason Guilds in Britain, but there is the legend of King Athelstan (924-940) the first King of England, calling a grand assembly of individual Craft Masons of all kinds. So, while this theory was quite well entrenched in the last hundred years in Europe, it is being seriously questioned now (4).
The result has been a curious kind of "credibility gap". What happened before the series of events we can now document, going back about 600 years? Here historiographers have severe problems because there is no paper to which to apply their research tools. But having no answer does not mean that prehistory did not exist. Indeed, the linkages to the broader and deeper tradition of Hermeticism is being rediscovered.
The essence of the problem is a piece of circular logic, essentially similar to the story of General Franco's response to queries about the 1936 Anarchist revolt in Spain. He said: "First, there was no revolution. Second, we crushed it." This piece of logic similarly emanates from the times when the tyrants of established states and dogmatic religions persecuted such bodies. Death was the penalty for belonging. Indeed, the oldest Masonic rituals require that all instruction be given by word of mouth, and they require grave oaths that the key secrets will not be written down in any way, shape or form. Thus arose the convenient circular logic. It runs as follows: Because such bodies contain essential truths needed for the dignity of man, and the liberation of mankind from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, ignorance and tyranny, they must necessarily be persecuted. Because they were persecuted they were obliged to go underground to survive and to preserve those teachings, transmitting their knowledge from mouth to ear in secured settings. Because they then had no public documents and operated in secret, they were called dangerous and subversive. They were usually made unlawful. Obviously, being such, they must be persecuted even more, to the point of extinction and extirpation. Then they were said never to have existed.
Yet in our own times, Freemasonry survived Fascism in Italy (1922-1945), Nazism in Germany (1933-1945) and Communism in Eastern Europe (1917-1997), surprisingly emerging where they were thought to have vanished. Such is human courage and integrity. Sometimes, the obvious is so obvious that it is unseen, until it is pointed out. The secret teachings of the ages are indeed, and always have been, in recent times, secret. There are usually no documents to validate them. Again it must be obvious that esoteric teachings cannot be validated only by exoteric research. These two truths cause literalists enormous problems. They seek to deny that which was deliberately and necessarily hidden and secret. They go further and then deny the legitimacy and authenticity of anything which eludes their methods. Yet the lost keys and the ancient history can be understood and interpreted by the forgotten and lost ancient secret languages of symbolism and allegory. The power of symbolism is today evident in heraldry. My personal coat-of-arms can be shown on one page: yet it takes about 40 pages of written text to fully decipher the meaning of the few symbols on it. In addition, the languages of symbolism and allegory are able to transcend time and culture. This is what Manly Hall meant when, in 1923, he wrote a short, but magnificent text, "The Lost Keys of Freemasonry". As a result of this situation, much of the esoteric history of Freemasonry necessarily becomes an individual search for some meaning (5> aided by the new transdisciplinary studies and by computer simulations of past ages.
The esoteric symbol of infinity is like the figure eight. The junction of the two circles is reality. It is made of two equal circles: one is the exoteric world of physical manifestation; the other is the esoteric world of the forces of causation. Each is legitimate. Both have enormous breadth and depth. Neither is more legitimate than the other: they form the unity together.
In ancient times in almost all societies, philosophy once explained both circles. It gradually abdicated all matters esoteric and focused entirely on the exoteric, and even there with a diminishing domain. It eventually became tied up in debates on linguistics and the meaning of meaning.
But gradually that which was previously hidden and inexplicable becomes clearer, though the pieces emerge outside literal history, and outside philosophy.
From anthropology and exploration came strange evidence that all of the signs and symbols now used by Freemasons were there in the traditions and the current practices and customs of very ancient societies (6>. All of this was unknown to modern Freemasonry, in 1717, so there must be some thread of transmission to be traced when more research is integrated into meaningful terms.
The ancient writings of Confucius, for example, indicated the admirable qualities of the men of "the square and compasses" which are now the universal symbols of Freemasonry.
Explorers encountered strange anomalies. When Western Europe first got to know the Druse society in Lebanon, it proved to have a three-degree system, which in its essentials was the same as the supposedly independently evolved Western European Freemasonry.
New research into the fate of the Knights Templar after their suppression indicated that they could indeed be the precursors of Scottish Freemasonry and the Craft in Northern England. John Robinson independently y revived the theory that the excommunicated Knights Templar brought to Scotland key scrolls and rituals from the Temple in Jerusalem which became modern Freemasonry. (7) Astonishingly, following this link back to Ancient Egypt (which, incidentally, is clearly stated in all the published Masonic rituals!), two researchers were able to relate certain key current Masonic ritual to authentic words in ancient Egyptian right back to the disruption of that society by Hyksos maritime invaders in 1786 BC. They had transmitted from Ancient Egyptian to Canaanite, thence to Aramaic, thence to French and eventually to English, and surviving intact! (8) Thus the oral tradition, given basic integrity, can be completely reliable.
The Larger Problem
Thus we arrive at a problem much bigger than the"credibility gap" of conventional history. We now have found more than 4000 years of parallel history, Evidently old and well established even at that time: a parallel history of signs, symbols, myths, and actual practices.
Thus the lineaments of Freemasonry appear to have linkages extending back at least 3800 to 4000 years. Then when we add to this the obvious similarity of Hiram the legendary central hero of Freemasonry, to the even older legends such as those of Osiris, and similar stories from prehistory, we must then ask: and where did that come from? That-is the larger problem.
The modern revival of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC) passes on the legend that Freemasonry is descended from a branch, which left with the Jewish Exodus Ancient Egypt. This would certainly explain, culturally, why it uses much of the Torah and is exclusively for men. The parallel Rosicrucian order is not limited to men and has ties to the Pyramids.
Studies of this kind, prior to modern historiography, led Albert Pike, the key figure in the Sottish Rite of Freemasonry, to examine all manner of rituals and to examine all manner of rituals and to conclude that Freemasonry, like so many other parallel Orders, is the shattered remnant of a much larger an much older system. Modern researchers in archeology, climatology, geography, astronomy, engineering and computer science in a series of cross-cultural comparisons, are puzzled by such things as the ancient Piri Reis map which shows the globe mapped accurately, and an Antarctica free of ice! They are also interested in the prevalence of similar architectural symbolism in all continents where man settled, showing pyramids and megaliths, huge sixty-ton stones, and evidence of a highly advanced astronomy and technology. Some posit the existence of a very old and very early global society with a high culture. Geneticists point to the evidence that all of mankind is descended from a handful of human beings. There are such strange anomalies as the Olmec culture of the Gulf of Mexico, where there are statues of African and Caucasian people who seemingly arrived in powered boats and evolved in harmony, about 1500 B.C. Such colonization and major building from 3500 years ago is largely ignored because it contradicts the idea of Asiatic settlement of North America and shatters racist myths.
All over these ancient ruins are symbols and legends of feathered serpents and structures aligned to the stars. When computer simulation is applied to such megaliths in the Orkneys, at Stonehenge, in Mexico and Egypt, the structures now reveal themselves as being perfectly oriented to Orion (and to Leo in the case of the Sphinx) as those stars were in 10 500 B.C. Why Orion? Why Leo?
Was there a great and beneficent global civilization prior to that time, which developed patterns of living in peace and harmony and happiness and human dignity? Was it destroyed and dispersed by some cataclysm such as the Ice Age? When the glaciers melted, the seas rose 300 feet, which could have swamped similar societies in many places. Was the ancient knowledge then transmitted to other more primitive peoples thereafter? Why were all these civilizations such skilled astronomers? Was it because of the desire to research these cataclysms? Something happened 15,000 to 10,000 B.C, and again about 4000 B.C at the time of the Great (Noah's) Flood. The Aztec-Mayan calendars accurately predicted the 1991 solar eclipse over Mexico City. They also predict another global cataclysm on December 23, 2012, in our method of dating. Whatever the value of the prediction, it is clear that the time perspective of these successors to what may have been a great global civilization in very ancient times, had great concern for posterity, and was based on excellent science.
Modern science thus raises more questions s than it can yet answer. They have more in common with received esoteric history than printed exoteric history. It also in certain areas intersects with what was previously dismissed as being legend. Trying to understand the esoteric history of Freemasonry takes us into an eternal quest for more light, what Manly Hall called "Learning to live by living to learn". His essential point was that the rituals and legends and teachings of Freemasonry, contrary to those who would deny it, are the modern descendants from very ancient secret teachings as embodied in what we now call the Ancient Mysteries. They were developed, in my view, very early when mankind was one, to guide us through all manner of evil and cataclysm. Then using the ritual envelopes and transmitting them to later ages. Freemasonry inherits the legend of Enoch who, prior to Noah's flood, saved all knowledge by depositing the key books in twin pillars, now key elements in Masonic Lodges.
Thus mankind, it is said, survived the flood, and rebuilt civilization
Many Hall also said: "There are within us undeveloped spiritual energies and potencies that can heal the body and preserve the soul" He wanted to "guide these energies into conscious intelligent action for the benefit of all humanity " (9).
Such was the spirit of those tolerant and open-minded scholars who tried to lay the foundations of esoteric history regarding Freemasonry, like J. S. M. Ward's 1921 book "Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods". It is much more ancient than 1717.
One of the most potentially fruitful areas of such research is again so obvious as to be neglected. It was pointed out by John Robinson, in his work, "The Pilgrim's Path" where he clearly points to Masonic symbolism, perfectly clear to the Modern Mason, in the painting "The Wayfarer" by Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) . What better place to record symbolism and allegory and their ancient secrets than in art?
When we look at the Ancient mysteries, the great Avatars of mankind, and the lineage and current practice of Freemasonry, we find an amazing list of common beliefs:
-Every initiate asserts his belief in the creative, unifying and governing principle called God, and in the persistence and the immortality of the soul.
- A fervent belief in freedom of religion and the urgency of religious toleration. How an initiate worships his God is his private business. How every other initiate does so, is also nobody else's concern. - An initiate must never put his duties and responsibilities to the Order ahead of duty to his family, his Country and his God.
- The Order seeks to create common meeting ground for men of all creeds, on the basis of mutual respect and human brotherhood, to work together in common causes so as to help those who are in need. - The Order offers no pathway to any kind of salvation. That is left to each initiate's personal searches and to his own place and method of worship, which he is encouraged to join and sustain and support.
- Because politics and religion have been used to drive men apart and to create disharmony, they may not be discussed in any Lodge. There is a great belief in freedom from ignorance, prejudice, bigotry arid tyranny.
- The Order seeks to fulfill those ideas on which all good men can agree: brotherhood, harmony, charity and the search for truth, coupled with the opportunity for caring and helping the less fortunate.
That is a noble heritage, which is evident as a continuous thread through the countless centuries of Freemasonry and its antecedents.
Manly Hall put it well:
"Masons, awake! Your creed and your Craft demand the best that is in you. They demand the sanctifying of your life, the regeneration of your body, the purification of your soul, and the ordination of the spirit. Yours is the glorious opportunity. Yours is the divine responsibility. Accept your task and follow in the footsteps of the Master Masons of the past, who with the flaming spirit of the Craft have illumined the world. You have a great privilege -the privilege of illumined labor. You may know the ends to which you work, while others must struggle in darkness. Your labors are not to be confined to the tiled Lodge alone, for a Mason must radiate the qualities of his Craft. Its light must shine in his home and in his business, glorifying his association with his fellow men. In the Lodge and out of the Lodge, the Mason must represent the highest fruitage of sincere endeavor. "
Modern knowledge, moving from reductionism to integration may yet become one with the esoteric tradition, in explaining the history and evolution of "The Gentle Craft"!
(1) Henry Wilson Coil, Sr. (1967): Freemasonry Through Six Centuries: Macoy: Va., Vol. l, pp.6-8
(2) See the excellent and meticulous research work of the premier literary and research lodge of the world (Quatuor Coronati No.2076, London) published in annual transactions ARS QUATUOR CORONATUM, annually since 1888!
(3) See the work of Matthew Cooke (1861), W. J. Hughan (1870), W. P Buchan (1870), Hughan and Rylands (1885)
(4) Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (1997): The Elixir and the Stone: Penguin Books: New York
(5) Manly P. Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry: Charles T. Powner. Chicago
(6) J. S. M. Ward (1969): Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry: The Sign Language of the Mysteries: Land's End Press: New York (originally published in 1928)
(7) John Robinson (1991): Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar In The Crusades, and (1990) Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry: M.Evans and* Company: New York
(8) Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas (1997): The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus: Arrow: London - .
(9) Manly P Hall(1929): Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: The Philosophical Society: Los Angeles
(10) P 74. Manly P Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry; Macoy: Va.

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1954
A great deal is being written of Masonry's part in the future. It seems that we often travel a circuitous route to arrive at some conclusion that should be found very close to home. There are two points to consider.
The influence of Masonry- its value to society- and the efforts that we as individual Masons are willing to extend in order to continue to make Masonry a vital, living power. Let us no longer dwell on what is going to happen to Masonry in the future. Let us dwell on how we will make a world which will naturally seek an institution that has been throughout the ages the stronghold of Brotherhood.
Masonry, through Masons, doing, living, and expounding the principles of our Institution will create a decent future. Masonry with the courage to carry the Banner of Freedom, of Tolerance, of Justice, will march forward into the future that it made for the benefit of all people. The challenge is here. Masonry is not caught in the grip of conflicting economic theories. Our Institution has espoused the cause of Man, not of groups. Masonry has taught a Universal Religion, not a narrow dogma. Masonry has made the plane upon which all men may meet on the level of equality. Unless Masonry's place be secure in the future, there is no future.
The future is being made today. If a world is being made in which there are only dollar and machine values, a world in which culture and dignity are no longer factors, a world in which sound morality has no market, then we must bestir ourselves in order to bring about a future that will insure Masonry's place.
We must not be content to see what the future will bring. We must create it today.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Security cannot be given. It must be earned. The breadwinner of the family is really learning the lesson of self-discipline in his struggle to gain financial security. The fear that he might not provide for his family is the dynamic force that is being used for self-improvement. It is the spotlight that focuses his responsibility. A destructive fear is that which has to do with circumstances and conditions that are entirely beyond man's domain. It is this destructive fear that leaders of government use today. There is an attempt to give a false security which requires nothing of the individual in return. A propaganda of destructive fear has paralyzed the minds of the masses. If you vote for this issue, your security will be enhanced; and if you vote for that issue, your security will be taken away. Men who aspire for high offices assume the role of fakirs who can ignore physical laws at their convenience.
The Ruler of the Universe has provided the opportunity for security to all men- the opportunity is open to all who think and act in accordance with Natural Laws of Right, and such a security follows the unchangeable Law of Compensation. It must be earned and there is nothing miserly about the compensation it brings; physical, mental, and spiritual contentment. The wisest officers in government are those who do not stand between God and man.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Bro. William E. Parker is a Past Grand Senior Warden of the French National Grand Lodge in Paris. He is a prolific Masonic writer whose articles have been printed in numerous Masonic publications.
As the famed magician was shackled and then lowered upside down into the water-filled Chinese Torture Cell, gazing through the glass front illusion at the immersed man, the audience sat transfixed knowing that unless escape was possible within precious minutes certain death by drowning would result.
His very name conjures up visions of magical miracles, thrilling escapes, death defying stunts and a mysterious persona capable of the impossible. While he died three quarters of a century ago, the average person still thinks of Houdini when asked to name a famous magician. What aura of greatness, mystique, and depth of charisma encompassed this man, rising from humble beginnings to the rarified pinnacle of glory, to have left such an indelible imprint on the pages of history.
In truth, there were two Houdinis; the performer as the world saw him, and Eric Weiss the man and Freemason, a personality obscured from view by the public persona. Born Erich Weiss in Budapest on March 24, 1874 [the usually cited date is April 6 of that year in Appleton, Wisconsin, the date his mother had claimed]. If the date and location have been the subject of confusion, recent research clearly indicates the Budapest origin.
Circumstances surrounding the family's departure for America remain cloudy, although anti- Semitism undoubtedly played a major role. Harry Houdini was a complex personality, a romantic ever willing to embellish his rather mundane and plain beginnings. Throughout his life, there are clear instances where he invented and/or "embroidered" events to enhance both his personal and professional image, having an incessant need to "color" events that there might be an aura of mystery and glamour involved.
With Hungarian friends in Appleton, Houdini's father had accepted a Rabbi's position there. Unfortunately, being old world conservative, he was unable to adapt to more liberal American ideas and the family relocated, first to Milwaukee, and then to New York. The family always in need of money, young Eric took a variety of odd jobs to help out. With virtually no formal education, he left home at age 12 to "make his fortune" but after a year or two eventually relocated to New York where his family now lived.
At age 17, he was captivated by the memoirs of the great French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin and it's perhaps not surprising he was drawn to what he believed to be the glamorous world of entertainment and magic where he might find fame and fortune. He was so impressed by Houdin's life that when a stage name became necessary he simply added an "i" to Houdin becoming Houdini.
Houdini and his brother Theo began a magic act playing grubby beer halls, lodge banquets, dime museums and any other bookings they could obtain, but the early years were a struggle. In the famous Coney Island, N.Y. amusement park, for example, they worked for coins thrown into a hat and in the 1892 Chicago World Columbia Exposition, Harry gave 20 shows daily at a sideshow for $12 a week. During his early years, working carnivals and similar venues, he gained a world of information and experience in show business.
As an adult, Houdini was somewhat shorter than average, about 5'4", with blue eyes, dark curly hair and with a rather careless appearance, yet his face seemed to project a burning handsome intensity. Immensely strong both in mind and body, through exercise and balanced living, he developed his physical state to an amazing degree of fitness with literally muscles of steel and a determination of mind to match. An outstanding swimmer, he also developed an extended underwater breath control technique which, together with his superb physical condition, would prove so essential in later years as an escape artist.
Different versions surround Houdini's meeting of and marriage to Wilhelminia Beatrice Rahner, or "Bess," and separating fact from fiction, like much of Houdini's life, is a difficult task. What is certain is that the Houdinis always celebrated June 22, 1894, as their anniversary. A match between rigidly Catholic and Jewish families might seem improbable, but it proved both successful and enduring for the Houdinis.
After the marriage, Bess replaced Theo in the act becoming the principal assistant. Success was still a fleeting entity, however, and they continued working traditional areas such as sideshows, circuses, beer halls, etc., often working ten to twenty shows daily. At one point, in Nova Scotia in 1896, with no funds left for a room, they were forced to sleep in a hallway and Houdini even considered giving up show business.
It was in 1895, looking for something different from other entertainers, that he thought of a challenge to local police stations on his ability to escape from their handcuffs and jail cells. By 1898-99, primarily as a result of these successful escapes, his reputation began to spread, better bookings followed, and after years of struggle things began looking up.
Then, booked into a large vaudeville circuit by an important impresario, the turning point arrived. Big-time vaudeville was then the most popular form of entertainment, the fledgling motion picture industry not yet the phenomenon it would eventually become. For the Houdinis, it was their "breakthrough" and an end to one-night stands and burlesque days.
Houdini spent years learning the mechanics of locks and handcuffs until he was one of the world's experts in the field. A master of opening secure devices of all types, he possessed a skill the likes of which has not been seen since and likely never will again. Additionally, Houdini had an amazing ability and brought charisma and sheer magnetism to his presentations, mesmerizing audiences until they "believed" in his miracles, a rare talent indeed.
There was also the publicity he created to enhance his image. He developed not only into a performer of unsurpassed ability, he could almost be said to be the creator of the modern "hard sell" so extravagant were his methods and claims. The great showman Barnum touted his circus acts-Houdini touted himself. It's possible no greater exponent of self exploitation and advertising has ever lived. If "Chutzpah" were a marketable commodity, Houdini would have been worth billions!
The French conjurer Robert-Houdin wrote: "A magician is not a juggler. He is an actor playing a role---the role of a sorcerer." Houdini played the role to magnificent perfection. So baffling were his methods considered, some even attributed his legendary escapes to occult or supernatural powers. No less a respected individual than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed Houdini had the power to dematerialize himself in one place and reappear in another.
If a modest success was being achieved, it was not yet total success for Houdini. Thus, in 1900 he and Bess sailed for England where other American magicians had done well, a gesture of immense confidence since he had no English bookings. London was not initially a "pearl" in his oyster. However, through perseverance, a bit of luck, an escape from Scotland Yard's cuffs and a trial appearance at London's famed Alhambra Theater he was on his way.
In time and with helpful publicity, successful engagements followed in France, Holland, Germany and Russia and he and Bess would spend the next five years enjoying their European success. As his fame grew, he broke all existing attendance records in city after city becoming the most outstanding, sought after, and highest paid vaudeville entertainer on the Continent and British Isles. His ego was of monstrous proportions, however, suffering few imitators. He had "arrived" and believed he was the best!
As a consequence, he was fiercely jealous, not only of any contemporaries who also performed escapes, but indeed competitors of any kind. Through the years, he devoted much time and effort "fighting" against those who either "attacked" his act or who he felt debased the escape art through the use of trick or "gaffed" items quietly failing to mention his own use of similar hidden methods. Needless to say, he garnered tremendous publicity in the process.
Amazingly generous and thoughtful of retired or destitute magicians or their families, he carried his largess to such measures he often paid their rent or otherwise extended aid. He also gave benefit performances at charity hospitals and orphanages. His generosity, while often kept in the shadows, was legion. Possibly he felt he, too, would someday be in need, possibly he was simply implementing the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Charity, or perhaps it was a bit of both.
The Houdinis never had a home life or settled down in the conventional sense of the word, spending much of their life "on the road" performing at one venue or another, their residence a series of rooming houses and hotels. Their life was the theater, the circus, or wherever they happened to be performing. While he bought a twenty-six room New York townhouse and moved his mother there, it was little more than a storehouse of magic and a place he occasionally visited.
The years were rolling by and Houdini realized he could not always dangle upside down high above the ground freeing himself from a strait jacket. He needed new worlds to conquer and so in 1919 he moved into movies, first in a "cliff-hanger" serial and then "cliff-hanger" feature films. He would invariably be chained, roped, or otherwise immobilized by villains in sequences which required his imminent release to escape death and rescue the heroine from an equally perilous situation. Needless to say, he always prevailed.
WW-I naturally put a stop to his European appearances and fiercely patriotic he tried to enlist in 1917 but at age 43 was rejected as being too old. Not to be derailed, for the next two years he performed at military benefits, canteens and training camps usually at his own expense, often working with stars such as Will Rogers, Tom Mix, and Jim Corbett. Also active in selling "Liberty Bonds," he chalked up sales of $1,000,000 virtually single handedly.
Interestingly, while he later began to expose spiritual charlatans, he had himself followed the same path and had given psychic presentations early in his career, spiritual ism then in vogue. In time, he became embarrassed at the gullibility of his audiences and revised the act to emphasize magic and escapes rather than spiritualism. Could mediums communicate with the Netherworld? While keeping an open mind on the subject, he developed a total aversion to psychic fraud, spending years both studying and lecturing on the issue and became a fervent crusader in exposing fraudulent mediums.
A member of the Craft, Houdini was not alone among Masonic magicians, a group which included such notables as Harry Keller, Howard Thurston, and Harry Blackstone. Initiated in St. Cecile Lodge, N.Y., July 17, 1923, he was Passed and Raised July 31 and August 21 and in 1924 he entered the Consistory. Immensely proud of his Masonic affiliation, he gave a benefit performance for the Valley of New York, filling the 4,000 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral and raising thousands of dollars for needy Masons. In October 1926, just weeks prior to his untimely death, he became a Shriner in N.Y.'s Mecca Temple.
On October 22, 1926, during an engagement at the Princess Theater in Montreal, a first-year college student asked permission to test the entertainer's abdominal muscle control and strike the magician, a part of Houdini's act. Houdini, accepting the challenge, mumbled his assent, whereupon the student struck before the necessary muscles could be tensed, obviously a critical requirement. Houdini ignored later stomach pains in the tradition of "the show must go on."
Arriving in Detroit the next day, he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis but again insisted on performing. Finally, with a temperature of 104, he was taken to Grace Hospital where a ruptured gangrenous appendix was removed but peritonitis had unfortunately set in. Despite medical predictions of imminent death, his strong will to live was such he held on almost a week, finally succumbing the afternoon of October 31, 1926, at the age of 52, Halloween Day. Perhaps a symbolically magical date for his final curtain.
His body was taken to New York with funeral services held at the W. 43rd St. Elks Lodge Ballroom with some 2,000 in attendance. The impressive service included eulogies by Rabbis, a Broken Wand Ceremony by the Society of American Magicians, tributes from the National Vaudeville Artists and Jewish Theatrical Guild, rites by the Mt. Zion Congregation, the Elks, and Masonic Rites by St. Cecile Lodge. Burial was then in Machpelah Cemetery, Brooklyn, a site Houdini had personally selected.
The Literary Digest called Houdini "the greatest necromancer of the age-perhaps of all time." Be that as it may, before Houdini died he said he would send a message to his wife from beyond the grave if it were possible. Many seance attempts have been made to bring Houdini's spirit back but none have succeeded.
In the Middle Ages, Houdini would likely have been burned at the stake by the Church as being a "sorcerer" in the same manner Protestants were burned, charged by the Church as being "heretics." By the beginning of the 20th Century, however, history had moved on and in today's world the magical arts enjoy unprecedented prestige.
There is little doubt Houdini presented his "death defying" escapes in a dazzling manner, one peculiar to his own personality and to the era in which he lived. He was, after all, a showman first and foremost, a product of a particular era, an era ready to "believe," and perhaps in some respects an era unworldly and naive by comparison with today's technological wonders.
As Sherlock Holmes said: "We reach. We grasp. And what is left in our hands at the end? A shadow." Sometimes, however, in lieu of fading, the shadow endures and becomes an all pervasive reminder of a unique figure whose larger than life persona lingers on. Houdini's shadow not only endures, but his name has entered into the hallowed realm of legend.
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The November 1999 issue of New Hampshire Magazine featured the MIC Brochure Who Are The Masons? The plan to use the brochure Who Are The Masons? as the centerpiece of the message was developed by a group on behalf of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.
The MIC Brochure was highlighted over two full pages in New Hampshire Magazine. At the end was contact information for the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire and credit to the Masonic Information Center as the source of the material. The MSA/MIC E-mail and website information was given as well.
Who Are The Masons has been very well received by Freemasons. We get many reprint requests and are seeing it featured in many publications. Sales of this popular brochure are in excess of 250,000.
If you have not seen this brochure, you may request a sample copy from: Masonic Information Center, 8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
In the Sept. 1999 issue of Focus, our readers were advised of an inaccurate statement about Freemasonry published in the Jul-Aug 1999 issue of Presbyterians Today. A short article had been published including the statement: "Mother and Father were members of the Eastern Star, and Masons, and that was their faith."
When concern about this statement was expressed to the Editors, they agreed to a response from the MIC which appeared in the Nov. 1999 issue:
Not a Religion
Mariorie Tyler's statement ("Touched By Another") that her parents "were members of the Eastern Star, and the Masons, and that was their faith" gives the impression that Freemasonry considers itself a religion. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Masonic Information Center's statement titled "Freemasonry and Religion" includes the following: "Freemasonry is not a religion. It requires of its member's belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but advocates no sectarian faith or practice ....
Masons believe that there is one God and that people employ many different ways to seek, and to express what they know of God ....
"Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion: It has no dogma or theology, no wish or means to enforce religious orthodoxy .... It does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge, or by any other means ....
"Without interfering in religious practice, [Freemasonry] expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his Duty to God above all other duties."--- Masonic Information Center, Silver Spring, MD
In the Sunday 12/12/99 comics section of the Washington Post, Albert Pike was featured in a series called Flashbacks written and drawn by Patrick M. Reynolds. The series is based on the book A Cartoon History of DC.
Several historically accurate panels on Pike's life were shown and his involvement with Freemasonry was strongly emphasized.
Any one reading Flashbacks would have a good impression of Albert Pike and of Freemasonry.
The following report is taken from Grand Lodge News published by the United Grand Lodge of England, June 9, 1999.
Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons report published May 19, 1999 concluded:
Freemasonry was not the primary cause of the difficulties within the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad; Freemasonry was not a serious factor in the Birmingham Pub bombings; we cannot conclude that Freemasonry played a significant part in the Stalker affair. Despite a lengthy investigation, Mr. Mullin and his committee have produced no evidence that Freemasonry was involved in any possible miscarriage of justice in any of those three cases. The committee acknowledges "There is a great deal of unjustified paranoia about Freemasonry". Freemasons heartily agree.
Comments from the House of Lords session held on May 17, 1999:
Lord Janner asked: 'My Lords, does my noble friend the Minister recall that among the first organisations to be banned and demonised by the Nazis were Freemasons? Speaking as someone who is not a Freemason, may I nevertheless urge my Right Hon. Friend and the Government to take care with an organisation which numbers among its membership a huge number of very distinguished servants of this country'.
Lord Burnham said: 'My Lords, perhaps I may not actually declare an interest, as such, but state that I am a Freemason. My saying so demonstrates that there is no reason why any Freemason should not say so. Can the Minister say what steps the Government has undertaken to ensure that anyone who so declares his membership is not in any way damaged in his employment by the result of that membership?' The Minister, Lord Williams of Mostyn, replied: 'My Lords, both of the noble Lord's points are of great validity. Indeed it is very important for someone with the scruples that he has to make that bold statement and demonstrate by example. There are quite delicate internal questions involved. I repeat: anyone in a free society is entitled to be a Freemason. It would be quite wrong, and wholly against any policy that this Government would stand to, for anyone to be prejudiced in his or her employment by virtue of membership of the Freemasonry'.
And finally, Lord Swansea: 'My Lords, I must declare an interest, as I have been proud to be a Freemason for more than 40 years. What action will be taken with regard to those mentioned in the Question who are required to disclose their Freemasonry membership, or those who decline to answer the question? Is the Minister aware that this demand will be regarded by those concerned as a gross invasion of their privacy and an unwarranted intrusion into their spare time activities? Have not the Government better things to do than conduct a witch-hunt against an honourable institution which has existed under royal patronage for nearly 300 years?'

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
A lifeless code, a monotonous series of don'ts, will never elevate man. Man reaches a high moral condition through his ability to decide upon a course in life, when such decision is based on calm observation and reason. The choice is a personal one, accepted by one who has seen both sides, the moral and immoral. In any system that is honestly trying to teach morality, both good and evil must be fairly presented. The value of right must be enacted before his very eyes, and always in contrast to the strength of evil. Life must be presented as it is, not as we would like to reveal it.
Masonry is a system of morality in the sense that it offers the experience of a man in his centuries of effort to arrive at a decision. They live, and likewise every candidate must re-live them. We speak of "a new world" after the war. We do not really mean a new world in the realm of morality. We do not mean a change in fundamentals. We mean more honest presentation. Masonry is a progressive moral science. Because it is a system, so successful in its design for making possible those permanent decisions, based upon the reflection of life itself, Masonry will occupy an even more important part in world trends.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
There was a time in America when the enemies of Freedom formed an anti-Masonic political party. For once and for all the issues were brought before the people of the United States, and the anti-Masonic party was soundly defeated in a national election.
To keep the lodges open and to be Masons under those trying conditions of intolerance and persecution, required the courage and strength of tried and true Masons who were willing to suffer the penalty of "boycott" imposed upon them. Those who stood as Masons have won the praise which history cannot deny the courageous. They were called Adhering Masons.
If you pause to consider, there is forever the demand for the "adhering Mason." We are living in such times. Our enemies are arrogant, dishonest, and filled with fanaticism. They have neither moral nor religious scruples. Their fight against Freemasonry is the same as set forth in 1738, and as they gain power through political trickery, they endanger the security and welfare of all free institutions.
Of all weapons, Masonry has but one, The Adhering Mason. Our enemies have read the fate of others who conspired to bring about the downfall of Masonry and of other free institutions. The Mason who inclines neither to the right nor to the left, but walks uprightly before God and man, is the deciding factor in the battle between Freedom and Slavery.
The is no place in Masonry today for the casual and indifferent Mason. To defeat the force of evil which threatens the welfare of America, there must be Adhering Masons.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
I was given the enclosed a number of years ago. It has a publication date of 1920 and so dates to immediately after the Great War.
Drew Grant Almoner Howdon Panns Lodge 5315 UGLE PPJGD(N/land) ____________________________
PREFACE. The object of the following Lecture is to collect some of the allusions, scattered in books and pamphlets, to the alleged use of so-called Masonic signs of distress on the battlefield and in time of war, and impartially to examine the statements with the view of deciding to what extent they may be regarded as accurate. Brethren who heard the Lecture delivered were kind enough to suggest that it deserved a wider audience, and at their request I have put it into print.
One of the picturesque incidents of the European War is the story told to illustrate how Freemasons swerve from their loyalty at a sign, and grasp an enemy's hand in friendship on the battlefield. Like the legends of the Angels at Mons, and the Russian Army in Scotland, the story is singularly lacking in corroborative evidence. So far as the war of 1914-1919 is concerned the earliest reference to it is found in a newspaper message from Ostend dated September 1914. Dealing with the Sack of Louvain, the journalist remarked " it is reported " that the Germans seized fifty men whom they proceeded to shoot.
" The firing party were taking aim," he says, " when one ot the fifty, a Freemason, made a Masonic sign. The German officer himself was a Freemason, and just as he was going to give the order to fire, he saw the sign, and recognised a brother. He ordered the freemason to leave the ranks. and told him to go away.
" ' No,"' replied the citizen of Louvain, " ' my fellow citizens are no more guilty than I am. If you are going to kill them I shall not go away, and I shall be killed with them.'
' Touched by this act of devotion," adds the reporter " the officer . ordered the release of the fifty unfortunate men, who thus owed their lives to the intervention of the Free-mason fellow-citizen."
The incident is of the kind of which good journalism is made, and was widely quoted at the time, but it is not too much to say that the story was received with scepticism by many Free-masons, who instantly recognised it as merely the revised version of a myth which had served through many campaigns Details may differ but in essentials the story is ever the same-
the use of a Masonic sign, the arrestment of a firing party, an enquiry into the person's Masonic bona fides, and a saving of life. Let us trace it through history.
During the Boer War, a Canadian colonel at the Modder River, out for a Sunday morning stroll, strayed too far from his camp and found himself covered by a rifle. He stood on his Masonic dignity, gave what the journalist called "the customary sign" and made the rather common-place remark " Don't shoot ! " The Boer recognised the sign, and throwing down his rifle, informed the Colonel that he belonged to " de Broederband in Pretoria." Masonic friendship being thus established, they hugged themselves in true brotherly fashion as faithful followers of Hiram Abiff and, as an earnest of good faith, the Boer begged the Canadian to return to his camp, making him accept a valuable coin as a souvenir of his escape !
Nor is that the only incident of its kind that belongs to the South African campaign. During the summer of 1916, an interesting discussion on this subject was carried on in the columns of "Dundee Advertiser." There was a good deal of beating the air about the business, and the nearest approach to positive fact was made in a letter by Mr J. W. Williamson of Cupar. Mr Williamson, who explained that he was not a Member of the Craft, wrote that a few years before, on the occasion of a parade of the local Territorials, he noticed the Adjutant approach two sergeants and shake hands cordially with them, and that then the three entered into a very friendly conversation. The circumstance struck Mr Williamson as so exceptional that he questioned one of the sergeants upon it next day. The sergeant explained that the Adjutant had been superior officer to him and his comrade in the Boer War, adding " I consider he saved us from being shot." It seems, added Mr Williamson, that their regiment had been under fire at Magersfontein. After the terrible fighting which took place, many unwounded soldiers lay out on the veldt overnight, and the sergeant and those near him expected that at the break of day they would be shot. This Adjutant, however, approached the Boer commandant making certain signs, and, as the outcome of a parley, they were not allowed to go, but were well treated. He attributed this clemency to the fact that the Captain was a Freemason. The narrator of the story, added the newspaper correspondent, was a man of very high character, and quite unlikely intentionally to exaggerate.
I may confess that I had started the discussion in the " Dundee Advertiser," and I at once endeavoured to get down to the bed rock of facts. I therefore asked Mr Williamson if he would answer the following questions-
I. How many soldiers were allowed to go and were well treated ?
2. What happened to those who were beyond the reach of Masonic influence ?
3. What regiments did the men belong to ?
4. Could Mr Williamson supply names and dates ?
The correspondent replied that he could give very few further details regarding the story. He did not know how many soldiers were allowed to go free, nor what happened to those who were beyond the reach of Masonic influence. He was able to tell us, however, that the sergeant who narrated the story was a Sergeant Fleming who had resided in Cupar for some time, and that the other sergeant was Mr W. Wallace, janitor of the Bell-Baxter School in the same Fifeshire town. Both of these men were dead. The Adjutant was Major Stewart who resided at Edengrove, Dairsie. All three belonged to the Black Watch. Magersfontein was fought on the 11th December, 1899.
Writing in reply to Mr Williamson, I admitted that the authentication of the story appeared to be as complete as possible, short of actual testimony on the part of Major Stewart, and I suggested that if the correspondence should come under the eye of that gallant officer he might be disposed to state the facts as he knew them. But Major Stewart if he saw the correspondence-was not to be " drawn," and the story therefore rests upon the report of the conversation supplied by Mr Williamson.
Whether it be true or not, it is exactly in line with a story which was in circulation a quarter of a century earlier in connection with the Franco-German War, and which received more than usual credence from the Craft from the fact that, fittingly enough, it was made the theme of a romance in an English Masonic miscellany.
Nor does the old world enjoy undisputed possession of the myth. During the American Civil War Masonry is alleged to have been put to the test and and to have come through the ordeal in the same way. The incident has gone freely round on different occasions, and either it, or one similar to it, formed the subject of a paragraph that circulated in the British press during the summer of 1916, when Dr J. Fort Newton was preaching in the London City Temple, with the view of being called to succeed the Rev. R. J. Camp.
bell. Dr. Fort Newton was described as being one of the foremost Freemasons in Iowa, editor of the Journal of the National Masonic Research Society, and author of a History of Freemasonry which had brought him into touch with some of the leading Freemasons in this country. " It is not surprising ," added the paragraphist, to find Dr. Fort Newton an enthusiastic member ot the Craft, for his father's life was saved by being a Freemason, Taken prisoner during the American Civil War, Mr Newton was placed in a Federal Prison in the North, Where the general conditions broke down his health. He remained in a critical condition and little hope was entertained of his recovery. At length he managed to acquaint the Federal officer (who was a freemason) that he also belonged to the Craft. The officer immediately had him taken to his home, where he was nursed back to health and strength."
If we return from the new world to Europe and the Crimean campaign, we shall find the old old story of the Mason and his love. Now a Russian officer is the magnanimous brother who spares an enemy, and proves that as Freemasonry is world wide so Masonic humanity is universal ! But long before the Crimea the legend was current. When Napoleon shook the earth to its foundations and the destinies of Europe were sealed at Waterloo four English officers who gave " the Masonic sign " were instantly saved by their French enemy, and that simple incident is drab compared with what happened at the battle of Lutzen. There, according to Lawrie, the Masonic Munchausen, " A Scottish gentlemen in the Prussian ser-vice, was taken prisoner, and conveyed to Prague along with four hundred of his companions in arms. As soon as it was known that he was a Mason, he was released from confinement; he was invited to the tables of the most distinguished citizens, and requested to consider himself as a Freemason and not as a prisoner of war. About three months after the engagement, an exchange of prisoners took place, and the Scottish officer was presented by the fraternity with a purse of 60 ducats to defray the expenses of his journey. What happened to the 400 companions Hiram Abiff only knows !
Lutzen was fought in 1813 but six years before that the story was in circulation. Sir Robert Wilson dealing with the capture of 500 prisoners by the Cossacks at the passage of the Alle at Bertried says, 'that the French officer in command owed his life to the fortunate incident of his giving the Russian commander the Freemason's grip when seizing his hand just as the lance was about to pierce his breast' Sir Archibald Alison quoted the anecdote in his " History of Europe," and, in that Connections remarked that the " Edinburgh Review " in noticing Wilson's book, had stated that the anecdote was ' so incredible that no amount of testimony could make them believe it," but, said Alison, that only showed 'the critic's ignorances" and he thereupon adduced a corroborative illustration from his family history. ' The same fortunate presence of mind, in making use of the Freemasons' sign." he says," saved the life of a gallant officer, the author's father-in law, Lieutenant-Col. Tytler, during the American War, who, by giving one of the enemy officers the Freemason's grip, when he lay on the ground with a bayonet at his breast, succeeded in interesting the: generous American in his behalf and thus escaped death." Sir Archibald may have had no reason to doubt the gallantry of his relative, but as he stood high in Freemasonry and was probably as learned in the mysteries of the Craft as in European history, he must have told the tale with his tongue in his cheek. knowing well that the incident he described with so much assurance was a sheer impossibility ! He very obviously confuses the sign with the grip, or is not clear which of these was employed by his relative= What Alison avers as having happened to Tytler is said to have happened to a certain Colonel McKenstry who, according to the legend, was taken prisoner by the Indians. They prepared to put him to a cruel death when he gave " the Masonic sign of distress " which induced a brother Mason. a British officer, to interfere and save his life.
A generation before this-at the Battle of Dettingen-the anecdote was in circulation. One of the French King's Guards having his horse killed under him was entangled among the animal's limbs when an English dra-goon galloped up, and with his sabre was about to deprive him of life when the French soldier " made the sign of Masonry." The dragoon recognised him as a brother, and not only spared his life, but freed him from his dangerous position. The narrator of this incident, anxious to save the English officer from any charge of treachery, adds that the British soldier made the French guard prisoner, " aware that the ties of Masonry cannot dissolve those of patriotism." The author of a curious book entitled " A Winter with Robert Burns," in quoting the incident at Dettingen says that "a similar instance was related by the late Admiral Sir D. Milne as having occurred at sea under his own eye."
The Battle of Dettingen takes usback to 1743 but some time before that a variant of the story was in existence in America.
Mr Wallace Bruce, who was United States Consul at Edinburgh for several years, delivered an address to Lodge Canongate Kilwinning in 1893 the purport of which was to prove that although Canongate Kilwinning could not produce documentary evidence to show that Robert Burns had ever been Poet Laureate of the Lodge, the tradition might still be true. one of the illustrations he used to enforce his argument referred to something that was told to him on the night when he became a member of Lodge No. 7 Hudson, New York. He was initiated as far as I can make out, in I867, and what occured took place 130 years before that date, which I take to be in l737. At that time Brand, the half-breed Indian, had visited Lodge No. 7 and it had been told, as evidence of Brand's worth as a Freemason, that '; once in a massacre when a man was tied to a tree and faggots piled about him, and the flames were beginning to mount and crackle, that man, thinking no one was present-nothing but the all-seeing eye of God-remembered the hailing sign of distress. In that vast wilderness he made the sign Brand, the half breed Indian, who had been made a Mason in Canada, rushed into the flames and cut his prisoner free, because he was a brother Mason."
The date 1737, takes us back practically to the beginning of Speculative Freemasonry, and the incident in which the half-breed Indian figures, as it is the most picturesque so it may be the original of the story that has appeared in one form or another in every cam-paign during the last two hundred years. But if we are anxious to follow it still further back we have only to join the glorious company of Masonic traditionalists to find ourselves in another and vaster realm of romance. These manufacturers of fable and myth were alive to the value of the death or danger signal. It is the kind of material of which their histories are made. Those of you who are familiar with the American Ritual of Freemasonry-the green book which alleges to give an account of all or nearly all the degrees -may have seen the interesting reference to what are called the Heroines of Jericho. I trust no brother will blame me for outraging the solemn charge of the First Degree in having sought to "unduly obtain the secrets of a superior degree and I mention the matter solely because of its interest as a bit of Scottish history
Every schoolboy who is familiar with the daring exploits of Sir William Wallace recalls the famous incident of the burning of the Barns of Ayr. The late Marquis of Bute wrote a book to prove that the incident never took place but, in spite of that, the story continues to survive in the popular mind, and serves the purpose of the Masonic author.
Under guise of friendship Wallace and his comrades were invited to a meeting by the English garrison to discuss terms of peace. One by one as the Scottish patriots entered they were seized by the English soldiers and hanged to the rafters. Wallace came late. As he was posting to the fatal tryst a good woman of Ayr hailed him from her window and informed him of the awful work that was going on in the Barns. Turning his steed, he made for his camping ground, assembled his forces and descended upon the unsuspecting English, firing the Barns and putting every enemy to the sword. The Masonic traditionalist, with an eye to the picturesque, imports the Scottish legend into his history with such modifications as are necessary to make it fit into his general scheme. The Ayrshire guidwife becomes a heroine of Jericho, and she hailed Sir William Wallace by making a sign which he instantly recognised. To make the story plausible it is contended that the saviour of Scotland was what is called a " brother heroine a term which indicates that, at times, the manufacturers of Masonic myth not only challenge Credulity but defy sex ! This story of the far-off times of the wars of Scottish Independence is identica1 with the incident which is alleged to have occurred a year or two ago in Belgium. Again it is a case of the Masonic sign overcoming enmity and inspiring foemen to be generous towards each others When the woman hailed Wallace from her window, the brave warrior-in true brother-heroine of-Jericho fashion enquired the cause of her distress. She explained that her husband had joined the enemies of Scotland, and that she feared he had either been slain or taken prisoner in a recent engagement. The Scottish patriot who had come to spy the enemy's camp swore the woman to secrecy as to his missions promising her, in return, that he would do what he could to find news of her missing husband When he reached his own quarters, he caused enquiry to be made in his camp, the result of which was that he discovered the man whose absence was mourned by the sister-heroine. True to the spirit of the myth, Wallace liberated the prisoner, who returned to his tearful and affectionate wife.
Such is the Masonic legend, and the non-Mason may allege with some degree of plausibility that colour is lent to it by the action of certain Scottish, English, and Canadian lodges during the recent war in issuing cards to brethren vouching for Masonic Membership and asking for the kindly treatment of the holder at the hands of any Freemason with whom he might come in contact The cards were printed in English, French, Italian, German, and Turkish, and like certain other puerile things in Freemasonry were got up for the benefit of the men who printed them. one of the vouchers-if it was substantial enough-may have warded off a bullet, as a bundle of photographs, or a pack of carels, or a Prayer Book may have done, but the Freemason who valued his life was well advised to place his trust in his rifle.
The story of the sign of distress being given and responded to on the battlefield has been seized upon by writers against the Craft as an example of the pernicious influence of our fraternity. One of the pamphlets issued by the Catholic Truth Society sets forth the reasons why Roman Catholics cannot have any dealings with Free-masons. Among other things, the writer cites this myth of the battlefield, and exclaims exultingly that " Free-masonry praises such conduct." I believe that statement is incorrect. I cannot imagine any thoughtful or intelligent member of the Craft, who gives the matter a momentous consideration, being favourably impressed by the incident. To me it seems an unwarrantable use of a Masonic sign a use which no soldier worthy of the name would make, and which no foeman worthy of the name would recognise.
Freemasonry promotes loyalty; it does not foster treason; and the battle-field myth in any of its forms means that somebody betrayed his trust, and forgot his allegiance to his King. Let me illustrate my point by a suggestion of what might have happened in any of our cities during the great war. Suppose in these awful nights of darkened streets, and fear of invasion by Germany's aircraft, some miserable spy had been discovered who was proved to have given information to the Kaiser. Suppose further, that, having been tried the spy had been found guilty, and having been found guilty, had been sentenced to be shot. Suppose the firing party drawn out, and just as they were getting into position the miscreant should have endeavoured to save his miserable skin by using the Masonic sign of distress. What would you think of the commanding officer, who, recognising the sign, had refused to give the order to fire ? I believe there is not a Lodge in Scotland that would not willingly have supplied a firing party to shoot the officer who had dared to betray his trust.
The Rornan Catholic writer against Freemasonry argues that in a case such as I have cited, the officer would have been compelled to respond to the sign and sacrifice the interests of his country at the call of the Craft, if he were not to act contrary to the precepts of Free-masonry, and such a statement circulated broadcast must do incalculable damage to our fraternity.
Freemasons recognise the brother-hood of man, and, given a voice in any League of Nations would probably be the strongest apostles of peace, but they are not fools The candidate for our mysteries is informed that vows of fidelity are required of him, but he is also informed that these vows are not incompatible with his civil duty; and in the solemn charge of the first degree he is adjured to be loyal to the laws of any state that may become his place of residence or afford him its protection, but that he must never forget the allegiance due to the sovereign of his native land. And throughout all our ceremonial we bracket the welfare of the King with the welfare of the Craft. Is it likely, therefore, is it reasonable that in a critical moment on a battlefield, a moment fraught, perhaps with the gravest consequences for his country, a soldier, who happens also to be a Free-mason, would throw his allegiance, his honour, his manhood to the winds because the sworn enemy of his country and his King happens to be able to make certain motions with his hands ? If such a soldier were found his treachery would be reprobated from one end of the Craft to the other.
And now perhaps some of you may say, if the sign is not to be responded to on the battlefield, under what circumstances ought it to be recognised ? I admit that the question is a pertinent one, and, curiously enough, I have an apposite illustration in another incident which is alleged to be drawn from the life of Sir William Wallacew The heroines of Jericho tell the story to illustrate the value of their degree. One day he was walking along the shore of a Scottish loch when his attention was suddenly arrested by the upsetting of a boat some distance from the shore. A large number of men and women were engulfed; there was one awful shriek of despair; they sank and then all was silent. Wallace stood, his eyes riveted upon the scene of destruction. A moment later he saw a hand rise from the surface of the water, holding a handkerchief and giving what he recognised as the grand hailing sign of distress of a heroine of Jericho. Instantly he plunged into the water, swam to the spot and succeeded in bringing the woman to the shore. Tradition adds that she was the only person who was saved. The story is interesting as illustrating the use of a Masonic or semi-masonic sign, but that man is little to be envied who would only go to the rescue of a drowning person provided that person were able to give a certain signal. Common humanity demands something more spontaneous than that.
Personally, I incline to the view that the grand hailing sign of distress has an allegorical meaning in common with much in our system of morality. Where may be occasions-alike in times of war and in days of peace when the giving of a sign may lead to friendship and ensure brotherly sympathy and attention but I believe as a general rule our signs must be regarded as largely symbolical. Some wayfarer on life's toilsome journey is buffetted by the storms of misfortune, some lonely soul sailing across the troubled sea of life is in danger from the hidden reefs of poverty or the sinking sands of ill-health, and. turning to the brotherhood, he claims our companionship and solicits our compassion. To the call of such a brother the true Freemason will respond according to the measure of his means.
The sign of distress can never be said to have its fullest meaning by being confined to occasions when one is in physical danger. What would we think of a brother who had the power to save a man from drowning and excused himself from acting because the man was unable to give a Masonic sign ? or what would we think of a brother who ran to the assistance of a fellow creature in danger only when and because the man had raised his hand in a particular way ? we might say that the brother had observed the terms of his Masonic obligation, but our appreciation of his deed would be tempered by the knowledge that he had hesitated to perform an act of heroism that would have been performed ungrudgingly by many a man who is not a Mason.
In circumstances of distress brought about by ill-health, poverty or the uncertainties of life, things are different. The Mason has a clear duty to his brother as distinct from his fellow-man. I know that many would challenge that statement by quoting the old Scripture, " Who is my brother ? " and would argue that brotherhood in the real sense is independent of all organisations. Improbably in an ideal state that argument would be justified, and as a theory it is of the essence of righteousness. But, as a thing of practice, the world is not sufficiently advanced to recognise it. Just as a man's first duty is to his children and those of his own house so a man who joins any sort of brotherhood has a duty to the members of that brotherhood and a claim upon the members-a duty and a claim that do not exist between him and those outside. It is in respect of that duty and claim that the Mason gives and is bound to recognise the sign of distress. A brother's business is our business-we rejoice with him when he rejoices, we sorrow with him when he sorrows; we do unto him as,in similar circumstances, we should wish that he would do unto us.
So long as we recognise this gospel of brotherly love, so long shall we be faithful to the great principles of our grand old order. And, recognising our obligations to each other in the everyday things of life we may safely leave all bizarre happenings such as those which are alleged to have taken place on battlefields, to take care of themselves. Let us never forget that in our Lodges we cultivate peace not war; and if we remember that, we shall recognize in the fullest measure that peace will never come by veiling treachery on the battlefield under the garb of Freemasonry.
Before the goodie, Please, these are meant to be spread to the GRASS ROOTS of our fraternity. If you have any influence in your lodge or district, please arrange to have them resent to your members. Officers should read them, but our members need them as well. I would suspect that the majority of lodges have an address book of their members email addresses for lodge communications. Please add these goodies to your email mailings. Thanks ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now my newly made Brothers you are placed in the north-east corner of the Lodge and in this position you become representative of a spiritual corner-stone. And hence, to thoroughly comprehend the true meaning of this placement, it is essential that we should investigate the symbolism of operative and speculative masonry.
The difference between operative and speculative Masonry is simply this-that while the former was engaged in the construction of a material temple, formed, it is true, of the most magnificent materials which the quarries of Palestine, the mountains of Lebanon, and the golden shores of Ophir could contribute, the latter occupies itself in the erection of a spiritual house,-a house not made with hands,-in which, for stones, cedar, gold, and precious stones, are substituted with the virtues of the heart, the pure emotions of the soul, the warm affections gushing forth from the hidden fountains of the spirit, so that the very presence of Jehovah, our Father and our God, shall be enshrined within us as his Shekinah was in the Holy of Holies of the material temple at Jerusalem. The Speculative Mason, then, if he rightly comprehends the scope and design of his profession, is occupied, from his very first admission into the Order until the close of his labors and his life,-and the true Mason's labors ends only with his life,-in the construction, the adornment, and the completion of this Spiritual Temple of his body. He lays its foundation in a firm belief and an unshaken confidence in the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. This is his first step. Unless his trust is in God, and in him only, he can advance no further than the threshold of initiation. And then he prepares his materials swith the Gauge and Gavel of Truth, raises the walls by the Plumbline of Rectitude, Squares his work with the Square of Virtue, connects the whole with the Cement of Brotherly Love, and thus skilfully erects the living edice of thoughts, and words, and deeds, in accordance with the designs laid down by the Master Architect of the Universe in the great Book of Revelation.
As the aspirant for Masonic Light on your very first entrance within our sacred porch, you prepare yourself for this consecrated labor of erecting within your own bosom a fit dwelling-place for the Divine Spirit, and thus commence the noble work by becoming yourself the Corner-Stone on which this Spirital Edifice is to be erected.
In Masonry, the north has ever been esteemed the place of darkness; and in obedience to this principle, no symbolic light is allowed to illuminate the northern part of the Lodge. The east in Masonry is symbolic of Masonic Light or universal knowledge. You are in the north-east corner of the Lodge, because it is symbolic of your relation to the Order and to the World. >From the profance world you have just emerged. Some of its imperfections are still upon you; some of its darkness is still about you; as yet you belong inpart to the north. But you are striving for light and truth; the pathway upon which you entered is directed towards the East. Your allegiance, if I may use the word, is divided. You are not altogether in darkness, nor altogether in light. If you were wholly in darkness, the north would be the place to put you. If you were wholly in light-a Master Mason,-the east would have received you. But you are neither; you are an Entered Apprentice, with some of the ignorance of the world cleaving to you, and some of the light of the Order beaming upon you. One side of you faces the north, and the other side faces the east. You are neither wholly in one part nor wholly in the other part. As an Entered Apprentice you are not fully developed, you are incomplete and imperfect, and therefore rightly placed in the north-east corner of the Lodge, the joining point of darkness and light.
The Corner-Stone, as the foundation on which the entire building is supposed to rest, is, of course, the most important stone in the whole edifice. You, my Brothers as Entered Apprentices are the most important Brothers here, for you are the Master Masons of tomorrow. We, the Craft are charged with giving you all our knowledge of Masonry that you are qualified to receive. And I stress the word, QUALIFIED, for if you never become qualified the teachings of Masonry will die with us. You are charged with, first becoming qualified to receive this knowledge, second with receiving this knowledge, and third and most important seeing that only those duly qualified receive it from you. In this manner the teaching of Masonry have been preserved over the ages. As the Corner-Stone of Masonry you are the link between the ones of us that have the knowledge and the ones that will come to Masonry in the future to find the knowledge. This is why you are placed in the north-east corner of the Lodge as the Corner-Stone of Masonry.
My, Brothers, I have explained to you on three different levels why you are in the north-east corner; Mentally, Physically, and Spiritually. Masonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. We will give you the allegory and the symbols, but only of your own free will and accord through your own desire will you be able to remove the veils.
Brethren please take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly. Look well to the East.
Past Master Byron E. Hams

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
We read of the death of a man, and there among the other details of his life is found the statement; "He was a Mason." When reading this detail of a man's life there comes to the Mason a feeling of understanding, a happy reflection, a knowledge that one lived who had courageously sought in life Truth and Light. That a person was a Mason does not create the thought that the departed had some special virtue that would easily admit him into Heaven, or that by some mysterious word or token he would have the power to brush aside natural and spiritual laws. An honest evaluation of Masonry by Masons is the keynote to an understanding of why the Institution has existed for centuries and centuries, and why it always will be the Great Teacher. Masonry is devoid of fanaticism. It teaches a system of progressive improvement, being content to see man's noble effort to become a better man, while wisely declaring that perfection on earth has never yet been attained.
That Masons fail at times to represent to the world the high ideals of Masonry is another key to the greatness of the Institution. There is the true test of the influence of a system of morality that when a man has lived well, and is called to his reward, there is written "He was a Mason"; and when one loves, but not so wisely or well, the world is quick to note the excellence of a system, for in condemning an individual, it pays honor to the Institution by saying; "He was a Mason."
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Old Tiler Talks: by Carl Claudy -1924
"I heard the most curious tale," began the New Brother seating himself beside the Old tiler during refreshment. 
"Shoot!" commanded the Old Tiler.
"Friend of mine belongs to a midwest lodge. Seems they elected a chap to become a member but when he took the degree he stopped the work to ask for the Koran in place of the Bible on the Altar. Said he wanted to the holy book of his faith, and the bible wasn't it!"
"Yes, go on," prompted the Old Tiler. "What did they do?"
"The officers held a pow-wow and the Master finally decided that as the ritual demanded the 'Holy Bible, Square and Compasses' as furniture for the lodge, the applicant was wrong and that he'd have to use the Bible or not take his degree. And the funny part was that the initiate was satisfied and took his degree with the Bible on the Altar. I'm glad they have him, and not this lodge."
"Why, a chap who backs down that way can't have very much courage; I'd have had more respect for him if he'd insisted and if he couldn't have his way, refused to go on with the degree."
"All wrong, brother, all wrong!" commented the Old Tiler. "The Mohammedan initiate wasn't concerned about himself but about the lodge. He showed a high degree of Masonic principle in asking for his own holy book, and a great consideration for the lodge. This man isn't a Christian. He doesn't believe in Christ. He believes in Allah, and Mohammed his prophet. The Bible, to you a holy book, is to him no more than the Koran is to you. You wouldn't regard an obligation taken on a dictionary or a cook book or a Koran as binding, in the same degree that you would one taken on the Bible."
"That's the way this chap felt. He wanted to take his obligation so that it would bind his conscience. The Master would not let him, because he slavishly followed the words of the ritual instead of the spirit of Masonry.
"Masonry does not limit an applicant to his choice of a name for a Supreme Being. I can believe in Allah, or Buddha, or Confucius, or Mithra, or Christ, or Siva, or Brahma, or Jehovah, and be a good Mason. If I believe in a Great Architect that is all Masonry demands; my brethren do not care what I name him."
"Then you think this chap isn't really obligated? I must write my friend and warn him-"
"Softly, softly! Any man with enough reverence for Masonry, in advance of knowledge of it, to want his own holy book on which to take an obligation would feel himself morally obligated to keep his word, whether there was his, another's or no holy book at all, on the Altar. An oath is not really binding because of the book beneath you hand. It is the spirit with which you assume an obligation which makes it binding. The book is but a symbol that you make your promise in the presence of the God you revere. The cement of brotherly love which we spread is not material- the working tools of a Master Mason are not used upon stone but upon human hearts. Your brother did his best to conform to the spirit of our usages in asking for the book he had been taught to revere. Failing in that through no fault of his own, doubtless he took his obligation with a sincere belief in its sacredness. Legally he would not be considered to commit perjury if he asked for his own book and was forced to use another."
"What's the law got to do with it?"
"Just nothing at all, which is the point I make. In England and America, Canada and South America, Australia, and part of the Continent, the bible is universally used. In Scottish Rite bodies you will find many holy books; but let me ask you this; when our ancient brethren met on hills and in valleys, long before Christ, did they use the New Testament on their Altars? Of course not; there was none. You can say that they used the Old Testament and I can say they used the Talmud and someone else can say they used none at all, and all of us are right as the other. But they used a reverence for sacred things.
"If you write you friend, you might tell him that the ritual which permits a man to name his God as he pleases, but demands that a book which reveres one particular God be used, is faulty. The ritual of Masonry is faulty; it was made by man. But the spirit of Masonry is divine; it comes from men's hearts. If obligation and books and names of the Deity are matters of the spirit, every condition is satisfied. If I were Master and an applicant demanded any one or any six books on which to lay his hand while he pledges himself to us, I'd get them if they were to be had, and I'd tell my lodge what a reverent Masonic spirit was in the man who asked."
"Seems to me you believe in a lot of funny things; how many gods do you believe in?"
"There is but one," was the Old Tilers answer, "Call Him what you will. Let me repeat a little bit of verse for you:
'At the Muezzin's call for prayer The kneeling faithful thronged the square; Amid a monastery's weeds, An old Franciscan told his beads, While on Pushkara's lofty height A dark priest chanted Brahma's might, While to the synagogue there came A Jew, to praise Jehovah's Name. The One Great God looked down and smiled And counted each His loving child; For Turk and Brahmin, monk and Jew Has reached Him through the gods they knew.'
"If we reach Him in Masonry, it makes little difference by what sacred name we arrive," finished the Old Tiler, reverently.
"You reached me, anyhow," said the New Brother, shaking hands as if he meant it.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
THE SHORT TALK BULLETIN Published monthly by the Masonic Service Association of North America, 8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-4785. Tel: (301) 588-4010, under the auspices of its member Grand Jurisdictions. Masonic publications are invited to reproduce, extract, copy or reprint the contents of this Bulletin, providing that the source be indicated and that M.S.A. be provided with courtesy copies of the reprinted materials. F.Y.I. (FOR YOUR INFORMATION) This monthly Short Talk Bulletin is furnished to all elective, most appointed Grand Lodge officers and to selected Committeemen in each Grand Lodge which is a member of The Masonic Service Association of N.A. "A LODGE COPY" is sent to each constituent lodge of member Jurisdictions through the lodge officer (Worshipful Master, Secretary, Warden, or Lodge Education Officer) designated by the Grand Lodge. Individuals and other Masonic bodies may subscribe to The Short Talk Bulletin at current subscription rates, which are computed on the actual cost of preparation, printing and postage. To keep the cost of The Short Talk Bulletin at a minimum, your cooperation in providing timely notice of changes in address and changes of lodge officers, is greatly appreciated. Six weeks notice is needed on changes of address. Back issues of The Short Talk Bulletin are available at 500 each. Subscription Rates: To U.S. Addresses (including APO & FPO)$5.00/yr. To addresses outside the U.S.. . $6.00/yr.
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1999 Activities That support for the Masonic Information Center continues to grow is clearly evident by an ever- increasing number of Freemasons who send information to us. This information may consist of articles seen in newspapers or magazines, or an inquiry about statements made on a television or radio show, or calling attention to something that has been seen on a website. We want to extend our thanks to all who support us in this way. We are also receiving many inquiries and questions about the fraternity. These often result in our being interviewed by newspapers and, occasionally, by radio or TV shows. Anti-Masonic material continues to be distributed, however, there seems to have been a lessening of attacks during 1999. Many of the Anti-Masonic TV shows that had been concentrating on Freemasonry now seem to be going in other directions and finding new enemies to focus on.
The Masonic Information Center has produced three booklets and three brochures. They are listed as follows, together with the numbers of copies that have been distributed through the end of 1999. What's A Mason? . . . . . . . . . 550,000 Get A Life . . . . . . . . . . . . 100,000 There Is No Sin In Symbols . . . . 163,000 Facts About Freemasonry . . . . . 335,000 A Response To Critics Of Freemasonry 190,000 Who are the Masons? (New in 1999) 300,000 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,638,000
It is truly exciting to realize that over 1,638,000 copies of the brochures and booklets published by the Masonic Information Center have been distributed, literally, around the world. Who Are The Masons?, a new color brochure introduced in 1999, has already reached the 300,000 figure in sales, and has been reprinted, with permission , in several Masonic publications. This brochure is an attractive, easy-to-read, introduction to Freemasonry. Focus The MIC's quarterly newsletter, Focus, was published four times during 1999, and as previously mentioned, many publications reprint material from this newsletter. Focus is also posted on the Masonic Information Center website (shared with the Masonic Service Association) at

Statement on Freemasonry and Religion
We again urge those Grand Lodges who have not adopted this statement to do so, so that Freemasonry may have one response to present to the public and to the media about Freemasonry's position concerning Religion. The statement is printed, in its entirety, on the inside back cover.
Media Contacts Binghamton New York To fill out a story, MIC was requested to give general information on Freemasonry. The thrust of the story was declining membership and why we thought this was occurring and what was being done about it.
Danville Register This Danville, Virginia newspaper called and wanted statistical information on Freemasonry, and, again, the question was why there was a drop in membership.
London Free Press, London, Ontario A reporter specializing in religious affairs feature articles wanted information about Freemasonry and requested one of the media kits provided by the Information Center.
Voice of America During an interview with a representative of the Voice of America concerning American presidents who were Freemasons, the Information Center was asked to comment on why we thought these presidents became Freemasons and what the influence of Freemasonry was on them. This was a five-minute segment aired on President's Day 1999, both in English, and then translated into many languages and broadcast around the world. As a follow-up to this interview, a representative of the Voice of America attended the Masonic Information Center's Steering Committee meeting in Washington, in March 1999, for a more in-depth interview.
Summary of Media Contacts
You will note that in a number of instances, the interview was centered on the declining membership in Freemasonry. It should be pointed out that the interviews were part of a larger question; why there was declining membership in service organizations, volunteer organizations, and fraternal organizations? It is not only Masonry that suffers a membership decline. That is a point we should always keep in mind. Anti-Masonry
Many inquiries were received during the year wanting us to send information to ministers who had voiced objections to the fraternity; in one case, a treasurer of a little league team returned a donation from a local lodge because he objected to Freemasonry; an elected official had received a very negative letter about Freemasonry from a constituent; and numerous individuals who had encountered Anti- Masonry either through the mail or by an individual expressing negative feelings about the fraternity. Of course, all of these inquiries were responded to immediately. Interestingly, we did hot have the number of reports about negative comments concerning Freemasonry in movies and TV shows as we have had in the past. Part of this may be due to the televangelist's attention being drawn to other organizations or religious bodies with whom they disagree.
Of Special Note
George Washington's Burial Reenactment. The Washington Post reported on Sunday, December 19, 1999 about the reenactment of the funeral service held for George Washington in 1799. A small mention was made of the Masonic participation in this event. But, MIC later learned that C-SPAN videotaped the entire Reenactment Ceremony, including the Masonic Funeral Service. The tape is available for purchase at a cost of $19.95 plus $7.50 shipping and handling. Call CSPAN at 1-877-662- 7726, and ask for Tape #154157, "Reenactment of George Washington Funeral."
Albert Pike It was very pleasant to see in the Washington Post Comic Section of Sunday, December 12, 1999, a strip titled "Flashbacks" by Patrick Reynolds from his book A Cartoon History of D.C. The information presented was very positive about Albert Pike and Freemasonry.
New Hampshire Magazine The Grand Lodge of New Hampshire requested permission to reprint the brochure Who Are The Masons? in a two-page spread in New Hampshire Magazine. The information will be noted as being presented by and paid for by the Masons of New Hampshire. New Hampshire Magazine is extremely well-done and very attractive, and we have had comments that the Grand Lodge is pleased with the response they have received so far.
Presbyterians Today A recent issue of Presbyterians Today, a publication of the Presbyterian Church (USA), included an article which contained an inaccurate statement about Freemasonry. When this inaccurate statement was called to the attention of the Editors of Presbyterians Today, a letter of regret was sent to the Masonic Information Center, together with a commitment to print a portion of the material sent to them by the MIC.
The text of the letter sent to Presbyterians Today follows:
In the July-August 1999 issue of Presbyterians Today, there is an article called "Touched by Another." On page I I titled "He was there for me," Marjorie D. Tyler says "Mother and father were members of the Eastern Star, and Masons, and that was their faith."
The impression given by this statement is that Freemasonry considers itself a religion, and on an equal with any other religious faith. Nothing could be further from the truth. This statement by Marjorie Tyler may leave many of your readers with a mistaken impression of how the Masonic fraternity views its relationship with religion. To that end, we would like to ask that you publish the enclosed statement titled "Freemasonry and Religion." We feel your readers need to know this information. The responsefrom Presbyterians Today said:
Thank you for writing about the "Touched by Another" piece by Marjorie Tyler (July/August issue of Presbyterians Today). A couple of our other readers have also written objecting to the inference that Ms. Tyler's parents consider Masonry their religion. She may not have intended this literally, but we regret that the implication was there.
Although because of space limitations we cannot print all of the "Freemasonry and Religion" statement you enclosed, we are planning to include a portion of your letter and the statement in the "Readers Write" department of the November issue (the October issue is already being printed). We trust this will clarify the inaccurate implication.
The Whydah In April 1717, a storm off Cape Cod destroyed the treasure-filled pirate galley the Whydah. Artifacts have been recovered for many years. However, more recently, it is believed the actual remains of the sunken ship have been found.
The May 1999 issue of National Geographic tells the story of the Whydah and shows a photo of a pewter plate recovered along with many other items. What appears to be a Masonic Square and Compasses have been carved into the plate. The mystery-Where did it come from? Remember, the ship sank in April 1717, and the first Grand Lodge was formed in June 1717. Of course, we know Freemasonry began earlier than 1717, but the intriguing questions about the plate are: Did it belong to a member of the crew? Was it part of the booty stolen from another ship? We don't know. You are invited to visit the website of the Whydah Museum in Provincetown, MA, at
At the most recent meeting of the Masonic Information Steering Committee in August 1999, we had a conference call with Mr. Ken Kincor of the Expedition Whydah Museum. So much early history of Freemasonry is unknown that we feel encouragement should be given to those in the public sector doing research, especially research involving Freemasonry.
Mr. Kincor has written an article about this subject which is currently under review by several members of the MIC Steering Committee.
Website We invite you to visit us at We are constantly adding information to the site and are really encouraged by the number of people who visit us. If you have not done so, please check our website and give us your comments.
The report of the MIC Activities is simply meant to be representative of the kind of activities that we have experienced during the year. The points of contact we have with Masons are from personal discussions, phone, fax,,regular mail, and e-mail. It is also interesting to note that we are having visits to our website from all around the world and in particular, are hearing from people in Europe and Australia.
The Masonic Information Center would like to thank the Grand Lodges and those individual Masons who support us financially and by using our products. Thanks also to the many, many Shrine Temples, Scottish Rite Valleys, and York Rite Bodies who are using our materials, particularly at public functions.
We also thank those who have enough interest to contact us for more information about the fraternity. Please note that the Masonic Information Center is committed to providing accurate and factual information about Freemasonry to the media, to the general public, to members of the clergy, and to members of the Masonic Fraternity and their families.
This is our pledge to you.

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
So many times in our Masonic conversations is heard, "Masonry of today is not what it used to be." Generally the speaker is one who was active in Masonry, but for some reason, no longer attends lodge regularly. To those who are striving earnestly to be Masons and to practice the tenets of Masonry there is a depressing reaction to such statements. The very manner in which the statement is made is repugnant to those who know that Masonry's voice is needed more now than ever before. They know that the translation of the beauty of Masonry and the expression of its force for good in a divided world calls for the loyalty of all who bear the name of Mason. If the individual has lost something that he once found, to whom should he look for its recovery? If our century has obscured the sentimental and ethical nature of man should we withdraw our efforts when these things are most needed? If I am a hermit, may I expect to find Brotherhood? Masonry is an abstract term. Its energy and life-blood is the individual Mason. If I say that Masonry is not today what it was yesterday, I am really saying that I have failed to contribute what I gave yesterday.
We decry the loss of moral courage that yesterday distinguished the acts of Masons. Are we honest in our verdicts? Think of all the men who are actively working in your lodge. Are they above or below the average citizen in honesty and moral strength? Are they holding to the "Faith of our Father" in this period of pandemonium? Do they represent the best element in your community?
The Spirit of Masonry lives today with all the vigor of yesterday. If we have lost it, let us look for its recovery within ourselves.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Masonic Trivia
Taken mostly from "The Truth is Stranger than Fiction," Bro. Alphonse Cerza, Masonic Service Association, 1934.
At one time, Golden Lodge #5, Stanstead, Canada occupied a lodge room, which straddled the boundary between Canada and the United States. There were entrances on both sides of the border.
Washington Chapter #3 of Portsmouth, NH announced its meetings via the town crier, who received from 6 to 25 cents for his work.
In 1872 the commissioner of Patents held that the Masonic emblem could not be used in a trademark or trade name for commercial purposes.
In Hammer v. State, 173 Indiana, 199 (1909), the Supreme Court ruled that it was a criminal offense to wear the emblem of any society or organization of which one is not a member. The court based its decision on the fact that the membership in such societies is the result of fitness and selection and that the wearing of such emblems by non-members is a deceit and false pretense.
In Robinson v. Yates City Lodge, 86 Illinois, 598 (1877), a court ruled that an expelled Mason was not entitled to the return of his degree fees. The court held that the plaintiff voluntarily paid the fees and the expulsion under the provisions of the rules of the organization does not constitute the rescission of a contract under which the fees were paid.
Frederick A Bartholdi, a freemason, designed the statue of Liberty in NY harbor. Grand Lodge of NY laid the corner stone on August 5, 1885.
Bernard Pierre Mangam, Marshall of France and Senator was appointed Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France and served from 1862 to 1865. This is unusual because he was not a Mason. He was appointed by Emperor Napoleon III.
The letters of the English word GOD are the first three letters of Hebrew words for beauty, strength, and wisdom. G in Gomez, O in Oz, D in Dabar.
In 1860 in Limerick, Ireland, there as found a stone in a small chapel, dated 1517, with the following inscription: "I will serve to live with love & care, upon the level, and by the square."
Francis Stephens, the Duke of Lorraine, received the first two Masonic degrees in 1731 in a special lodge convened at The Hague, Holland, becoming the first known royal freemason. Later he received the third degree in England. In 1735 renounced his title.
Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotine was a member of Concorde Fraternelle Lodge of Paris and a member of the French Assembly. He obviously invented the device that bears his name and was later executed with one.
The Rev. William Dodd, first Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England, was hanged for forgery on June 2nd, 1777
In 1839 the Mormons left Missouri and settled in the area of Nauvoo, IL. On October 15, 1841, the IL Grand Master issued a dispensation to form a lodge at Nauvoo. On March 15th, 1842, Joseph Smith received his first degree and the others shortly after. Certain irregularities were reported - in five months the lodge initiated 256 candidates and 243 were raised. After investigation, the grand master revoked the dispensation, but the lodge continued to work. On April 5, 1844, the Mormon masons dedicated a Masonic Temple. IL Masons got in trouble for taking part in the ceremony. Opposition to the group and internal dissension led to the assassination of Joseph Smith and the removal of the Mormons from IL.
Operative Lodge #150 in Aberdeen, Scotland is unusual in that it is only open to operative stonemasons.
Dr. Edward Jenner, in 1789 discovered the vaccination process against smallpox. He was worshipful master of Faith and Friendship Lodge #270 in Berkeley, England at the time.
In July 1863, Confederate raiders rode into Versailles, IN, capturing the local militia and stealing the county treasury. The next day, General John Morgan (CSA), learned that his men had also made off with the jewels of the local lodge. They were returned the following day. Morgan was from Daviess Lodge #22, Lexington, KY.
Wheelock Commandery No. 5 in Texas had all 55 of its members killed serving in the Confederate Army. The Commandery ceased to exist.
Missouri's first Confederate Capitol was the Masonic Building in Neosho, MS. From here the legislature passed the Act of Secession.
USA General Thomas Benton, also grand master of Iowa, ordered federal troops to protect Albert Pike's home and prevent the library from being burned, when his troops took Little Rock, AR.
July 2, 1751, Ferdinand VI of Spain issued an edict against Freemasonry. Father Jose Torrubia secured a special dispensation from the Pope, joined a lodge, secured the names of its members, and proceeded to have them arrested. Hundreds were arrested, persecuted, and imprisoned.
When Mussolini gained control of Italy, Masonic lodges were declared illegal and the grand master was arrested, tried, and imprisoned, where he died.
Mussolini also ordered all Masonic references removed, including the emblems on the base of Garibaldi's monument in Rome. After the restoration of the republic, fascist emblems were removed and the Masonic emblems restored.
In Fascist Spain under Franco, it was a crime to be a freemason. Masons convicted had to serve prison terms equal in years to the number of Masonic degrees possessed. Master Mason = 3 years.
Winnedumah Lodge #287 of Bishop, CA holds its meetings at 270 feet below sea level, the lowest lodge in North America.
In 1954 Martin's Station Lodge No. 188 of VA was opened 952 feet below the surface of Cumberland Mountain in Cudjo's Cave, which lies between Cumberland Gap, Tenn. and Middleburo, KY. 345 Masons were present and a MM degree was conferred.
Chicago, IL has three American Legion Posts whose memberships are entirely Masonic.
All four Presidents of the Republic of Texas, David Burnett, Sam Houston, Mirabeau Lamar, and Anson Jones, were masons.
Between 1737 and 1779 two sailing ships of interest operated off the U.S. eastern seaboard, Freemason and Master Mason. The Freemason caught fire and sank in Marblehead Harbor, Mass in 1779.
On November 10, 1928, the grand lodge of California held a special communication at Culver City, to lay the corner stone of the Masonic temple. The lodge room was so crowded that the grand lodge officers were unable to enter. They retired to the Ladies' powder room to open the grand lodge for the ceremony.
In 1801, Czar Alexander I of Russia banned the craft. In 1803 he rescinded the order and became a Freemason. But in 1822 he again ordered Freemasonry banned in Russia.
In May, 1843, a group of representatives from fourteen grand lodges met in Baltimore, MD, with the view of adopting uniform ritual. The mtg. was presided over by John Dove of VA; Charles W. Moore of Mass prepared the proposed ritual. The convention's work was not generally accepted.
In 1799, Barton Lodge in Upper Canada accepted "good merchantable wheat" in payment of lodge dues.
Lodge St. George in Bermuda has rented an old state house since 1816 from the Governor for the sum of "one peppercorn per year."
Abraham Jones served as Grand Master of Kentucky 1933-34 and grand master of Illinois, 1840-41.
Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Jimenez was grand master of the grand lodge of Venezuela in 1947. In 1957 he became the grand master of the grand lodge of Japan.
In 1892, the tallest building in the world was the Masonic Temple at Randolph and State Streets, Chicago, IL
Brother William Brockmeier (1866-1947) of St. Louis conducted 5586 Masonic funeral services.
Thomas Jacob Shryock served as grand master of Maryland for 32 years. He died after being elected to serve his 33rd.
The largest Master's chair is in Ophir Lodge #33 Murphys, CA. It is 15 feet long and can seat the Master, living Past Masters, and visiting dignitaries.
On June 7, 1921, Mystic Lodge #21 of Red Bank, NJ conferred half of the MM degree on brother Lyman C. Van when the power went out. He didn't receive the rest of the degree for several weeks, making him for a time, a "two and half degree" mason.
· When the great Obelisk of Alexandria (Cleopatra's Needle) was moved to New York in 1880, there were discovered certain emblems on the original foundation and pedestal. One is clearly a square, causing some to conclude that Masonry existed in ancient Egypt. This issue is still open to debate.
The two structures in the U.S that have elevators which move sideways, in addition to up and down are the Arch in St. Louis and the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria.
The Grand Master of Mass. commanded rebels at Bunker Hill while the grand master of England commanded English forces. The G.M of Mass was killed.
On August 23, 1879, Lodge #239 of France held a meeting in a balloon flying over Paris, at which time a brother was initiated.
On his famous solo flight across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh wore a square and compasses on his jacket as a good luck piece. He was a mason.
Richard E. Byrd and his pilot Bernt Balchen, both brothers, dropped Masonic flags over the north and south poles. Brother Balchen also tossed his shrine fez on the South Pole.
Gordon Cooper, in his Mercury capsule, carried a Masonic coin and a blue Masonic flag on his 22 orbit flight, which he later presented to his mother lodge.
Montana's first livestock brand was a square and compasses and is still in use. It was registered by Pointdexter Orr of Beaverhead County, MT in 1872.
Andrew McNair, a Philadelphia Mason, rang the Liberty bell in Independence Hall of July 8, 1776 to call the people together to hearing the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell developed a crack when it was rung for the death of Chief Justice Marshall, Past Grand Master of Virginia.
Grand Masters generally have the power to make "masons at sight," which means the Master can do away with the formalities such as filing of petitions, waiting periods, etc. Some famous Masons who were made include: William H. Taft, General George Marshall, and General Douglas MacArthur.
In the 1800's several grand lodges established Masonic colleges. The most successful of which was in Hannibal, MS in 1847. Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Georgia all tried it but all were eventually closed due to lack of support.
In the spring of 1966, brother Dallas Coleman of Denison Lodge #373 of Kansas was digging a pond when he came across an overturned gravestone marked with square and compasses. Research lead to determination that it belonged to brother Henry Craig (1832-1862) of Valley Falls Lodge #21. The brethren of the lodge reset and cleaned the monument and erected a fence around it to keep livestock away. And continue to maintain it.
Lyndon Johnson took the first degree of October 30, 1937 but never progressed any further.
Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House took his first degree on August 7, 1922. He died in 1961 without receiving the second.
Warren G. Harding was initiated on June 28, 1901 and it took him 19 years to complete the other two.
Lodges in Mass. have no numbers
In Penn. there are 11 lodges that have numbers but no names.
In Georgia there are two lodges with the number 1.
In Maryland, Tennessee and Penn. there is no lodge with the number 1
Masonic Places in the US: Anchor, IL Beehive, MT Boaz, AL Charity, MS Circle, MT Cowan, TN Emblem, WY Eureka, WV Faith, SD False Pass, AK Fidelity, IL Five Points, AL Freeborn, MN Grand Pass, MS Hiram, MA Hope, AK Jachin, AL Justice, IL Lodge, SC Mason, KYMasonic Home, KY Masontown, WV Square, MT Steward, IL Symbol, KY Temperance, MI Tyler, TX
Hiram Abiff Boaz, born Dec. 18 1866 in Murray, KY. Received his degrees in 1922 before an usually large crowd and served as Grand Chaplin (TX) in 1953.
Joseph A. Gilmore (1811-1867), former governor of N.H. was made a Mason at sight on April 28, 1863. He received Scottish Rite degrees and was awarded 33rd degree on May 7, 1863 - only 9 days later.
Between 1890 (when it became a state) and 1951, every governor of Wyoming, except one, was a Mason. The one, Mrs. William A. Ross, was the wife of a mason and a member of Eastern Star.
Every President from Tenn. was a Mason (Jackson, Johnson, Polk)
President FDR raised two of his sons on the same night, Nov 7, 1935 - Architect Lodge #519 in NY.
In 1951, while President, Harry Truman served as Master of his lodge.
Sacramento Chapter #3, Royal Arch Masons has supplied 4 governors of CA. (J. Neeley Johnson, Lantham, Pacheo, Hiram Johnson)
William Hesketh Lever Lodge #2916, England was the only lodge named for a non- mason, the first Viscount of Leverhulm (the soap manufacturer).
Paul Revere was a Mason, as was his cohort, Robert Newman, who hung the lantern in the old north church.
Angelo Soliman, was born in Africa in 1721 and brought to Europe as a slave at the age of ten. He was educated, married, and became a favorite in the royal court in Vienna. Somewhere before 1771 he became a mason. When he died 1776, the Emperor had his body stuffed and mounted in the natural history museum, becoming not only the first black of African birth to become a mason, but the also the first mason to be stuffed, mounted, and displayed.
John Aasen of Highland Park Lodge No. 382 in Los Angeles, CA was the largest known MM ever raised. At the time he was 8.5 feet tall and weighed 536 pounds.
Charles Stratton, a.k.a. Tom Thumb, was 24 inches high and weighed 16 pounds when raised in 1862.
Theodore Parvin was Grand Secretary for Iowa from 1844 to 1901, except for 1852- 53 when he was Grand Master.
When asked of Masonry, President William McKinley explained: "After the battle of Opequam, I went with the surgeon of our Ohio regiment to the field where 5,000 confederate prisoners were under guard. As soon as we passed the guard, the doctor shook hands with a number of prisoners and began passing out his roll of bills. On the way back to camp I asked him, 'Did you know those men?' 'No' 'But you gave them a lot of money, do you expect to get it back?' 'If they are able to pay me back, they will. It makes no difference to me; they are brother masons in trouble and I am only doing my duty.' I said to my self, 'If that is Masonry, I will take some of it myself.'"
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Yes, the Truth is the key to all Freedoms. However, to recognize Truth, which in Masonry means Right, one must also study the other great force-Wrong. The question "What is Truth?" belongs within the realm of childish speculation unless the one who asks the question has in mind: "What is Good?"
Truth in any other department of science refers to a changing element. It is on thing today, another tomorrow. In any other than in a science of morality, Truth means the decision of the best authority at a given time. In a moral science it is no longer comparative or speculative. It may vary with the understanding of the individual, and to the extent that the individual has sought to approach it, both from the standpoint of understanding and self-denial. In reality it is the substitute that may vary according to the knowledge of the individual. The Genuine is unchangeable and irrevocable.
Masonry is then a search for Truth. It is not something that we discover but something that we become. Masonry points to the True Source of All Light, and as vividly presents the opposite, or Darkness. The struggle is the story within the pages of The Great Light of Freemasonry. By weighing and observing both the Mason finds Truth, not simply as a written, or magical word, but as the Highest reality, the final desideratum.
The men who become the Bearers of Light, the men who enjoy Freedom through Truth, are those who understand that complete enjoyment of Freedom is possible only through the complete acceptance of personal responsibility.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Carl Johnson <> a écrit dans le message : > Philippe.COURIER Lodge 1211 Lodge of the three Companions Lodge of LE MANS 'FRANCE' Grand Lodge National french, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Orient of LE MANS
The most important it's to be a free man . the mason walk for his brother. In the light we worked for the truth we're nothing if anyone don't know that we've existing excuse my american language fraternally >
"The Hitchhiker"
In 1949, my father had just returned home from the war. On every American highway you could see soldiers in uniform hitchhiking home to their families, as was the custom at that time in America. Sadly, the thrill of his reunion with his family was soon overshadowed. My grandmother became very ill and had to be hospitalized. It was her kidneys, and the doctors told my father that she needed a blood transfusion immediately or she would not live through the night.
The problem was that Grandmother's blood type was AB-, a very rare type even today, but even harder to get then because there were no blood banks or air flights to ship blood. All the family members were typed, but not one member was a match. So the doctors gave the family no hope. My grandmother was dying. My father left the hospital in tears to gather up all the family members, so that everyone would get a chance to tell Grandmother good-bye.
As my father was driving down the highway, he passed a soldier in uniform hitchhiking home to his family. Deep in grief, my father had no inclination at that moment to do a good deed. Yet it was almost as if something outside himself pulled him to a stop, and he waited as the stranger climbed into the car. My father was too upset to even ask the soldier his name, but the soldier noticed my father's tears right away and inquired about them.
Through his tears, my father told this total stranger that his mother was lying in a hospital dying because the doctors had been unable to locate her blood type, AB-, and if they did not locate her blood type before nightfall, she would surely die. It got very quiet in the car. Then this unidentified soldier extended his hand out to my father, palm up. Resting in the palm of his hand were the dogtags from around his neck. The blood type on the tags was AB-. The soldier told my father to turn the car around and get him to the hospital.
My grandmother lived until 1996, 47 years later, and to this day no one in our family knows the soldier's name. But my father has often wondered, was he a soldier or an angel in uniform?
Sometimes, we never know who God will bring into our lives to carry out a special mission nor do we know whose lives God will have us touch.

The Old Past Master by Carl Claudy- 1924
Masonic Libraries
"I can't just see the idea in founding this new Masonic library," objected a comparatively newly made Master Mason, talking to a group in the anteroom during refreshment. "Books are all right, of course, and libraries are necessary, but why insist on such a complete library for the new Temple?"
"Well, why not?" asked someone.
"If you follow out the idea to its logical conclusion," answered the new Master Mason, "the Elks ought to have a library and the Knights of Pythias ought to have one. The I.O.O.F. should support a library and the Red Men should have one, too. All the hundred and one fraternities should have libraries and the curious spectacle would be presented of a hundred groups of a few hundred men each, each supporting its own little collection of books. Wouldn't it be much more sensible if they all supported one big collection?"
There was a moment's silence. The group turned questioning eyes to the Old Past Master.
"We already support one big collection of books," the Old Past Master began. "All of us here present contribute our quota towards the support of the city library. In practically every town of any size in the nation is a local library, which all support by their proportion of taxes.
"But the general library for the general run of people is naturally general in character. It will have books on science and history and travel and adventure and mathematics and botany and business and poetry and art....a great many books on a great many subjects, but no authoritative collection on any one subject. The doctor may use the library for general purposes, but when he wants the last word, he goes to his medical library. The lawyer may use the general library for one purpose or another, but it is either his personal law library or that of his Bar Association which he depends upon for accurate information in regard to a knotty point of law.
"A Masonic library may partake of the character of a general library, in that it may have a lot of fiction and current literature. It serves Masons in that way, just as the coffee and sandwich at refreshment serves him. The Lodge isn't and doesn't pretend to be, a restaurant, but it gives him something to eat to make his visit pleasant. The Masonic library isn't, and doesn't pretend to be, a competitor of the city library, but it gives him some fiction and some current literature to serve him at his pleasure."
"But the main purpose of a rightly conducted Masonic library is to convey knowledge to its owners and users. Masonry makes much of the liberal arts and sciences; not to provide the means by which Masons may learn of these is for Masonry to fail in practicing what she teaches.
"The Masonic library is poorly conceived and ill furnished which contains only books upon Masonry. A doctor's library which had books only upon office practice and business systems would be of little help to the physician. The Masonic library which has only Masonic history and philosophy, offers but little to the true seeker of light. A Masonic library should be a library of all knowledge, including a great deal on Masonry, but as much on philosophy, science, religion, art, history, that its users have the opportunity to learn.
"In the capital of this nation is America's largest and finest collection of books; the Congressional Library, second only to the library of the British Museum in size, and with its volumes far more accessible to readers than that of the English library. But that doesn't prevent the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction from maintaining one of the very finest Masonic libraries in the world. In the great House of the Temple are a hundred thousand books. They are not all books on Masonry, though the Masonic collection is world famous. It is a general library, of general knowledge. Incidentally it contains a wonderful Burnsiana collection, the largest collection of English translations of Goethe's Faust in the world, as well as the priceless Pike manuscripts, some of them not yet in print.
"Yet in spite of this there is a Grand Lodge library in the capital of the nation, for the use of Master Masons, and the local Scottish rite bodies got up a library of their own, by asking members for unwanted books.
"I think every Order should have its own library. I see no reason why Elks and Red Men, Pythians and Odd Fellows, should not find equal benefits from libraries of their own. But there is this distinction; Masonry is old, old. It is worldwide. Its history is the history of the world. Its philosophy is the philosophy of all ages. With not the slightest disrespect for the various other fraternal orders, it may truthfully be said that none of them has the lineage, the extent, the spread, the history or the intimate connection with knowledge that is Masonic pride. Therefore, Masonry has, perhaps, an especial need for books, and books, of course, mean a library.
"Something has been said about including books in lighter vein in Masonic libraries. I think they should be included. One gives candy to a child to make the taking of medicine easy. We supply entertainment and refreshment to make attendance at specially vital meetings, easy. Why not the inclusion of books of purely entertainment character to make the use of the library easy to those who know little of libraries? As those who once came to scoff remained to pray, so it is often the case that the man who starts browsing in a library after light fiction remains to examine, and be interested by, works of real information.
"So, my brethren, I believe we should support our Masonic library to the limit; I believe we should make sacrifices for it, help it, use it.
"Masonry has only gentle methods at her hand for the working out of her great purposes. We wield no battle-axe and carry no sword. But....the pen is mightier than the sword, and the book is but the printed thought which some man penned. Education is Masonry's greatest tool; and books are at once the foundation and the superstructure of education."
"I wish I could learn to think first and talk afterwards' said the newly made Master Mason. "I am for all the help we can give."
"You see," smiled the Old Past Master, "even talking about a library has help our brother's education." 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
"Neither are you to suffer your zeal for the Institution to lead you into argument with those, who, through ignorance, may ridicule it." The circle of Masonry would encompass those who misunderstand its functions and purposes. This is true because the enthusiasm that is ours is not for the perpetuation of a name or an organization, but for the propagation of a field for service which has for its end the amelioration of mankind.
A great objective calls for the careful selection of men who will assume their respective parts in the work. Heroic and courageous names perhaps will not be transmitted to future generations. But the "Mark" of the individual stamped upon his endeavors will leave no doubt that there lived an unselfish worker.
That which Masonry struggles against is not the enemies that strike out against our Institution, but the elements of hate and injustice that make such an enemy blind to his own peril. What is good for and through Masonry is good for the world and humanity. What Masonry seeks to perform it seeks for the universe. Masonry claims nothing that cannot be imparted to men who believe in love as the antidote of hate.
During life and after, man is immortal. The primary duty of men is to live together in harmony. And all the efforts of Masonry are united to bring about this joyous condition.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
It is generally agreed that one of the finest fruits of Masonry is friendship. If we review our days and years in the field of Masonry we instantly mark our experiences by various friendships formed over the years.
Acquaintances are easily made, and many, aside from our Masonic associations, grow into abiding friendships. However, there is a definite reason for the solid foundation upon which Masonic bonds are made and increased. Men who have in common the gifts of Masonic teachings, who are alike in such a glorious adventure, who take sacred obligations at the same Altar, lay the groundwork for enduring friendships and of such fiber that they have a spiritual strength beyond the power of description.
Masonry is ever the advocate of the principle of freedom of thought and speech, and the fact that men may differ in their private opinions tends to give dignity to man, and strength to Masonic friendships.
Men who keep before them the ideals of a universal religion, men not bound by the chains of edicts and dogma, but governed only by the dictates of conscience, men who are true to their government and just to their duty to God, to neighbor, and to self, men who do not practice deception-such men are the rightful claimants to rich and wonderful friendships.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Recommended Masonic Books
A few years ago The Northern Light Magazine published five lists of what were said to be the best books for Masonic students. The lists ran like this.
CURTIS LIST - Richard Curtis is the Editor of The Northern Light the SMJ publication. (In order of preference) 1. The Craft and Its Symbols, Allen E. Roberts, 1974 2. Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft, John Hamill and R. A. Gilbert (ed.), 1992 3. A Pilgrim's Path, John J. Robinson, 1993 4. A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, Henry Wilson Coil, 1973 5. Freemasonry in American History, Allen E. Roberts, 1985 6. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil, 1961 7. Masonic Trivia & Facts, Allen E. Roberts, 1994 8. Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers, Ronald E. Heaton, 1965 9. 10,000 Famous Freemasons, William R. Denslow, 1957 10. Tied to Masonic Apron Strings, Stewart M. L. Pollard, 1969
HERBOLD'S LIST - Ralph A. Herbold is the editor of the Southern California Research Lodge publications. (In order of preference) 1. The Craft and Its Symbols, Allen E. Roberts, 1974 2. A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, Henry Wilson Coil, 1973 3. Born in Blood, John J. Robinson, 1989 4. William Preston and His Work, Colin Dyer, 1987 5. Workman Unashamed, Christopher Haffner, 1989 6. A Pilgrim's Path, John J. Robinson, 1993 7. House Undivided, Allen E. Roberts, 1961 8. Masonic World Guide, Kent Henderson, 1984 9. The Freemason at Work, Harry Carr, 1976 10. Miracle at Philadelphia, Catherine Drinker Bowen, 1966
JACKSON'S LIST - Thomas W. Jackson is the Grand Secretary for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and book reviewer for The Northern Light. (In order of preference) 1. A Pilgrim's Path, John J. Robinson, 1993, 2. House Undivided, Allen E. Roberts, 1961 3. The Builders, Joseph Fort Newton, 1914 4. Born in Blood, John J. Robinson, 1989 5. Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft, John Hamill & R. A. Gilbert (ed.), 1992 6. The Mystic Tie, Allen E. Roberts, 1991 7. The Temple and the Lodge, Michael Baigent & Richard Leigh, 1989 8. The Clergy and the Craft, Forrest D. Haggard, 1970 9. Freemasonry in American History, Allen E. Roberts, 1985 10. The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Richard Thorn, 1995
McLEOD'S LIST - Wallace McLeod is professor of classics at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and past president of the Philalethes Society. (In order of preference) 1. Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, Bernard E. Jones, 1950, 1956 2. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil, 1961 3. The Freemason at Work, Harry Carr, 1976 4. Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft, John Hamill & R. A. Gilbert (ed.), 1992 5. The Pocket History of Freemasonry, Fred L. Pick & G. Norman Knight, 1953 6. Whither Are We Traveling?, Dwight L. Smith, 1962 7. The Master's Book, Carl H. Claudy, 1935 8. Key to Freemasonry's Growth, Allen E. Roberts, 1969 9. The Early Masonic Catechisms, Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones, & Douglas Hamer, 1953, 1963 10. A Pilgrim's Path, John J. Robinson, 1993
NORMAND'S LIST - Pete Normand is a Past Master of the Texas Lodge of Research and was editor of the former American Masonic Review. (alphabetical) 1. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil, 1961 2. The Freemason at Work, Harry Carr, 1976 3. Freemasonry in American History, Allen E. Roberts, 1985 4. Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, Henry Wilson Coil, 1966 5. Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, Bernard E. Jones, 1950, 1956 6. Masonic World Guide, Kent W. Henderson, 1984 7. A Pilgrim's Path, John J. Robinson, 1993 8. The Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry, Roy A. Wells, 1986 9. Workman Unashamed, Christopher Haffner, 1989 10. World Freemasonry: An Illustrated History, John Hamill & R. A. Gilbert, 1991

(notice the Hiram Key is not here nor anything by Bagnitt&Leigh (bad spelling) their research is faulty-Preston) 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
What is Masonry's Program? There may be many called by many names, but there can be but one underlying motive, one magnificent objective-the improvement of self through the understanding of self. The program of Masonry has been repeated through the ages by all the great leaders and teachers whose wisdom extended beyond their day, and who loved humanity so devotedly that they gave to the world the benefits of their great hearts along with the wonders of their great minds. To the world of their day, and to a large extent the world of today, they were dreamers. To the thinking few of their day and today they stand as the greatest of realists. Through the years these great Doctors of Humanity have been looked upon as strange beings who taught a system of morality which men approved with a casual nod, but would not accept. They would not accept that which was not reduced to a formula, or which was outside the realm of economics.
The great teachings of sowing and reaping, of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, of walking humbly with thy God, of knowing who shall abide in thy Tabernacle, of dwelling together in unity-are these beneath the dignity of our sophisticated age?
The great teachers of old did not expect a miracle by words. Greatness is achieved when the individual discovers for himself the greatness of simple truths.
The program of Masonry is to kindle that desire and teach that the abstract is really the concrete. 
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
Bro. Carl, Thank you so much for posting these! They are one of the reasons that I still visit the NG faithfully. They are often funny and make me think.
Always looking to the East,
Eric S. Johnson, MM Secretary Junction City #128, AF & AM Junction City, OR.
Please visit our web page at:
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Throughout our lives we are involved in a competitive system. There may be a great deal of merit in the struggle through competition up to a certain point.
The child comes home with his report card and a grade B. The first question the fond parent asks is: "What did George get on his report card?" So firmly entrenched are we in this system that our grades are only relatively important. Competitive sport is good so long as the contestants have due regard to the rules of the game. A system of competition in business is good so long as Public Opinion insists that moral laws are obeyed.
Masonry, wise in the wisdom of the centuries, establishes an ideal system, one that makes it possible for all men to advance, and not at the expense of his brother. The Mason is forever engaged in the struggle to improve self, to find a higher spiritual center for self. All Masons are participants in this "competitive system."
The goal is not fame or fortune, gold or jewels, power and authority, but only "Who Can Best Serve." 
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
We must ever keep in mind the fact that the strength of Masonry is in the ideal of Universality. It has never offered a prescribed religion, but has forever offered the inspiration for the individual Mason to grow in his religious beliefs.
The instant there is a monopolistic trend to distribute religion to men, ignoring their private and personal beliefs, the system then becomes the master of the man and is a danger to society. The individual is submerged and no longer is a seeker of Light.
On the other hand, when an institution gives proper emphasis to Spiritual Enlightenment in relation to Intellectual Development, the individual stands as "the image of his Creator," not bound by dogma or edict, and free to develop spiritually and mentally, unhampered by a mighty pre-fabricated system.
The strength of Masonry is in the tolerance and understanding of those of many beliefs who unite in Love, the pinnacle of all religions.
The proper relation between Spiritual Growth and Mental Development is the balance wheel of Masonry.
The highest good of all religions (and here is the common ground upon which Masons meet), is determined by the degree to which we recognize the same ingredients of love, of unselfishness, of service to humanity, in our brother's religion, as we claim for our own.
There is a fine distinction between a Landmark and a Wall.

Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
I just received this this morning. A good story for April to remember our roots. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

The "shot heard round the world" was the shot that started the American Revolution, 225 years ago.
Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as such:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world.
The history is as follows:
In April 1775, 225 years ago, American patriots Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott rode on horseback all night through the New England countryside to warn of the British troops marching toward Lexington (where patriots Sam Adams and John Hancock, wanted by the British, were hiding) and Concord (where the newly formed Continental Army had stockpiled cannonballs and gunpowder). The three patriots were able to warn Sam Adams and John Hancock, who escaped. However, the three rebels were stopped by the British. Dr. Samuel Prescott managed to escape and rode to Concord, from where the Continental Army moved the cannonballs and gunpowder.
The next morning, on the way to Concord but still near Lexington, the British were met by the rebel minutemen troops roused by Revere, Dawes, and Prescott. When the rebels refused to disperse, a shot was fired, the shot that started the American Revolutionary War, the shot heard round the world.
Had Revere, Dawes, and Prescott not performed their all-night ride, the British would have captured Sam Adams (patriot leader and father of second US president John Adams) and John Hancock, another leader of the colonial fight for independence. Because of the few munitions available to the Continental Army at the inception of the Revolutionary War, the British capture of the munitions at Concord might have extinguished the revolution almost before it began.
The night of Paul Revere's, William Dawes', and Dr, Samuel Prescott's ride: April 18, 1775. The morning after, when the American Revolutionary War started: April 19, 1775.
Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five. Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, But lingers and gazes, 'till full on his sight A second lamp in the belfry burns . . .
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Whatever may be the trend of government, particularly in a country that has know Freedom in its true meaning, the trend follows the will of the people. A change from democratic principles and ideals reveals a change in the temperament of the people. A movement toward a socialistic government proves the weakness of the people who have become wholly indifferent to the Price of Freedom. Such a move indicates the loss of faith and courage in the value of the individual. Such a move shows the moral apathy of a people who have been willing to accept privileges without assuming responsibilities, and who have walked a Primrose Path totally oblivious of the price paid by our forefathers for Precious Liberty.
We trade with our eyes open when we exchange Freedom for Subsidies, whether as a group, or as an individual beneficiary of such a gift. In this way many are guilty of being five-percenters.
A free government is impossible apart from a people who are willing to pay the price for Liberty. Socialism, the perfect bridge to Communism and Fascism, removes all personal responsibility from the individual and gives back a set of instructions, a questionnaire, and other "official forms." The very air is heavy with 'agents' who direct your life from morning until night. Personality is without a market. Individual Enterprise is not the possession of a slave. Life becomes as patent as a joke told and retold.
Watch the trend of government. Do you see yourself in the masses who foolishly believe that government exists for the purpose of taking care of the people, or do you see yourself enjoying the carnival of "wild giving" by government of the money that cannot possibly originate with or be created by government?
Or, do you see yourself as one who is thinking clearly and calmly at a time when honest thinking may save our country from destruction?
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
He is not really old. In fact he is eternally young and very wise. If you count age in terms of years then you can say, he is old, and if you count years in service to Masonry, then again you can say he is old, but still you feel that this very service to Masonry has kept him young.
He is present at the meetings and his talks are brief, always filled with good thoughts. He loves Masonry, and for him it means love for all men. In every discussion he shows the wisdom of experience, of years filled with the knowledge and practice of the tenets and principles of Masonry.
He is interested in the degree work, the financial structure of the lodge. He is conservative in that he wants Masonry to ever be a thing of beauty and dignity, and he is progressive where progress doe not destroy such beauty and dignity. He encourages the young Mason and has a kind word to say to the candidates. He praises the unselfish efforts of the instructor and the members of the degree team. Whenever the lodge is about to do something that is not Masonry he calmly says: "Brothers, let's not be too hasty."
He has a way of knowing about brothers who are sick and in distress, and he always reports these matters to the lodge.
When you pass him on the streets he smiles and asks: "Are you coming up tonight?" And, even if you had not intended to be present, perhaps his words make you change your mind.
The Mason of Many Years will think about the things that we are prone to forget, the little thoughtful acts that are a vital part of Masonry, which we are too busy to look after.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
The great things of life are unadorned.
The ages declare the greatness of men who walked humbly and quietly, and who were so absorbed in a life of well-doing that they never had an idle moment to reflect upon history's evaluation.
The tallest monument erected to a false greatness reveals only the monument, while a rough slab, lonely in its appearance, may loom as an imposing symbol if it bears the name of one who lived such a life that only time could transform such an obscure existence into everlasting greatness.
Great truths are expressed in simple words.
Let ceremonies and superstitions enter and the simplicity of Love, the very essence of Religion, is lost. With its disappearance all semblance of True Religion is gone.
Speak of perfection and infallibility and the human touch is withdrawn.
Who can point out the great citizens of today?
Are the great of today the ones whose autographs are sought? No, the great of today are the men whose autographs will be sought by future generations. Today we do not know their names. And there are untold thousands whose greatness will never be known by man. They are the simple, honest men, unknown and unheralded, whose hearts are attuned to the Great Heart of the Universe.
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Valley of Bellingham, Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike